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In a few hours from now, Microsoft will officially unveil Internet Explorer 9 Beta to the world. Folks at Fast Company have already got their hands on Microsoft’s latest attempt to reinvent the browser. If the screenshots posted below are anything to go by, boy or boy this looks awesome!

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With Internet Explorer 9, Windows 7 users will be able to pin web apps on the Windows 7 taskbar. Just like what we are used to seeing on iPhone’s homescreen, developers can now develop specialized version of the site which will act as a web app, with a high quality icon that can be pinned to Windows 7 taskbar. You can customize the web app to include “Tasks” using Windows 7’s JumpList feature. Browser’s forward and back button can also be customized with different colors to match the theme of your app!

201_how_to_pin_a_siteImage via ZDNet

What are apps, other than tiny colorful icons that provide rich, interactive experiences on mobile devices? Think about your iPhone’s New York Times or Facebook app. They don’t feel like an installed program–they’re much less clunky–nor a website, which is anything but native. Apps are some lighter in-between. Now Microsoft is trying to bring that same concept to Windows 7.

203_pinned_site[4]

The all new Internet Explorer 9 also adds full support for HTML5 standard. It takes the experience to a whole new level with all the graphics rendering taking place on the GPU level for HTML5 via the Microsoft DirectX technology. IE 9 has been re-written from the ground up and it takes advantage of the GPU power for all page rendering, and further enables web developers to exploit this power in ways they already understand (CSS, DHTML, JavaScript).

wsjie9

Microsoft will release Internet Explorer 9 Beta later today with a host of launch partners with IE9-Ready apps like: CNN, IMDB, eBay, Hulu, ZDNet and Amazon. We will have the download links up as soon as they go live! Stay tuned!

UPDATE 1: Internet Explorer 9 Beta is now available for download.

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