Microsoft has released the ninth version of their web browser: Windows Internet Explorer 9.
Unveiled to the general public in September last year as a beta release, Internet Explorer 9 is now available as a final version, putting Microsoft back in the race with a modern web browser.
The beta version and Release Candidate have been downloaded more than 40 million times according to Microsoft. The final version is now available for Windows Vista and Seven, but not XP. This operating system, still the most widely used in the world today (more than 50% market share according to Net Applications), is considered incompatible with hardware acceleration as designed for IE9.
This hardware acceleration is one of the major new features present in IE9 under Windows 7 and Windows Vista. It calls on the GPU to accelerate text, video and graphics. Microsoft’s aim is to make web sites similar to applications installed directly on a Windows computer.
The browser comes with protection against tracking (some lists may need to be created, while others are already available), allowing you to block ActiveX controls on all sites. Tab isolation and their automatic recovery after being blocked are also complimented by a recovery after incident.
With IE9, a lot more time has been given to Web content thanks to a new, barer, user interface. All of the menus have been merged together, with the address bar and search field now one, while the tabs have been moved to the right of the new bar.
An interesting function in IE9 is the possibility of detaching a tab to drag and drop it, pinning it to the Windows 7 task bar, allowing you to use the OS’ jump lists to access services offered by partner sites like Facebook and Dailymotion, for example. This is also the biggest change in this final version – an increased number of partner sites.
These are a few of the new features in IE9, to which we can add a new download manager, support for Windows Aero Snap and others. For more details, you can consult the Microsoft site. We will quickly publish a full review of the IE9 browser in our articles section.