Microsoft brought together more than 70 partner Websites at the San Francisco Design Center's exhibition hall to show off how Internet Explorer 9 takes advantage of HTML 5.
SAN FRANCISCO - Microsoft rolled out the beta
version of Internet Explorer 9 here Sept. 15, claiming that its new
browser edition will provide the best performance on the Web by taking
advantage of the latest computer hardware, HTML5 and Windows 7.
Microsoft is counting on the enhancements in IE
9 to stop the gradual market share loss to its main competitors Mozilla
Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Opera.
The goal of any browser should be to make
Websites look and run their best so users will enjoy working with the
content and keep coming back to the site for more, said Dean
Hachamovitch, corporate vice president of Windows Internet Explorer at
"The Web is about sites; the browser should be,
too. People go to the Web for sites not for the browser. Much as you go
to your PC for apps, not Windows. Today, Websites are boxed in. The box
is the browser," Hachamovitch said. In designing IE 9, "We asked
ourselves how could we put sites at the center of the experience? How
can IE make sites shine. Our approach here is to use the whole PC" so
it taps into "the native power of the platform," he said.
Key features in the new browser include
"pinned" Websites, which allow users to access their favorite Websites
from the Windows 7 Task Bar without having to start up the browser or
start it from a favorite sites list in the browser.
JumpLists are also another way to enable users
to quickly get to a Website task without first launching the browser.
JumpLists work with Pinned Sites to allow users to quickly create
e-mail messages, check e-mail inboxes, read an updated weather forecast
or virtually any other imaginable task.
Tear-off tabs and Windows Aero Snap Tabs enable
users to perform tasks that require more than a single Website or Web
page. Users tear off tabs and snap them together by clicking on a tab
and dragging it to the end of the PC screen. Instead, users can in
effect tear off a tab by dragging it away from the browser and dropping
it into Windows Aero Snap tables to display the sites or pages side by
side. The feature, for example, would allow a technician to read the
specifications of a new piece of industrial equipment in one tab while
viewing a video tutorial on installation procedures in a second
The images and other content are rendered
continuously as tabs and are moved and snapped into place. So videos
run continuously even as users move and snap them together.
To show what IE 9 could do, Microsoft brought
about 70 Website partners to the San Francisco Design Center to show
off what they are doing with IE 9.
All the partners were taking advantage of the
full implementation of HTLM 5 in IE 9 to add to features to their sites
aimed at giving users streamlined access to high-value content -
MySpace, for example is using the enhanced HTML5 support to make it easier for users to access video content on the
social networking site. "One of the things we love about IE 9 is its
HTML5 standards compliance and it is extensive compliance," said
Patrick Srail, the head of MySpace video. Since IE 9 now fully supports
HTML5, MySpace now serves up video in HTML5 when the site detects the
IE 9 user agent.
MySpace also created JumpLists to give users
access to a selection of videos and other content on the site, Srail
said. For example, Srail said the jump lists can make it easier for
users to link to the latest movie trailers they want to see or to find
their favorite music videos, he said.
"We think that the jump list is one of the
underrated features," said Srail. "Initially, when we saw it we thought
it was an afterthought. But after we started playing around with it we
thought this actually does offer a lot of opportunity" because it
encourages users to keep particular links pinned to their task bars or
desktops. What MySpace can actually do is automatically feed new
content to that jump list link to encourage users to click on it even
if they aren't actively visiting the site to see the latest Family Guy
TV episode or that new video of a dog riding a skateboard.
, a Website development agency with offices in the United States, Europe and India, has used IE 9 to develop what's called the "Timeline Reader"
for the Associated Press news Website, according to Frances Calandra,
new business development executive with Vectorform in New York. The
reader is still experimental and hasn't been deployed to the main AP
Vectorform has worked with IE 9 to give Website
visitors a quick way to read their stories without a lot of processing
time, without having to download Adobe Flash or without having to use
some kind of specialized reader, Calandra said.
For example, with the HTML5 support in IE 9,
users have greater control of what type of content they read during a
browser session. "If you just want to watch entertainment you can turn
off sports or U.S. news...so you can just play those feeds that you are
looking for," she said. The new interface also makes it easier to view
images associated with an article, she said.
Vectorform also created what Calandra called
"hidden jumps" that give users the ability to instantly change the text
size and font of displayed articles.