Today, we are pleased to release the beta of Internet Explorer 9, available now in 33 languages at http://www.BeautyoftheWeb.com
. The release of IE9 is accompanied by over 70 top sites, global brands, and web designers from around the world who have created new experiences with IE9 and Windows. These experiences together reach over 800 million visitors, or two-thirds of the active internet users.
Even at this early stage, we are excited to see IE9 help enable a material step forward with one of the most important experiences on Windows, browsing your favorite sites.
In his post
on the IE engineering blog, Dean Hachamovitch provides our perspective and approach in building IE9 and highlights some of the significant new areas of investment. This is a great read to get grounded in the IE9 Beta release.
I wanted to compliment that post with a focus on some of the new sites and experiences which build on IE9 that are also releasing today. As Dean mentions, even on the day of a new browser release, whatís really important is the sites and applications we use every day on the web.
and indeed across the web youíll find an array of new and updated websites. Some of these represent the top sites or global brands on the internet, while others are from leading edge designers and artists pushing the boundaries of whatís possible with hardware-accelerated HTML5
Your favorite sites, seamless with Windows 7
One of the most exciting features of IE9 is the ability to promote your favorite sites and applications to first-class citizens right alongside your native applications on Windows. Pinning and Jump Lists allow the sites and content you love to be integrated into the rest of your Windows experience. Today, five of the worldís largest social and information networks (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Netlog), top news sites (BBC, CNN, WSJ, USA Today) and some of the biggest names in entertainment (Break, Cracked, Hulu, Discovery , Daily Motion, Vimeo, IMDB, and Flixster) have built new Pinned Site and Jump List capabilities on Windows. Many of these have also built exciting new HTML5 experiences that offer increasingly rich, interactive sites for their users.
A richer, standards-based web
Part of the promise of HTML5 is a standards-based web experience that allows developers and partners to create increasingly rich experiences using the same markup across browsers. When you combine HTML5 with a fully hardware-accelerated browser like IE9, you get the potential for something that we havenít yet seen on the web. There are several new sites that launched today with IE9 that really help demonstrate where the web is going and provide a glimpse of this exciting future.
To start, Iím a big fan of the band The Killers.  The Killers' new HTML5 website
chronicles the band's career and offers users a seamless browsing experience of the bandís music and video content. Itís a good example of a group reimaging their site experience for their fans with HTML5 utilizing the full power of the PC through hardware acceleration.  This site is based on a digitally painted 360-degree panorama inspired by the desert surrounding the bandís hometown of Las Vegas featuring their different album covers.  They are using the latest in HTML5 Video and Audio, Canvas, and SVG.  Itís all interactive. Itís all fast. Itís all accessible right in Windows 7 with Pinning and Jump Lists which makes it a great example of how sites can really start to shine as we unlock the beauty of whatís next on the web.
Alright, Iím not a total car nut, but if you want to just crack up for a bit with a few guys that are, spend time with BBCís Top Gear show. It is one of the worldís most famous motoring entertainment shows. On their site, Top Gear presenters, producers, and magazine team regularly contribute to bring that brand to life on the web. The Cool Wall
leverages the HTML5 and hardware-accelerated graphics support in Internet Explorer 9 to provide amazingly smooth transitions, deep zoom functionality, and slick video playback.
Rough Guides is a top site for travels and members of their community can use an animated interactive compass
to navigate a map of the world, view geo-located photographs pulled from the Flickr database, and explore 200 travel experiences selected by Rough Guides. Members can also submit their own images to the community and share favorite moments from their online travels using Facebook, Twitter, and email. Thatís a lot of interactivity and complexity that would have been hard to do on the web before.  Today with HTML5 and full hardware acceleration, not only is the site interoperable, but the performance gains from using the whole PC makes this feel more like you are in a Windows application.
One of my absolute favorites is the Endless Mural by renowned artist Joshua Davis
. The HTML5 CSS3 site
is a beautiful collaborative art website allowing everyone to create their own pieces of art by combining pre-designed icons and elements by Joshua and other leading designers with customizable brush behaviors. You have your own tool set to create a piece of digital art. When you save your art piece, compositions are added to the constantly evolving, ďendless mural.Ē Itís going to be awesome to see what happens as the mural grows with hundreds and thousands of individuals collectively creating a spectacular and ever evolving piece of art.
And finally, when it is time for some fun, you have to play with Jitterbugs
, Agent 008 Ball
, and WebVizBench
. All these experiences and more are up on www.BeautyoftheWeb.com
As we have said before, the browser is the theater and your websites are the play. Iím excited for the IE9 Beta release, but I also work every day on the browser.
So, for everyone else that cares more about their sites and web experiences then browsers, itís time to unleash a more beautiful web.
Senior Director, Internet Explorer Business and Marketing