IE9 Release Candidate now available

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,...

IE9 RC

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.

Tabs
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.

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Improved JavaScript Engine Performance
There’s also improved JavaScript engine performance, given that JS power a lot of today’s web, this is an very important focus area. Perceived ‘slowness’ of computer these days is often tied to the work we do on the web and while connection dependent, scripts are often the culprit of bad performing websites.

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.

Standards
As you’d likely expect, there’s improved HTML5 and CSS3 support in the RC build.

Geolocation
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.

WebM support
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.

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Internet Explorer 9 RC is available from http://beautyoftheweb.com

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.