IE 9, the latest and greatest browser software from the guys and gals in Redmond, is available for download here. There is always danger in criticizing features, or lack of features, in a Beta release because the feature may later be added or improved. I have also had my hands on this release for less than an hour and may have missed something. That said, I find two major feature fails in IE9 that, despite its other fine points, will keep it from being my primary browser.
1) No spell checker. Really. Every other browser has one, but not IE. Some say its just not important or I should learn to spell or its not a proper feature for a browser. But it is important because our experience in browsers today is more interactive. We’re not just looking at web sites, were replying to emails, posting in web forums, adding tags to pictures or blogging. In short, we are creating written content using our web browsers. Software used to create written content should spell check. Big fail.
2) One of the features being touted by Microsoft is the ability to pin web sites to the task bar in Windows 7 and have the browser take on some of the attributes of an application. However, none of the addons you have installed will run in this “application” Window. So if you pin Gmail and use IESpell, you won’t have a spell checker. If you use Adblock Pro, it won’t work on your pinned sites. In short, in the place where they should be allowing you to customize your experience the most (sites you would choose to pin to your task bar) you are not allowed to customize the experience at all. Also a big fail.
Microsoft, if you are looking to regain market share from Firefox and Chrome, you have not helped yourself in my opinion.