Internet Explorer 9 provides tighter Windows integration to developers

In case you missed it, late last night the first public beta of Internet Explorer 9 was made available to the public.

Microsoft had made numerous “Platform Preview” builds of the software available to allow users to try out their websites. But these previews only embodied the IE 9 rendering engine in a simple interface to perform rudimentary navigation. The beta brings the first preview of the interface and ways that the browser can interact with Windows.

In previous versions of Internet Explorer, Microsoft has not truly leveraged its advantage in having to write the browser for only one platform and being in control of said platform. With IE 9, however, you can see how they have started to leverage this. HTML 5 rendering can now be hardware accelerated, which shows its strength when rendering complex Canvas objects.

A new feature not seen in previous builds is the ability for users to “Pin” browser tabs.aspx) to the Windows 7 taskbar (much like you can pin applications). This means when you click on the pinned tab, it opens that site directly in IE 9 with more advanced features, such as the ability to change the colour effects on the browser chrome; add tasks, notifications and more to the Windows 7 jump list; and provide icon overlays to the taskbar icon for that window.

IE 9 can be downloaded from the Beauty of the Web site today.

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