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The public beta of Internet Explorer 9 is here. Have a look at some of the changes and new features it introduces.
When you right-click a pinned link, you get a jumplist showing various options pertaining to the site in question. Website designers can use jumplists to display links to pages that they want to highlight (right); otherwise, the standard bunch of options appears.
The Main Browser Window
IE 9's main browser window takes minimalism to a new level. A simple toolbar that stretches across the top accommodates the address/search bar (which Microsoft calls the OneBox), any tabs that you may have opened, and a handful of buttons on the far right edge. Aside from the notification bar--which appears at the bottom of the window as needed--the rest of the window is dedicated (by default) to displaying Web pages.
Taskbar Site Pinning
With IE 9, you can "pin" links to Windows 7's taskbar. When you pin a site to the taskbar, an icon representing the site appears in your taskbar (inset). When you click on that site's taskbar button, you get an IE window that contains the site's icon in the toolbar, and the back and forward buttons acquire the primary color of site's icon to make identification easier.
A Download Manager At Last!
With Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft finally ships a download manager with its browser (hooray!). The IE 9 download manager's options are pretty standard: You can pause/resume downloads, locate the downloaded files on your PC, or cancel the download entirely.
Updated 'New Tab' Page
IE 9's "New Tab" page uses tiles to represent your most commonly visited sites, much as the start pages in browsers like Safari and Chrome do. Unlike the tiles in those browsers, however, the ones here don't show thumbnails of the sites; instead, they show bars representing how frequently you visit the pages. Whether you prefer thumbnails or bars is a matter of personal taste.
When you first run IE 9, it will analyze your add-ons and identify the ones that contribute most to slowing down the browser's start time. If it determines that any are causing serious launch time lag, IE will prompt you in the notification bar at the bottom of this screen. Click 'Disable Add-ons' in the notification bar, and you'll get this window.