Two years ago, I wrote a post about upgrading to Internet Explorer 8. Well, in case you missed the announcement a couple of days ago, Internet Explorer 9 has been released. Woohoo!

It's been a long time coming, but I believe the wait has been well worth it.

I won't bother trying to enumerate all of the vast improvements the IE team has made in this latest release. By now you've probably already heard a lot about the new features in IE 9 -- such as a few of the supported HTML5 features as well as the numerous improvements in performance. If not, you can quickly find lots of information with a quick Internet search followed by a few additional clicks.

If you use the Developer Tools (F12) in IE8, then you'll notice a couple of significant improvements in IE9. In addition to the HTML, CSS, Script, and Profiler tabs in IE8, you'll quickly discover that IE9 contains two additional tabs: Console and Network. Now, to be honest, if you've used Firefox/Firebug, then these two new tabs aren't going to be very exciting to you (since they've already been available for quite some time).

However, if you are a "die hard" Internet Explorer user, then I think you will find these welcome alternatives to other tools you may have been using for similar purposes, such as Fiddler. [While I don't think the new Network tab in the IE9 developer tools means the eventual end of Fiddler, I do believe it's safe to say that Fiddler will see a lot less use as more Web developers upgrade to IE9. It's great to see things "just work" in IE9 -- like inspecting HTTPS requests -- without having to jump through any hoops in the process. It's not like Fiddler is difficult to use, but I think you'll find the developer tools in IE9 to be even easier.]

Note that at this point, I've only upgraded to IE9 on my Windows 7 desktop as well as my Microsoft-issued laptop. I'll wait until IE9 is available through WSUS to upgrade the rest of my physical and virtual machines.