About a year ago, the Internet Explorer 9 team released the first Platform Preview of IE9 for developers and enthusiast to try what were new under the hood of IE, along with test drives to check out what the new Web browser could do. At this point there were not back button or address bar, just a plain window frame (a.k.a only browser engine), enough to start testing. Around the middle of September last year, the first Beta was made available, and again this build was more targeted for developers and enthusiast, but this time the new slimmer and clean user interface was introduced, making it more compelling for a normal user to get their hands on and test the new IE9.
Forward 6 months, on February, Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate (IE9 RC) shipped, now with a more completed and stable build –up to here, between the first Beta and Release Candidate, there were over 17,000 pieces of feedback addressed–. On March 11th the Internet Explorer 9 team signed-off the RTM (Release To Manufacture) build, at this point we can say that the final version is complete (designed, features, bug fixes, integration, etc.) and now, twelve month after the first Platform Preview, thousands of beta testers, over 8,000 of people from the community submitting IE9 issues, over 17,000 pieces of feedbacks, tons of bug fixes, and over 40 million downloads since the first IE9 Beta release. Today March 14th Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) final version is available worldwide for everybody to download; the link is going to be available starting 9 p.m. PST during the South by southwest (SXSW) music and film festival in Austin, Texas party for developers and designers.
Users that will be upgrading from IE8 can expect a big boost in performance improvement, a safer browsing experience and a lot of user interface redesign.
These are some of the core changes for Internet Explorer 9:
- The new IE9 is much faster that its predecessor, this version take full advantage of computer’s hardware acceleration, this means better video and graphics.
- A new cleaner user interface, this new slimmer IE9 UI gives you more viewable area, putting more focus to your favorites Web pages and not in the browser.
- With Pinned Sites, you can easily access a Website right from the Windows 7 Taskbar, so now each Website will feel like an actual application. You can pin sites by dragging the tab down to the Taskbar, when the site is pinned, the browser frame and navigation controls integrate the site’s icon and primary color.
- The new JumpList feature makes it easier to access to website’s common tasks, without even starting IE first.
- The introduction of the OneBox which will give you the one place to type a URL or search for a site; from OneBox you can also access your browsing history or switch search providers.
- With Windows Aero Snap you can tear off a tab by dragging it away for the browser, and using Aero Snap to re-position the content.
In Internet Explorer 9 you get more control on what is going on when you are browsing.
- Tracking Protection, will help you to control how websites are tracking your activities when surfing.
- ActiveX Filtering which is a technology that permits Web developers to build interactive contecnt on Websites and as great as this technology is, it can pose a security risk, so in IE9 you have the ability to block or allow ActiveX Controls for each site.
- Compatibility View, all your favorites site will viewable in latest version of IE. If IE9 detects that a site doesn’t have a specified display mode, the Compatibility View button will show up in the right-side of the address bar. By pressing it will enable IE9 to switch to a legacy mode.
- Hang recovery this mean that you wont have to restart IE9 because one of your open tabs is frozen, cause by a malfunction or long-running script on a site. Hang recovery isolate each individual tab preventing the whole IE9 from crashing, which also helps better browsing experience and prevents data loss.
- Group Policy and Automatic Updates are also supported.
In this new IE9 there is a lot of support for HTML5, CSS3, Scalable Vector Graphics, ECMAScript, and DOM which brings new capabilities that is going to help Web developer to write one markup code language once and it should work across browser.
Here is a list of earlier articles that you can check to learn more about the new IE9.
- Learn really useful Internet Explorer 9 keyboard shortcuts
- How to configure Tracking Protection in Internet Explorer 9
- Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate a.k.a IE9 RC [Updated]
- How to add Jump List items to your WordPress site for IE9
- Video Review: Internet Explorer 9 Beta
- Windows Internet Explorer 9 Beta Review
A Year of Internet Explorer 9
If you are planning to deploy Internet Explorer 9 in a virtual environment using VMware, you should know that Microsoft has identified an issue, as it was announced in The Windows Blog, that prevents third-party hypervisors to take advantage of IE9’s hardware acceleration. As a consequence, Internet Explorer 9 will fall back to software rendering. Of course Microsoft is working to get this issue fix and you can be expecting a fix update in the coming weeks.
Mar. 15, 2011 Update
IE9 System Requirement:
- Internet Explorer 9 is available for Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 (32-bit and 64-bit). Sorry no XP!
- You are going to need a computer that has a 1 gigahertz (GHz) 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor.
- Minimum of 512MB of RAM for all OS supported.
- You can install IE9 in top of the Beta that you have installed.
- If you have a 64-bit system, you should install IE9 64-bit that will also include the 32-bit version of IE9.
- If you have a 32-bit system, you should install IE9 32-bit.
- And you should do the upgrade!
Internet Explorer 9 Standalone Installer download links
- Direct download Windows 7 IE9 Standalone 32-bit (x86) (English)
- Direct download Windows 7 IE9 Standalone 64-bit (x64) (English)
- Direct download Windows Vista IE9 Standalone 32-bit (x86) (English)
- Direct download Windows Vista IE9 Standalone 64-bit (x64) (English)
- Download IE9 Standalone more languages and different Windows versions.