As you may have heard by now, Internet Explorer 9 is currently in development and is expected to be released sometime in 2011. Microsoft has added several new features with IE9, the most exciting of which are support of CSS3 and HTML5 technologies.
Though Internet Explorer is still the most widely used browser, it has steadily declined since Safari, Google Chrome, and Firefox have been quicker to support these newer technologies.
Now with IE9, Microsoft is playing catch up. For a casual user, IE9 will likely run faster, but most of the upgrades are behind the scenes. For developers, this opens up the world of CSS3 selectors, like border-radius and text-shadow, as ways to deliver great looking content without using "heavy" imagery.
Though any release of a more modern browser is generally good news, most web developers hope that with the development of IE9 we can begin to sunset the support of IE6. Here’s to hoping that the added features in IE9 will be compelling enough to the IE6 user to make them want to upgrade. Wait, didn’t we say that when IE7 and IE8 came out?
Until then, all we can do is hope to see IE6 users drop to the point where we won’t have to continue the full scale support of 4 Explorer versions, Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome. At least this is another step further down the road for Microsoft.
FYI, you can download a trial version here: http://en.softonic.com/s/internet-explorer-9