Are you ready for IE9?

For the last two weeks, I’ve been using the beta of Internet Explorer 9 in preparation for a comprehensive post at ZDNet. That post was supposed to go live later this morning, when Microsoft officially unveils the browser, but someone jumped the gun, so I was able to publish early.

Internet Explorer 9 beta review: Microsoft reinvents the browser


Today in San Francisco, Microsoft will officially unveil Internet Explorer 9 and make it available to the general public. It is, without question, the most ambitious browser release Microsoft has ever undertaken, and despite the beta label it is an impressively polished product.

The underpinnings of IE9 are no secret. Microsoft has been talking since last fall about its determined effort to adhere to Web standards and embrace HTML5. It has also detailed its efforts to improve IE9’s performance compared to previous releases. Developers and IT pros have been able to shake out compatibility issues and benchmark performance with four public platform previews over the past six months. But this beta is the first time Microsoft has publicly shown off the new browser’s user interface and given its Windows customers a product they can use day in and day out.

I sat down with Dean Hachamovitch, General Manager of the Internet Explorer division, earlier this month for a first look at the IE9 interface and a discussion of Microsoft’s goals and its competition. Since that meeting, I’ve been using the IE9 beta extensively on multiple PCs, including my primary desktop and notebook computers. Based on that experience, I have some preliminary answers to the questions you’re asking: Is it fast enough? Is it compatible enough? Is it cool enough to win back former IE users who have switched to other browsers, first to Firefox and more recently to Google Chrome? And will this shiny new browser be able to rehabilitate the tarnished Internet Explorer brand?

Here’s my report.

I’ll have more details, including download instructions and some tips for early adopters, in a follow-up post.

Update: You can now download the IE9 beta code from Microsoft. It’s available in 29 languages.

16 thoughts on “Are you ready for IE9?

  1. Ed, do you have any speculation on when IE9 is going to “ship”? This year?

    I don’t do betas. (grin)

  2. I like this new browser: it’s sleek and trim and has a nice vista (forgive the pun!), but too trim for me. Can I somehow place my favorites bar back on the browser?
    Thanks, Ed.

  3. Never mind, Ed. I found out how by playing around. It does have some of the features of Chrome, which I like, also.

  4. Downloaded, looked at it and uninstalled five minutes later. My opinion “Blah”. Also no menu bar, the favorites is on the wrong side. No improvements over IE8 that I like.
    This goes along with why people keep XP, no reason to change what works.

  5. Nice in many respects and very fast. Alas, IE 9 x64 or its “prerequisites” broke the display of Nero 9’s DiscCopy Gadget on 32-bit Sidebar.

    Deal breaker for me; rather have DiscCopy’s functionality that IE 9’s speed. However, I would like to communicate this incompatibility to IE 9’s developers.

    Ed, is there a link of which you are aware where simple end-users of the beta can report such problems?

  6. Thanks Bill W. for reporting that you can show menus and stuff, I was very leary of this version due to it’s ultra-clean look. I’m a power-user, and want access to all the features easily. I HATE IT when Microsoft hides features deep in unseen places. This is one reason I don’t use an Apple. Office 2007 seemed to show they were changing for the better on that problem, but now I.E. 9 reverts backwards? Too bad they took that route.

  7. Using it and really enjoying it. Once you start playing around with it and get use to the UI. I do like the pinned shortcuts which I think will be great for work. Using it on my personal desktop right now till I get fully comfortable with it. Then I’ll try it out for work as I work in a browser all day.

  8. btw great review, if I wouldn’t have read it I would have just assumed IE9 beta was a re-badge copy of Google Chrome and wouldn’t have tried it out. I hated IE 7 and 8 and have been using Firefox for years now and Google Chrome when it came out.

  9. Once I got past a couple of annoyances: “NOW where the heck this they put my Favorites”, etc. I’ve gotten to like IE9 just fine after a day’s running.

    There are a few keyboard shortcuts available to help reduce mouse clickies which helps.

    I have not run into the notorious “Internet Explorer Has Stopped Working” popup yet (IE 64 bit) annoyance that has existed for years…maybe MS finally regained consciousness and realized this was a bug.

    Lots of websites need a click on on the Compatibility View icon, but then the fix seems to stick.

  10. Installed the x64 version and all went well. I am liking what I see so far, its slimmed down and its quick. The tear of tabs feature works well but not so keen on the large back button. Microsoft will certainly get plenty of useful feedback before its finalised.

  11. Ed,

    This is the first time I’ve used an IE beta. How do I go about reporting bugs or troubleshooting?

    Ever since installing IE9, I can’t edit my blog on WordPress. Going to my laptop on IE8, everything works fine.

    I’m pretty sure there is something basic I’m not doing, but I can’t figure it out.


  12. IE9 is not giving a choice as to where downloads are being sent(on the fly).
    Tools/view Downloads/options/ default is “Downloads”, & i can change it. But i want to change on the fly.
    Previous versions opened an explorer window so i could choose run or save.
    Unless someone knows better!!

Comments are closed.