Microsoft debuts IE9 browser with an eye on speed and simplicity

"We wanted the frame to say 'Look at the site' not 'Look at the browser'"
Written by Tim Ferguson, Contributor

"We wanted the frame to say 'Look at the site' not 'Look at the browser'"

Microsoft yesterday released the beta version of its Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) browser, which it claims promises faster performance and the ability to take advantage of the HTML5 web standard.

The browser's interface has been simplified with only the essential controls appear in the browser frame by default.

According to Microsoft's corporate vice president for Internet Explorer Dean Hachamovitch the simplified interface hides "new technical muscle" which is designed to make the most of the latest generation of websites and online applications.

The Killers' website as viewed on IE9

IE9 has been designed to take advantage of HTML5-powered websites such as the site for rock band The Killers
(Screenshot: Microsoft)

"When we designed the IE9 interface, we wanted the frame to say 'Look at the site,' not 'Look at the browser'," Hachamovitch said at the San Francisco launch event for IE9 beta.

Speed is another area in which Microsoft has focused on with IE9 by moving the rendering of graphics and text from the CPU to the computer's graphics processing unit, allowing websites to perform like applications installed directly on the computer.

IE9 also allows users to pin their favourite websites to the Windows 7 task bar meaning they can access certain functions within websites without opening the browser first. Sites such as Facebook and Amazon can already be used in this way.

Another Windows 7 feature that has been integrated into IE9 is the Aero Snap feature which allows users to view two websites side by side at the same time.

For a look at IE9 in action, see Photos: Internet Explorer 9 beta unveiled.

The beta version of the browser - which only works with PCs running Windows Vista SP2 or above - is available to download in 33 languages.

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