March 22, 2011
Microsoft Internet Explorer has really been losing market share in the past few years with the new Google Chrome and constantly evolving Mozilla Firefox browsers. When Google released Chrome a couple of years ago the browser took off and became very popular because of the simplistic views in the browser. Microsoft was on IE7 at the time and fixed many problems with scripting and security with IE8. Now Microsoft has truly produced a rival to Chrome with IE9.
Over the weekend I downloaded and installed IE9. After reading the initial press releases I decided to wait. However, I found an obscure blog (just like this one) who told me of one good feature, better tab sizes. My biggest problem with IE8 was the size of the tabs. I am a power user with IE8 and I have many open tabs at any given time. When this happens in IE8 it reduces the size of each tab but not so much in IE9. The program still reduces the size of the tabs but it's not quite as drastic, which really helps when you have multiple tabs open at one time. Once I installed IE9 I opened 15 tabs. I tried to close them one by one and the sizing barely changed. Now this might seem silly but it is helpful when you want to close ten of the fifteen.
Some other very neat features include the interface and downloads. The interface is cleaned up to look like Google Chrome where the address bar and the search bar are combined. Microsoft has also cleaned up the address and tool bars. The annoying tool bars from various search agents have been suppressed which gives you a bigger browser window. The last thing that I was shaking my head about is pausing downloads. FINALLY after 9 versions they have decided to add a download pause. This is helpful when you have to download a 700 MB file and need to stop and resume the download. This has been integrated with Firefox for years.
After two days of use I am ready to say that Microsoft has a good product with IE9. With all the browser wars, Microsoft has developed this as a free download to keep up with the other packages. If you want to download it head out to www.microsoft.com/downloads.