Microsoft will release the first public beta of Internet Explorer 9.0 on September 15, 2010. It will be a fully-operational browser without the limitations imposed by the developer preview edition (it will have address bar, navigation, and no restricted functionality).
Unfortunately, the IE9 beta will only run on Windows Vista or 7 and will overwrite your current version of Internet Explorer. Be wary if you only have one Windows PC used for IE8 testing purposes. You have one month to consider the options:
- Buy another PC for IE9 testing. That’s certainly an option for larger corporations.
- XP users who don’t want to upgrade will need to install Windows Vista or 7 in a virtual machine to test IE9.
- Windows Vista or 7 users could install IE9 beta and run IE8 in a virtual machine. Windows 7 Professional and above includes XP mode so there’s no need to purchase further Windows licenses.
- Alternatively, Microsoft will provide another edition of the Platform Preview if you don’t want to affect the software and settings on your PC prior to the final release. Again, this will only install on Windows 7 or Vista SP2.
Of course, Microsoft could make this so much easier if multiple versions of Internet Explorer could be installed on the same PC at the same time. Providing IE9 for Windows XP would be a bonus too. But the browser looks promising so perhaps we should be just thankful IE is finally catching up with the competition.
Will you be tempted to try the beta version of IE9?
Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.