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Charles Young

It was always obvious that IE9 was going to get new chrome.  Why else publish the technical previews with a mocked-up UI?  The very fact that the IE team has cleanly separated the core browser technology from the old IE chrome indicates that they are free to change the whole look and feel of the browser if they wish.  And of course, they must want to do so.   Everyone loves the clean, zippy feel of Google's Chrome.  If IE9 is to halt the slow slide in 'market share' that previous versions of the browser have experienced in recent years, it is Google they must take on, more so than any other browser.   Yes, Firefox holds second place, but its growth has stagnated.  Google Chrome, on the other hand, is on a steady and solid trajectory upwards.

After years of effort having to chase the alternatives and constantly being behind the curve, IE9 represents a real change in the fortunes of what is still the world's most widely used browser.  Microsoft return to where they could always have been if they hadn't decided all those years ago to abandon further development of IE, loosing years of advantage in the process.  IE9 has already forced Google and Firefox to speed up implementation of GPU support (it would be unthinkable for them not to have responded to the amazing graphic performance of Microsoft's preview).  It is in grave danger of coming out top in just about every official standards compliance test.  It's new Javascript engine is right up there, performance wise, with Google Chrome, Safari and Opera, and way ahead of Firefox.  It will even shortly achieve 100/100 on Acid 3 (almost there now).  And now we get our first glimpse of the new Chrome-like chrome.  It's the dawn of a new age for the old browser and I can't wait to get my hands on the beta.;content

Posted on Saturday, August 28, 2010 7:04 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: IE9 Chrome

# re: IE9 Chrome
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I am a little uncertain as to how universally accepted the new stripped down look of IE will play. When Microsoft hid away a number of features in previous browser releases there was an immediate flurry in the blogasphere for the 'fix' to get the old menu back with 'press the ALT key' coming to the rescue.

There is an interesting split between fast and minimal and fast and fully featured. For my 10 pennies it's the later. I need my booklets and menu bars as much as I need my speed. I am hoping IE9 gives me both.

I have tried Google Chrome a number of times but just can't get to love it. I even prefer Safari! At present it's simple IE8/Firefox on Windows 7, Safari 5 on my Mac and Safari mobile on my iPad.
Left by Andy James on Aug 29, 2010 3:53 AM

# re: IE9 Chrome
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Well, yes, I take the point. However, I suspect there will be lots you can do to configure the UI the way you like. After all, it is unlikely that things like the 'Favourites' bar have been removed. You can elect to display this, or not, in the current version. I suspect things will be the same in IE9.

The stats show clearly that the growth rate of Google (as a % of the total) continues to rise at a constant rate, unlike any other browser. People tend to form browsing 'habits' and like to stick with what they are used to. However, when they do decide to change their browsing habits, or maybe for people who have not yet formed habits, they seem to gravitate towards Google Chrome more than any other browser. IMHO MS needs to ensure their existing users can continue to enjoy a familiar UI experience if they want, but also offer the streamlined UI in order to compete effectively with Google and slow down the inexorable rise of Chrome. Hopefully the decoupling of Trident from the chrome, as demonstrated in the previews, means that users will get a choice (e.g., multiple, or highly configurable, chromes).

One obvious issue, much remarked on in the last few days, is the apparent lack of space for tabs. Of course, when the browser window is maximised, things won't be as bad as they look in the screen shot. Currently, in IE8, when you maximise the Window, the address bar expands to a silly width, wasting a lot of screen real-estate, so there is certainly a balance to be struck here. Also, tear-offs should really help. It will be interesting to discover how the new IE handles this issue. We'll have to wait a couple of weeks more, though, to find out. And how likely is it that MS has not given careful though to all these issue? I bet millions have been spent research UI issues.
Left by Charles Young on Aug 29, 2010 4:46 AM

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