A large Internet Explorer logo adorns the partner area of the IE9 beta launch in San Francisco. Among the key features of the new browser, which went into beta on Wednesday, are hardware-accelerated graphics, a minimalistic user interface, and support for HTML 5.
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then it'll be up to users to determine whether IE9 is the fairest on the browser block. "The Web is about sites," said Microsoft Vice President Dean Hachamovitch, pictured here at the San Francisco event. "Browsers should be too. Today, Web sites are boxed in."
To get a sense of how well IE9 delivers on Microsoft's promises, check out the first impressions from CNET's Seth Rosenblatt, "Internet Explorer goes modern in new beta."
Microsoft's Jeff Henshaw shows the company's search engine, Bing, in action. The presentation touted both "jumplists" as well as a new HTML 5-powered home page that allows Bing to show either moving pictures or a video on its home page.
Surfing the Web has its risks, including unhappy encounters with malware. IE9 can monitor which add-ons are slowing the browser as it launches, and offers a download manager that warns users if the code they are grabbing has a bad reputation.
USA Today created a site for the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina that lets viewers see photos of what a site looked like in the aftermath of the storm as compared to today. With IE9, users can scroll from the old image to the new, as seen here.