September 19, 2010    /    by

Internet Explorer 9 Beta Is Here --Time to Start Testing?

Microsoft released the new Internet Explorer 9 (IE 9) beta web browser this past week, and the initial reviews from technology critics and even competitors like Google are positive.

Microsoft released the new Internet Explorer 9 (IE 9) beta web browser this past week, and the initial reviews from technology critics and even competitors like Google are positive. Here’s what news.com.au in Australia had to say:

“Internet Explorer 6 struggled to cope with the demands of the modern web user right from the start, and IE7 and IE8 didn't do enough to differentiate themselves to convince people to upgrade.

Now the software giant seems to have bounced back (with IE 9).”

As for new features, I like this high level summary at mintywhite.com which reports specific improvements in the following areas: 

  • Better Performance
  • JavaScript engine
  • Better Usage Of Hardware
  • Better Web Standards Support
  • Enhanced CSS3 Support
  • ECMA Script feature enhancements
  • Added HTML5 support
  • SVG features
  • Developer Tools addition

The finished version of IE 9 is expected in the middle of 2011, but there should be new versions of Google’s Chrome and Mozilla Firefox next year as well.  This battle of the browsers should continue to be very interesting over the coming year, as it has been in the past.

Meanwhile, developers may want to start learning and taking advantage of new features in IE 9. This Internet Explorer Beta Guide for developers is worth looking at for web teams – who usually worry that new browser releases may cause havoc on websites. Early testing is an important step in ensuring that the final browser products work with government portals as well as our office automation teams.

Meanwhile, on a personal level, I downloaded the new beta versions on a home computer and played with the new Microsoft browser this weekend while watching college football. (I even researched this article with IE 9 beta.) It’s too early to really tell, but I think IE 9 runs quicker than IE 8. (To be fair, I also experiment and use Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox as well.)  

What are your web browser preferences?