IE9: “Fast is now Beautiful” .. but what’s up with the Address Bar?

The Windows Blog touted “Fast is now Beautiful – IE9 Released” back in March, and like the good netizen I am, I downloaded IE9 straight away and gave it a test drive.

But: what’s up with the Address Bar .. now known as the “Anything Bar”? By default, you get this, really narrow, almost unusable space in which to type URLs or search strings:

IE9 with default Anything Bar

It seems Microsoft decided to devote more screen real estate to the browser window, achieving this by putting tabs and the bar on the same horizontal plane. However I don’t use a home page, opting instead to type my search terms into the bar. The size of the bar is an issue for me: makes it difficult to enter all my terms, or see fully-rendered URLs .. this is a pain when wanting to select a URL for a blog post or email.

Hint: pressing F6 toggles the cursor between the browser window and the Anything Bar .. a decent workaround.

Fortunately, Microsoft left the full-width functionality in place. Simply right-click in the space to the right of the tabs and select “Show tabs on separate row” and you get this bit of beauty:

IE9 with full-width Anything Bar

Much better!

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About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

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