TechWeb

Internet Explorer 9 Fast, Powerful, Intuitive

Mar 26, 2011 (02:03 AM EDT)

Read the Original Article at http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=229400241


One of the first things that users upgrading to Internet Explorer 9 will notice is its completely revamped interface. Borrowing liberally from the interface first introduced in Google Chrome, IE 9 now has a much cleaner and less cluttered look. Traditional menus have been replaced with a simple all-purpose Tool menu located in the upper right corner, though users preferring an old-school menu bar can turn it back on. However, having the address bar and the open tabbed windows on the same toolbar can lead to a tight squeeze when many tabbed windows are opened.

IE 9 has changed the window that displays when opening a new tab. Now, IE 9 displays a list of icons of Web sites that the user visits the most. This worked well, but when compared to browsers such as Chrome and Apple Safari, the ability to customize the new tab page in IE was very limited. A feature available only to Windows 7 users of IE 9 is Pinned Sites. Using this feature, I could add any site to the Windows 7 taskbar simply by clicking on its icon in the browser address bar and dragging it down to the taskbar. With this feature I could quickly launch a pinned site or Web application from the taskbar and also add the Web application to my Startup folder so it would launch when Windows launched. And, when a pinned site is launched, the browser window works almost like a separate application, down to its own unique icons and look based on the Web site's properties.

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The New Tab window in IE 9 has been revamped to show a listing of the most visited sites from within the browser. While it was possible to remove sites from this page, drag and drop sorting and customization were not possible.

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If search terms are entered in the address bar of IE 9, search terms are suggested and hitting enter will launch the user's preferred search site with results shown.

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When running IE 9 in Windows 7, users can drag a site to the taskbar and pin it as an application that can be launched separately from the browser.

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Sites and Web applications that have been pinned to the taskbar take on a unique look when launched, using icons and color schemes from the site.

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The pop-up notification bar in IE 9 provides an unobtrusive and clean way for the browser to offer information such as downloads and saved passwords.

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With the new Tracking Protection feature in IE 9, users can choose to use a third-part list to control how sites and advertising networks can track the user's Web activity.

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IE 9's ActiveX filtering blocks ActiveX applications from running on sites and users can choose to turn off the filtering for specific sites.

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Improved Add-on management in IE 9 makes it possible to enable or disable extensions and plug-ins as necessary.

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