JAB_Creations - 12:47 am on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)
I wrote an extensive review of IE9 on my blog that took hours to write as I wanted to cover everything to be fair. Microsoft did put a lot in to building IE9 and it has come a very long way...but then again they had to. Here's a brief objective summary...
IE9 is fast though not because of hardware acceleration. They really did do a good job with the software as my site's DHTML animation for hiding and showing the sidebar is smoother than Chrome, Firefox and Opera 11.1 and earlier though it's about even with Opera 11.5 when it's hardware acceleration is taken in to account...and it works with the hardware acceleration on XP without any problems, can't say any of that about IE9. Still the performance is really good.
Graphic User Interface
Total devastation, it's absolutely unusable. The buttons are way too small to click on without making unnecessary amounts of dexterous effort, not good for browsing be it casual or production related. None of the controls can be customized or given text labels so non-technical users won't know what all of them do. Blocked ActiveX content? Yeah a small little blue circle with a cross isn't going to help non-technical users. The download "manager" is difficult to find and the window only seems to appear when a download has completed and you have to click at least twice to get to it. Technical people will say key-strokes, non-technical users don't use keystrokes and that is the intended audience for IE9.
Would I use IE9? No, it's not available for XP and because Microsoft has been busy intentionally destroying the GUI of it's products like Vista, 7, Office, Fiddler, etc I will leaving Windows XP for Linux eventually. I'll still use it to test my work of course though that's about it.
Would I recommend this to technical users? Unless you build websites no though since IE is deeply embedded as part of the operating system you should have it installed though I wouldn't recommend using it.
Would I recommend this to non-technical users? No, the GUI has been butchered and it's simply not usable. If a user is unlucky enough to already be running Vista or Windows 7 I would make sure it's installed though have them using a different browser, Firefox or once Opera reaches 11.1 stable.
IE9 is on par with Firefox 3.5 on SVG, roughly on par with Firefox 1.0 in regards to CSS3 and subjectively on par with Chrome 10 on performance. Since it's not available for Windows XP IE9's market share will not surpass that of XP's market share at any point as IE10 will be out before XP comes close to being surpassed in combination of Vista and 7. IE9 does however put Microsoft in a position to pull ahead of all the other browsers if they manage to put the same amount of effort in to IE10 as they did with IE9 however they'll have to wade in the waters of specifications that are less mature so we'll certainly see a lot of CSS properties with -ms- prefixes in IE10 if Microsoft remains serious about standards compliance. IE9 is a nice browser though it's still a couple years behind in some ways...the performance is pretty good though. Not supporting XP is the Achilles' heel for this release however and Opera doesn't have comparable resources to Microsoft and they still managed to get as far as they have so Microsoft is more than capable of getting IE9 to work on XP however they're now more interested in reducing productivity. This is an opportunity for the Linux community.