Is IE9 the first Microsoft browser (in a long, long time) worth using?

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Microsoft is certainly finding every last duck and throwing them into line aren’t they? I mean, WinPhone 7 is shaping up to be quite the mobile OS savior. Windows 7 is right up their with 10.6 as far as desktop OS’s go (subjective, I know). And now, one of the most criticized Microsoft products, Internet Explorer, is shaping up to be quite the looker even it’s extremely early preview stage. The biggest news on the IE 9 front is the move to a webkit-based rendering engine. This change will finally allow Redmond’s in-house browser to stay neck and neck with faster, “more modern” browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, and Safari to name a few.

So Microsoft unveiled a boat load of information about their next browser. How does it stack up to the competition? In short: pretty darn good. HTML 5 support is the biggie of course with the video support via .h264 as well as hardware accelerated graphics being pegged as other reasons to get all excited. In regards to the embedded video support, at M’s demo today in Vegas, two 720p videos were shown off side by side, stutter free and smooth as warm butter. That’s something I can certainly appreciate even if several other browsers have featured the same features for months now.

Another bragging point can be seen above in the rendering performance with the new webkit roots. Granted, it’s still not as fast as several newer browsers such as the freshly-out-of-beta Opera 10.5 or Chrome 5 dev version. But IE 9 itself is in the extreme early stages. A notable and intriguing showing no less.

I’ve been a very outspoken critic of Microsoft for a while. Not because I loathe them, but because I honestly hope that someday an employee would stumble by here and think: “Hmmm, where can we improve?” Whether they heard my criticisms or not, across the board Microsoft is making some decent and noteworthy strides. I’d even go as far to say that I’d love to see Microsoft take the whole IE9, Windows 7, Xbox, Media Center ecosystems and mesh them altogether into some uber platform that truly fits together — every nook and cranny. Such cohesion is generally an Apple-only trait. But if Microsoft can pull it off, they’ll have something special.

Excited — if not for the shear awesomeness (I can’t believe I’m saying “awesome” — in a positive tone — and “IE” in the same sentence) of any particular Microsoft product of late but instead of the overall picture that finally looks to be coming together? Focusing more specifically on IE 9, is this the browser from Microsoft that will finally be worth using and even recommended?

The curious bunch can pick up a copy of the early IE 9 preview here+. Bear in mind however that it is extremely basic as of right now, lacking even a basic address bar. Let us know how it goes for you!

Gizmodo

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  • March 16, 2010 12:58 pm
  • by: Mike
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  • Gadgetsteria

    Is IE9 the first Microsoft browser (in a long, long time) worth using? Read more at Gadgetsteria.com :http://bit.ly/9pCisg

  • http://twitter.com/travisspencer/status/10581521112 Travis Spencer

    @maryjofoley Is IE9 going to use WebKit as the rendering engine? I'm seeing conflicting info, e.g., http://j.mp/aYjWuu & http://j.mp/apn2E8

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Author: Mike

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Gadget lover, smartphone collector, and beer connoisseur. I've been writing about gadgets for three years now and loving every minute of it. Outside of the digital landscape, I enjoy being active outdoors. I'm always up for a good conversation, so feel free to drop me a line!