Internet Explorer 9 Beta and 64bit Flash Preview
There were some big announcements from Microsoft and Adobe today.
The first beta of Internet Explorer 9 has been released. Ars Technica has posted an in-depth review. We get our first look at the UI, and it isn’t bad. Everybody (including Firefox at v4) seems to be converging on the Google Chrome style. Ars mentions the tabs next to the address bar is a bad decision, and I agree for the most part. If you only have one tab open it will actually save a good bit of space, and most IE users I run across don’t take advantage of tabs.
I think IE9 will be, hands down, the best IE release ever. It’s significantly faster and standards compliance has improved drastically (95/100 Acid3 score!). I don’t see it as a game changer - it really doesn’t do anything other browsers aren’t already doing (or will be doing by the time it releases, like GPU acceleration). But for those Windows users that would never think to go hunting for a different web browser, it’s going to be a fantastic improvement. To be a win in my book, IE9 just has to not suck, and I think it’ll hit that mark. As a web developer, I long for the day when “What version of IE are you on?” isn’t the first thing that passes my lips whenever a user runs into a problem.
That day will be a long ways off. Not only is the IE9 release date foggy, it WILL NOT RUN ON WINDOWS XP. Dang it!
You can download the beta here.
Via Download Squad, Adobe has released a 64bit Flash player preview for Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can download it from Adobe Labs.
I’m not a big fan of Flash. OK, I actively loathe the CPU killing, battery sucking, Internet breaking, security kick-me sign that is Flash. But trying to live without it is like punching your nose to spite your face. When they pulled the old 64bit Linux version, I was seriously bummed. Flash is buggy; running a 32bit version on 64bit Linux via nspluginwrapper is even buggier. The new version seems to be running solidly on 64bit Ubuntu 10.04.
Here’s the script I run to install new Flash releases on my Ubuntu boxes. I download the tar file and drop this script in the same folder I unzip libflashplayer.so to. It’s a modified version of a script by Romeo-Adrian Cioaba.