It is definitely a browser,  still looks like a browser but is even more minimalist than IE7 or 8, and it is fast.

During installation, you are given the chance to disable add-ins and you are told how much time will be saved when opening the browser. I elected to keep some, the useful ones. You will want to enable ‘Search Suggestions, and I will tell you why..


If you opt out of Search Suggestions, typing some keywords into the search box will take you to just one website. An example: typing ‘Ferrari’ will take you straight to the Ferrari home page, like it or not.. If you opt in, typing Ferrari will add a few more entries into the drop down choice box. It doesn’t do this for all brand names, just some.

You will see from the image that I have three tabs showing. The first tab is fixed and doubles as the URL address box and the search function. This is the ONLY space other than the border which is taking away from the main window.

The open/run/save/cancel window when downloading stuff has changed too. This is the new one and it always appears at the base of IE 9. The SAVE drop down box allows a choice between 1. Save 2. Save As and 3. Save and Run. A nice touch..

IE 9 save

Java is still needed for some website content, in my case the Official Formula 1’s Live Timing window, but Adobe Flash doesn’t appear to be needed to run YouTube videos. Well, you don’t have to go out of your way to install it, ok?

The 64-bit browser also requires Java, and there is also a 64-bit preview release of Adobe Flash which you will need if you want to YouTube videos. You can get it here..

This is Internet Explorer 9 Beta in brief. It is  minimalist in the extreme, works very well indeed, and it deserves a trial run. One final point: It will not run on anything below Vista. That’s it folks..