It was always obvious that IE9 was going to get new chrome. Why else publish the technical previews with a mocked-up UI? The very fact that the IE team has cleanly separated the core browser technology from the oldIE chrome indicates that they are free to change the whole look and feel of the browser if they wish. And of course, they must want to do so. Everyone loves the clean, zippy feel of Google’s Chrome. If IE9 is to halt the slow slidein ‘market share’that previous versions of the browser have experienced in recent years, it is Google they must take on, more so than any other browser. Yes, Firefox holds second place, but its growth hasstagnated. Google Chrome, on the other hand, is on a steady and solidtrajectory upwards.

After years of effort having to chase the alternatives and constantly being behind the curve, IE9 represents a real change in the fortunes of what is still the world’smost widely used browser. Microsoft return to where they could always have been if they hadn’t decided all those years ago to abandon further development of IE, loosing years of advantage in the process. IE9 has already forced Google and Firefox to speed up implementation ofGPU support (it would be unthinkable for them not to have responded to the amazing graphic performance of Microsoft’s preview). It is in grave danger of coming out top in just about every official standards compliance test. It’s new Javascript engine is right up there, performance wise, with Google Chrome, Safari and Opera, and way ahead of Firefox. It will even shortly achieve 100/100 on Acid 3 (almost there now). And now we get our first glimpse of the new Chrome-like chrome. It’s the dawn of a new age for the old browser and I can’t wait to get my hands on the beta.;content