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Microsoft Releases Internet Explorer 9 RC 229

Posted by samzenpus
from the try-it-out dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate. The new RC build includes a Tracking Protection feature, which gives users the option to control what third-party site content can track them when they're online, as well as a new ActiveX filtering option, which allows users to turn on/off ActiveX plug-ins. Best of all, Microsoft has addressed what was arguably the biggest complaint with the new version: if you want your tabs on a separate line from the address box, there's now an option to turn that on from the right click menu at the top of the browser. At the same time, IE9 RC is significantly faster than the beta version. Furthermore, many site rendering issues have been fixed, although we can't say that it's working perfectly. Last but not least, the new build includes hundreds of bug fixes."
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Microsoft Releases Internet Explorer 9 RC

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  • Does it support... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lendrick (314723) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @02:19PM (#35164394) Homepage Journal

    ...OGG and VP8 out of the box now?

  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Thursday February 10, 2011 @02:22PM (#35164432)

    When will I be able to get the final version? I'm not normally a Microsoft fan, but I use IE a lot at work and I am legitimately excited about the prospect of a new version. I wish they would release a Mac version.

    • by uglyduckling (103926) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @02:24PM (#35164458) Homepage
      Why on earth do you want a Mac version? That's like putting a Skoda steering wheel in your BMW.
      • by mosb1000 (710161)

        So that I can work from home without feeling the wrath of an unsupported browser. I wouldn't have to use it all the time.

        • >>>feeling the wrath of an unsupported browser.

          Use Opera 10 or 11 with "mask as internet explorer" turned on. Problem solved. It won't look like IE but it will act like IE and display the same pages.

          You can also use Opera's online web-stored bookmarks to access your work links from home (and vice-versa). And the built-in email/torrent clients to do stuff in the background.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by knarf (34928)

        That's like putting a Skoda steering wheel in your BMW.

        You mean one of these [wikipedia.org]?

        "The in gear acceleration times are 50-70 mph in 5.6 seconds, quicker than BMW's 330i which takes 6.0 seconds. 20-40 mph in 2.4 seconds is as quick as the Lotus Elise 111R. Despite this the Fabia vRS can achieve better than 6.2 L/100 km (46 mpg-imp; 38 mpg-US). If driven carefully some drivers have experienced MPG rates of 65-70 mpg over long periods. The Fabia VRS has a top speed of approximately 130 mph (210 km/h)."

        Nothing wrong

      • by bloodhawk (813939) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @05:14PM (#35166660)
        The IE and Skoda comparison seems appropriate, But Mac and BMW?? I would have thought 1960's combi van would be a better comparison.
      • by tehcyder (746570)

        Why on earth do you want a Mac version? That's like putting a Skoda steering wheel in your BMW.

        If I had a Mac, which I don't because I hate Apple, I would rather have any other browser in the world than Safari. My wife accidentally installed it when she downloaded iTunes onto her Windows laptop, and having played with it, it is without doubt the most horrible piece of software (apart from fucking iTunes itself, and Quicktime of course) ever to appear on a home computer.

        IMHO.

    • April (Score:4, Funny)

      by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Thursday February 10, 2011 @02:28PM (#35164512)

      Ok, I read the fucking article, and it's supposed to be available mid-April.

  • What's MS up to? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by qmaqdk (522323) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @02:24PM (#35164450)

    There are two strategies MS can play:

    • Old school IE: Make own standards to try to vendor lock-in people with the MS platform
    • Standards compliant IE: Try to closely adhere to standards and basically render like all the other browsers

    I don't think the first strategy will work anymore. People learned what IE6 really costs in the long run. That leaves strategy two. But why bother? It a huge investment development wise, and I don't see them gaining anything from it without the vendor lock-in. So is this just "we want a browser too", or what?

    • by Locke2005 (849178) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @02:29PM (#35164514)
      You're forgetting option 3: Leverage Windows 7 sales by providing a free browser that only works with Windows 7, then telling everybody about all the gaping security holes that exist in all previous versions. Standard MS marketing tactic. Hopefully MS is moving away from the "embrace and extend" philosophy it has used in the past.
      • by dave562 (969951) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @02:38PM (#35164628) Journal

        You almost got it right. It's more like, "Provide a free browser that fully supports .Net so that the thousands of developers who develop against the Microsoft stack (SQL Server, Sharepoint, etc) will have a stable target to aim for."

        I get the sense that as a company, Microsoft could give two shits about which browser home users are using. They do care about their developers though. They do care about the enterprise. They need a known platform for their developers to target. That is why they need IE.

        • Provide a free browser that fully supports .Net

          How can a browser "support .NET"?

          • <script type="text/c#"> ...
            ?

          • Re:What's MS up to? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by dave562 (969951) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @04:00PM (#35165566) Journal

            It hooks into the .Net APIs that are on the client OS. I'm thinking about it in terms of a lot of the applications that I have dealt with over the last couple of years. They all seem to be built in .Net, and leverage IIS and SQL. The client workstations all need .Net and IIS for the application to work.

            I think it is a lot like what Google is doing with Chrome. Google has a vision about what applications and services they want to offer via their platform. Rather than pin their hopes on "browser vendors" to adopt specific ways of doing things, Google made their own browser. That browser supports the functionality that Google devs need.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by spells (203251)

              The client workstations all need .Net and IIS for the application to work.

              Find a new company. Quick.

              • by dave562 (969951) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @04:41PM (#35166138) Journal

                Right. Let me go ahead and leave a multi-million dollar firm that does business with the SEC, DoJ and just about every major law firm out there because the best document review and eDiscovery tools are built around a Microsoft stack. I don't care who makes the tools I use. I care that the tools get the job done. FYI - I have a bunch of LAMP and WAMP servers up too.

                • Let me go ahead and leave a multi-million dollar firm that does business with the SEC, DoJ and just about every major law firm out there because the best document review and eDiscovery tools are built around a Microsoft stack.

                  This has nothing to do with MS stack, and everything to do with the fact that (per your claim) your software requires client machines to have server software deployed on them to work. Architecturally, that's braindead.

                • by Shemmie (909181)
                  The client workstations all need IIS installed??
            • Sounds like a bit of overkill needing SQL Server, ASP.NET and IIS on a client machine. What applications are these?

              • by dave562 (969951)

                SQL and IIS are on the back end. The client is just IE with the .Net environment.

                • by Lennie (16154)

                  What century have you been living in ?

                  Why get caught with your pants down and not use HTML,CSS,JS,SVG,WebGL and all the other webtechnologies, so it instantly works on all browsers and devices, from PC's, netbooks, pads, pdas all the way down to smartphones.

            • It hooks into the .Net APIs that are on the client OS. I'm thinking about it in terms of a lot of the applications that I have dealt with over the last couple of years. They all seem to be built in .Net, and leverage IIS and SQL. The client workstations all need .Net and IIS for the application to work.

              This sounds like BS to me, since IIS is server-side software. It's like saying that there is software that requires client workstations to have Apache - I can see an extremely convoluted architecture that'd have such a requirement (a "local web app" of sorts), but that's hardly best practice.

              Your typical ASP.NET (MVC or not) application certainly doesn't require any of that - IIS, MSSQL etc all run server-side, and that is the part that is "locked in", but client is just served HTML/CSS/JS. You can definite

            • by dave562 (969951)

              Typo alert.

              Should have read..

              The client workstations all need .Net and IE for the application to work.

        • by Aphrika (756248)
          You don't appear to know what you're talking about. Remove your first sentence and you might have a point.

          .NET is server-side code in the shape of ASP.NET; it just delivers HTML, CSS and JavaScript to the browser - any browser - nothing more and nothing less. As for the Microsoft stack? Well, I use Visual Studio 2010 to code in IronPython against a Postgres DB. The days of the 'stack' are long gone... and the browser hasn't been part of it since ActiveX, which predates .NET...

          That said, if IE is more co
          • by dave562 (969951)

            .NET is server-side code in the shape of ASP.NET

            If .NET is ONLY server side then why is there a downloadable version of it for clients? There obviously has to be some sort of processing going on with the client that requires certain DLLs.

    • by alvinrod (889928)
      Easy, point the default search at Bing and grow their market share in search without having to improve their search.

      That's the reason that makes the most business sense. I have a feeling that the real reason is, like you alluded to, because Balmer thinks they need to have a browser.
    • by caywen (942955)

      I think given the work they've done to bring IE9 standards compliance up to par, it's more the second one.

      Also, vendor lock-in to a browser just isn't a reality anymore. IE might always be part of Windows and thus gain wider adoption on that platform, but given that smartphones (of which MS has like 2% market share) have outsold laptops, and both tablets and Macs are poised to further erode the PC market share, web developers would be crazy to code to IE-specific features, even in intranet applications.

      It's

      • by Lennie (16154)

        They are still behind all the other browsers. Other browsers have many, many more features. They are a whole range: from the smaller pieces like CSS columns or webworkers, to whole standards like WebGL and an important part of the HTML5-spec offline cache and HTML5-local-storage and -session-storage, indexeddb which allow you to build applications which also still work when you are not connected.

        • I'm sorry, since when did all other browsers implement the things you're talking about? I'm not sure any of them have implemented all of it.

          What's more, all of those things are draft standards, and subject to change. In my opinion, it's reckless to implement things and call them standards when they're not actually standards yet. People can use them, and then the standards change...

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tgd (2822)

      Microsoft is a company made up of hundreds of development groups working on hundreds of products in a dozen divisions.

      Most of the people who are on those teams care about the work they're doing, care about the products they release and want to release the best products possible.

      So, relative to IE9, what it Microsoft up to? If I had to guess, a hard-working team of engineers, program managers and test engineers are busting their asses to make the best browser they can. They care more about standards than I'd

    • by sootman (158191)

      I agree that the "old school" route is no longer a viable option and the progression of MSIE, from 6 to 7 to 8 to 9, shows that the IE team knows it and Corporate accepts this fate and allows the team to release decent browsers. To your question "why bother", that answer has two parts: one, because as a leading tech company with their own OS, they absolutely can't NOT make a browser (think of their image in the tech world if they didn't) and two, because of a slightly different kind of lock-in. If Windows s

    • by westlake (615356)

      There are two strategies MS can play: Old school IE: Make own standards to try to vendor lock-in people with the MS platform Standards compliant IE: Try to closely adhere to standards and basically render like all the other browsers

      There is a third option:

      "Bullet point" compliance. But support for whatever "de-facto" standards evolve as well.

      The geek's "open standards" are a highly politicized commitee product and typically finalized about the time the Last Trumpet blows.

      That is why Google tried for a pre-emptive strike with WebM.

      But it is also why Google has been remarkably soft-spoken about Flash and Microsoft's H.264 extension for Chrome -

      and quieter still about HEVC/H.265 - which is only two or three years out.

      The target

    • by yuhong (1378501)

      AFRIK it is actually IE 5.x that focused on the first one, when they were competing with Netscape 4.x. IE 6 tried to be little more standard compliant. For example, they made it slightly more CSS1 compliant (enough to pass Acid1 I think), and added it as a "standards mode" triggered by DOCTYPE switching. But then they sat on it for five years, and guess what people did with the IE6 "standards mode" during the time?

  • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Thursday February 10, 2011 @02:26PM (#35164480)

    Canvas.globalCompositeOperation works now!

  • The new RC build includes a Tracking Protection feature, which gives users the option to control what third-party site content can track them when they're online...

    Third-party tracking is disabled, but I bet you first-party [slashdot.org] tracking gets cranked up a notch - after all, now IE knows you're doing something you don't want other people knowing about, and that's definitely a "signal", as the Microsoft representative said :)

  • by mackil (668039) <movie@mCOMMAovie ... .net minus punct> on Thursday February 10, 2011 @02:32PM (#35164556) Homepage Journal
    From the article: "The new RC build includes a Tracking Protection feature"

    Does this preclude my Google search habits? [dailytech.com]
  • by gstrickler (920733) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @02:35PM (#35164592)
    I understand that MS wants users to move off of XP, but given that means new hardware for most of the people still using XP, and the economy being where it is, and businesses still having internal stuff tied to XP & IE6, do they really think that IE9 abandoning XP will actually give people an incentive to upgrade? I hope they're not foolish enough to believe that. Anyone on XP who wants a faster browser will just use Chrome, Firefox, or Opera (sorry Apple, Safari on Windows is not competitive in speed unless you're only comparing to FF3.x and IE6-8, and it doesn't have anything to recommend it over the faster browsers).
    • by antdude (79039)

      My father/dad still uses his old Windows 2000 SP4 so he has to use the latest Firefox v3.6.xx.

    • by yuhong (1378501)

      but given that means new hardware for most of the people still using XP

      I think 32-bit Win7 can at least in theory run on most Win2000-era and later hardware as long as you have enough RAM, thanks in part to driver compatibility.

  • Excellent (Score:2, Interesting)

    by metrix007 (200091)
    IE9 really is an excellent release. I personally don't like it because it lacks the extra functionality that browsers like Firefox and Opera have. However it is standards compliant, fast and very secure. Given that it is also more configurable than Chrome (which doesn't let you configure a fucking thing) I do recommend it.

    Power users may not want it, but that is not important. What is important is that average users at home now have access to a secure and well performing browser. No more shitty toolbars or

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by asa (33102)

      And all of this can be yours for the low low price of a $200 Windows upgrade if you're one of the hundreds of millions (more than 50% of the Web) users on Windows XP.

      • by metrix007 (200091)
        Actually, it's more like $50 which isn't bad for 10 years worth of improvements.
        • by asa (33102)

          Actually, a sizable chunk will have to upgrade their entire PC to get Windows 7 so it's a lot more for lots of folks.

          • by yuhong (1378501)

            Well, at least in theory 32-bit Win7 will run on most Win2000 and later hardware as long as you have enough RAM.

      • And all of this can be yours for the low low price of a $200 Windows upgrade if you're one of the hundreds of millions (more than 50% of the Web) users on Windows XP.

        Or, you know, $110/3 on Amazon. By all means don't let reality get in the way of your ranting, though.

    • by yuhong (1378501)

      No more shitty toolbars or Active X crap, just a fast browser that works.

      Not exactly true, but they added ActiveX filtering in the RC to limit the impact.

    • by BZ (40346)

      > Firefox 4 has support for DEP but not ASLR

      That's just false. Firefox 4 supports ASLR, as do current 3.6 security updates. See https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=405523 [mozilla.org] and https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=559133 [mozilla.org] and https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=567134 [mozilla.org]

    • by BZ (40346)

      And for what it's worth, I agree with you: the MS team has done a good job here. Much like with IE5, in fact...

    • I don't like the limited space for tabs

      Sanity has been restored in that department with this release: right-click on tab bar and choose "Show tabs on a separate row", and then it all works as God intended.

  • by RManning (544016) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @02:39PM (#35164638) Homepage

    I know I'm being overly optimistic, but wouldn't it be nice if we could get an OSX version if IE9? I have to run XP in Parallels just to test in IE. Dropping Windows for good would be so nice. :)

    • Remember how different the Mac and Windows versions of IE were back when both existed? Even if they did release a Mac version (which I think it's safe to say they won't bother doing) I'm not sure I would trust that each work the same and would still want to test both of them individually.
      • by yuhong (1378501)

        On that matter, I wonder why didn't they adopt MS's own Tasman engine that was used in Mac IE 5 instead of spending years hacking Trident.

    • by Bengie (1121981)

      IE9 was built around new Vista/Win7 DirectX APIs. They would have to have two completely different versions of IE9 because you can't build code the same way in XP that you can in Vista/7 when using the new features.

      It's a different API that needs different information.

  • And by that I mean - when users install IE 9, will it do the smart thing and default to "compatibility mode = off", or will it default to "let's intentionally make sure web pages that use even a small subset of current web standards won't work even though this browser is capable of rendering them mostly correctly", like IE 8 does?

    • by cbhacking (979169)

      It's up to the web developer to create a standards-compliant page. If the put a DOCTYPE at the top of the page, IE (8 or 9) will use the newest rendering engine. If they omit the DOCTYPE it'll use quirks mode because it assumes the page is a total hack written by somebody who wouldn't know a web standard if it hit him on the ass.

  • I do not see why should Microsoft make a convenient and fast browser? So that people can use online Office applications and stop buying the desktop MS Office?

    It just does not make sense. Their best bet would be to use the monopoly of the pre-installed browser to make the Web unusable.

    The web 2.0 as we know it was created by the Firefox. I can understand why Firefox team wants to move the Internet forward.

    I apologize for being frank in expressing my doubts and probably groundless suspicions.

    • by IronHalik (1568993) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @04:19PM (#35165772)

      I do not see why should Microsoft make a convenient and fast browser?

      MS made IE9 so fast as a prank on all slashdotters - right now its pretty much the only browser can render slashdot threads smoothly. So cruel.

    • The web 2.0 as we know it was created by the Firefox

      The web as we know it today resulted from:

      1. A need to apply complex formatting, logic, animation, and user interaction
      2. An absence of a formal standard for the above
      3. Many vendors' ideas and attempts to fill this immediate need through proprietary extensions to the markup
      4. The glacial pace of standards bodies to document and ratify standards
      5. Many vendors' iterative attempts to back away from their proprietary extensions in favor of the now finalized standards

      Firefox benefits from the fact that i

    • by Aphrika (756248) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @07:43PM (#35168662)
      Sorry, you're wrong.

      Web 2.0 was pretty much explicitly defined by Microsoft, albeit by accident. AJAX itself a technical underpinning of 2.0 [wikipedia.org] was initiated by the XMLHttpRequestObject that shipped with IE5. This was then adapted by other browsers.

      Have a look at the history section here [wikipedia.org].

      As for why Microsoft should release a new version of IE? Well, what else would they do, give up?
  • by Flammon (4726)

    IE 9 is still crap. I can't run it on my Linux, OS X or even XP box!

    MS claims that it's standards compliant. Well, it might be better than IE 8 but it's no where near the competition. Checkout the summary of at the bottom of this page: http://caniuse.com/ [caniuse.com]

    "Compatibility tables for support of HTML5, CSS3, SVG and more in desktop and mobile browsers"

    IE 9.0: 62%
    Firefox 4.0: 87%
    Safari 5.0: 79%
    Chrome 10.0: 92%
    Opera 11.1: 77%

    • It's interesting how those numbers change when you remove "Working Draft" and "Other" from the criteria:

      IE 9.0: 75%
      Firefox 4.0: 93%
      Safari 5.0: 89%
      Chrome 10.0: 96%
      Opera 11.1: 99%

      IE's still in last place, but it does considerably better when you stop including specifications that aren't yet finished.

    • by cbhacking (979169) <{been_out_cruisi ... {at} {yahoo.com}> on Thursday February 10, 2011 @06:21PM (#35167752) Homepage Journal

      That page is full of BS. They test a lot of things they shouldn't, including redundent and even deprecated drafts of standards, and penalize you for not "supporting" them.

      Go to the source, with W3C. According to them, and their compatibility tests, IE9 is doing fine - it's actually ahead of most of the competition on each part of CSS3, for example.

      It's also worth noting that IE9's pre-release versions are very careful about supporting non-standard stuff with "standardized" names. For example, IE9 actually does support WebSockets just fine, but because the standard isn't finished, they use a "draft" extension on the name (websocket-draft). This causes sites like caniuse to claim IE9 can't do web sockets, which isn't accurate - other browsers are just implementing a "standard" that isn't.

      Ironically enough, this is the kind of behavior that people got so pissed off (quite rightfully) at IE6 for. Just because it isn't MS, does that mean it's now OK to make uup your own standards when they arent' actually standardized yet?

      • by Flammon (4726)

        Where on W3C can I find the compatibility tests that show the various browser support levels?

      • by yuhong (1378501)

        It's also worth noting that IE9's pre-release versions are very careful about supporting non-standard stuff with "standardized" names. For example, IE9 actually does support WebSockets just fine, but because the standard isn't finished, they use a "draft" extension on the name (websocket-draft).

        Yea, remember when IE3 and IE4 rushed to implement CSS1 and CSS2 respectively even though both was released before the corresponding level became a recommendation.

  • Not long ago Opera and Chrome seemed unbeatable on Javascript speed (Sunspider). Quite impressive speed on IE9, coming out and beating them all, even for the people not caring about hardware accellerated graphics.

    No matter what your browser of choice is right now, IE9 is adding to the competition in a good way - even following standards more strictly than some others [cnet.com] (eg. not implementing non-standards/unfinished standards).
  • by uigrad_2000 (398500) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @06:12PM (#35167632) Homepage Journal

    Full list IE9RC features [microsoft.com]

    All that I care about is SVG.

    It was promised in IE 7, then pulled at the last moment. They said it would be in IE 8.

    IE 8 came out, and it wasn't included. They said it would be in IE 9

    Finally, it looks like most SVG features will finally be available. Half of that document is about SVG. It's a shame that SMIL isn't included, but considering it's MS, and especially considering it's something free from MS, you have to have low expectations.

    • by cbhacking (979169)

      Slashdot itself uses border-radius. It has worked just fine for months now. Admittedly it was somewhat annoying that /. used to feed old-school CSS that didn't include the rounded corners when it detected IE, but you could trick it into sending the right code and now everything works. Since the recent "facelift" IE9 gets the right CSS by default, and yes it includes CSS3 things.

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