JAZZED UP: IE9, now available in beta test form, has a more minimalist look and promises to make websites load and run faster. - Microsoft Corp
The beta version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9(IE9) web browser is now available online for users to try out.
Sporting a much cleaner, less-cluttered layout than its predecessors, IE9 promises a speedier and better user experience, the company said.
It is however only available for Windows 7 and Vista operating systems. Not applicable for Win XP operating systems.
According to Microsoft, users can expect trusted and interoperable online experiences that take full advantage of Windows 7 capabilities as well as a tighter integration with the Bing search engine. It supports the HTML5 video and audio tags and the Web Open Font Format.
IE9 introduces a new scripting engine called Chakra that leverages on the common multicore processors in PCs to deliver significant performance gains.
IE9 also supports full hardware acceleration of HTML5, which enables it to use the graphics processor when rendering complex pages, which takes a significant load off a PC's CPU.
On the security front, IE9 includes the SmartScreen Download Reputation feature that identifies safe downloads and will immediately alert users when it encounters untrustworthy files.
MORE SECURE: The In-Private Browsing and In-Private Filtering security features have been enhanced to give users added peace of mind. - Microsoft Corp
Meanwhile, the In-Private Browsing and In-Private Filtering security features have been further enhanced to give users added peace of mind when using the browser.
Other notable new features include a URL address box that doubles as a search bar just like in Google's Chrome browser, and Windows Taskbar integration that allows shortcuts to links or favourites to be pinned to the taskbar.
IE9 also features user alerts that are more discreet - instead of a steady stream of annoying pop-ups like in IE8, a bar will now appear at the bottom of the screen to ask users about what action to take.