Internet Explorer 9 Beta demonstration
One of the features which Hardman demonstrated at the event was the web browser’s capability to navigate a website from within its Taskbar icon, as opposed to actually opening the page and clicking on links.
For the demonstration, an IE9 tab displaying Channel NewsAsia’s webpage was dragged down to the Windows 7 Taskbar, resulting in a new window automatically being opened. The image captured above shows the website’s links readily accessible from the new icon on the Taskbar, while the actual window now sports the Channel NewsAsia logo and colour scheme.
Hardman also stated during the demonstration that this particular feature was unique to Interner Explorer 9. It requires webmasters to optimize their own sites for the browser before end-users could take advantage of such a feature.
Security was one of the major features that received a major upgrade in the new web browser. Unlike earlier versions of IE only warned the user about the potential dangers of opening an executable file downloaded from the Internet, IE9 goes one step further by attempting to determine the credibility of the file’s origin.
Known as SmartScreen Download Reputation, IE9 will perform a background search of the file’s origin and download frequency against Microsoft’s own database of websites with varying reputations. If no matches are found, the browser will display an alert to notify the user of potential malware in the file and offer to delete it before it can be executed, thus preventing the user’s PC from getting compromised.
To help users keep track of their downloads, Internet Explorer 9 will also feature a download manager, as shown below:
Last but not least, Hardman also demonstrated Internet Explorer 9’s HTML5 capabilities, which have been further enhanced due to the browser’s ability to make use of hardware acceleration for page rendering.
The first website Hardman used to demonstrate IE9’s HTML5 rendering capabilities was that of BMW’s. In the image shown above, HTML5 was used to allow visitors to experience a virtual hands-on with the car, such as rotating the view or opening the car doors and even viewing how the car would look like at night.
Hardman also showcased the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design’s home page, which is available in a HTML5 version. This time, the site’s content was organized into ‘drop cards’, which would collapse or react in accordance to the user’s mouse cursor.
Lastly, Hardman revealed Microsoft’s Test Drive webpage, which is a collection of tests specially designed to benchmark the performance of HTML5 capable browsers. If you are interested in finding out how well your browser fairs, the Test Drive website can be accessed at http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/
Microsoft did not announce any official release dates for Internet Explorer 9, although Hardman has hinted at an early 2011 release for the browser. Until then, users can still download the beta at http://windows.microsoft.com/ie9?os=win7&arch=b&browser=ie to get a feel of what Microsoft’s newest browser has to offer.