eWeek reports: "Microsoft unveiled the beta version of Internet Explorer 9, the next release in its long-running browser franchise, during a high-profile Sept. 15 event in San Francisco. In addition to some key interface tweaks—the browser is now streamlined, with translucent elements designed to bring actual Web content front-and-center—IE 9 supposedly offers users greater speed and integration with Windows 7. Features include extensive support for HTML5, the ability to 'pin' Web pages to the taskbar and a 'Popular Sites' area that consolidates your most-visited pages in one place. Although Internet Explorer continues to hold a double-digit market share lead in the United States, it's faced a challenge in recent times from the likes of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. By offering shiny new features, hand-in-hand with various security and privacy controls, Microsoft doubtlessly hopes that users potentially on the fence about other browsers will fall back into the IE camp. Time will tell, though, whether users and developers find IE 9 compelling to the exclusion of its competitors."
Check out eWeek's slide show for more information and screen shots of the new features.