Hands On With The Internet Explorer 9 beta

In the past I have told people to stay away from Internet Explorer. It’s not a bad browser, but it’s not particularly good either. Sure it works, but you’re better off with the customisability of Firefox or the speed of Chrome. If you are running anything less than Internet Explorer 8, I ask you to please upgrade right away, for your internet safety. Now there’s the Internet Explorer 9 beta. Available for Windows Vista and 7, will it convert me or will I stay firmly with Firefox?

The Internet Explorer 9 Beta browser can be found here. After downloading the browser and restarting your machine, you open Internet Explorer to find that there is very little in terms of browser in your browser. You have the bar at the top containing forward and back buttons, address bar and tabs, as well as any toolbars you have installed. It looks like they have cut down on what you see in the browser, but really everything is just hidden and can be rediscovered with some simple exploration.

When opening a new tab you get the most popular sites page, taken from Chrome. This is a nice way of finding those sites you like to check out most often. In terms of speed, this new version is much faster, competing with Chrome in terms of page loading times. One of the coolest new features is the ability for Windows 7 users to be able to take a webpage, and pin it to the taskbar, for easy future viewing. This could be very useful for services such as Hotmail or Facebook.

This new beta browser looks like Microsoft have finally caught up with the competition. Whilst those who are used to their current browser will probably stick with it, people who don’t know what a Firefox is will find this new browser fast, accessible and full of useful features. Whilst this beta version hasn’t won me over, it doesn’t stink either. I say give it a try, because it’s better than IE8.

What do you think? What are your impressions of the beta? Let us know in the comments.