We mentioned last week that it was coming. As of 9:00pm PDT today, Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) is available for download. IE9 will soon be hitting the the Windows Update download queue, or you can download it immediately from the link in this post. Microsoft hasn’t changed much, but they did make a few last minute tweaks since the release candidate. You might notice improved performance with low-end GPU’s, and improved website pinning across multiple domains.
Without further ado, you can pick up your copy of IE9 from from Microsoft’s promotional site: http://www.beautyoftheweb.com/.
You’ll be presented with 2 different options when you Click the download button. If you aren’t sure whether to choose 32-bit or 64-bit, just use the one that matches your system.
Installation will likely require a system reboot, but once it is done you are good to go. I’d have to say if there is one thing Microsoft did right with IE9, it is that they made IE9 easy to install; it is completely automated and there is only 1 setup window that appears (assuming you choose recommended settings).
As said, IE9 has some good qualities. Here is what I like about IE9-
- The minimalistic interface
IE8 was horrible, bloated, and confusing. IE9 has obvious Google Chrome influence, and for good reason. It’s clean, simple, and intuitive. I still think the address bar is squished in there, but I’ll let that slide since you you can change that with an easy Right-Click. But, even though IE9 has an improved interface, It still isn’t enough to pull me away from Chrome; not by a long shot, sorry Microsoft.
- Pinned websites
Chrome still might be my primary web browser, but I tend to open A LOT of tabs –anywhere from 25-40. I can’t tell you how handy it is to keep certain web apps, such as Pandora, easily accessible. In fact, this feature alone might be the one reason that I ever even use IE9.
- Preserves History from favorites
One of my biggest pet peeves is re-entering my credentials for all my web services whenever I clear my browsers history. With IE9 you can “white list” sites that you would like to retain history for by adding them to your favorites.
- Full screen mode
The IE team definitely got this one right, Full screen mode actually works as it should. You don’t have to hit F11 again, or use any crazy keyboard combos to exit Full Screen mode; you can just click the normal toolbar that auto-hides when not in use.
- Tracking protection
It is a great feature to have built-in to the browser. I don’t want Google or others tracking all of my online activity after all. But, this one also lands on my list of “things I don’t like” because it is so hard to set up.
And here is what I don’t like about IE9-
- No support for Mac, Linux, XP
Microsoft has decided to only support Windows operating systems with its latest browser. Along with that, it won’t work with Windows XP. You can see the official system requirements here.
- The Back arrow
This one might sound silly to some, but the way the Back arrow is cut off on the bottom and digs into the first tab really bothers me.
- Interface customization
For all of the features that IE9 is packing, it sure doesn’t let you customize them. You can add back your legacy menus, but you still can’t do something as simple as moving your bookmarks bar to the same row as your tabs.
- Tracking protection management
As mentioned, it is really complicated to set up. Microsoft mentions that you can go to iegallery.com to download pre-made tracking lists, but that site isn’t even up.
Overall, as said before, IE9 is a solid browser. It might not woo me in the same way that Chrome or Firefox does, but it has its own special place –pinning a specific set of web apps to my taskbar.
The IE9 final version is 9.0.8112.16421, as of release day.
After you’ve taken it for a test drive, let us know what you think! Or, if you dislike IE so much that you won’t even be giving it a try, we’d love to hear your reasons for that.