Flickr Explorer
Flickr Explorer on Internet Explorer 9

Internet Explorer 9, has impressed critics in early phases as the development team look to improve the software giant's browsing software amidst intense competition from rivals Google, Mozilla and Opera.

The new browser features a rebuilt engine that allows users to utilise a feature known as API's which was built into Windows 7, added to Vista, but not to XP.

This 'Application Programming Interface' (API) allows Internet Explorer 9 to utilise hardware graphics rendering as opposed to the software graphics rendering currently used.

Such a result allows IE9 to give users a very fast, 3D rendered browsing experience that the internet will provide as speeds/broadband access improve.

Microsoft, on the other hand, whilst promoting the engine, have refused to announce any new features that Internet Explorer may offer as it had in the past, eg. tabs, private browsing, etc. refusing to focus on what it believes is a side issue.

"I pay money for the play, not the theatre" said head of Internet Explorer business group, Ryan Gavin, when asked about what new 'toys' may be on offer with Internet Explorer 9.

Instead, the Fortune 500 company is sticking to the stuff 'going on under the bonnet' which it says is improved in benchmarking compared with IE 8, and dubbed the 'Chakra' engine.

Gavin also demonstrated the new product on a bog standard HP netbook running two HD video's on the internet simultaneously - a feat that was impressive consider it was shown next to Google's Chrome offering struggling to make even one.

However, critics have voiced concern - as Microsoft have announced that support for XP will only go up to Internet Explorer 8.

"Those who choose to stay with XP will be forced to [then] stay forever on IE8" said one user.

Tough, said Sheri McLeish, Forrester Research's browser analyst.

"This is the stick to get off XP," she said. "What are they going to do, go to Linux or run XP forever?"