Microsoft has always tried to stay high in the market of web browsers with their traditional and oldest browser Internet Explorer, although many competitors lately have dropped in, one of which includes Google Chrome. To throw in their modification in the market competition, they released the beta version of the latest version of Internet Explorer, the Internet Explorer 9 Beta.

Although the original public version would still take long time, there are many changes seen in the beta version already, which shows a lot of boosts in the performance and the looks.

Microsoft also released a test drive ( ) to show the capabilities of Internet Explorer to match other browsers like FireFox etc.

The design

The design is changed to make the browser look broader with more real estate to the page section, and the top toolbar being shrunk. Internet explorer has been the only browser, which didn’t earlier show the top tabs section, but as the feature has finally come in, it looks better.

Unified bar

The search bar goes off, as IE now brought in the single URL and search bar with unified search, that gives the suggestions for search or URL entry, as you type the characters. Being it a Microsoft product, you would see Bing as the default search engine, but the addition of other search engines is possible.

Empty tab now filled up

The empty tab when you open a new one is no longer empty. Just like what you saw in Google chrome initially and Safari, Opera later, the space would show the thumbnails of the most-visited sites but IE made it interesting by displaying how much time you spent on the sites.

Pinned sites

Dragging a site favicon to the windows taskbar in the bottom of the screen now would change the color of browser button to something that matches the favicon, making the browser more than just a browsing-tool.

Speeder than before

The only betterment that Internet explorer has always shown is the increase in performance in its every release, and the Internet Explorer 9 has shown a great rise in the performance from all aspects. The new JavaScript engine, which MS called it as Chakra, uses the computer’s extra processing power to open and run the scripts on web pages. This makes the browser load lighter and makes it run faster.

Many other changes have been done, but the beta still won’t reflect what comes in the public launch later, which is expected to come out in the last quarter of 2010, or the start of 2011.

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