I had installed IE9 during the early beta (very early) and had to uninstall it due to some issues with internal websites and applications. I decided to wait until IE9 fully released before installing it again. Since IE9 Released to Web on Monday, March 14, 2011, I went ahead and installed it on my production machines yesterday. I thought I would share my experience in a quick blog post.
Since I didn’t take a screenshot of IE8 on my machine prior to upgrading, I did so on my home machine before I installed IE9 on it. The key here is that I am used to having the lay out in a certain way.
I regularly use the Bing search bar in the upper right and do take advantage of the Command menu area below that. I also have Favorites on my Favorites bar so that I can easily access key sites. I also do quite a bit of tab browsing so I tend to have quite a few tabs open during the day (as well as multiple instances of IE).
After installing IE9, the layout was immediately different as shown below.
The “menu” area is much cleaner right out of the box. I immediately noticed that the tabs are right next to the address bar and as I opened up multiple tabs, my experience wasn’t the best. I immediately spent a few minutes making changes to the layout so that it would fit my needs better and here is what I ended up with. It was all a matter of right clicking in the “menu” area and turning on all the bars available as well as choosing to show tabs on a separate row – very easy and simple to do.
If you compare this screenshot with the IE8 one at the beginning, you can see I pretty much made the layout look the same. The only thing missing is the Bing Search bar in the upper right. With IE9, I can just type my search items right into the address bar and when I hit enter, a Bing Search is automatically executed and I get my Bing search results. Awesome!!!
Another new capability that I really like is around starting a new (blank) tab. I now get a list of some frequent sites I’ve visited that are easy to see and click.
I did not do a comparison of specific features or performance in this post as that was not my intent. Instead, I just wanted to provide a quick post on my initial experience with IE9 especially as it related to layout and fear of “newness”. If a person really is set on having IE with a specific layout, there is a very good chance that IE9 will still support that. It may just take a little reconfiguration – like what I did.
One improvement I will point out is around editing of my Blog site – specifically the Upcoming Events Page. I constantly fought to get edits to save when using IE8, but everything worked smoothly with IE9.