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Release Notes for Internet Explorer 9

Unless otherwise noted, all issues listed below apply to Internet Explorer 9 on every supported operating system.

Internet Explorer Developer Release Notes

Changes to the Internet Explorer Platform for web developers are documented in the Platform Preview Release Notes.  Reference those notes for information on available features and known issues in HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3, and more.

Table of Contents

System Requirements
Known Installation Issues
Graphics
User Interface
Compatibility Issues with Websites
Compatibility Issues with Programs & Add-ons
Accessibility Considerations
Site Mode and Pinning
Changes in JavaScript Support in Internet Explorer 9
Known Issues in F12 Developer Tools
Additional Information

System Requirements

Computer/Processor

Computer with a 1 gigahertz (GHz) 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor.

Operating System

  • Windows Vista 32-bit with Service Pack 2 (SP 2) or higher
  • Windows Vista 64-bit with Service Pack 2 (SP 2) or higher
  • Windows 7 32-bit RTM or higher
  • Windows 7 64-bit RTM or higher
  • Windows Server 2008 32-bit with Service Pack 2 (SP 2) or higher
  • Windows Server 2008 64-bit with Service Pack 2 (SP 2) or higher
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit

Memory

  • Windows Vista 32-bit – 512 megabytes (MB)
  • Windows Vista 64-bit – 512 MB
  • Windows 7 32-bit – 512 MB
  • Windows 7 64-bit – 512 MB
  • Windows Server 2008 32-bit – 512MB
  • Windows Server 2008 64-bit – 512MB
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit – 512MB

Hard Drive Space

  • Windows Vista 32-bit – 70 MB
  • Windows Vista 64-bit – 120 MB
  • Windows 7 32-bit – 70 MB
  • Windows 7 64-bit – 120 MB
  • Windows Server 2008 32-bit – 150 MB
  • Windows Server 2008 64-bit – 200 MB
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit – 200 MB

Drive

CD-ROM drive (if installation is done from a CD-ROM)

Display

Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution monitor with 256 colors.

Peripherals

Modem or Internet connection; Microsoft Mouse, Microsoft IntelliMouse, or compatible pointing device.

Known Installation Issues

  • On Windows Server 2008, you will need to enable the Desktop Experience feature prior to installing Internet Explorer 9 prerequisite KB2117917. Without enabling Desktop Experience, Internet Explorer 9 will not have HTML5 video and audio playback support.
    For more information, see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2117917
  • On Windows Server 2008 R2, in order to have HTML5 video and audio playback support in Internet Explorer 9, you will need to enable the Desktop Experience feature prior to installing Internet Explorer 9 prerequisite KB2454826 and KB2483177. Without KB2454826 and KB2483177, Internet Explorer 9 will not have HTML5 video and audio playback support.
    For more information, see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2454826
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2483177
  • Internet Explorer 9 installs as an update to Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008.
  • Follow these steps to uninstall Internet Explorer 9:
    1. Close all programs
    2. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Programs and Features.
    3. Click View Installed Updates, click Windows Internet Explorer 9, and then click Uninstall.
  • The Windows 7 N and KN Editions do not contain media related technologies such as video playback. IE9 is designed to support HTML5 video playback functionality which is only supported in Windows versions that contain media related technologies. Therefore, on Windows 7 N and KN Editions, Internet Explorer 9 will not be able to install prerequisite KB2454826 or KB2483177 unless the Windows Media Feature Pack (KB 968211) is installed, resulting in no HTML5 video playback. In order to enable HTML5 video playback support on a Windows 7 N or KN, install KB986211 and KB2483177 before installing Internet Explorer 9.
  • For Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit, Internet Explorer 9 will not be able to install prerequisite KB2454826 if the Media Features are turned off, resulting in no HTML5 video playback. To enable HTML5 video playback support, go to Programs in Control Panel and select Turn Windows features on or off. In this dialog, enable Media Features before installing Internet Explorer 9.
    For more information, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2454826

Graphics

Using Software Renderring:
In certain rare cases, Internet Explorer 9 may crash on startup or have performance or fidelity problems when drawing webpage content. For example, you might see webpages scrolling slowly or that some page elements are not drawn correctly. This is a known issue with some graphics cards, and is being addressed in a future update. To work around this issue, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. In Control Panel, click the “Advanced” tab, and click ‘Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering.”
  3. Click OK

Hyper-V and Windows Server 2008 R2
When used on machines with the Hyper-V role installed, Internet Explorer 9 will only be able to use a supported GPU for rendering if Service Pack 1 is installed, and the processor supports SLAT.

HTML5 Media Playback and Windows N-SKU
On Windows N-SKU machines, please install the Media Restore pack to enable media playback.

Running Internet Explorer 9 in a VMware virtual machine
Internet Explorer 9 always uses software rendering in a VMWare virtual machine. This is due to a code bug in Internet Explorer introduced by recent changes in the rendering engine. The Internet Explorer team will be addressing this in a future update.

Printing to OneNote 2007
Due to an issue in OneNote 2007, some pages may not print correctly to the OneNote 2007 printer. Please use OneNote 2010 or the XPS2OneNote tool.

Printer Spool File Sizes
In certain cases, Internet Explorer 9 will create spool files that are larger than Internet Explorer 8 spool files when printing the same content. This issue will be corrected in a later update.

User Interface

Notifications:

The Notification bar appears on every page.
Currently, a “popup was blocked” bar appears on every page on many sites. Since the bar overlays content on the page, you need to dismiss the bar on every page to read page content.

Download Manager:

Your Download Experience in Internet Explorer 9
The download experience has changed in Internet Explorer 9. Instead of the dialog box which took focus away from the webpage, Internet Explorer 9 uses the Notification bar. The Notification bar appears at the bottom of the page and does not change the current focus point. When you click on a link that starts a download, you can press Alt+N to put focus in the Notification bar and then use the Run/Open, Save or Cancel buttons to interact with your download. 

Compatibility Issues with Websites

Certain websites won’t display as they did with Internet Explorer 8. As a workaround, use the Compatibility View button in the address bar to resolve this issue.

Compatibility Issues with Programs & Add-ons

Windows Live Mail Compatibility
Windows Live Mail, versions 15.4 and above, stops responding or fails to start if you have Intel integrated graphics driver Igdkmd32.sys (32-bit) / Igdkmd64.sys (64-bit) versions 8.15.10.2104 through 8.15.10.2141. These drivers have been found to cause compatibility issues with certain applications that use Direct2D (D2D). For example, if you have one of these drivers, Windows Live Mail could crash after update KB2454826, a prerequisite update for Internet Explorer 9, has been installed.
For more information, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2505524

Java IE Plug-In Compatibility
Users with version 6, update 22 of the Java IE plugin installed will experience crashes with IE9 when they visit webpages that are rendered in IE9 mode by default and contain applets that need to instantiate the plug-in. This is due to a code bug in the Java plug-in that was exposed by recent changes in the IE9 rendering engine.

The Java team is aware of this issue and is working on addressing it in future updates of the Java IE plug-in.

To workaround this issue:
Viewing these webpages in Compatibility View fixes the problem. Compatibility View forces IE to render the webpage in IE8 mode which does not contain the IE9 changes to the rendering engine.
For more information, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2506617

Accessibility Considerations

At this time Internet Explorer 9 is not fully functional with older versions of some Assistive Technology. If you use Assistive Technology, we recommend that you check with your specific provider to determine if it is compatible with Internet Explorer 9. JAWS 12.0.1158, released in April 2011 and Window Eyes 7.5, released in March 2011 are compatible with Internet Explorer 9.

Web pages appear blank when using screen review commands such as the JAWS cursor or Window-Eyes Mouse Pointer.
This is caused by the use Direct2D for rendering. Upgrading to JAWS 12.0.1158 and Window Eyes 7.5 resolves this issue.

Font Smoothing from screen magnifiers such as ZoomText no longer works in Internet Explorer 9.
Magnification still works, but font smoothing does not.  There is no workaround for this issue. 

Text in edit boxes is unable to be edited when using Window-Eyes screen reader.
This is caused by the use of Direct2D for rendering.  Upgrading to Window Eyes version 7.5 resolves this issue. 

Problems reading web content using JAWS Virtual PC mode.
When reading web content using JAWS Virtual PC mode in JAWS 11, there are two issues you might notice. One issue is that some webpage content and some form controls such as radio buttons or check boxes are missing. The other issue you might notice is multiple blank lines and space characters when reading webpages. These two issues are resolved in the latest JAWS 12 release. Using Compatibility View will resolve this issue in JAWS 11. To turn on Compatibility View, press Alt+D and tab to the Compatibility View button, or press Alt+T, v from the Internet Explorer menus.

Notification Bar popups are not read by all Assistive Technology software.
The new Internet Explorer 9 Notification bar replaces the Internet Explorer 8 Information Bar. Many notifications are available in the notification bar including downloads, blocked popups, password manager, and add-on notifications. Not all Assistive Technology are able to detect that a notification bar is present, or read the bar if focus is placed in it. Please check with your specific provider to determine if it is compatible with Internet Explorer 9.

As a partial workaround, you can turn on Internet Explorer sounds to get notified that a notification bar is present (Tools Menu - Internet Options - Advanced - check Play System sounds).  To place focus in the notification bar please press Alt+N.

Internet Explorer Sounds are off by Default
Sounds have been turned off in Internet Explorer 9.  You can turn them back on by going to Tools Menu - Internet Options - Advanced - check Play System sounds

Hotkey changes
A few hotkeys have changed in Internet Explorer 9:

  • Ctrl+J now will open the Internet Explorer download manager instead of opening feeds.  You can open feeds in Internet Explorer 9 with Ctrl+G.
  • Ctrl+E now places focus in the address bar because the search box has been combined with the address bar. When you press Ctrl+E, focus is placed in the address bar with a question mark and space already populated for you. You can search from the Internet Explorer 9 address bar the same way you searched from the Internet Explorer 8 search box.

Site Mode and Pinning

The first time a user pins a site InPrivate, the icon that is displayed on the taskbar is the default IE icon. The second time the user launches the pinned site, the icon will be fixed.

After a site has been pinned InPrivate, if the site makes any dynamic changes to their Custom Jump List, all Tasks are automatically removed from the Jump List when the InPrivate session closes. The next time the user launches the pinned site, the original tasks will be populated.

In some cases, the favicon is lost when a site is pinned InPrivate. To resolve this problem, launch the site again and the favicon will be restored.

Changes in JavaScript Support in Internet Explorer 9

The Chakra JavaScript engine provides support for the ECMAScript Fifth Edition standard and improved script performance. As a result of these changes, and due to our intent to support the same script and same markup across browsers, certain JavaScript features supported in Internet Explorer 8 behave differently in IE9’s compatibility modes or are not supported by Internet Explorer 9 standards mode. For a list of feature changes and guidance on how to update your web sites to support Internet Explorer 9 Standards mode, see the IE9 Compatibility Cookbook and the blog post Enhanced Scripting in IE9: ECMAScript 5 Support and More.

Known Issues in F12 Developer Tools

  • After using the script debugger, restart Internet Explorer to restore JavaScript performance.
  • The Network Inspector does not indicate if the server has provided compressed files.
  • If multiple tabs are running in same process, Network Inspector will show results from all tabs.
  • Inline scripts in SVG and XML documents will be displayed as separate script blocks. We recommend you use script references instead.

Additional Information

IE Blog – A great resource to find and understand new and important Internet Explorer 9 information.

MSConnect – A place to file bugs for Internet Explorer 9.

Developer Forums – A place to discuss and read about Internet Explorer issues.

Developer Guide – A great guide for web developers to get started.