Internet Explorer 9 - first look

Today, final version of the latest web browser from Microsoft has become available. Because I always prefer using up-to-date software versions (unless there are serious reasons against it), I installed IE9 in my laptop as soon as I could and decided to share my first impressions. Before I begin I need to say that for now, Opera is my browser for casual, everyday use. However, due to the fact that there are some websites that don't work properly with Opera, sometimes I have to use some other browser - in most cases it's Internet Explorer. Moreover, I almost always use IE to browse Microsoft websites (e.g. MSDN, TechNet) because I think that these pages are optimized for use in Internet Explorer. I just want to be certain that everything will be working as expected. So, after testing the IE 9 for a while my observations are the following:

  • program launches and closes faster, than IE8
  • tabs open way faster (in case of IE8 I had to wait 1-2 seconds for a new tab to open)
  • rendering speed improvement is very noticable (it's because of the new, optimized engine that leverages hardware acceleration) - for example, in case of imaginecup.com I can see a huge difference
  • I like the new, reorganized user interface in which there is more space for webpage, whereas browser window controls take up less space
  • transparency in ThinkPad PowerManager Gadget stopped working :(

Here is the screenshot that shows how ThinkPad PowerManager gadget looks like after installing IE9:

PowerManagerGadgetBugScreenshot

I hope that lenovo releases some patch soon.

I have to say that Internet Explorer 9 is definitely worth downloading and installing, even if IE is not our default browser and we rarely used it. Internet Explorer is pretty heavily integrated with Windows OS and we often don't even realize that some third-party applications use IE engine as an "embedded browser"  (e.g. Vuze built-in serach). It's just better to have IE9 than IE8. It gives us greater user experience, improved security and many more cool features.  And now the question is: will Internet Explorer 9 become my "main" web browser? No. Not yet. There are still some issues that stop me from migrating, for example:

  • IE9 doesn't have automatic page refresh option (e.g. refresh every 30 seconds)
  • IE9 doesn't have Opera Link equivalent (yes, there is Live Mesh but it can't synchronize bookmarks with any browser in my Symbian phone)
  • IE9 doesn't have Opera Turbo equivalent

However, don't get me wrong. I truly think that Internet Explorer 9 is a huge step forward. I really recommend installing and using this product, but for now I'll stick to Opera.