Will IE9 Become a Game Changer?

Will IE9 Become a Game Changer?

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IE9 is out, or at least the public beta version of this web browser has been released. You may no longer use Internet Explorer, but more than half of all web users do. As awful as earlier editions of IE have been, lots of computer users are simply too lazy or ignorant to switch.

For the record, I won’t be using IE9 on my PC and definitely not on my Mac. Safari may be a bit of memory pig, but it easily trumps Internet Explorer. Firefox still rocks and, of course, there is Chrome to consider. Opera, anyone?

IE9 Fundamentals

Even if you hate all things Microsoft, you need to be aware of what IE9 is all about. When I say I don’t “use” Internet Explorer, that isn’t quite true — when I change a website by updating its layout, I peak at those changes in IE. Sure, it is a “broken browser” so not everything renders the way it should. Still, with zillions of people using IE, I want their experience on my websites to be a good one.

What are some of the changes you’ll see with IE9? Well, I’m glad you asked as they include:

  • Support for all CSS 3 selectors
  • Improved JavaScript performance
  • Embedded ICC v2 or v4 color profiles
  • Hardware accelerated graphics, text rendering and video imagery
  • Web Open Font Format is now supported
  • HTML5 video and audio tag support[1]

Operating Systems

Not everyone will be able to use IE9, including those who opted for Windows XP instead of the dreaded Windows VISTA operating system. VISTA and Windows 7 are supported which means if you want to use IE9 then you’ll have to upgrade your operating system. Good luck with that. If you have Windows 7 installed on your PC you’ll be able to use important features such as pinning, jump lists and aero snap.

Early feedback about IE9 from web critics has been positive with Mashable noting that the biggest selling point is hardware acceleration. Indeed, Microsoft has taken pains to compare the speed of IE9 to Chrome and Firefox, with heavy graphic interfaces rendering faster than competitors. [2]

Web Beauty

“Unlocking the beauty of the Web,” is the tagline Microsoft is using for the IE9. That’s appropriate as Microsoft finally understands that web users don’t want cumbersome toolbars getting in the way. Minimalism is in: a clean, fresh look puts less strain on the eyes and likely makes users feel more relaxed. Couple the new look with a browser that actually loads faster is likely to help users feel less anxious too.

With more than one billion Windows users in the world, Microsoft expects many will upgrade to IE9 which will also be a boon to computer manufacturers who will sell plenty of Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 9 computers as a result. A game changer for web surfers, computer manufacturers and Microsoft alike!

References

[1] CNET: Microsoft, Intel Tout Faster IE9 Graphics

[2] Mashable: Internet Explorer 9 Has Arrived

Resources

Engadget: Internet Explorer 9 Beta Review

Beauty of the Web: IE9 Download

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Categories: Internet