Internet Explorer 9 launch: What you need to know

Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 launches tonight at 9 p.m. Pacific, accompanied by a celebratory bash at the South-by-Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. The hoopla might be appropriate, because IE9 is Microsoft's most aggressive attempt yet at hanging onto its lead in the browser market.

Here are the highlights of Microsoft's new browser.

IE 9 Looks Like a Modern Browser

The Internet Explorers of yesteryear opted for clutter-inducing features like Web Slices, but not IE9. The browser's new look is a simple combination of tabs and a unified bar for Web addresses and searches, all on a single horizontal strip. On appearances alone, IE9 has joined competitors Firefox and Chrome in the race for minimalism, and if you can deal with having tabs and the address bar on the same line, you'll have more room for Web pages than any other browser.

Acts Like a Modern Browser

IE9's other big features aren't ones that you'll notice right away. This will be Microsoft's first browser to fully support HTML5, for websites that want to embed videos, animations and audio without plug-ins like Flash or Silverlight. IE9 can also use a computer's GPU to render graphics and can take advantage of multi-core processors by compiling JavaScript in the background on separate core of the CPU.

It Loves Windows (Vista and 7, That Is)

Microsoft hopes that you'll make Internet Explorer 9 part of your desktop by incorporating Websites into Windows. You can do this by dragging any open tab into the task bar or start menu, where they'll remain as shortcuts. Websites can also create "jumplists" for these pinned programs, showing a selection of quick links when you right click on the shortcut. But XP owners won't be able to feel the love; IE9 only works with Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Is it a Modern Browser?

I've already written about why IE9 isn't going to win me over, but the biggest reason is its lack of web apps. With the Chrome Web Store up and running, and Mozilla building its own app system, IE9 risks falling behind on the fertile ground of helping users discover and access useful Web services.

[See: Internet Explorer 9 Beta: A Visual Tour]

Follow Jared on Facebook and Twitter for even more tech news and commentary.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftbrowserssoftwareapplicationsInternet ExplorerBrowsers & Add-Ons

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?