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Internet Explorer 9 thoughts

Speed. Internet Explorer. Until version 9, those two words were rarely used in a sentence together. With version 9 of the browser, Microsoft have unleashed a different beast all together. Compared to previous versions, IE9 speeds through loading of pages, even on a fairly low end connection.

I’ve written about my experiences in the past with the various platform previews of the browser, as well as the beta and RC releases. Last week, Microsoft released the final version of the browser. I installed it over my existing RC install with no problems at all. Nothing that I can see changed in the user interface between RC and final.

What was immediately obvious however was the speed bump. The RC was already quite speedy, but the final release cranked it up a notch yet again. I don’t think it’s outright faster than Google Chrome, but it’s a close race and many people might not notice the difference to be honest. The speed is certainly going to be a boon for those JavaScript heavy websites that currently choke up IE8.

The only slightly negative thing I can think of is that due to it using your GPU to render pages, the temperature of your GPU can climb slowly without you noticing it. This shouldn’t cause any major issues, but it is something to keep aware of in regards to higher power consumption and lower battery life on laptops. GPU rendering can be disabled in the Options menu, though how much a speed loss this will cause I don’t yet know.

All in all, I am impressed with IE9’s speed and compatibility efforts. I can’t wait to roll it out to the Windows 7 computers at work and hear how people react to the speed boosts it brings. Well done Microsoft on a solid release, and thank you to all the competitors for forcing Microsoft to produce quality software again.

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