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12 things you need to know about IE9

Internet Explorer 9: the best and worst features

The beta version of Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 has only been available for two weeks, but we've been using it constantly during web browsing sessions since then. We discovered six things we really love about the new web browser... and six that we think need some work before the final version is released.

4. Tear-out tabs

A feature popularised by Chrome, IE9 lets you tear out tabs: you click on a tab, drag it outside the main browser window, let go, and the tab sprouts into a separate running instance of the web browser.

The opposite of this function also works like the way it does in Chrome. Click and drag a tab, or an entire IE9 browser window, over to another running instance of the browser, and they will merge into one browser, combining their tabs.

This tab tearing and merging works flawlessly in IE9 beta.

5. Add-on alerting

If your installation of IE9 appears to be bogged down with too many or malicious add-ons, the browser will alert you of this upon start up. It will list the add-ons that have been installed, and let you choose which ones you want to shut down or allow to continue running.

We found this security feature surprisingly helpful as a means to audit and prune unnecessary add-ons. You can also imagine the obvious benefit this has for alerting you of any spyware, useless toolbars, or other rogue add-ons you don't remember installing on IE9.

6. Pin-able links

On Windows 7 you can pin links onto the operating system's taskbar, turning them into icons that open the page when clicked. Essentially, this function - similar to one found in Chrome - turns a site into a 'virtual application'.

NEXT PAGE: Six areas that need work

  1. IE9 features we love
  2. Tear-out tabs
  3. Six areas that need work
  4. The new download manager


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