In-Depth

Top 10 Reasons to Like IE 9

  1. Standards Compliance
    The Microsoft IE 9 team submitted tests for various Web specs that are either unratified or in transition. Their focus has been to seek compliance with HTML5, SVG 1.1, CSS 3.0, ECMAScript 5 and DOM L2 and L3 specs. Microsoft officials say that developers only have to write their code once and it will run across all browsers.
  2. Hardware Accelerated Graphics
    IE 9 can power HTML5-coded audio and video using the device's underlying hardware. Multimedia can run natively in IE 9 without relying on add-ons such as Flash or Silverlight. IE 9 taps into the device's graphics processing unit (GPU) to optimize performance.
  3. Google UI
    The new Microsoft browser adopts the "popular sites" opening screen seen in Google Chrome. IE 9 also lets users search the Web using the address bar (or "One Box," as Microsoft terms it) of the browser, a feature seen in Google Chrome.
  4. Windows UI
    Features introduced in Windows 7 and Windows Vista can be seen in IE 9, such as the ability to pin Web sites to the taskbar as if they were applications. Developers can associate "jumplists" (a Windows term for a series of links) with pinned sites to facilitate navigation.
  5. Chakra!
    Let's face it, IE 8 is slow. IE 9 uses a new JavaScript engine called "Chakra" to speed performance. Chakra is capable of taking advantage of multi-core hardware.
  6. Architecture
    The IE 9 team moved the processing of JavaScript closer to the Document Object Model (DOM) in the IE 9 beta, which has resulted in speed improvements. Microsoft tests show that IE 9 equals or surpasses competing browsers in terms of speed.
  7. Performance Advice
    Microsoft included an "add-on performance advisor" in IE 9 that tells users when third-party additions are slowing the browser's performance.
  8. Better Security for Downloads
    IE 9 includes a new download manager that uses the Microsoft "smartscreen filter" to alert users when a download originates from an unfamiliar or untrusted source.
  9. Tab Isolation
    Microsoft claims that tab isolation is a new feature in IE 9. It provides for automatic crash recovery and hang recovery when Web sites fail.
  10. Management and Dev Features
    Hitting the F12 key lets Web developers debug their code or check performance issues. Developers can control how their Web sites appear by falling back to earlier Internet Explorer versions using IE 9 compatibility-mode settings. IT pros can set Group Policy for IE 9, with more than 1,500 options, including control over browser add-ons. IE 9 will support slipstream installations, allowing IT pros to include updates in distributions.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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