Beauty of Internet Explorer 9 beta — not for Windows XP majority

Microsoft has released a public beta version of Internet Explorer 9 on the website Beauty of the Web. New Internet Explorer is featured with hardware-accelerated text, video, and graphics thru Direct2D and DirectWrite, HTML5 support, CSS3 support, fast new JavaScript engine Chakra based on “power of modern multicore processors.”  Question is: should you care? Of course, you should, but probably not now. First of all, it is a pre-release version, not final. What I found IE9 beta is not compatible with WordPress 3.0.1 control panel, buttons for post editing do not function. So, to me it is a broken toy so far. I don’t like how controls are organized: why home button is so tiny and hidden? Opera did it right, I think.

Whatever Paul Thurrott is saying about big advantage of Microsoft as the Windows OS maker over all over web-browers makers (which I take more as a religious point actually), let’s face the facts. IE9 will not run on Windows XP. Great. You know the share of Windows XP today? 61%! Let me repeat: sixty one percent. The source is Netmarketshare. Here’s full statistics: Top Operating System Share Trend. As you can see Windows 7 and Windows Vista are just 16% and 14% accordingly. So, what about browsers share? Top Browser Share Trend tells you all: Internet Explorer 6 (six) is still 16%! IE7 — 11%, IE8 — 28%. So, that is my prediction: biggest trouble for IE9 is actually users of previous versions of Internet Explorer and Windows XP. That’s the beast for the beauty.

My screenshot:

Internet Explorer 9 beta

The big direction in IE9 appearance is of course clean browser interface, the path already taken by Google Chrome, Firefox 4 and new Opera. Some of the features have been really polished like smart address bar (Image courtesy of Microsoft):

IE9 beta Address bar

Download links for Windows 7:

32-bit: IE9-Windows7-x86-enu.exe
64-bit: IE9-Windows7-x64-enu.exe

Download links for Windows Vista:

32-bit: IE9-WindowsVista-x86-enu.exe
64-bit: IE9-WindowsVista-x64-enu.exe

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