IE9 features in Windows Phone 7 Mango update detailed

As owners of smartphones with Windows Phone 7 installed await the long awaited "Mango" update, Microsoft continues to offer info about what users can expect in terms of new features. In a recent update on the official Windows Phone 7 blog site, Microsoft's Amin Lakhani reveals more about how the Mango update will improve Windows Phone 7's version of the Internet Explorer 9 web browser.

One major change is that Windows Phone 7's version of IE9 can actually use all of the hardware of a user's smartphone. Lakhani states, " ... it can now tap into your phone’s built-in graphics processor to make web-based video and animation run faster and smoother." It also allows for full HTML5 support which means that if you surf to YouTube's web site it will show and play videos with no need to access an extra application.

Using anonymous usage data information sent by some Windows Phone 7 users, Microsoft discovered that the address bar was the most frequently used feature in the earlier version of the web browser. At the same time the favorites and tabs buttons on the bottom of the earlier web browser were used far less. Lakhani says, "Since our primary goal in Mango was to put the focus on websites, we decided to move the address bar down into the app bar, and turn the favorites and tabs buttons into menu options." The new IE9 version also puts the browser's refresh button next to the address bar for easier access by user.

The Windows Phone 7 Mango update, complete with IE9, is due out sometime in the coming weeks, with US phone carrier AT&T distributing the update to select handsets on September 27.

Image via Microsoft

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Star Wars The Old Republic to launch December 20

Next Story

Analyst: Google+ user base skyrockets since going public

19 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I don't know what you mean does it work better? It's more fluid and more intuitive I find.

IE9 is absolutely awsesome, no need for the YouTube app anymore unless you want to download videos.

@Mouettus, my phone shows up the website in no time, no issues here - Focus.

is it faster?! cuz I swear to god it takes an eternity to load a web page in its entirety. and yes, even when having full 3g signal or being on wifi next to the router.

Mouettus said,
is it faster?! cuz I swear to god it takes an eternity to load a web page in its entirety. and yes, even when having full 3g signal or being on wifi next to the router.

As the old saying goes, compared to what?

WP7's release version of IE was benchmarked for web page loading, displaying, scrolling, etc. You can find the reviews online, with even videos of people loading web pages with Android, iPhone, and WP7 to compare its speed.

The pre-Mango version of IE on WP7 is as fast or faster than the Browsers on Android and iPhones.

Mango adds in IE9, which is equivalent in rendering and features to IE9 on the desktop. This means is it FAR faster than the current version of IE on WP7 as well, because of how IE9 is designed to treat web content more like code, rather than something to display. IE9 does this by using JIT compiler techniques on various types of web content and HTML, and even in how it fetches the pages in Async threads, and go on to use the GPU for some computation and finally the GPU for fast hardware rendering.

So compared to what? Any other phone/tablet web browser, YES it will be far faster. Compared to IE9 on the desktop, probably not as fast due to the hardware differences. Compared to the current WP7 IE version, it will be significantly faster.

WP7 with Mango running IE9 can rendering many of the IETestDrive HTML5 performance testing and demonstration sites faster than you can run them on Chrome or Firefox on a desktop PC.

(Which should give people a clue of how far Chrome and Firefox are falling behind on the model of treating web content like code and running it, rather than like a document that is loaded and displayed.)

Mouettus said,
is it faster?! cuz I swear to god it takes an eternity to load a web page in its entirety. and yes, even when having full 3g signal or being on wifi next to the router.

PS Here is link to an older video I had of when IE9 on WP7 was previewed, this isn't the final version, which is a bit faster than the one in the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG30mtlDKOs

I'm waiting for the official update of Mango to come on my mango but from what I'm seeing, it's finally a real browser on a windows phone. The IE on 7.0 is not that good at all.

Does anyone know if the copy and paste works better on mango?

ACTIONpack said,
I'm waiting for the official update of Mango to come on my mango but from what I'm seeing, it's finally a real browser on a windows phone. The IE on 7.0 is not that good at all.

Does anyone know if the copy and paste works better on mango?

yeah tell me about it, ie7 can barely load half the pages on the web correctly

jasonon said,
yeah tell me about it, ie7 can barely load half the pages on the web correctly

That is really odd that you have had this experience, does flipping the browser setting to 'desktop' make a difference.

In theory IE on WP7 should render any web page the same way IE8 does, and considering that 99.9% of web sites support IE8 properly, I find it hard to believe that half of the web doesn't render properly just for you.

neoxphuse said,
No Flash, only HTML for WP7.

I just installed Mango, and my god, it is amazing. It's like having a new phone!

oh man i can't wait!!

I would have preferred a chrome-less browsing experience.
Something like what Opera Mini has on some phones, would have been a good idea.
There is a 'back' button, and 'search' button would have brought up more options.
Otherwise the screen is just content.

I use favorites and tabs all the time and refresh very rarely. I would have preferred if they let the user pick what button they would like there. Having to go to the menu every time I want to go to a favorite is rather annoying.

M_Lyons10 said,
I use favorites and tabs all the time and refresh very rarely. I would have preferred if they let the user pick what button they would like there. Having to go to the menu every time I want to go to a favorite is rather annoying.

i totally agree.. i never use refresh but use favourites a ton

M_Lyons10 said,
I use favorites and tabs all the time and refresh very rarely. I would have preferred if they let the user pick what button they would like there. Having to go to the menu every time I want to go to a favorite is rather annoying.

Seriously, you are going to complain about have to slide the bar up and tap the favorites, as opposed to taking up additional screen space as the current version of IE does.

It really isn't like they buried the tabs, favorites, and you have to dig for them. I have found myself sliding up up the bar on the current version, when I was just wanting to hit the tabs button.

M_Lyons10 said,
I use favorites and tabs all the time and refresh very rarely. I would have preferred if they let the user pick what button they would like there. Having to go to the menu every time I want to go to a favorite is rather annoying.

PS Here is their reasoning for this, as they had already removed a lot of the 'chrome' already to make the browser far cleaner and use more of the screen space.

From the original article that explains all the changes in depth... (Sometimes we need to read past the Neowin 'impression' of a posting.)


That wasn't all. We also heard from Windows Phone 7 owners that the refresh/stop button was difficult to tap, so we enlarged it and moved it out of the address bar. We also chose to hide the phone status info

Im the ones who never use the tabs.. and i really have never touched favorites.
in fact, im always like closing tabs, thats the only way i used that part of IE. i like stuff in a clean way, so i always was getting mad about it creating alot of tabs i didn't use.
and favorites, almost all my favorites are about stuff i can download or pictures for some design i will do, or something. not like i need that in a phone.

EmilyTheStrange said,
Im the ones who never use the tabs.. and i really have never touched favorites.
in fact, im always like closing tabs, thats the only way i used that part of IE. i like stuff in a clean way, so i always was getting mad about it creating alot of tabs i didn't use.
and favorites, almost all my favorites are about stuff i can download or pictures for some design i will do, or something. not like i need that in a phone.

Ok, a couple of things wrong with this, although I tend to agree with you.

The first thing, IE has had tabs, before they were in any other browser as 'feature'. On WIndows 95, and subsequent versions of Windows, having multiple IE Windows, created additional taskbar 'buttons' that we would click back and forth to flip between multiple web sites.

On Windows, Tabs were 'inherent' to any application that supported multiple running versions, like IE. The metaphor for 'tabs' were added to browsers when they were used on other operating systems, as the operating system did not have the 'taskbar' metaphor, and so flipping between web pages was cumbersome at best.

This is why when the world was shouting to Microsoft IE needs tabs, Microsoft was like WTH, it already has them, they are on the freaking taskbar. However, ignorance prevailed, and Microsoft implemented Tabs so people would think IE was 'catching' up to other browsers.

It is one of the biggest and grandest intellectual disconnects of the last decade.

On WP7, tabs are just multiple open pages, so you can flip back and forth between them, and they are not 'tabs' on the screen, but instead thumbnails of the pages that are displayed when you hit the 'tabs' button. It is just like Windows 95 all over again, except Microsoft kept the stupid wording by calling them 'tabs'.

If people want to look this up, TUI is the concept of 'tabs' in the application. Windows never used TUI, and prior to Windows 95, used the MDI. With Windows 95 the SDI was used, along with a general OS level TUI metaphor called the TaskBar for SDI applications, and both TUI and MDI in applications became obsolete. This is why adding 'tabs' into IE7 was pure marketing to idiots.

In modern computing times, Opera re-introduced Tabs to browsers. Sadly they did this because they had used and locked themselves into the 'older' MDI interface prior to this, and the TDI/TUI was the best option for them. On Macs and Linux where the window manager/GUI didn't offer a 'taskbar' like feature, TDI/TUI browsers were great, but again, useless on Windows as the base OS GUI model did away with the need for in application 'Tabbed Interfaces'.


thenetavenger said,

However, ignorance prevailed, and Microsoft implemented Tabs so people would think IE was 'catching' up to other browsers.

You got to be joking ...

app Tabs >>> encumbered taskbar.