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Internet Explorer 9 Screenshot Tour: It’s Got a Completely New Interface

Today Microsoft finally released the newest version of Internet Explorer, complete with hardware acceleration, web standards support, and a completely redesigned interface focused on using web sites as applications. Join us for a tour of the features in Internet Explorer 9.

Installation

We installed the 64-bit version of IE 9 on a Windows Ultimate x64 computer and the install took several minutes. We have the download link for the public beta below so you can download it and try it yourself.

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To complete the installation we did have to reboot our machine for everything to be installed correctly.

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New Look, Features, and Performance

The interface is very slick and clean looking now. No longer does it feel like an outdated and bloated browser like in IE 8 and before.

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When we first started it up after the reboot we were asked if we wanted to disable addons for faster launching. For now we went ahead and chose Ask me later. It already seems to open faster than previous versions of IE.

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In fact, anytime IE 9 needs to ask you something, it does it in a nice low key box at the bottom of the browser. This is cool as it doesn’t get in your face while trying to read a site like before.

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When you first start it you can check out some very cool things that can be done with HTML 5. This is worth checking out after installing it.

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It’s slick, presented very nicely, and almost has a Zune HD Interface experience going on. For instance here we have different icons for popular sites and can easily roll over each one to check out the content. Then if you want it will open a new tab and bring you directly to the site.

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Here you can see by default it’s not ridden with a bunch of needless clutter. The interface is very clean and attractive.

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When you can now search directly from the address bar (like in Chrome) and you have the option to turn on suggested sites or not. You can use Bing or other providers if you wish.

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When you type in your search term you will see your History and Bing suggestions.

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In this example we chose Bing Suggestions and it brought us to Bing where we could scroll through the results.

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Add Tabs to Taskbar

One of the more touted features at the Conference today was the ability to pin tabs to the Taskbar in Windows 7. This is a cool feature that will give you easy access to your most used sites.

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Here is another look at it with large icons on the Taskbar.

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With IE9  open you can get the page icons to the Taskbar a couple of ways. One is to drag and drop the site icon. Here we are bringing Fox Sports down to our Taskbar.

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Then simply Pin to Taskbar.

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Or you can actually drag the entire tab down to the Taskbar as well. Although this feels a bit more cumbersome. For example here we’re bringing an entire How-To Geek tab with use across our screen to the Taskbar.

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Either way the results are the same and you can pin any specific page to the Windows 7 Taskbar.

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Some site tabs that you pin to the taskbar will include the Jump List feature such as Twitter and Facebook. In this Twitter example we can start a new Tweet, Direct Message, Search and more.Very cool!

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Here is an example of the Facebook icon pinned to the Taskbar and using it’s Jump List. We have IE 9 closed and we can still access the social site’s main features!

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What Happened to IE 8 Features?

If you wondering where the old IE 8 features are…well they’re still around, just hidden. One way you can get to them is right click on the site icon which appears on the upper left-hand corner. That pulls up a menu to bring back some of the controls you might be more accustomed to such as the Favorites and Status bar.

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Here we added them all to the UI, and it still looks nice, but if you want more page viewing real estate you probably want to keep them hidden when you can.

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This latest version of Internet Explorer is quite amazing versus previous versions. The new slick and clean interface actually makes it fun to use, which you can’t really say for previous versions.

Download IE 9 Public Beta

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/15/10

Comments (38)

  1. Nike

    AHH finally! I’ve been dying for this, even though i’m a firefox/chrome person :)

  2. Dwayne

    Very informative and quick post! :D Will b using IE9 as my primary for nw…

  3. Moheb

    Chrome is still better in my opinion

  4. Andrew

    It is to bad it can not be installed on Windows XP. I know it is old OS, but still use it on most machines.

    Interested to find out how it handles CSS3 elements like rounded corners and animations.

  5. Dardani

    how about speed ? is it near Chrome ?

  6. Grant

    Just one question, why did Google have to steal their UI? We know MS must have invented it, as they invent all things software. How long until they sue Google for IP infringement and make them change Chrome?

  7. Jon

    I gave IE8 a real try but was dissatisfied. Maybe IE9 will be better? Won’t bother till it goes final though.

  8. Tangmeister

    Nice, but-
    Do the tabs just have the text cut off when you open more than two?
    And why is there still the stupid white border over webpages?

  9. Midnight

    Looks nice and a very impressive presentation from howtogeek, but it’s still Internet Exploder, from Microslop, therefore still buggy. flawed and insecure!!
    M$ still hasn’t fixed the ActiveX flaw that’s plagued IE since 2007, so that leaves me in doubt, as to reliability and security!!
    I disabled IE in Win7, never to be used!

    I’ll stick with Firefox, thank you very much! :)

  10. Midnight

    @ Grant! Are you dafted or what?

    M$ Never invented anything, or have they ever innovated any software from day one!
    Everything M$, was and still is stolen from other warez developers, as most of the world is aware of!
    Google is an innovator and it’s M$ who stole the GUI from them, as they also stole many ideas from Mozilla, to include Tab Browsing and other Firefox features!!

    Get your facts straight and avoid making a fool of yourself!!

  11. Mysticgeek

    @Tangmeister

    Yeah I noticed that as well but remember it’s still in Beta. I’m sure as the community tests it out there will be a lot of fixes that will be suggested.

  12. at0mic

    its refreshing to see something posted besides endless garbage from google and its band of snooty little followers. ie9 looks good, i like all the new features, now if they could get decent add-ons it could be usable.

  13. no1uknow

    Why don’t you post comments about IE9 and NOT start a Microsoft/Google/ Mozilla flame war?

    All companies borrow ideas from each other. They don’t steal.

    As for IE9, I like it for the most part. I want tabs to go somewhere else though, I don’t like them cramped up there next to the address bar.

  14. Cobi

    Not bad IE9. But still, I prefer google chrome =P for its simple design and ease of use!

  15. Hariharan

    Still Boring like before.

    IE9 Looks the same to me as IE8.

    BTW how come you or MS has shown only the Features of IE9 with Windows 7 only .

    What happened to Vista?

    I am eager to find out. Because I feel Vista is better in terms of Security over Windows 7 itself.

  16. Grant

    @Midnight

    Dude, it was sarcasm. It was supposed to be a joke. It was like people claiming that Apple borrowed Mac interfaces from MS very early. While Mac had them YEARS before, and they both really borrowed from a copier at PARC.

    MS did invent two things: Bob/Clippy. Gotta love that one. And, of course, as far as I can tell, they invented the idea of commercial software (remember the letter to hobbyists.) Before MS, all software was just a component of the hardware (OS) or something you did in house.

  17. jamshed

    ie 9 is not too good as i expected they just stole ideas of firefox and chrome and opera ……

  18. tigladd

    They just copyed the Chrome interface. I think nobody should bother trying this. Chrome or Firefox are GREAT (and free) alternatives. And as someone said, you cant use it in XP. I use 7 and Ubuntu, but many people havent changed yet.

  19. Urichhai

    Well trying to download and wondering how long it is going to take???
    Who the hell cares anymore who invented what and who stole what. Nobody cares anymore.
    I am so sick of the whole FF is better than IE and google is better than anyone.
    Chrome sucks,FF sucks and Opera sucks IMO. (Yes I have used them all) I am non a fanboy but I use what works for me and thats been IE altho I do use Google for search and Bing just annoys me.

  20. motang

    As cool as this is, I am still a Firefox fan. I did use IE 9 beta yesterday and did like what I saw, but Firefox 4 Beta 6 with it’s tab candy and stuff is just too cool to pass up and besides IE doesn’t run on anything other Windows which isn’t my primary OS anymore (was like 10 years ago though).

  21. Smooth One

    Chrome/Opera rip off and I hate Chrome and Opera. Microsoft is no longer innovative just lazy. If Linux gets any easier to use so long Microsoft for me.
    I am new to open source, but I really like the options so far and I would even pay for some of the programs that I have been using. I love the creativity of the open source community I am hooked.
    Sorry Bill maybe I am just a little bit biased as every version of Windows that I have purchased has been a pain and then just for kicks the last few have given me the WGA notification even though I bought the software. I admit it was part of a legacy system, but once software is sold it should remain with the system. I understand not letting a person use the software on any machine,don’t agree, but the same system just a new owner that sucks.

  22. beergas

    Smooth, fast, clean. Improved over IE8. On Win 7 32x Ultimate. Not seeing the upper left hand corner site icon mentioned to RMB on to get command bar. No loss. Either Alt key toggles that.
    Right hand Favorites is nice for right handers. Forget mousing over to left side. I use add ons for
    fast nav to fave sites anyway. That’s hotkeyboard and hotkeybind w/ Logitech & MS buttons.
    And can’t live w/o Lastpass for password fills. Haven’t tried others like Roboform.
    As to getting the IE9 reminder pop up wanting to “disable all add ons” to speed up start up.
    Select it and can then either disable individuals or, as I did, set the time delay to 2 secs or more before it warns you. Then won’t see it again until hits that mark. 10 secs is high end for that which
    effectively turns off the pop up.
    All in all a pleasure. No sites reject it like did with launch of IE8 at financial sites.

  23. KurdishCommando

    I don’t get this! I read all the comments and it seems that I’m the only one that find IE9 Beta sucks!! it crashes when you open many TABS, it’s transparent interface is annoying, many tools are gone, useful one I mean and I just couldn’t keep it for a whole working day, I uninstall it after a couple of hours! anyone can hear me?

  24. 7SeVeN7

    well, for me i like and dislike, first i really like the new overall look and feel of it
    the dislikes of it are i cant stand having MY favourates on right hand side,its ALWAYS been on the LEFT since win 98 (or earlier i think, correct me if im wrong) and id say 99.95% of the worlds “internet” population are use to it there too.
    also there is ALOT of wasted space at the top which irks me ,there was an article here on HTG on how to re size the top bar to make it smaller ,i couldnt find the article, but if someone does post it please id like to see if it works for win 7.
    one final note, what is up with the add or remove commands being disabled???

    and thats my Two Cents

  25. D

    I like IE 9, but I prefer having the menu bar. After a bit of research I found a site with a registry hack. I just followed this site instructions for adding the menud bar to IE 8 using the following:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main]
    “AlwaysShowMenus”=dword:00000001

    and all you have to do is close the browser and reopen it. The menu bar is back when the browser opens.

  26. D

    Here is the link to adding the menu bar from this site:

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/place-ie7-menu-bar-back-on-top/

  27. TuSheep

    I remember when IE first came out back in the day, and it was HORRIBLE. So slow compared to Netscape. In the dawn of the internet, each new version of Netscape made browsing dramatically faster, at least for versions II and III. However, I did use use IE for a few years in the early 2000s, but with an overlay, (MyIE or Avant) so I’d have tabs. Tabs meant everything if you were stuck on dialup, yet IE didn’t even bother with them for years. I’ve been a Firefox user for several years but tried IE8 and Chrome etc. and didn’t like them sufficiently enough to switch.

    They are so customizable now — mouse gestures being my favorite add-on to Firefox recently — that since I have Vista, I may as well wait to hear if IE9 is significantly faster or better in ways that don’t involve W7.

    A given aspect of browser layout design is they are stuck between offering something that people are familiar with and something very different that is potentially a lot better, once people become accustomed to it. At least now, this is more flexible, that if a person wants sidebar menus there’s going to be add-ons for that or the browser itself can be more customizable.

    At least browsers are free. It wasn’t like spending a few thousand on an “Osborne” and seeing it become a doorstop within a year of purchase. (Fortunately I didn’t do that but I sure spent a lot of money on other computer junk I barely used.)

  28. George

    Been using IE9 Beta for about three weeks. Can’t say I like it all that much. Some improvement in speed but Chrome still rocks. I’ll wait for the final and reinstall and try again.

  29. kur

    IE is for lazy dumb kids or lazy people who lack of repertoire to identify what is good and bad. Microsoft could never come up with anything better or good. Even if it is work marvelous, it eventually will end up with lots of holes to exploited, some will be well kept secret for hackers for a long time. I’ll never try to take that risk to expose myself to that again, especially the online world is much dangerous and more notorious plus lots of hackers purely for do criminal minded harm than just a curious Joe.

  30. ggr

    No Adblock? No thanks!

  31. belly

    I’ve been a firefox user, yet recently I’ve found IE9 back to form. I won’t touch Chrome after it installed malware, crashed my computer, etc. I predict Google is gonna belly up in a few years…I’m glad that MS is leading again, turtlenecks and iPods blech!

  32. Ryan

    @ Midnight you do realize that technically everyone stole tabs from Opera, the came up with it after all.

  33. DK

    Installed IE9 – 30 seconds later downgraded to IE8. Problems or no problems, IE8 looks so much better. I like having the menu bar, I don’t like the transparacy of IE9, I don’t like having the tabs up with the address bar, and I don’t like the Chrome-like layout of IE9. Stop dramatically changing layouts that work, Microsoft!!!

  34. warex

    i stop using chrome, chrome lastley has a bunch of crashes when ie9 crash just the tab whit problems can close.

  35. Glo

    I now have IE9 but I can’t find where to increase the % for text size which used to be down by the date/time. Can anyone please tell me. Thank you.

  36. R.

    @DK: I totally agree. I tried Chrome (phew, it’s FAST), and IE9 and then downgraded to IE8. I open a lot of tabs, at least 10 and I just don’t like it when the tabs are above the address bar in Chrome or to the right of it in IE9. So yeah, stop dramatically changing layouts that work, Microsoft!

  37. A

    i wold love to use ie9 but it doesnt have a better smooth scroll and Adblock, so i wont use it

  38. Fedup

    Microsoft sucks limit the hardware you use idiots and maybe you will Jake something that works v

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