IE 9 Beta 1: First impressions

Posted Sun, Sep 19 2010 12:21 by bill

Some thoughts about IE 9:

  • I like the merging of the address and search bars. It would be nice if you could select the search provider by keystroke, at present you have to use the mouse. Eg ALT+1 or give them letter keystrokes.  Today in IE 8 I have it set up if I type “w foo”, the “w” part denotes wikipedia. Likewise “g” for google, “b” for bing. It’d be nice if I could do something similar but still get the search provider hints as I type.

  • The tabs on the address bar line is cute, but I’d like to be able to change that.  With long url’s they aren’t readable in the address bar because of it’s constrained size.  I’d like to be able to have tabs have their own line; and ideally be able to put the tabs down the side or along the top (and an auto hide if there is only one tab)

  • Not sure I see the reasoning behind moving favourites to the right (previously on the left)

  • One of the main things I want IE 9 for is html 5 support, in particular inline video element support.  I hate flash (more on that next bullet), I hate having to load it every time I want to watch a video.  So I want inline video element support. But I also want to be able to disable it !!  Inline video has an auto play.  Really it was bad enough when animated gifs got into the ad space, then flash, now auto play videos !!  Give me the choice, and make it simple.  An enable/disable animations button is a must have !!!!!!!!

  • Better activex enable/disable.  The non modal prompting was a step forward. I would like it to be more subtle still (perhaps an option to turn off the sound for the prompting for activex).  At present I look for the manage add-ons icon in the status bar, clcik on that and enable the missing components, then reload the page. I’d prefer the experience more like the prompt to download a file one, where it automatically reloads for you, and in this case the add-on would only be enabled for that site for this session.

  • Today I use the status bar to indicate the url a link points to, add-ons and cookies.  If the url’s are showed in a tooltip, then it’s just the add-ons and cookies icons that I’d miss. If I could add them up on the address bar row, then I get more vertical space. So for me, that’d be far more useful than the current tab layout that’s in Beta 1.


Other than that install went fine (Win 7 x64) and it does seem fast. the fish bowl sample page is fun but also scary that that kind of animation could auto load.  At present IE 9 looks to me to be more aimed at content providers than giving the end user the option to opt out. Without an easy way to disable all these kinds of animations, reading my newspapers online each morning is going to be a difficult task ;)

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