Eight Reasons to Upgrade to Internet Explorer 9

Paul Mah

Microsoft released the final version of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) earlier this week with the proclamation that "Fast is now beautiful." Perhaps you are on the verge of upgrading but have lingering doubts about the enhancements that IE9 offers over prior versions of the Internet Explorer (IE) browser. To help you along, I've compiled a list of features in IE9 that I feel make it worth taking the leap.


Once you are ready, you can download IE9 from the official site here.


The Most Secure Internet Explorer Yet


While earlier versions of the IE browser are notoriously insecure, recent iterations of IE have grown by leaps and bounds on the security front. In fact, it took three separate exploits chained together to bring IE8 onto its knees at the Pwn2Own 2011 contest. Well, IE9 is Microsoft's most secure browser yet, and Microsoft has gone on the record saying that IE9 is not vulnerable to the same exploit that broke IE8.


Hello to Hardware Acceleration


IE9 taps into the graphics processor to help graphics and video load quicker, while the incorporation of a brand-new JavaScript engine means that complex Web applications perform faster. Ultimately, these enhancements translate into a swifter Web browsing experience for users.


Add-on Performance Advisor


Power users will love the new Add-on Performance Advisor, which will sound the alarm when an add-on misbehaves and slows down the browser. Rather than suffer in silence, users are now empowered to make an informed decision to disable add-ons that are less useful or that are simply too slow.


Enhanced Tab Management


IE9 has taken a hint from its competitors, and now incorporates much better tab management. One enhancement on this front is the ability to perform tab tearing, where users can drag a tab into a new Window seamlessly. For example, a YouTube video will continue playing while you drag tabs.


Pinned Sites


As its name implies, Pinned Sites lets users pin their favorite websites onto the Windows taskbar. Without having to first launch the browser, users can simply click on the relevant icons to launch them directly from the Windows taskbar. It's hardly revolutionary, but it is certainly a convenient feature.


Standard Compliance Included


While detractors might argue that Microsoft has yet to truly succeed, there is no doubt that the Redmond-based software giant has been working hard to up its standard compliance. Rather than lagging far behind, tests conducted at the end of 2010 have shown IE9 beta to offer fairly credible performance. Detailed comparisons and tests will no doubt appear soon, but suffice it to say, IE9 is unlikely to break your site.


New Minimalist Interface


IE9 sports a cleaner and leaner interface that maximizes screen real-estate for what truly matters: ample space for viewing Web pages. Among other tweaks, the address bar and search box are now combined into one new address bar, and the multiple menus of past IE browsers have been consolidated into a single menu.


Download Manager


And leaving my favorite feature to last: IE9 finally does away with individual dialog boxes when downloading files from the Web. Having multiple dialog boxes floating around when downloading multiple files is not only irritating, it can also lead to the accidental cancellation of downloads. Well, the new download manager makes it possible for the status of downloads to be monitored from a single location.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Mar 16, 2011 3:26 AM Barry B Barry B  says:

Have they fixed the problem on the Beta version that messed up the games on Facebook?

Mar 16, 2011 3:52 AM Danny Danny  says:

why does it ask for me to connect to the internet using dialup access when my computer is connected through T1 broadband Network????

Mar 16, 2011 5:34 AM Sharron Field Sharron Field  says:

Whilst I appreciate that IE9 uses technologies only associated with Vista and 7; the fact remains that users of XP have been left out in the cold with this browser.

XP is still widely used, and will be so until 2014. The ironic thing about this is that many business-users are still reliant on the faster 2D-graphics-handling capabilities of XP when running Office and associated software.

I commented on the article "The Nine Reasons Why IE9 is the Best Browser for Business Customers" on "The Windows Blog" in similar vein. I have no disagreement that IE9 may indeed be a better bet in terms of business, but in all seriousness can you really see network admins upgrading thousands of computers to Windows 7 in order to be able to run it? - Or even worse, purchasing a whole new load of computers with the necessary hardware requirements?

As another commentator said in comment on the article I mentioned following my comment: "Microsoft isn't listening to customers here, XP users are a very sizable chunk still."

In my honest opinion; Microsoft have taken a blind and ill-thought-out leap here with their course of action. Whilst the browser is indeed a vast improvement upon their usual late, often poor, efforts; they once again failed to think ahead with the necessary mental dexterity with regard to its application. Whilst I think the Softies are on to a winner here, unless they can produce at least a cut-down version for XP with maybe a few features disabled, it seems to me that IE9 , following the initial rush, is probably going to have a slower take-up rate, up to 2014, than any other browser that they have yet produced... Which is a shame considering that this is their best effort thus far.

Mar 17, 2011 3:26 AM Kim Kim  says:

Don't forget another very important reason to try out IE9 -- Tracking Protection Lists -- the best of which is bound to prove being TRUSTe's version. You can find our more about it and download here


Mar 17, 2011 3:49 AM Dan Dan  says:

As a Microsoft engineer told me once...

"Microsoft lives by the three E's: Embrace, Extend, Exterminate!"

MS has done nothing more than catch up to its competitors, barely.....with the exception of HW acceleration.

I feel for the XP users. And for anyone thinking IE 9 is any more stable than IE 8.

These days all browsers are as bad as eachother with performance, bloating and stability...the only difference is Firefox at least adheres to standards!!!

Mar 20, 2011 10:38 AM Daniel Daniel  says: in response to Kim

I don't like it changing my favorites bar. And I like it to appear on the left, not the right. I'm going back to IE 8.

Mar 23, 2011 11:20 AM D'Alegna D'Alegna  says: in response to Dan

Hey, Dan!

Have you even tried Google Chrome?  It doesn't sound like it from your post above.  Just a thought.



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