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IE 9 Beta First Impressions
Posted by ccondit on 9/16/10 @ 8:09 PM
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So... I just finished installing the beta of IE 9 in a Windows 7 VM and so far, I'm struck by a few things...

First, it's basically the same UI as early Chrome builds (minimalistic), but in Microsoft BlueTM instead of Google BlueTM. There are some minor differences, like the fact that the tabs go on the same line as the address bar, and confirmation dialogs pop up from the bottom instead of down from the top.

Second, performance, while decent, is nowhere near what I would have expected given the hype this browser has received. I tried out several of the HTML5 demos on the Microsoft IE9 Demo Site in both Chrome 6 and IE9 and neither one could manage more than a paltry 10fps on most of them, and this is on a fairly fast Mac Pro. To be fair, IE9 was probably somewhat hampered by running in a VM, but does Microsoft really expect us to believe that by the time IE9 ships, these demos will be smooth as butter? Seems like they may be a bit ambitious...

Finally, standards compliance. There's still some bugs, but this is so much further ahead than where IE8 (or any previous Microsoft product) was, that I'm fairly certain pigs are going to fly and cats and dogs are going to start having little barking fuzzy offspring... I never would have believed it possible. Too bad that it's still going to take at least a decade until we can be sure that IE6, IE7, and even IE8 will finally be a distant memory, especially since IE9 will not run on XP or Vista.

In short, I welcome Microsoft back to the web, and at the very least, this will someday make us web developers' lives easier. And, it should at least make the web a bit less of an ugly place for users too (especially the IE6 crowd).

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