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  • IE9: Faster, Smarter, Better - Microsoft Back In Form With Internet Explorer 9

    ie9 large icon super hi qualityStepping again into the Internet Browser field, Microsoft has stunned the tech-fanatics all around the world. Entering the internet browsing game, the Internet Explorer 9 has made benchmark with 2.3 million downloads within 24 hours. The Internet Explorer has come a long way since the release of its first version Internet Explorer 6. Though, the number 6 rotated itself to 9, the brand new Internet Explorer has changed much in it.

    IE9 Specifications
    Publisher: Microsoft Corporation
    Type: Business, Personal, Enterprise, Professional
    System requirements: PC with minimum 1 GHZ processor | 512 RAM
    Operating System: Windows 7, Windows Vista (SP2), Windows Server 2008 (SP2), Windows Server 2008 R2, Mac OS.
    Price: Free

    The Crux

    A. Interface -
    The first look at the Interface of the browser shows how the toolbars of the browser have been chopped off to provide maximum area for the web page unlike other web browser such as Firefox. Google’s Chrome also provides this feature. The menu bar is just left with back and forth arrow buttons, search box and addresses.

    ie 9 beautiful interface

    B. Tabs -
    The modifications have been made keeping in mind the other browsers in the game. The tabs work has been improved for the new IE 9. You can drag the tabs out of the browser to a new window, join them back into the same window or create new tabs. You can even drag tabs to a new window. If you do this while playing a video, the new window formed will take exactly half of the space, while it continues to play the video. This feature adds a feather to its hat.

    It also includes the feature of making a whole new toolbar of tabs if you find them cramming into the window bar. You can also close tabs without switching to it as the other browsers do. Since the addresses, the search box, the controls and the tabs are stuffed into one bar, the tabs can get too narrow to get easy access. The new tab page shows the most frequently visited websites but you can hide them if you don’t want everyone seeing what you frequently visit. However, you have no equivalent present for the Tab Management facility in Firefox 4.

    ie9 tabs and pinned sites

    C. Pinned Sites -
    The new pinned sites feature allows you to dock the sites to the taskbar making it look more like an application. For example, if you pin Facebook, you can access it by just clicking the icon on the taskbar, a direct access to messages, events, and your friends list through jump list. Thus, this feature takes IE9 ahead of Google’s Chrome browser which lacks this feature. The pinned sites acquire not only the taskbar, but also the window which opens it. The browser logo is replaced by the site logo. The navigation buttons also take the colour of the pinned site. However, the ‘decorations’ remain as it is when you navigate to a different domain in the same window, which is a bit disorienting.

    Notifications within the browser have also been made less intrusive, again with the intention of preventing them from interfering with the site experience.

    High Performance

    A. Script Support-
    Performance of a browser bases itself on various factors that determine its quality. It has focussed more on its JavaScript (named Chakra) performance in order to make it faster and better. The companies such as Firefox and Google had been developing the GPU acceleration support in their browsers but the first one to ship this technology is Microsoft with IE 9. It is the first one to market with a widely accelerated browser thus raising the bars for the other browser developers.

    Microsoft is showing steady progress, introducing substantial new features in the new IE 9 such as support for the HTML5 video and audio tags, canvas graphics, and WOFF fonts.

    B. Tracking Protection Lists
    A belt-and-braces approach to the privacy protection, Tracking Protection Lists (TPL) allows users to opt into lists published by privacy organizations to block tracking mechanisms issued by advertisers and analytics firms to track one's progress around the Web.

    Few Bad Bits

    A. Compatibility -

    The biggest problem or a risk instead, is the compatibility issue with the Operating Systems. Because of its use of Direct2D and DirectWrite, which are only available on Windows Vista and Windows 7, the IE 9 does not function in Windows XP at all.

    B. 64 Bit or 32 Bit -
    It's also a little disappointing that the 64-bit version is less polished than the 32-bit version. It can't be made the default browser, and it doesn't include the new, high-performance scripting engine. Microsoft has long argued that 64-bit browsing isn't necessary; most plug-ins are only 32-bit, and so, the argument goes, browsing must be a 32-bit activity. This is unfortunate. The reason that 64-bit is desirable is particularly to strengthen certain anti-hacking mechanisms.

    Safari on Mac OS X is a 64-bit process on suitable systems. It gets around the plug-in problem by running plug-ins in separate 32-bit processes. This is an approach that Microsoft could, and should, take.

    The Internet Explorer 9 is a triumph, a thing recommended. Not perfect, but a first-rate product. The most modern browser in the market up till now and undoubtedly, a better browser than its previous versions IE 6, IE 7, IE 8.

    Finally, a browser from Microsoft that can be used with confidence and pride!

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