Internet Explorer 9 Preview: Uh, Nice

Internet Exploder, an excellent browser? With Internet Explorer 9, it's possible! Microsoft's made a very pretty browser that feels like it's a part of Windows 7, loaded with HTML5 compatibility and unmatched graphics hardware acceleration for whizzy, whizzy web apps.

It's way more standards compliant than any previous version of IE, with a 95 score on the Acid3 web standards test. Like every browser, it's packed in a bunch of HTML5 features, though what Microsoft's pushing the hardest, particularly in its big shebang demos - that you can catch here - is the fact that it's using Direct2D and DirectWrite for hardware-accelerated graphics rendering with your GPU.

The promise is that by tapping your graphics card, the browser can run more hardcore web apps like games in the browser, as some of Microsoft's impressive, if slanted, demos attest to. (Google's pushing its own ways to reach the same end.)

In terms of usage, IE9 is the first time Internet Explorer didn't immediately make me wanna plunge back into Chrome or Firefox - oh the bliss of the unified search/address bar - both in terms of the interface and the way it renders pages. It has its share of wonkiness while it's still in beta. In addition to the weird way it renders our quicklink headlines, for instance, it completely chokes out on Apple's spiffy new HTML5-powered iTunes Showtimes, even though the page works perfectly in Chrome, Firefox 4 beta 4 and Safari.

Google's Chrome Arcade Fire demo totally kills IE9's Killers demo, though. The beta's out for everybody later today. You might as well check it out, since it's what your mum's going to be using in a few months - you might even be impressed. It's right here: [IE9 Beta]



    I've tested this with a javascript intensive site, animating multiple images that are loaded in with javascript,.

    Unfortunately while I'm loving the efforts of M$, its js performance in this beta is not up to par with Chrome or FF. Which is surprising, since they're going on about performance a lot. And while I understand its still beta, the perfomance was sub-par enough that at best it will probably only compete with current iterations of chrome and FF rather than raising the bar.

    My 2 cents anyway.

    I installed IE9 Last night on my pc.. It opend got a round circle going round and round for about 30 seconds then it closed..tried it a few times. Turned off all apps and stuff that didnt work. Restarted Same thing.. Looks like IE9 beta Is not for me. I'll wait for the proper release.

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