Internet Explorer 9 UI revealed

Whilst Neowin has been showing off and awarding Internet Explorer 9 concepts, long-time Microsoft journalist Mary Jo Foley (ZDNET) appears to have come across the real thing. We’re now around 20 days out from the expected launch date for the IE9 beta, but it seems that Microsoft Russia have gotten a little ahead of themselves and posted an official screenshot of IE9. Neowin has confirmed this screenshot is real through sources familiar with Microsoft's plans.

 

The site has since been pulled (of course), so the above screenshot is all you'll get for now. The screenshot doesn’t feature a date/time, but it does show off the ‘new’ IE9 icon in the taskbar. Although it’s always hard to trust an online translator, Mary has found out the following:

  • Tabs can be ‘torn off’, and possibly ‘snapped’ via Windows 7's Aero Snap feature.
  • Dragging a ‘pin’ from the address bar creates a link on your taskbar.
  • There’s a combined search and address bar (as with Google’s Chrome).
  • IE9 only has one menu, consolidating the six menus found in IE8.

Although suggested sites appears to be missing, along with a few other icons we’ve been used to seeing along the top of an IE browser window, there still appears to be home, favorites and settings buttons in the top right-hand corner of the window.

Like it or hate it, this one definitely seems to be on the money. It’s simpler, as we’ve been promised, and the design fits in well with what Microsoft has been putting out lately. Can you wait 20 days?

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Very tiny space there for tabs.. plus I doubt it will perform as well as Chrome 6 is now.. will it support extensions?

Kralik said,
Very tiny space there for tabs.. plus I doubt it will perform as well as Chrome 6 is now.. will it support extensions?

IE 9 4th preview performs nearly as good as Chrome and Opera. Plus this is a fake UI. Notice how the back button is cut off by the edge of the rendering surface

All the pro/con comments, and yet people aren't accounting for the customization options.

Even as 'rigid' as IE8 is regarding the UI compared to a skinable browser, it still offers some of the best customization options with regard to adjusting usability and conforming to what each individual user wants.

So if you don't like where XYZ is on the UI, keep in mind... A) This is a beta and could change B) Things you don't like can possibly be changed, moved, adjusted to work like you want.

The best features of IE9 are hard line standards, multi-design acceleration layers and the shift in how rendering is fundamentally handled. This will shove HTML and HTML5 standards to running at speed comperable to many native or interpreted code concepts, for the first time in basic HMTL/CSS rendering.

JIT compiler technology is something Microsoft has done well going back to VB and their Java in the 90s, and this is the concept they are extending from things like .NET and other JIT code bases to a full set of open web standards, which is kind of cool/impressive and will push the industry in a good direction where all browsers will one day work from this paradigm as well. (This content extends beyond script JIT techniques to include mechanisms for the CSS/HTML and other aspects like SVG, etc.)

They're saying on the ZDNet comments section, where this photo originated, that this photo is a year old and originated from a different site. A little investigating may need to be done. Always investigate before you publish!

blowMeNeo said,
They're saying on the ZDNet comments section, where this photo originated, that this photo is a year old and originated from a different site. A little investigating may need to be done. Always investigate before you publish!
"Neowin has confirmed this screenshot is real through sources familiar with Microsoft's plans."

In any case, link?

As i said yesterday, something so inconsistant and ugly cannot be a real thing. It's surely some lame russian mockup. Wake Up already! Why are clock Photoshoped out? Why is window title missing? Also they would never put tabs beside adress bar, it's BS from usability standpoint and why is back button cropped on bottom? Even i can do much better mockup anytime...

being that real, not knowing how it works it will make sense making act +/- like firefox candy

ex: main window tabs only being the same domain and in windows superbar changing the sites of different domains

at least i would love if it his like that, i simply hate the current IE8 tab display on windows 7

I can't wait for IE 9 to release. I am looking forward to it. Everyone has choices and if don't like it after trying it you can go back to your "daily use" browser. Until you have used something without too much of a BIAS going into it then reserve the judgment until you know for sure. The design looks solid and spartan which is exactly how I wanted it to be. I press F11 all of the time when i browse or work Remotely for Exchange 2010, Logmein, RDP, Etc. It's funny how many people don't use F11 and when you show it to them they are like WOW.

The other big feature is no more Cufon coding for FONTS in the near future. Just saying that in general not IE 9 specific. The web will be a different place when fonts don't need to be web safe

Hurry up Sept.

Microsoft have proved time and time again since IE7 now that they are trying to compete with the browser market, aslong as there is competition all browsers will be moving toward the future of the net.

I think its ignorant for people to say IE will always be a piece of crap, or at least until they try the new product. I haven't tried the browser yet (v9), but when I do, THEN I'll judge. If it works it WORKS, if it doesn't, it doesn't. Try before you fill your mouth with nonsense. IE once was the king, why wouldn't it be again? I mean let's be honest, Microsoft has the "power" to hire some potential brains and great developers. Why they haven't been on top of this by now is beyond me.

Artillery said,
I think its ignorant for people to say IE will always be a piece of crap, or at least until they try the new product. I haven't tried the browser yet (v9), but when I do, THEN I'll judge. If it works it WORKS, if it doesn't, it doesn't. Try before you fill your mouth with nonsense. IE once was the king, why wouldn't it be again? I mean let's be honest, Microsoft has the "power" to hire some potential brains and great developers. Why they haven't been on top of this by now is beyond me.

+1
I am curious to see what Microsoft have in the IE9 to pull people back to IE too.

Artillery said,
I think its ignorant for people to say IE will always be a piece of crap, or at least until they try the new product. I haven't tried the browser yet (v9), but when I do, THEN I'll judge. If it works it WORKS, if it doesn't, it doesn't. Try before you fill your mouth with nonsense. IE once was the king, why wouldn't it be again? I mean let's be honest, Microsoft has the "power" to hire some potential brains and great developers. Why they haven't been on top of this by now is beyond me.

+1
I am curious to see what Microsoft have in the IE9 to pull people back to IE too.

Every version of IE is defective. Its well know Microsoft gave up developing IE further once they wrongly achieved market dominance. As a web developer this just means another version of a crappy browser to code around.

If it does work however, then fine, easier life for me, but I wouldnt use it as default as I cant rely on Microsoft not doing the same again.

well as far as looks go it seems quite minimalistic look (simple) but let me add that it seems too simple maybe for people who aren't so technologically advanced its perfect for everyday browsing but for people with more experience in technology it seems its lucking features and some kind of more add ons to the browser, for example I use chrome its simple but got the fast speed and features that are welcomed to the browser. I am having big expectations on this IE Browser with its combined HTML 5 and use of fast rendering graphics and speed (as in the last preview it seems promising)

I was more impressed with the mockup competition done here on Neowin then this offical UI design. Sorry Microsoft, I for one won't be switching from Chrome.

I think u should get a life

Maybe russian bing page has different backgrounds...

Im just happy to use a new UI, I dont care if its ugly; its different, revolutionary and from MS =D yeeeii go Microsoft... No no, im sure its super functional cuz they have done a GREAT work whit the engine of this explorer, I dont think they wanna ruin that with a lazy UI

Sotcr said,
I think u should get a life

Maybe russian bing page has different backgrounds...

Im just happy to use a new UI, I dont care if its ugly; its different, revolutionary and from MS =D yeeeii go Microsoft... No no, im sure its super functional cuz they have done a GREAT work whit the engine of this explorer, I dont think they wanna ruin that with a lazy UI

The mockup says "united states"...
I'm just observing... and this is my life, however thanks for the hint and interest. Very precious.

However I found the background picture: 26 august 2009
http://binghomepages.com/category/2009/august/

DaveGreen said,
I'm stil strongly doubtful about this mockup.
Just check Bing backgrounds http://www.bing.com/visualsearch?g=binghp&form=pgbar1#
There is not a match for the Bing background image and the Bing sidebar is quite different.
Further more, the tabs put at the side of the search bar are a nonsense. I mean, it's such a big nonsense to be even an internal mockup.

What do you think?

It's real. Trust me.

About this tabs...
When I use Chrome, IE8.0 or Fx not in full screen mode, rather in "half screen mode", a normal desktop window, (e.g. Window size=this site here without borders) I can see only 4 to 8 tabs too, no more. If I open more tabs, they resize too. On this screenshot I can have maybe only 3 full size tabs, yes, but 3 or 5, what's the difference?

Lastwebpage said,
About this tabs...
When I use Chrome, IE8.0 or Fx not in full screen mode, rather in "half screen mode", a normal desktop window, (e.g. Window size=this site here without borders) I can see only 4 to 8 tabs too, no more. If I open more tabs, they resize too. On this screenshot I can have maybe only 3 full size tabs, yes, but 3 or 5, what's the difference?

Hmm... just tested it not maximized: my tabs resize when I open a fith tab...

Hmm, I'm sure the back button isn't even positioned correctly, the bottom looks cut off.

Pretty naff, if it is real

Gabe3 said,
why does bing not even scale to fill in the IE9 window in that screenshot?

Because the bing page is designed like that. View it with any browser.

Looks have absolutely nothing to do with whether I use it or not, which I will, for sure. If looks are so important to all of you, why are you using Firefox. It sure as heck isn't "foxy" looking!

Do all of you set and look at the edges of the screen or the very top of it, all day long!! Sheesh!!

I hope we can still make the UI as complicated as we possibly can with a dozen toolbars from our favorite spyware providers.

Oh, and a status bar too.

dotf said,
I hope we can still make the UI as complicated as we possibly can with a dozen toolbars from our favorite spyware providers.

Oh, and a status bar too.

lol, I sense sarcasm. I hope that I am right!

While I like how it's more simple and that it blends more into Windows, I'm hoping the tab area is movable, because I don't like it being the same place the address bar is. That back button doesn't look very good being cut off at the bottom.

It's not that I hate Microsoft because they are "teh evil company", but IE6 is the bane of all things browsing the web. I mean, it doesn't even have tabbed browsing!!

Very annoying when working at a place that chooses not to upgrade. April 2014 cannot come soon enough!

dagamer34 said,
It's not that I hate Microsoft because they are "teh evil company", but IE6 is the bane of all things browsing the web. I mean, it doesn't even have tabbed browsing!!

Very annoying when working at a place that chooses not to upgrade. April 2014 cannot come soon enough!

That isn't Microsoft's fault! They have basically begged companies to upgrade, but the companies are stubborn due to the almighty dollar!

If you have loads of tabs opened it will just queeze onto the right of the address bar which would look horrid?

first you should size the address bar down to maybe 1/4 the length of the window at best, second, I have one news group I open as a group to read new, but I close them as I'm done. That has 12 tabs and they squeeze together now will the tabs below, until I start closing them. I can't imagine many people have more than 4-8 tabs constantly open. I have SharePoint in one, Websense Admin, IronMail Admin, Couple Browsing Windows, Remote App Access Page, and Fantasy Football, facebook. That's 8 and that's a work on a busy. Normally it's 4, SharePoint, Remote App, Fantasy Football, facebook.

Another general question about the UI. I understand the use of this concept in Windows 7 with the taskbar icon housing tab previews and pinning sites as bookmarks. But have they mentioned how this will work in Vista, as you can't get this functionality

wv@gt said,
Another general question about the UI. I understand the use of this concept in Windows 7 with the taskbar icon housing tab previews and pinning sites as bookmarks. But have they mentioned how this will work in Vista, as you can't get this functionality

Well I guess CTRL + Q will work anyways...
Why should bookmarks be solely placed in the taskbar? There is a star in the tabbar! star -> favorites...

Pure guess. I think maybe the address bar will be expanded only when the tab bar is focused. Otherwise contracted to the size of a button. Then it might make sense to have them on the same line. I like the idea of the address on the tab itself. I think I've seen that from someone's mockup.

great another one that copy the concept of tabs above =/

lets hope they have an option to leave the tabs below...

eilegz said,
great another one that copy the concept of tabs above =/

lets hope they have an option to leave the tabs below...

The tabs aren't, "Above" anything. It's still touching the page directly, so this is more like tabs, "Next" to something.

Elliott said,
Yes, because I only use 2 tabs to a window at any given time.

People use browsers differently, which is why it would make sense for Microsoft to allow the user to move the tab bar wherever they wish (and they probably have allowed that).

azz0r_wugg said,
What happens when theres 3 or more tabs?

You move the tab bar to another place, perhaps under the address bar? Or, you click the button which allows you to see the other tabs?

It appears you may be assuming that Microsoft haven't accounted for this

I haven't read all the previous comments, but address bar + tabs on the same row seems silly to me. I use to have more tabs open than FF can handle on one screen, and with such a system, it would be a pain.

Other than that the design is pretty standard. As said before I wonder where are the history/favorites/bookmarks/quick settings. I would have prefered something like the "Metro Compliant" mokeup shown off last week, inspired by the Zune UI. Now that could have been called "Beauty of the web" !

But I'll wait for Sep. 15 before making my mind !

radwimp said,
Looks good. I hate all those wasted pixels at the top though...

That space is for dragging the window around. It definitely serves a function.

I accept, a lot gonna change, even for beta. The first change I expect is, the tabs placement. It is just weird to have tab bar with address bar.

Shadrack said,
That's not IE! Where are all the ugly ass adware "tool"bars?

You have to install those yourself, as you always have.

GreyWolf said,

You have to install those yourself, as you always have.

Exactly! I never understood how anybody would desire to install them! They "always! I mean always!" hinder the end user experience. They provide a wider security attack vector and a larger burden on performance. I sincerely hope that IE takes on the "app/extension" idea that other browsers use. The apps/extensions can much more easily be run in a security sandbox and managed. Not to mention, they are not as deeply integrated with IE as toolbars are. That deep integration with the browser seems to lower the flexibility of development as well. It isn't quite as easy to write a toolbar as it is to write an extension.

winlonghorn said,

Exactly! I never understood how anybody would desire to install them! They "always! I mean always!" hinder the end user experience. They provide a wider security attack vector and a larger burden on performance. I sincerely hope that IE takes on the "app/extension" idea that other browsers use. The apps/extensions can much more easily be run in a security sandbox and managed. Not to mention, they are not as deeply integrated with IE as toolbars are. That deep integration with the browser seems to lower the flexibility of development as well. It isn't quite as easy to write a toolbar as it is to write an extension.


IE has extensions/addons for ages - only difference between IE-addons and those of Firefox/Chrome is that IE uses binary-addons which are programmed towards a COM-interface...

fardeen said,
too much like chrome in my opinion, will test it before i give a real opinion

In what way does this look like Chrome?

Calum said,

They look nice?

lol, yep! The idea is for a "soft, clean, and clear" look that will not visually distract you when you are working. Notice how it is easier to focus on the task at hand in Windows 7 versus previous versions? That is what glass is meant to do. Microsoft knows what they are doing (regardless of what anyone thinks). lol. They don't pay millions of dollars for research just to allow people to sit and have coffee breaks.

I find it stupid that people are complaining about certain aspects of the UI (especially placement of bars and sizes of buttons) when they've not had chance to play around with it yet.

Microsoft have always provided a way to 'use small icons', which could well get rid of the large 'back' button and the fact there is no gap between that and the location bar. Perhaps they'll give an option to resize the address bar and/or move the tabs below the address bar?

It's fine commenting on how that looks in the screenshot, but to rule of the possibilities of what I've suggested in the above paragraph is stupid.

xpclient said,
Why do all browsers have Chrome-jealousy?

So because other browsers now ultiize native UI elements in 7/Vista (aero/glass), that makes them all chrome like? Tabs appear to be alongside the address bar, not on top.

I hoped for Metro but was surprised with this design which I really like and it fits in with the whole 7 feel. Good job MS. But I would use it as my main browser, maybe.

tiagosilva29 said,
I LOL'd.

Because Internet Explorer is finally going to be just as good as the other browsers and you find that hard to believe? Is that why you LOLd

Calum said,
Because Internet Explorer is finally going to be just as good as the other browsers and you find that hard to believe? Is that why you LOLd

No, I preemptively LOL'd for the same reasons as your reply down there, with only a few remarks: those are the small buttons; Internet Explorer is never going to be just as good as the other browsers.

tiagosilva29 said,

Internet Explorer is never going to be just as good as the other browsers.

Reason it has the smallest market share and OEMs dont include it in their computers...

Oh wait...

MorganX said,
In what meaningful ways are the other browsers so much better than IE?

Just to start let's bump two of my favo(u)rite meaningful ways: freedom (as in free software); standards compliance. Ain't gonna happen.

datastick said,
Reason it has the smallest market share and OEMs dont include it in their computers... Oh wait...

Couldn't care less about that. I use GNU/Linux.

tiagosilva29 said,

Just to start let's bump two of my favo(u)rite meaningful ways: freedom (as in free software); standards compliance. Ain't gonna happen.


Couldn't care less about that. I use GNU/Linux.


IE9 IS standard compliant!
If you use GNU/Linux, why are you even posting on IE?
BTW: I give a crap about freedom (as in Stallman's "free" software)

MFH said,
IE9 IS standard compliant!
So they said.
MFH said,
I give a crap about freedom (as in Stallman's "free" software)
If you give a crap about it, then you know why I posted on IE.

I have to admit, I actually quite like the concept image. However, I'm almost certain it won't tempt me back to using IE as a main browser. Why? IE will always be behind Chrome/Firefox/Safari due to the way in which they manage their release cycle..

Just my 2 cents.

I'm pretty sure that has to be an old UI (alpha) build if it's real since many things seem off and don't fit quite right. I can't wait for the 15th when we finally get beta 1 to play with though.

Hope that just still some mockup and really not final IE9 UI, because... This thing just looks simply fraking ugly and doesnt reminds me any current GUI used by MS. Why for gods sake they cant keep consistency in their works? I was hoping that IE9 would be like in some neowinian mockup, with ribbon/scenic ui.

And omg, address bar in same line with tabs? They must blaze cool stuff... Im really disappointed.

insanelyapple said,
Hope that just still some mockup and really not final IE9 UI, because... This thing just looks simply fraking ugly and doesnt reminds me any current GUI used by MS. Why for gods sake they cant keep consistency in their works? I was hoping that IE9 would be like in some neowinian mockup, with ribbon/scenic ui.

And omg, address bar in same line with tabs? They must blaze cool stuff... Im really disappointed.

See, that's how opinions are. Everyone has one and no one thinks theirs stinks. I've been waiting for address bar on same line with tabs. Second bar is total waste of valuable screen real estate that can hold information from the site. When things look the same year after year, they become boring. Like apple's boring rehashed minimalist designs.

_dandy_ said,
> Can you wait 20 days?

Yes. Yes I can. What's gonna happen otherwise? WTF would the alternative mean?

I hear ya, but if I could find a leak, I would install this one today.

MorganX said,

I hear ya, but if I could find a leak, I would install this one today.

Seriously? You'd install a leak of a beta of a browser? Not too worried about someone "slippin' in a little extra" like key loggers, are ya?

Well it actually looks nice, I will maybe give it a try, see if it's actually fast.
Otherwise just get a clone theme for Firefox

i see it and I yet I don't believe (well, I do) .. it's like when you know what your friends will give you for your birthday x))

Calum said,

Tom W and CarlMS have confirmed that this is real; thus, it's real.

+1! Also, Paul Thurott is reporting it on Winsupersite and he typically does wait until things are confirmed before reporting them. To those that think otherwise, I have no further comments other than "trust me! it is real!"

I like the way tab placed in the screenshot. Yet another revolution of tab bar since the debut of Chrome. Also do not forget tab management of IE is the best out there. So we should expect some enhancement in that area as well. Microsoft always debut fresh things to browsers war, really, anyone remember the 'plus' button on tab bar? IE was the first one to employ that, now look, chrome, firefox, even apple's safari follows its step. Now I really love this new UI so far, better this is not fake!

generko said,
I like the way tab placed in the screenshot. Yet another revolution of tab bar since the debut of Chrome. Also do not forget tab management of IE is the best out there. So we should expect some enhancement in that area as well. Microsoft always debut fresh things to browsers war, really, anyone remember the 'plus' button on tab bar? IE was the first one to employ that, now look, chrome, firefox, even apple's safari follows its step. Now I really love this new UI so far, better this is not fake!

How is IE's the best tab management. I believe Firefox 4 and Panorama/Tab Candy is better.

Ballmer's 'developers' call has been responded well with IE 9. Now he needs to yell 'designers'! (for the IE team)

I guess most current IE users won't typically have more than 5 tabs open at once... at least from what I've witnessed from IE users around me. So maybe this unorthodox tabination-next-to-addressbar scheme will work for them.

But no way in hell the current tab UI will work for me and many others - but that's okay, most of us power users have moved onto other browsers. The current preview looks quite unpolished. Hopefully they will allow some customization options for the UI here if they want more people to adopt it.

Even when the new IE comes out I highly doubt I will switch from Firefox 4 which syncs all my bookmarks and is highly customizable with it's large amount of add-ons and themes to IE. I just don't see it happening. Also I really hope they plan to change that tab interface it looks dreadful.

It seems to me that people who are concerned with tab positioning need to understand how the Windows 7 task bar works. It's really about being able to adapt to a different approach to getting work done. Mind you, this only applies to Windows 7 but I no longer use IE and it's many tabs to determine how many sessions I have open. I hover my mouse over the IE task bar icon and it shows me a real-time picture of what I have open - whether in multiple tabs or multible browser windows. It's a much cleaner way of managing multiple windows. Many links open in a new browser and tabs become moot. I believe it's about adjusting to a new way of organizing and retireving information. Change is a difficult pill to swallow.

Considering that the web page cuts off a bit of the back button and they're using an old Bing background, I have doubts that this is indeed real.

lordcanti86 said,
Considering that the web page cuts off a bit of the back button and they're using an old Bing background, I have doubts that this is indeed real.

I'm starting to think the same thing.

lordcanti86 said,
Considering that the web page cuts off a bit of the back button and they're using an old Bing background, I have doubts that this is indeed real.

It has been confirmed as real.

lordcanti86 said,
Considering that the web page cuts off a bit of the back button and they're using an old Bing background, I have doubts that this is indeed real.

Trust me! If Tom confirms this as "real", it is "real"

wv@gt said,
I like it, but having more than 5 tabs open is going to be a crunch with that layout

Well, the tab "tearing" feature may alleviate that some. Although, it isn't a complete cure, so I do hope that there is a solution for it. One idea is maybe they are in a stylized WPF listbox and can be scrolled back and fourth?! I am sure that they thought about this situation considering that even the Windows 7 taskbar accomodates this situation.

The tab bar in the address bar is horrible, theres no space for the tabs!. If its possible to change that I'll like it.

ViperAFK said,
The tab bar in the address bar is horrible, theres no space for the tabs!. If its possible to change that I'll like it.

I was thinking the same thing. Why in the hell would they think putting the address bar and tab bar on the same line would be a good idea?

not too pleased with the tab positioning, but its still not beta which means its still a work in progress, so we shud see changes... hope it has some cool and intuitive(skydrive integration(sync), extension, themes) features.

k33nz said,
not too pleased with the tab positioning, but its still not beta which means its still a work in progress, so we shud see changes... hope it has some cool and intuitive(skydrive integration(sync), extension, themes) features.

hmm... what you wanna sync with Skydrive - I mean Live Sync 4 actually does favorites and configs...

Some of you guys are funny.

1. This isn't even a beta yet, so expect the UI to change plenty of times before it becomes final.
2. If this was their final design UI, then I'm pretty sure the tab bar will be moveable.

/- Razorfold said,
Some of you guys are funny.

1. This isn't even a beta yet, so expect the UI to change plenty of times before it becomes final.
2. If this was their final design UI, then I'm pretty sure the tab bar will be moveable.


yeah
ps: i like your avatar and i am not german!

/- Razorfold said,
Some of you guys are funny.

1. This isn't even a beta yet, so expect the UI to change plenty of times before it becomes final.
2. If this was their final design UI, then I'm pretty sure the tab bar will be moveable.


Really? How much did the UI's change in IE7 and 8 from the initial beta previews to launch? I don't recall them changing much at all even though people seemed to hate the IE7 UI especially. Some of the suggestions from the IE7 beta were incorporated into IE8 though but that's a whole different version. I suspect they'll fix UI issues such as how the back button is being cut off at the bottom but I seriously doubt there will be any major changes.

That said I'm not a fan of exactly how it looks in the screenshot but if it's customizable it may end up very nice. For example: Imagine the toolbar row in the screenshot is actually three different toolbars sitting beside each other than can be moved when you right click and uncheck "Lock Toolbars". Each can be on the same row as in the screenshot but can also be positioned on it's own row. The first contains the back/forward buttons the address bar, the second is the tabs, and the third is a general customizable toolbar which shows home, favorites, and settings in the screenshot but can have others added/removed such as feeds, print, etc. Then maybe it's not so bad. Links and Menubar might also be options that are just disabled by default but can be enabled and placed on the same rows as the other three.

/- Razorfold said,
Some of you guys are funny.

1. This isn't even a beta yet, so expect the UI to change plenty of times before it becomes final.
2. If this was their final design UI, then I'm pretty sure the tab bar will be moveable.

So because it's an early draft people should not comment on it ?

LaP said,

So because it's an early draft people should not comment on it ?

I just find it funny that people are complaining about the tabs position. You would have to completely retarded to design a browser like that, and I'm pretty sure that MS knows that. So that could mean one of two things:
1. It's movable
2. It's just a bunch of random elements thrown together to see how they work.

I mean maybe they could have come up with some cool idea that the address bar becomes part of the tab bar - ie when you click on a tab it expands to allow you to enter an address. But that just seems like a stretch.

---

Oh and btw beta =/= alpha Technically, IE9 is still in alpha stages.

/- Razorfold said,
Some of you guys are funny.
1. This isn't even a beta yet, so expect the UI to change plenty of times before it becomes final.

I fear you could be wrong.
How many "public beta" versions from MS you used in the past?
How many suggestion for GUI improvements, for this versions, you find in the MS Forums?
How many of this suggestion you can find in the final version?
I notice this for Win7/Vista, Live Messenger, IE8.0, Office 2007 and 2010, a "public beta" means normally only "Tell us bugs". I would be really surprised if MS would accept suggestion this time.

Lastwebpage said,

I fear you could be wrong.
How many "public beta" versions from MS you used in the past?
How many suggestion for GUI improvements, for this versions, you find in the MS Forums?
How many of this suggestion you can find in the final version?
I notice this for Win7/Vista, Live Messenger, IE8.0, Office 2007 and 2010, a "public beta" means normally only "Tell us bugs". I would be really surprised if MS would accept suggestion this time.

I've used a lot of private betas from MS.

And like I'm going to say for the third time now, this isn't even a beta yet. Internally it may be so, but we have no idea how long ago this picture was taken. The internal builds of IE9 have had a ui for sometime now, so this could simply have been like the first alpha or something.

Mark Thomas said,
It's just a browser. Same old really I think. Need more that that to get me from chrome!

There is going to be more than just a new UI. Hardware Acceleration is one I'm looking forward to the most personally.

Mark Thomas said,
It's just a browser. Same old really I think. Need more that that to get me from chrome!

And a download manager and probably some other features!

Funny story. Last night I was on a website to watch a video. I tried playing it with Firefox and it went through the motions of playing it but all I ever saw was a black screen. It said it wanted Internet Explorer. So I opened up Vmware and opened it in Internet Explorer, because that's how much I trust internet Explorer. The video did actually play.

warwagon said,
Funny story. Last night I was on a website to watch a video. I tried playing it with Firefox and it went through the motions of playing it but all I ever saw was a black screen. It said it wanted Internet Explorer. So I opened up Vmware and opened it in Internet Explorer, because that's how much I trust internet Explorer. The video did actually play.

fail

billyea said,
Why would you do that? IE runs in its own isolated mode called Protected Mode, you don't need a VM.

Old habits die hard. IE frightens me.

warwagon said,

Old habits die hard. IE frightens me.


I think alot of people respected you warwagon on this website. With this, you have lost alot of respect.

Fail.

datastick said,

I think alot of people respected you warwagon on this website. With this, you have lost alot of respect.

Fail.

so he lost respect for stating his own personal preference? i guess you failed!

datastick said,

I think alot of people respected you warwagon on this website. With this, you have lost alot of respect.

Fail.

Thanks for those kind words, I feel all warm and fuzzy now

I've always said I think Firefox is safer. One of the reasons, is the fact that it doesn't let you accidentally open an executable file, it just lets you Save it. You have to go out of your way to open it. Unlike IE, where for some reason you had a brain fart you could instinctively run an application.

I know IE has protective mode. I just get a worried feeling using IE. It's not that i'm an idiot or anything, I just feel worried when using IE. Old habits I guess.

Could also be the fact I do computer repair and 90% of all people who are infected used IE to browse the internet. I do realize most of them don't have much common sense, which is how they probably got infected in the first place.

If only the Back and Forward buttons are in the style of the Home and Favourites buttons.
And the tabs have too little space.
If IE9 could have something like the XUL that Firefox has.

Plus the last time i looked at IE's "addon" page, its filled with shareware and payware.
Unlike Maxthon, Firefox and Chome addons.

Tom W said,

Nope it's just an old marketing picture for bing. They always use old pics of bing

Well then it's not a screenshot, is it? It's a mockup if they pick which Bing image is shown when they visit bing.com

I don't see a problem with the tab placement. They are obviously going for two important pages at a time space. If more tabs are open, the tabs get smaller. What is wrong with that ?

OceanMotion said,
I don't see a problem with the tab placement. They are obviously going for two important pages at a time space. If more tabs are open, the tabs get smaller. What is wrong with that ?

When having a lot of tabs open you come to a point where you can't read the label. It's very difficult to use it that way and IE9 might have this issue with 10 tabs already using this UI.

I have problems with the tabs too. I use approximately 15 tabs at once (in Chrome) and this could get hard, hopefullly we can drag around things.

Something so inconsistant and ugly cannot be a real thing. It's surely some lame mockup. They would never put tabs beside adress bar, it's BS from usability standpoint. Also why is back button cropped on bottom? Even i can do better mockup. Whatever will be real thing, at least back/forward buttons will be IMO the same like everywhere in Win7, the same like in Explorer file manager...

smooth3006 said,

seems to me the only ones who like this are the mods here.


Alan isn't a moderator - he's a news reporter.

Also, you clearly haven't read the comments on this article, if you think that.

Calum said,

Alan isn't a moderator - he's a news reporter.

Also, you clearly haven't read the comments on this article, if you think that.

+1! I can confirm this! I am a news reporter as well, so... lol.

That is awful!!!
No space between website and bottom of back button? Tabs there? Who designed that?

There are concepts here 100000x better than this.

KoL said,
That is awful!!!
No space between website and bottom of back button? Tabs there? Who designed that?

There are concepts here 100000x better than this.


Yes, I could bear with everything in the UI really, but that tab strip at the cost of an address bar just isn't good. I know both Mozilla and Google developers are struggling with their tab strips, trying to come up with better ways to organize things. Firefox 4 introduces Tab Candy as one solution, and there's a bug opened for Chromium to try get vertical tabs into the Chrome 8 timeframe.

And those browsers don't even share their tab bars with long address bars!

That's how distanced this design is from problems in reality.

Northgrove said,

Yes, I could bear with everything in the UI really, but that tab strip at the cost of an address bar just isn't good. I know both Mozilla and Google developers are struggling with their tab strips, trying to come up with better ways to organize things. Firefox 4 introduces Tab Candy as one solution, and there's a bug opened for Chromium to try get vertical tabs into the Chrome 8 timeframe.

And those browsers don't even share their tab bars with long address bars!

That's how distanced this design is from problems in reality.

Chrome 8 for Vertical/Side Tabs. You realise they are in the Chrome 6 Beta (Enabled by -- Tag), so will likely be in the release of Chrome 7.

Tom W said,
Confirmed as real. Old bing but that's cause they use old Bing imagery for marketing reasons

I imagine you can't reveal who told you it is real, but I will just take a shot at asking. Can you reveal that info? I like the design myself. Minimal and clean is how it should be. Also, to those that claim that it is copying Chrome and Firefox, that isn't hard to figure out. However, I believe there may be a misunderstanding as to what they are copying. I don't believe they are copying the actual UI, but rather the UI paradigm of "clean and simple". There is nothing wrong or illegal about that. "ALL" UIs should be like that in order to enable the user, but stay out of their way.

And maybe as a neat feature, when you have more than one tabs open. The URL bar slides to the right and minimizes into just the favicon. And you hover over it to change/see the address.

It's... awful?

It's a bit too clean for my taste. I like to see where I've things, not trying to figure out where they are. I like the old IE6 UI, Firefox's, and Chrome to some degree. But not this!

fake fake fake fake fake

the bing page is the one before they did the spring/summer refresh (aka its been taken before june and put randomly in a browser mockup or something)

MrPink said,
fake fake fake fake fake

the bing page is the one before they did the spring/summer refresh (aka its been taken before june and put randomly in a browser mockup or something)

Yeah, and it just so happens that Internet Explorer and Kinect are in the 'Popular Now' section on the bottom right.

MrPink said,
fake fake fake fake fake

the bing page is the one before they did the spring/summer refresh (aka its been taken before june and put randomly in a browser mockup or something)


It's real.

dave164 said,

Yeah, and it just so happens that Internet Explorer and Kinect are in the 'Popular Now' section on the bottom right.

Uhh the bing refresh was published may-june. Kinect was unveiled june 15th.

MrPink said,

Uhh the bing refresh was published may-june. Kinect was unveiled june 15th.

My point was that Internet Explorer is also there.

MrPink said,
fake fake fake fake fake

the bing page is the one before they did the spring/summer refresh (aka its been taken before june and put randomly in a browser mockup or something)

Because, of course, it's completely and utterly impossible and unlikely that this leaked screenshot is from that time period?

I think it's a bad idea to put the address/search bar beside the tabs. It should be below or above, that way tabs will have more room.

Anaron said,
I think it's a bad idea to put the address/search bar beside the tabs. It should be below or above, that way tabs will have more room.

If the address bar is resizable, I think it'll be a good idea to put them on the same space. Hopefully it will be an option for people to move the tabs below the address bar, if they wish?

Calum said,

If the address bar is resizable, I think it'll be a good idea to put them on the same space. Hopefully it will be an option for people to move the tabs below the address bar, if they wish?

Considering the titlebar doesn't tell you what page you're on resizing the address bar could cause usability issues as well. They really should move the tabs to their own bar.

Calum said,

If the address bar is resizable, I think it'll be a good idea to put them on the same space. Hopefully it will be an option for people to move the tabs below the address bar, if they wish?
Resize the address bar? What are you thinking? Do you want to be resizing the address bar every time you want to type in a new address or click on a Tab?


I agree with Anaron on this. It's a terrible idea to have the address bar and tabs on the same control bar. Tabs should preferably go above instead of below the address bar. This is because the title of the page should be at the top. That's where the human eye intuitively looks for a description of what is being viewed.

I hope that's just an early draft UI...I like the tearable tabs and consolidation of menus, but the horrible back/forward buttons and translucent tabs must be fixed before release...

JonathanMarston said,
I hope that's just an early draft UI...I like the tearable tabs and consolidation of menus, but the horrible back/forward buttons and translucent tabs must be fixed before release...

I can imagine there will be a lot of changes considering it isn't even beta yet..

JonathanMarston said,
I hope that's just an early draft UI...I like the tearable tabs and consolidation of menus, but the horrible back/forward buttons and translucent tabs must be fixed before release...

I like the idea of translucent tabs and I love these icons.

Varoon said,
reminds me of chrome

In what way?

I don't understand why people say that about every new browser design. Some said it about Firefox 4 Now some are saying it about this

Calum said,

In what way?

I don't understand why people say that about every new browser design. Some said it about Firefox 4 Now some are saying it about this


I think it's the new kind of "tastes like chicken" joke

martinDTanderson said,
I don't like the back button being cut off at the bottom...

I agree, that irked me a bit too, and the over-satured icons. Let's hope they reconsider.

martinDTanderson said,
I don't like the back button being cut off at the bottom...

Better than how the orb in Vista is larger than the taskbar! It is like in W7 too if you use the small taskbar, but I don't.

I don't know why they would put tabs on the same bar as the location field, that's just stupid...
But otherwise i love it, they have even included the search field in the location field something which i just need to have an addon for in firefox

I really hope this is it, with some good addons maybe ill switch, or get a theme for firefox ^^

Leonick said,
I don't know why they would put tabs on the same bar as the location field, that's just stupid...
[...]

If the address bar is resizable, as it may well be, why is it stupid? Surely you don't need the address bar to be as long as it is in IE 8? If it's resizable, I will make it quite small, so I'd only be missing about the space of one tab, if that.

bangbang023 said,
This better not be real. There's almost no room for the actual tabs (yes, I'm aware it's not maximized).

The tab bar does not display when only a single tab is open... it's a setting you can turn on/off in most modern browsers.

bangbang023 said,
This better not be real. There's almost no room for the actual tabs (yes, I'm aware it's not maximized).

Yeah, I hope a coming beta will close down on the vertical space a bit, and use that new space for a separate tab bar. As for now, I hope that long address bar consuming precious tab space is at least resizable.

If the tab management is going to be like this, there's no way I'm using it. I'll stick with Chrome. Just wish Google would add a decent bookmark bar (the one thing IE 8 actually does well).

I don't think space is an issue, it will just feel odd but at least they acknowledge the huge amount of space the address bar wastes. Have to see in practice.

Northgrove said,

Yeah, I hope a coming beta will close down on the vertical space a bit, and use that new space for a separate tab bar. As for now, I hope that long address bar consuming precious tab space is at least resizable.

+1

thealexweb said,
Good grief, I'm usually pro microsoft but I'm sorry that is awful.

did you expect anything different from microsoft? look at wp7 UI then this. im really starting to fear what windows 8 may look like. i wouldn't touch explorer and haven't in 3 years. ill stick with firefox 4.

rawr_boy81 said,

I second that, who would ever want to put nutscrape navigator as their logo? honestly!

only the coolest guy on the web, thats who!

Vykranth said,
No favorites sidebar? No print icon? No safety menu?
This is quite puzzling. Oh well, we'll see on September 15th ...

I'd wager those menu's are used pretty infrequently. I print about 1 or 2 web pages a year, and even then I typically use a 'print' link on the page itself because it'll usually load up a printer friendly version of the page before initiating the print dialog itself. And I've never even heard of the safety menu. I think it's perfectly reasonable for those options to be found in a nested menu.

The ideal situation would be to do it like Firefox where you can place whatever you want on the menu.

Vykranth said,
No favorites sidebar? No print icon? No safety menu?
This is quite puzzling. Oh well, we'll see on September 15th ...

"IE9 only has one menu, consolidating the six menus found in IE8"

Vykranth said,
No favorites sidebar? No print icon? No safety menu?
This is quite puzzling. Oh well, we'll see on September 15th ...

I think they will be easily accesible by pressing the setting icon in the upper-right corner (or maybe more icons will be added besides "Home", "Favorites" and "Advanced". Looks sick, will probably be my #1 browser again (Using Chrome now)

I guess it is something we can speculate over and over with a simple screenshot.
There will be plenty of discovery when we get the actual IE 9 on our hands.

Vykranth said,
No favorites sidebar? No print icon? No safety menu?
This is quite puzzling. Oh well, we'll see on September 15th ...
Probably (hopefully) things that can be added or hidden and use ALT to reveal.

geoken said,

I'd wager those menu's are used pretty infrequently. I print about 1 or 2 web pages a year, and even then I typically use a 'print' link on the page itself because it'll usually load up a printer friendly version of the page before initiating the print dialog itself. And I've never even heard of the safety menu. I think it's perfectly reasonable for those options to be found in a nested menu.

The ideal situation would be to do it like Firefox where you can place whatever you want on the menu.

Infrequently? Try almost never (the default since IE 7 is *hidden menus*; you have to tap the Alt key to get the menus to show, ala Windows Media Player 9 series and later). You can force the menus to always show (IE 7/8), but that isn't the default.

It looks ok. It blends well within Windows. For all those complaining about it resembling Chrome, I think this is a good thing (for IE, FF). The last thing we need is a browser with ribbons. IMHO. This looks like it could be a solid release.

the better twin said,
not sure about the huge back button but it does look rather good

yeah that one looks as ugly as in Firefox...

Shiranui said,

Hopefully it comes with an awesome spellchecker too.

I'd rather see it packaged with IEspell, I had it decipher words that no other spellchecker could.

techbeck said,
Will take more than looks to get me to start using IE as my main browser again.

Did you try the last preview? That was more than enough for me. Should lead to awesome web sites and web apps. Web developers just got a humongous career boost.

I never thought I'd see the day when MS would give up their stock look&feel. They might actually make it easy to change all icons one day. Anyway, this look combined with what I saw in the preview and the capabilities of HTML 5, the web will be exciting again very soon.

Microsoft isn't @#%$ around. Windows Phone 7 looks to be the real deal, Windows 7 delivered, Server 2008 R2 technologies delievered, and now IE may finally become the #1 browser. Good time. Ballmer must have gotten the message and is letting the developers and designers do their thing.

MorganX said,
Web developers just got a humongous career boost.

I wouldn't say we've had a career boost, but IE9 will make our lives easier (speaking as an amateur web developer)!

Edited by Meph, Aug 25 2010, 4:01pm :

techbeck said,
Will take more than looks to get me to start using IE as my main browser again.

Actually, the updated engine has made me say that if it looks good it'd likely be my new browser. I think you have nothing to worry about. My only other concern now: making sure they have enough features to keep it in competition (read: stuff like spell check, some form of password manager, etc).

Ayepecks said,

My only other concern now: making sure they have enough features to keep it in competition (read: stuff like spell check, some form of password manager, etc).

Thats what I meant. Looks alone will not make me switch. Has to bring something new to the table...or similar features other browsers have.

techbeck said,
Will take more than looks to get me to start using IE as my main browser again.

Im kind of the opposite. Im a IE user since Win 95 but as Im still using XP on one PC Im going to have to finally switch to FF or Chrome. Im being forced the other way and as Im someone who is consistent and finds it hard to change then I doubt I will come back to IE when I upgrade the last PC.

MorganX said,

and now IE may finally become the #1 browser. .


Actually IE has been number 1 for quite a while now, it just not the first option for anyone with more than basic knowledge of computers, and by that I mean anyone who can tell what kind of OS its running, but coming back to the topic, I like that the minimalistic design has finally come to all of the web browsers. The engine its what matters but seriously with IE9 I'll be happy just not having to worry about crashing half the times I have to use it, for the rest I'll keep using Opera or Chrome.

techbeck said,
Will take more than looks to get me to start using IE as my main browser again.

I agree, new GUI, new anything I will never trust it again as my main browser. If I can't load a site
then I may use it, but never again as my main browser.

techbeck said,
Will take more than looks to get me to start using IE as my main browser again.

that's ultimately the bottom line.

Firefox i been using since a little prior to v1.0 and it seems all around the best browser if you ask me and it's speed etc. (especially out of the non-ie browsers)

sullysnet said,

I agree, new GUI, new anything I will never trust it again as my main browser. If I can't load a site
then I may use it, but never again as my main browser.

Why "never"?

techbeck said,
Will take more than looks to get me to start using IE as my main browser again.
And it will take a true ad blocker to get me to. lol

techbeck said,
Will take more than looks to get me to start using IE as my main browser again.

Sorry, have to use IE at work for SharePoint purposes

techbeck said,
Will take more than looks to get me to start using IE as my main browser again.

Will take me even more before i start using Firefox or Chrome

smooth3006 said,

+100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 ... take that!


ROFL!
Anyways, I must agree. We have not tested it yet, but I hope this amends for older IE versions.

Kirkburn said,

Why "never"?

Why get burned twice?? Casual surfing I guess it is safe but I'm not taking my chances. Also why do
I want a browser made by a company that makes my OS?? They have their hands full enough dealing with that junk why not leave the browsers up to other software developers. They do not need to have their hands in every pot.

Meconio said,

Actually IE has been number 1 for quite a while now, it just not the first option for anyone with more than basic knowledge of computers, and by that I mean anyone who can tell what kind of OS its running, but coming back to the topic, I like that the minimalistic design has finally come to all of the web browsers. The engine its what matters but seriously with IE9 I'll be happy just not having to worry about crashing half the times I have to use it, for the rest I'll keep using Opera or Chrome.

Im a computer programmer and IE is my only browser. So your stupid little comment = massive epic fail to the 10th power.

Agreed, you lot need to grow up. You sound like a pack of whining kids.

IE has made huge strides, and will remain as my main browser backed up with Chrome. I will continue to recommend it to everyone, moreso now.

I'll have to get used to the new layout, but minimalist seems to be the new 'you'.

techbeck said,
Will take more than looks to get me to start using IE as my main browser again.

From the technical previews it seems like they've gotten up to speed in many areas and if the betas improve on that we might actually see a really nice, simple and elegant browser that's as capable as your favorite beta of Chrome or Firefox (I use Chrome personally).

Raa said,
Agreed, you lot need to grow up. You sound like a pack of whining kids.
.

We are having a conversation....dont like it, dont reply. Its really that simple.

techbeck said,
Will take more than looks to get me to start using IE as my main browser again.

I'm not a Windows user but for christ sake, stop comparing IE9 to a bad experience you had 10 years ago. IE9 is a different beast entirely - how about waiting for it to arrive before coming to pre-emptive conclusions.

techbeck said,
Will take more than looks to get me to start using IE as my main browser again.

Blah blah blah.... maybe you should read what HAS changed apart from UI.

rawr_boy81 said,

I'm not a Windows user but for christ sake, stop comparing IE9 to a bad experience you had 10 years ago. IE9 is a different beast entirely - how about waiting for it to arrive before coming to pre-emptive conclusions.

This. People need to stop thinking that IE6 IS Internet Explorer. Sure, Internet Explorer wasn't great from a web-dev point of view, but it made a big leap forward in terms of security. Internet Explorer 8 is an entirely different beast which IS secure, and IS standards compliant (for the mostpart), and Internet Explorer 9 will be a big improvement on that.

Microsoft got lazy with Internet Explorer, and allowed their browser at the time (IE6) to go stale, but they have come forward since, because now they have to compete, and as far as I can see, IE9 is going to be a majorly competitive browser (although likely still the slowest once Firefox 4 goes final).

techbeck said,

We are having a conversation....dont like it, dont reply. Its really that simple.

Don't like his comment? Don't reply.

briangw said,

Sorry, have to use IE at work for SharePoint purposes

Uhh, no you don't

Firefox with Corel IE Tab, just add the sharepoint address (or anything else that needs IE) to the sites filter and it'll auto load that page in an IE tab.

sullysnet said,

Why get burned twice?? Casual surfing I guess it is safe but I'm not taking my chances. Also why do
I want a browser made by a company that makes my OS?? They have their hands full enough dealing with that junk why not leave the browsers up to other software developers. They do not need to have their hands in every pot.

Stop using Google's Products then.. They have their hands in every pot.

It's a different story, that only one Pot makes them the money!

Rahul Mulchandani said,

Stop using Google's Products then.. They have their hands in every pot.

It's a different story, that only one Pot makes them the money!

No comparison in my mind...

Meconio said,

Actually IE has been number 1 for quite a while now, it just not the first option for anyone with more than basic knowledge of computers, and by that I mean anyone who can tell what kind of OS its running, but coming back to the topic, I like that the minimalistic design has finally come to all of the web browsers.

Really? Ya not so much.

IE8 here, - also OS theorist/engineer.

There are a lot of good reasons people that do understand computers specifically choose to use IE in the last few years.

Since the introduction of Vista, IE7 and IE8 are the most secure browsers when running in the default protected mode, and unlike Chrome, they don't data mine user usage for adveretising focusing and revenue.

I'm sorry you assume the informed 'elite' always choose products other than IE; but in doing so you demonstrate your lack of understanding.

Seriously rethink before generalizing a segment of any population that you don't truly fit into.

MorganX said,

Did you try the last preview? That was more than enough for me. Should lead to awesome web sites and web apps. Web developers just got a humongous career boost.

I never thought I'd see the day when MS would give up their stock look&feel. They might actually make it easy to change all icons one day. Anyway, this look combined with what I saw in the preview and the capabilities of HTML 5, the web will be exciting again very soon.

Microsoft isn't @#%$ around. Windows Phone 7 looks to be the real deal, Windows 7 delivered, Server 2008 R2 technologies delievered, and now IE may finally become the #1 browser. Good time. Ballmer must have gotten the message and is letting the developers and designers do their thing.

+1

Majesticmerc said,
This. People need to stop thinking that IE6 IS Internet Explorer. Sure, Internet Explorer wasn't great from a web-dev point of view, but it made a big leap forward in terms of security. Internet Explorer 8 is an entirely different beast which IS secure, and IS standards compliant (for the mostpart), and Internet Explorer 9 will be a big improvement on that.

Microsoft got lazy with Internet Explorer, and allowed their browser at the time (IE6) to go stale, but they have come forward since, because now they have to compete, and as far as I can see, IE9 is going to be a majorly competitive browser (although likely still the slowest once Firefox 4 goes final).

IE8 CSS 2.1 implementation is more standards compliant than what Firefox is; some people here should check out bugzilla some time on the number of bugs in Mozilla relating to compliancy - believe me, after 1/2 of doing that you'll be worshipping the ground that Microsoft developers walk upon.

Majesticmerc said,

This. People need to stop thinking that IE6 IS Internet Explorer. Sure, Internet Explorer wasn't great from a web-dev point of view, but it made a big leap forward in terms of security. Internet Explorer 8 is an entirely different beast which IS secure, and IS standards compliant (for the mostpart), and Internet Explorer 9 will be a big improvement on that.

Microsoft got lazy with Internet Explorer, and allowed their browser at the time (IE6) to go stale, but they have come forward since, because now they have to compete, and as far as I can see, IE9 is going to be a majorly competitive browser (although likely still the slowest once Firefox 4 goes final).


I fear that if they get most of the market again, they'll just leave it be again. You shouldn't ever do that as a company, certainly not for something this important.
Lost users won't come back easily. Myself included, avid Firefox/Chrome and Opera user.