Browser

Download and test Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 Beta

The beta version of Internet Explorer 9 is now available for download. TechRepublic takes a first look at Microsoft's latest Web browser.

Microsoft wants to make the World Wide Web a more beautiful place. Now, I imagine that expressed aspiration from a company like Microsoft is going to bring a fairly strong reaction or at least a roll of the eyes. But what they are trying to sell us on is Internet Explorer 9, the latest version of their Web browser.

I have downloaded the beta version on my test machine netbook running Windows 7. I ran through some Web pages for an hour or so and put together a Photo Gallery providing us with a first look at what this new version has to offer.

My first impression is that it seems to work OK for the Web sites I have visited so far -- namely, Yahoo, TechRepublic, NOAA, and some suggested demo sites recommended by Microsoft on their Beauty of the Web site. There are some features that I want to explore, especially the GPU acceleration that is possible for systems with sufficient hardware, but I am not convinced that more beautiful is necessarily better when it comes to my browser.

For a deeper analysis of the new features available in Internet Explorer 9, check out Jason Hiner's Tech Sanity Check Blog post.

Note, if the First Look Photo Gallery for Internet Explorer 9 whets your appetite for the beta browser, you must be running Vista or Windows 7. If you are running XP, Microsoft will not even let you download the installation .exe file.

Let us know what you think of the Internet Explorer 9 Beta? Does it look appealing to you? What problems do you see? What benefits? Is there a feature that stands out in your mind?

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

14 comments
kilirbee
kilirbee

I downloaded and tested IE 9 bweta but has not been able to play msn games since doing it. I am wondering if this is a temporary problem or will it be a permanent one.

amj2010
amj2010

couldn't install despite given updates have installed Firefox Beta instead could play with the Platform 5 though...

Lightspeedokc
Lightspeedokc

I'm actually pretty impressed with the overall speed thus far. I am unable to import all my bookmarks/favs from firefox though. This is a deal breaker for me :(

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Let us know what you think of the Internet Explorer 9 Beta? Does it look appealing to you? What problems do you see? What benefits? Is there a feature that stands out in your mind?

Rick IE Team
Rick IE Team

Thanks for providing the download link, I wanted to remind folks that you can visit the www.BeautyofTheWeb.com and download and test out the browser on many of the HTML5 designed pages listed right there. I invite you to compare the HTML5 websites featured on BOW in IE9 and other browsers to see which one performs better. You might be surprised. Cheers, Rick IE Team

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I was going to put a GM motor in a Ford Ranger a few weeks ago and found the transmission needed a whole new bell housing in order to work, didn't make me reconsider my decision to put a new motor in the Ford though. Of course it wasn't cross compatible. (just kidding there's no way I'd throw a GM motor in a Ford, it was just an example) Would you stop using a MAC if it had problems importing Windows files? What else do you expect?

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Donlt care enough to spend the time or risk my system.

beanxyz
beanxyz

it crashed for several times when I visited some sites.

NetComSulting
NetComSulting

I have been using IE9 since I downloaded it yesterday. It just seems that it is playing "catch up" with Chrome and Firefox. It doesn't look any different asthetically than the others, in fact, IE9 looks like a clone and feels like a clone. I had some major problems with it showing pages correctly on msnbc.com, of all sites. It crashed three times, two on msnbc.com and once on careerbuilder for me. I ran IE9 through the tests everyone else seems to be touting, so I took IE9 to the acid3 test, sunspider test and the html5 test. I was actually surprised that IE9 did miserably on the html5 test compared to Chrome and Firefox, IE9 didn't even get to 100/300 on the test. IE9 scored a bit faster than Firefox on sunspider but slower than Chrome. IT scored 95/100 on the acid3 test, the lowest of the three browsers. So, I am a bit miffed, if Microsoft had all this time for IE9 and only just now came out with the beta browser, why does it not fair better than Chrome and Firefox? Wouldn't you logically have time to fix the problems beofre coming out with a beta and having "less" compatability than what is proven on those sites? I don't hold stats as all knowing and the be all end all of everything, but when MS came out touting this and that about IE9, it sure hit the flop and didn't impress me at all. I even had some high hopes for this browser.

jred
jred

Actually, yes. I expect a browser to be able to import generic bookmark files. I also expect a Mac to be able to open semi-generic Windows files (I'm assuming you mean Office). I DON'T expect browser plug-ins to be compatible, but bookmarks? You betcha!

PESK, mbcs, mcse, mcitp, sts
PESK, mbcs, mcse, mcitp, sts

...that MS does not control, hence the sluggishness of HTML v5 in IE9. Many issues still have to be ironed out in the version 5 of the HTML protocol. Other than that the speed IS impressive.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I thought it was okay, faster to boot that FF (which I have optimized for fast startup). I just ran the acid test for IE8 or a new XP box, it scored 11/100 NIIIIICE! So I'd say, from limited test time an only two test machines, IE9 is definitely an improvement on IE8, which I have to use as a lot of FF pages just don't render properly for me. So I would say, performance is machine dependent just as all other software is. This brand new XP box I have at work pales compared to my cheapo Toshiba notebook running Win7 at home. It's not even close in fact, it's like using Win95 at work and a rel OS at home. Using them back and forth in the same day, I can only say I am so glad I managed to skip the XP joke, for the most part. Vista (for me, on a new notebook last summer) walked all over this junk too.