Microsoft makes a seventh IE preview build available for download

Microsoft makes a seventh IE preview build available for download

Summary: Microsoft is making available to anyone interested a seventh developer preview build of its Internet Explorer (IE) 9 browser on November 17.

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TOPICS: Browser, Microsoft
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Microsoft is making available to anyone interested a seventh developer preview build of its Internet Explorer (IE) 9 browser on November 17.

The latest preview build is downloadable as of noon ET today from the IETestDrive site.

The new preview, which follows by just about three weeks the sixth IE developer release, includes new demos, including HTML5 Galactic, Shakespeare's Tag Cloud and an HTML5 Sudoku Solver game. The preview -- unlike the beta release -- does not include the new user interface.

Microsoft is claiming the latest preview build includes tweaks affecting positively its JavaScript performance. Microsoft is claiming the latest IE 9 preview is the fastest browser as measured by the SunSpider benchmark. (It sounds like Mozilla is disputing Microsoft's claims on that front, however.)

Microsoft officials said that 13 million people have downloaded the IE 9 test builds since the company first made its browser available to testers in March, 2010. (Less than a month ago, that number was 10 million, by the way.)

I am one of those who who has downloaded the IE 9 beta (released in September 2010). I've had mixed feelings and mixed results. I've finally gotten used to the UI changes Microsoft has made (for the most part), but I am not making use of a lot of the new functionality.

Example: I have stopped using site pinning because I have found it too confusing. I am one of those IE users who have lots and lots of tabs open. When I use pinned sites, I lose track of where my open tabs are... are they under this pinned site, or that one? I also don't seem to use many sites that Microsoft and some content producers have optimized to work with IE 9. Instead, I run into a number of sites that don't work quite right with IE 9. (I've been having a heck of a time to get the new Twitter site to work with my IE 9 beta, for example.)

Microsoft officials still are not providing any information as to when the final IE 9 will be released to the Web. A number of us are thinking before mid-2011 is the likely target.

I'm curious to hear from readers who have been using IE 9 test builds. What is/isn't working for you? What do you like and not? I would be happy to see a new beta with the latest UI updates, but ther's no word as to when or if that may be coming....

Topics: Browser, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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19 comments
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  • RE: Microsoft makes a seventh IE preview build available for download

    I do love the Site Pinning and the download features, also the speed is much appreciated at my end here.
    eInfinity
  • RE: Microsoft makes a seventh IE preview build available for download

    When MS announced IE9 they highlighted the fact the browser UI has minimum chrome as to focus on the page content, shouldn't that always be the focus of every application. I always wondered why the basic (borders, min/max/restore, scrollbars) Windows UI chrome seems so oversized! I mean look around the entire Windows UI and compare how much space the basic UI elements are consuming.
    windowseat
    • RE: Microsoft makes a seventh IE preview build available for download

      @windowseat
      Windows UI chrome is 'oversized' to make window manipulation easier. But really, the applications are still allowed to take the focus because the clear borders are subdued and unobtrusive. I find them to be a truly optimal balance between design and function.

      Compare this to Ubuntu-- where the default theme has 1px window borders. Yes, they're small, but they're also nearly impossible to grab to adjust the window size. It's truly maddening at times.

      I believe some programs utilize the grabby corner on linux like OSX does-- but that's only some of the programs. Grabby corners can also be irritating if you want to expand a window but hit the edge of the screen before you get to the size you desire. Then you have to mouse up to the top of the window to move it and back down to the corner to expand it more.
      ericesque
    • RE: Microsoft makes a seventh IE preview build available for download

      @windowseat
      Those UI elements a big by design. I had the same thought as you about the Taskbaar buttons etc, till I installed Win7 on Touch Tablet, then you'll appreciate the big elements. The same goes for the new Office bar, they are all made with Touch in mind.
      eInfinity
  • RE: Microsoft makes a seventh IE preview build available for download

    On the IE 9 beta front - it?s fine and fast ONCE it has loaded the first time (presumably stays in the cache. But the initial loading is way too sssssllllllllllllllooooooooooowwwwwwwwww. No matter what I tweak, it can take 25-30 seconds. Chrome takes maybe 5 (the speed of security holes), and Firefox 3.12 maybe 10-15. Once IE 9b has run one time, it is as fast, or faster than the others.
    esysfound@...
    • RE: Microsoft makes a seventh IE preview build available for download

      @esysfound@... Specific examples pleasse? I have yet to find a site that IE9 doesn't load AT LEAST as quickly as Chrome or FF4.
      bitcrazed
  • RE: Microsoft makes a seventh IE preview build available for download

    Compared to Chrome and Firefox 4.7 beta it is just too slow...very slow and some sites will not even load at all...
    DiamondT
    • Firefox 4 beta 7

      I've noticed that it's starting to render the sites I go to... a little wrong. Same with IE9 when I don't do compatibility mode.
      Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Microsoft makes a seventh IE preview build available for download

      @DiamondT - specific examples please otherwise we'll all have to assume you're just aimlessly trolling.

      I've found IE9's performance to be stellar regardless of which site I go to.

      The biggest issue I'm experiencing right now is the number of times pages "crash" due to Flash falling over.
      bitcrazed
  • RE: Microsoft makes a seventh IE preview build available for download

    I really like IE9 now and it is fast. I don?t user Twitter so I cannot speak about it but I only found one site (NovaScotiaWebCams.com) that doesn?t behave and it is okay as long as I don?t try to change the refresh rate or access 24 history.

    I like pinned sites but I keep them to a minimum with Zdnet and Endgadget being the only 2 so far.

    I really like the minimalist design of IE9 but it did cause me some grief until I learned how to get around it. The biggest issue I had was that I didn?t like how IE9 moved the favorites button to the right and removed the 1 click add. I got around that by creating a folder named ?Fv? in my FavoritesBar folder and moved my old favourite folder hierarchy into it.

    Since favicons mostly work now, I changed the favourites bar to be icons only. I really like the way I have IE9 setup now but it took a while to get there. Though for the first time ever I now use the CTRL-D hotkey if I want add a favourite within the folder structure. I?m not sure how IE9 would go over for some of the family member computers I support so maybe they took minimalism 1 step too far when it comes to favorites functionality.

    The one other problem I had was actually an improvement after I learned about it. The down arrow is removed from the back button but right clicking on the back button does the same thing now.
    Mythos7
  • RE: Microsoft makes a seventh IE preview build available for download

    Things I like about IE9beta:
    1. Snappiness
    2. Small menu area giving more space to show content
    3. Pinnable websites when using Win 7

    Things I dislike:
    1. If I hover over a link with my left mouse clicked and then release, IE9 takes me to that linked page. This is a problem for me because many webpages have URL links next to text fields. If I want to edit the text field, say to write a new search string, I am used to using my mouse with its left click to highlight the text then type in the new string, however doing this in 9 is often a pain because inadvertently, when I try to highlight the text, releasing the left mouse click sends me off to a link instead. It drives me nuts.

    2. I don't like having a unified search/address box. In IE8 I was able to run the same search string sequentially in a variety of search engines, but now with IE9, running a search in Bing causes the search terms to be overwritten by the Bing results page, so I cannot run the same search in Google without retyping the string.

    3. Still no spell checker built in
    dechah
  • RE: Microsoft makes a seventh IE preview build available for download

    I don't like the UI. I'll stick to FireFox. Yes, FF 4 has a new UI too, but the good folks at Mozilla know how to let you customize, move where the tabs are, show or not show menus... the folks at MS think they know what I want better than I do. Sorry. I don't care if it's 3 times faster, I won't use it.
    JoeFoerster
  • RE: Microsoft makes a seventh IE preview build available for download

    Lame.
    james347
  • RE: Microsoft makes a seventh IE preview build available for download

    I like the interface and performance. Been having some laggy behaviour with the new "IE9 optimised" flash beta, which performs much worse than 10.1 (for me). I really really really want them to get rid of the compatibility view button on many sites. Things such as facebook should not need it as they are part of that beautyoftheweb.com list of site, but yet, I find myself using it on some occasions
    artstate
  • RE: Microsoft makes a seventh IE preview build available for download

    Not crazy about the new UI & whats happened to the fav's??..
    Maybe because it feels different is why I dont like it but maybe like mould it will grow on me or I will continue with Maxthon.
    ed3602us@...
    • Dup'e post removed.

      Removed dup'e post.
      bitcrazed
  • RE: Microsoft makes a seventh IE preview build available for download

    I work already almost two month with the IE9 beta and beside some slow moments don't have any problems. What I don't like about IE9 is that I have to respond to the same popup questions and don't know a way of setting my defaults.
    gbrugman
  • Don't like the new UI and there are serious flaws in current UI design

    Although the engine seems to be solid (albeit with some sites, including Microsoft's own having toruble with it) I don't like the new UI at all.

    The single box especially is especillay troublesome for search - once search runs, it shows the URL not the search, and if you want to use same search on different search engine, it fails miserably (searching on the URL not the original search). Reported this as a bug, but really want to ses option for IE8 UI available as the separation of search from URL is much cleaner - and consistent with Windows.

    Other major problems with the new UI are the status bar with nothing on it (so no way to see what zone you are in, etc.) and the need to use the old menu for too many things if usiong the new, clean menu options - also really dislike the location of the favorites.
    AndrewLMacaulay
  • RE: Microsoft makes a seventh IE preview build available for download

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