New Sneak Peeks of IE9, Chrome Available

Dennis Faas's picture

Amidst news that Google's Chrome has made remarkable strides in chewing up Microsoft's long-time browser market domination, there's now word that both companies have revealed test versions of their upcoming updates for Chrome and Internet Explorer 9 (IE9).

Google's new Chrome beta comes with some impressive upgrades, including faster and more stable performance, bookmark synching preferences, and various themes and home page customization options. Users will also find that they can implement browser extensions while still engaged in private browsing mode.

Google's HTML5 support also gets a kick in the tail, with new features ranging from Geolocation APIs to web sockets and file drag-and-drop. Flash is included by default, a first for Chrome. (Source:

Report: Chrome Shines During First Year

Recently it was revealed that Chrome had made some impressive leaps in its first year in availability. Although Google controls just over 6 per cent of the browser market right now, the company has posted significant increases throughout the last 12 months. Since this time in 2009, Chrome has quadrupled in popularity.

Much of Chrome's success has come at the cost of Internet Explorer. Since 2003, Microsoft's once-ubiquitous browser has dropped from a 95 per cent market domination to 67 per cent. Sure, it's still a big piece of the pie, but it has some analysts wondering where Microsoft will be in the browser market in 5 or 10 years time.

Microsoft Focuses on Boosting Performance for IE9

Of course, the company's answer could be IE9, which Microsoft promises will be faster, more stable, and more secure than any IE in the past. The primary concern for Microsoft with IE9 is clearly performance -- making surfing the web as fast as possible. The biggest improvement is the addition of HTML5, which will allow Microsoft to shift some of the workload from the processor and browser software to a PC's graphics card.

The catch: you'll need to use Windows 7 or Windows Vista to use IE9, since XP won't be supported.

Microsoft has also offered a sneak peek at its browser, passing the second platform preview of IE9 on to developers. The purpose of the preview is not to get an impression of what common users think, but to allow developers to test things out. An update to the IE9 test drive site gives developers a hint of what the graphics processor-powered HTML can do for them. (Source:

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