By Woody Leonhard
Internet Explorer has been a distant third-string player to Firefox and Chrome for so long, we thought it could never catch up.
But with a slick new interface and enhanced Windows 7 features, IE 9 — now in public beta — just might put Microsoft back at the top of the browser game.
For the past four years, I’ve sung the praises of Firefox, going so far as recommending it in all of my books. I’ve used Firefox and, more recently, Google’s Chrome almost exclusively. But last week, a friend of mine started shouting online, “Ya gotta see this! Microsoft’s come up with some great new stuff!” My reply? “Yeah, sure.”
A few months ago, I played with an early beta version of Internet Explorer 9. It left me cold — more of the same old IE stuff, piled higher and deeper. Meh.
Microsoft released the public beta (info site) of IE 9 last week, complete with a heavily rejiggered user interface and a number of much-hyped enhancements. And after trying it for a few days, I have to admit that I was impressed — so impressed that I’ve continued to use it, from time to time, even when I don’t have to.