I got around to installing IE9 today and have to say - I was unimpressed even before I'd loaded the installer. It really annoys me when you "download" an application only to find it's an installer that downloads the actual application. Microsoft are really bad for doing this, admittedly they do provide a standalone installer separately but why provide an online installer at all? It doesn't show you how big the download is, how fast it's downloading or provide stop/start support.
Next problem then, I can't installed IE9 until I close a few applications - those include Firefox (WTF?), ESET, Catalyst Control Center, Java and Steam. Why on earth am I having to close Firefox before installing IE9? And let's just gloss over the fact that in took two restarts to get IE9 working properly and oddly, seems to have affected my install of Xampp (I had to reinstall it - not sure if it was related to the IE install or not).
IE9 mini review
So not off to a good start, but after finally getting IE9 installed, da daa, here's the new interface:
I quite like it. They've blatantly copied the Chrome interface and gone with a very minimal UI. I am not a fan of them putting critical and other important messages at the very bottom of the browser window - important stuff always goes at the top. No one looks down there.
See that orange bar at the bottom - that is asking me whether to save or open a file. It's easy to miss.
Moving on, I browse to this very site to see my CSS3 properties in action on IE. Unfortunately, and this isn't IE's fault, each browser vendor has decided to implement their own various versions of the CSS3 properties so I need to add the standard border-radius to my CSS file before I will see my exciting rounded corners. Firefox has -mozilla-border-radius and Chrome/Opera have -webkit-border-radius. Why can't they all just standardise on border-radius please?
This is what Microsoft have to say on the matter:
Over the past 10 months, those differences have more or less disappeared in the current versions of browsers as they've supported the W3C standard markup. What remains are differences in display, especially in the dashed and dotted border-style cases.
The HTML 5 demos are good but some were quite slow. Not a flash-killer, yet.
The numerous technical demos of IE9's capabilities are impressive although some were a little slow. They do a good job of showcasing all the cool things you can do with the latest web technologies - but they aren't near Flash standards yet in my opinion.
No Windows XP love
IE 9 will not run on Windows XP, this makes sense from Microsoft's commercial stand point but won't help them win the browser wars. It seems like a foolish move when Windows XP has reached the stage when its rock solid reliable and there's still thousands of individuals and businesses out there still running it.
Once again it means Microsoft is holding back the web - preventing all those people that are forced to (or choose to?!) use Internet Explorer on Windows XP from accessing the web's newest features.
I'd still not recommend IE to anyone. Microsoft are starting to tread the right path but they aren't there yet. Everyone should use an alternative browser like Firefox, Chrome, Opera and get an easy to install, unobtrusive web browser, that works across platforms, is free, supports the latest web standards (and has done, for ages) and more. But hey, I'm not sure why I'm even writing this as I'm pretty sure I'm preaching to the choir here.
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