Internet Explorer 9 Officially Released (Just Not For XP Users)

Microsoft has officially released Internet Explorer 9. Not a beta, not a release candidate, but the real deal. You’ll recall that a Mozilla rep had already spoken out against it a few weeks ago, saying that it was not a “modern browser.” GPU acceleration and a fancy new user interface would suggest otherwise, but there’s no need to get into a browser fight. Use what you like, I say.

One of the big features of Internet Explorer 9 is the lack of Windows XP support. It’s a bold move, considering how many people still run that ancient operating system. (If XP still works for you then by all means enjoy yourself, but do you really expect Microsoft to continue to support a 10-year-old OS? I don’t see Apple releasing new software for OS 9.2.2.)

Most of the other features we’ve mentioned in the past. The browser’s new do-not-track functionality should help hide your Web activities from snooping third-party advertisers, and it’s GPU acceleration means that your fancy Nvidia or Radeon helps draw the sites. (Other browsers have GPU acceleration, but aren’t turned on by default.) It genuinely makes browsing a snappier experience, though the most recent release candidate had a tendency to choke on animated gifs.

If nothing else you can now quite comfortably work Internet Explorer 9 into your browser rotation. I regularly switch between Chromium and Firefox and Safari while on my old MacBook (I’m not married to one specific browser, that is), and on the PC I switch between Chromium and Firefox and, now, IE9, depending on what site I’m reading.