Previous releases of the Internet Explorer have always invoked the fiercest arguments among users as to which browser is the best, with loyalties divided. The slow loading capabilities, overstuffed toolbars and compatibility issues with previous Internet Explorer versions have forced many to gravitate toward other browsers such as Firefox and Chrome.While there are fierce opponents to the ever so popular Internet Explorer, this new browser version is bound to impress quite a lot of people and restore Internet Explorer 9 as the best yet. Although there are still areas that need to be addressed, I believe Microsoft has done its home work very well indeed. Here’s a look at some of the good and not so good features Internet Explorer 9 Beta.
Internet Explorer 9 Beta :The Beauty and the Beast
Out with the Clutter and in with the Chic
Gone are the messy toolbars and command bars. While buttons such as the Home, Favorites, and Tools are perched neatly at the far right of the tab bar, others are nestled to the left and right of the address bar. You can even expand the web viewing experience by hiding the status bar. The browser is now back to doing what it should do best: Get the Surf back to the Web! If you still prefer the messy look, you can right click the address bar and bring the toolbars right back.
Copycat Chrome! It’s a little annoying that Microsoft hasn’t come up with a more original layout.
Tab It As You Like
It is now possible to detach the tabs as you please. Simply drag the tab away from a window to open them in a new window.
Having trouble viewing a tab? You no longer have to close the entire browser window. Just close the tab in question and reload it.
Additionally, a new tab window displays thumbnails of the most frequently accessed sites. Simply click the thumbnail to open the website.
Pin Them As You Please
Want a one-click trick to open your favorite sites? Simply drag the web icon displayed in the address bar to the taskbar to pin them and click the taskbar icon to open the site. The best part about pinning sites such as Twitter or Facebook is that the pinned icon displays a jump list ( Windows 7 ) where you can select from a list of favorite or other categories.
When you open sites that you pin to the taskbar, a couple of changes take place: The web icon gets displayed to the left of the Back button and the Back and Forward buttons pick up the predominant color of the web icon.
If you have navigated away from the pinned page, the web icon serves as the Home page button which gets you right back to the original pinned page.
Windows XP users will lose out on this functionality as it has been primarily designed for users of Windows 7.
Only some of the big websites have the categories listed out in the jump list. We will have to wait for the others to join the bandwagon.
Search Till You Drop
The address bar in Internet Explorer 9 doubles up as a search engine too. What’s more, you can choose to add your favorite search engines (Google, Amazon, Wiki, Yahoo..) from the Add-ons Gallery. You can also view the latest search results, Favorites and History results. If the search engine is capable of displaying instant search results, then you get to see the results as you type….Bing a bell?
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A Manager For Your Downloads
The Download Manager is finally here! Phew! Now you no longer have to be worried about locating all your downloaded files.
You get to see what you’ve recently downloaded as well as the progress of a current download.
Additionally, you no longer have to worry about download interruptions. You can simply restart from where the download was interrupted. If you’re downloading a file that contains a malicious code, you’re alerted to the fact.
When you download a file, the Notification bar displays the status of the download but if you navigate away from the page, and the download is complete, the bar disappears. You then need to choose Tools –> View Downloads to display the Download Manager.
No More Add-On Troubles to Slow You Down
One common complaint with the previous versions of Internet Explorer was that the browser add-ons slowed down the loading times. If you are running quite a few add-ons, the notification message enables you to get a peek into the troublesome add-ons that are slowing down your browsing experience. You can then have a rethink on using or disabling the troublemakers.
Displaying the Disable Add-Ons dialog box is no easy task. I was able to view it only from a message in the Notification bar.
No more of those annoying in-your-face pop-ups while you’re browsing in great earnest!
The Notification bar slides in quietly at the bottom of the screen with important warnings and messages, which you can view at your own convenience.
Quick as a Wink
The hardware accelerator feature has enabled IE 9 to catch up on its performance when compared to Chrome and Firefox. While IE 9 has not completely surpassed the others, it’s quite close to getting it right this time.
Bugging issues like misalignment of text, images, and sections on web pages haven’t gone away. Hopefully this will be addressed before the final release of the application.
Surfer Surfer On the Net, Whose the Better Browser Yet?
Beauty or Beast
There are those who will always swear by Chrome or Firefox, and others who will stand by Internet Explorer. Whatever be the reasons for each, Internet Explorer 9 has certainly done a lot of catch up and is likely to win the hearts of many.
If you are keen on trying the Beta, a good way to go about it will be to use it as a backup browser to avoid any beta bugs!
Overall, it looks like Internet Explorer 9 is going to have a fairy tale ending for Microsoft and IE users!