Internet Explorer 9

The Internet Explorer 9 Beta is out now. It has a lot of ground to make up. IE 6 used to own the browser market. But market share has been slipping. IE9 comes with the promise of actually supporting standards like HTML 5. Like other browsers, it attempts to make browsing fast.

Part of the performance improvement will be due to the new JavaScript engine. This is code named Chakra. It is similar to the V8 engine in the Chrome browser from Microsoft.

There are some other changes to the browser. The user interface has been simplified. I like that there will be more screen real estate used for the actual web page you are viewing. This comes at a cost though. Some features you are used to seeing on the screen in IE8 and prior have been hidden. They are still there. You just have to find the way to access them.

A strange fact about IE9 is that you must have Windows Vista or Windows 7 to run it. There is no Windows XP support. I guess Microsoft is positioning this browser for the future. They also don't want to encourage you to keep sticking with good old Windows XP. Or maybe people running XP don't want anything new, and will just stick with the ancient IE6 anyway.

Thanks to ArsTechnica for the 411 on IE9. That's where I learned the most about IE9 details.