With two young children and a full time job, my life is chaotic and therefore I’m always looking for more efficient ways to do my daily tasks so I can focus on what’s important in my life and, well let’s be honest, get through more of my “to do” list. Since the majority of my daily PC tasks are done on the browser (59% of the time people spend on Windows is actually online in a browser), I felt compelled to share why I think Internet Explorer 9 is a cool tool for those who want to be more efficient. Here’s my personal list of the reasons I love Internet Explorer 9:
- Clean and Simplified – Immediately, my first thought when I opened IE9 was how beautiful the MSN screen (my home page) looked and how much of the website I could view. By default, only the controls essential for browsing are in the frame which cuts down on the clutter I used to see in my browser, allowing me to focus on the website content.
- Speed – It’s fast, fast, fast! The improvements in IE9 allow it to start fast and stay fast over time. I typically tap my fingers on my desk while waiting for pages to render, but so far I haven’t had that experience.
- Websites Perform Like Apps – Because IE9 takes advantage of the power of hardware through Windows, Website text, video and graphics now look and feel more like an application, which means they load faster and look beautiful.
- New Tab Page – The newly revamped page now displays the websites visited the most (with the exception of anything you do while InPrivate Browsing). I love this intuitive feature which doesn’t force me to save everything to my favorites, but still enables me to have just one click to my most visited sites.
- Aero Snap – Are you ever in your browser switching between two websites tabs and wish that you could compare something side-by-side? If so, you’ll love this feature like I do. Simply tear off a tab (left click on the tab and pull it away) and using Windows Aero Snap, you can literally snap one page to the left of your screen and one to the right, allowing easy side-by-side comparisons.
- Pinning – I go to Facebook so often I love that I can now Pin it (that’s right, the website versus the browser) directly to my taskbar. Again…EFFICIENCY! And it’s very easy: simply open the website you want to pin and click the icon to the left of the web address and drag it to the taskbar. Here’s a view into what this looks like on my own PC.
From your pinned website, you can use Jump Lists (right click on your pinned icon to open the list) to access multiple points in the website. For example, right clicking on my pinned Facebook icon allows me to go directly to Friends or Messages, among other tasks, with just one click.
It’s also worth mentioning a few other features which were also in IE 8 but continue to make the experience great in IE 9:
- Smart Address Bar – Need I say more? Just start typing what you’re looking for directly into the address bar and Inline AutoComplete will anticipate what you need.
- Safety Improvements – Knowing that Microsoft invested in the SmartScreen filter, I’m more at ease online. SmartScreen protects IE users from phishing attacks and malicious software.
- InPrivate Browsing – This is a great perk allowing users to ensure their online site visits are kept private, preventing browsing history and temporary Internet files, form data, cookies, usernames and passwords from being retained by the browser. I find this particularly useful if I’m in an Internet café or using someone else’s computer to check my banking records, email, etc. I also use this on our family PC when I’m doing holiday or birthday shopping to make sure my purchases aren’t discoverable.
This list includes just some of the new features in Internet Explorer 9. If you’re a blogger using WordPress.com, you should also check out a recent post by James Pratt on the Internet Explorer Blog highlighting some very cool new features from WordPress.com and how with IE 9 writing and managing your WordPress blog just got easier. And if you’re a parent, there are a few fun websites using IE 9 capabilities which your kids may like:
- Jack and The Beanstalk – an animated storybook site.
- IE 9 Interactive Fish Tank – watch fish swim gracefully, while you determine number of fish in the tank.
- Flower-O-Scope – similar to kaleidoscope, but with flowers.
- Jitterbugs – fun, fast game where you draw lassos around bugs.
You can download Internet Explorer 9 Beta here.