Internet Explorer 9 is out of beta and the final version is immediately available for download for Windows 7 and Vista systems. If you are on XP, you are out of luck because Microsoft has decided to drop support for Windows XP with IE 9 even though XP still has a 55% market share.
While it may be hard for Microsoft to convince users of Google Chrome and Firefox to make the switch to Internet Explorer, the new version 9 is definitely a significant improvement, both in terms of features and speed, over any of the previous releases.
One change that you’ll immediately notice in IE 9 is the sleek interface. There are no toolbars and the search box has finally been clubbed into the address bar on the lines of Google Chrome. What I like about IE’s implementation is that you can switch search engines for a query while typing the query itself whereas in Chrome, that can only be done from the Options page.
Internet Explorer 9 discourages the use of add-ons even if you are using ones that have been developed by Microsoft itself. When you create a new tab inside IE 9, you get to see a visual list of your most frequently visited sites – Microsoft uses favicons and colored bars here to represent websites (instead of thumbnail images) and it looks good overall.
The built-in Download Manager of IE 9 offers a warning in case you download an unknown or suspicious file from the Internet. There’s also support for modern web standards including CSS3 and HTML5.
Overall, Internet Explorer 9 feels faster, looks sleek and if you’re on Windows 7, it’ll tightly integrate with your OS. Head over to windows.microsoft.com/ie9 to download IE 9.