IE9 Consumes Less Power, Shows Hotmail Notifications in the Taskbar
Article by George Norman
On 11 Apr 2011
The latest version of the Microsoft-developed Internet Explorer (IE) web browser is IE9. Released as a final, stable version mid-March, the browser was downloaded more than 2.3 million times in the first day following its launch and during the month of March it reached a 3.6% usage share on Windows 7. And Microsoft didn’t even push IE9 via Windows update (it will not do that until the end of June); those are all user-initiated downloads.

When you think of all the new bits and pieces IE9 brings to the table, it’s no wonder Vista and Windows 7 users are rushing to get the browser (IE9 does not support XP).


IE9 comes with a new user interface, the New Tab Page displays frequently visited sites, the Tear-off tabs feature lets you snap pages side-by-side using Windows Aero Snap, the JavaScript engine is faster than ever, support for HTML5 has been added, and websites can be pinned to the Windows 7 taskbar.

There is one more IE9 feature that users should get excited about: IE9 is not as power-hungry as its main competitors. After putting IE9, Opera 11, Firefox, Chrome 10 and Safari 5 to the test, the Redmond-based software giant concluded that its IE9 browser is the most energy-efficient browser.

This is good news for laptop users in particular. IE9 has the least impact on battery performance, as you can see from the graph presented below.

According to Microsoft, the following principles were followed when coming up with IE9, principles meat to guarantee industry leading power consumption:
  • Speed – the browser consumes less power the faster it completes an action.
  • Hardware acceleration – natively using the specialized hardware decreases power consumption.
  • Idle resource usage – when the user is not interacting with it, the browser should not be doing work and consuming power.

“Browsers play a significant and important role in overall power consumption. The more efficiently a browser uses power the longer the battery will last in a mobile device, the lower the electricity costs, and the smaller the environment impact,” explained Microsoft’s Walter VonKoch, IE Performance Program Manager, Matthew Robben, Windows Power Program Manager, and Jason Weber, IE Performance Lead.

I mentioned above that one of the cool new features IE9 has to offer is the option to pin websites to the Windows 7 taskbar. If you pin Hotmail to the taskbar, you can easily send out an email for example. The news is that Hotmail recently added email notifications to its pinned site; you can view the number of new messages you have in your Hotmail inbox by simply taking a look at the Hotmail icon in the taskbar.

If you would like to get IE9 you can grab it straight from Microsoft here.

Tags: Microsoft, IE9, Internet Explorer 9, Hotmail
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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