by February 10, 2011 0 comments

This is perhaps the first time Microsoft defines the web experience as ‘beautiful’, after announcing availability of Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate. In fact, they’ve even setup a website called Beauty of the Web from where users can go and download IE9 RC. The new browser has apparently had seven platform builds, and a beta that was downloaded 25 million times.

The key aspects that MS has focused on for this release are better performance with hardware acceleration, greater adherence to web standards like HTML5 (with support for geolocation so that a user’s location can be determined to give a better web experience), and a minimal user interface with built-in privacy and security features. How it actually fares against other popular browsers is yet to be seen, and we’ll give you our hands on feedback on it shortly.

A key enhancement has been done to the Pinned Sites feature, which allows users to take their favorite sites and place them directly on the Windows 7 Taskbar, like any other application. For instance, hi5, the famous gaming and social entertainment site, has used this feature to take social gaming out of the browser and into the taskbar. ‘With a few lines of JavaScript and Pinned Site APIs, we made hi5 and Millionaire City feel like native apps,’ said John Szeder, director of Developer Relations and Mobile at hi5. ‘It’s a great way to bring our users back into the game.’

Another new feature in IE9 is Tracking Protection, which gives users better control over how their information is shared across sites. Some content on websites can be used to track activity as people browse the Web. Tracking protection in Internet Explorer 9 allows users to limit the browser’s communication with certain websites to help keep information private. ‘This feature relies on Tracking Protection Lists that enable users to control how their information is shared’, said Ziad Ismail, director of product management for IT.

Other small yet important changes include being able to close a tab without making it active.

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