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?