Welcome back to the browser wars, Internet Explorer 9 is here! Along with beauty and speed, Microsoft's beta version of the browser -- released today -- promises to set websites free from their chains. 

Reinventing the Browser

In what looks like an effort to keep up with offerings from the likes of Mozilla and Google, Microsoft pulled out all the stops with this release. IE9 features a minimalistic UI, but packs a lot of punch: 

  • Greater HTML5 and Web standard compliance
  • The ability to turn any website into an application on the Windows task bar
  • The utilization of the hardware (the PC) to accelerate graphics, videos and text

With its new regular consumer-based attitude, IE9 is what Microsoft calls "a reinvention of the browser." Accordingly the look is different, with tabs appearing on the right side of the address bar. Unfortunately, this decreases the amount of space for tabs, so Microsoft has tossed in a grouping feature based on different sites. 

“Based on developer buzz, it seems tech enthusiasts are more excited about IE 9 than any version of IE in recent times," said analyst Matt Rosoff. "We might start to see IE regain some market share from Firefox. Chrome still seems to be the one people are most interested in, in terms of the cutting edge.”

Browser Wars Cont'd

Meanwhile, other players continue to improve themselves as well. Google recently released Chrome 6, an upgrade that fan kids say moves through JavaScript like a pro. Further, a lackluster Chromium 7 has been kicked out and we hear it shines in the HTML5 department. 

IE has some competition, yes, but it sounds like the new beta has some fight in it. Then again...

"It's a great browser, with lots of improvements, and it will keep users who are now in the IE fold from straying further," said Ray Valdes, an analyst with Gartner. "But I don't think it's going to take share away from others. It's not going to bring people back into the IE camp who have left."

Download it today and see for yourself.