eBrandz Blog

User-friendly features of IE 9

Microsoft’s beta release of its new Internet Explorer version (IE 9) marks another move in the tug of war currently going on between apps and the Web. The popular Web browser’s latest iteration is so designed as to make websites respond faster, appear richer and behave more akin to the apps that are installed on your machine. The idea is to make you simply forget that you are browsing the Web.

A test against its rivals, including those for speed, as well as overall usage experience was carried. The purpose was to check how this new browser handled sites with complex graphics. Katherine Boehret, who made use of two Windows 7 PCs for testing, published the findings in a Wall Street Journal column. According to it, though one of them (Windows 7 PCs) performed sans any hiccups, the other crashed twice while IE 9 was used. After a comprehensive analysis of the PC, this was attributed to a graphics-driver problem by a Microsoft spokesman.

Speed test: Using the other major browsers, the average time was measured for each to open popular websites like Facebook, Gmail and Twitter. IE 9 opened the networking site fastest, whereas Firefox was the fastest in opening Twitter and Gmail. But these time lags were negligible – within tenths or at times, hundredths of a second.

Handling graphics: Another point of interest was how the browsers dealt with intense graphics on sites written in HTML5, known to be a rich format. During the test, the expert opened and interacted with certain sites like joydefinesthefuture.com, IMDB.ke and Livestrong.com. All the browsers managed to handle them barring Firefox that failed to open a Web page comprising interactive diagrams. Videos ran smoothly in all of them, albeit slightly faster in IE 9.

Seamless melding with Windows 7: Apart from its enhanced speed and capability of handling graphics-filled sites, IE 9 can seamlessly meld with Windows 7 to produce some pretty cool results. Try this: Click on a representative icon, to create a shortcut to a site automatically, either from the address bar of the browser or from a New Tab page. Drag it down and then just pin it to the task bar. This pinned site, marked with a unique icon, can function as a notification feature for a website’s content.

After being pinned to the task bar, Facebook, for example, displayed a red asterisk after new notifications, friend requests, or messages. A Microsoft spokesman stated that in coming weeks more sites could benefit from these notification capabilities.

The back button of the browser (an arrow in a circle) is larger than others, simplifying the process of finding and using when you wish to navigate back to the last page you visited. This button as well as the forward arrow button just beside it change colors according to that prominently used in the opened site.

The broader conclusion: Internet Explorer 9 (IE 9) is faster on average than its counterparts, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari. It can also handle graphically rich sites with no hassle, tests show. (It’s free for Windows computers at beautyoftheweb.com.) IE 9 is also visually enjoyable because of some small albeit helpful tweaks. It’s perfect for displaying visually rich and interactive sites. So go and try the all new IE9 and share your experiences with us!