Microsoft’s IE9 has reached release candidate status today. There’s some nice updates available in RC over that of the beta. Visually the tabs have been revamped and squared off, which results in an overall cleaner UI.
Along with the buzz cut square corners, tabs can now be placed on a row of their own. This allows you more screen real estate for those of us who get a little crazy with the number of simultaneous tabs. Something that frustrated me in the beta was that you couldn’t actually tear of a new tab into its own window on the about:tabs page, you actually had to enter an address before doing so. This has been fixed in IE9 RC.
Dynamic GPU Usage
File this feature under the ‘freaking neat’ category, IE9 RC intelligently switched between hardware accelerated GPU rendering and software based rendering based on computer specs. This means you’ll be getting the best performance possibly without lifting a finger.
As you’d likely expect, there’s improved HTML5 and CSS3 support in the RC build.
Websites can now use the Geolocation API to tap into users location (with their permission of course) for use with maps or check-in services like Facebook, Foursquare etc.
Internet Explorer 9 RC now supports playback of H.264-encoded video using the HTML5 video tag and now Google’s WebM video format.
IE9 definitely seems faster than the beta and a quick test of a few sites I knew had issues, or required compatibility mode, seem to work much better. Microsoft are obviously keen to get as many people trying out the IE9 RC as possible, they have sponsored tweets about ‘Internet Explorer’, linking to the RC download.
Internet Explorer 9 RC is available from http://beautyoftheweb.com