Saturday, March 19, 2011

Internet Explorer 9 releases with... not much really

Monday saw Microsoft release Internet Explorer 9 (IE9). It's the start of another round in the so-called second Browser Wars. Chrome 10 came out not long before so that leaves a few more days before Firefox 4 joins the fray if Mozilla doesn't delay it further.

A lot of sites already reviewed IE9 by now so I'll just leave it at that. What really bugs me about IE9 is the strange looking back button. As far as I can tell, nobody's so much as mentioned it. A huge back button and all everybody's mentioned is how slimmed down the toolbars have become. It's no big deal functionally speaking; just an annoyance cosmetically. It makes me think Microsoft is that desperate to get a slimmer looking browser than Chrome.

Internet Explorer 9's toolbar
Squishing all the buttons, address bar, and tabs all into a single row makes the browser look cramped instead of spacious if you asked me. I do like the combined search and address bar, though. I think that's something Mozilla really should look into, but I'm no UI designer.

Cosmetics aside, IE9 really is much faster than its predecessors. Benchmarks may tell a different story but the difference between IE9 and it's current rivals aren't so big performance-wise. I'm talking in terms of human perception, of course.

It's too bad IE9 doesn't support Windows XP despite it still being supported (at least SP3 still is). I guess Microsoft is back to their old tricks "encouraging" users to move to Windows 7.

Related posts:

Installing Chromium on Ubuntu 10.10
Firefox 4 Beta 12 arrived