They're getting very close in many ways, but after having been a die-hard Chrome user for several years, here's what I miss in IE9:
- Right-click "Paste and Go" in search boxes
- Right-click “Inspect element”
- Integration with Google Voice (hey, I use it a lot)
- The logic behind the new tab suggestions list doesn't jive with my "most used" and "most recent" sites for some reason (same on all four computers I've been using it on)
- Many sites, even parts of Facebook, use outdated CSS forks that look for "IE" and not versions, so they break rendering expecting IE6 or 7. The "Write a Note" feature for example doesn't work properly until you click "Compatibility Mode" and refresh. I'm sure it will get fixed as the beta runs along.
- As for the new tab suggestions, I prefer thumbnails over big icons. Just sayin’
- The taskbar “pinning” feature is nice, but hardly “new” since other apps (yes, even Chrome) have done that for a while already.
But... I really like the new UI overall. The new downloads management feature is great. The "less is more" UX is borrowed from Webkit (Chrome, and Safari, sort of) but overdue. The speed is much better than IE7 or IE8 and on par with Chrome 6.x and FF4. I'd like to see customizable right-click features (a la Windows "Send To" and task bar pinning API's) but those too may be forthcoming. The add-on “accelerators” are becoming very useful, finally. Akin to Google Chrome’s “extensions” (which they borrowed from Firefox), they allow you to extend and customize the browser.
I have to admit I’ve always liked IE’s options features. That sounds redundant. Hmmm.. But the “less-is-more” stuff is only viable for the main interface. When it comes to configuring things, I like shitloads of buttons, checkboxes, listboxes, sliders, spinners, bells and whistles. That’s just me. I mean, really, if you poke your head into the flight cabin of your next airplane ride and it looks like an iPod (one button) wouldn’t feel a bit uncomfortable? We all feel better seeing that massive field of buttons, dials and knobs and levers. It conveys “control”. That’s what an “options” console should convey also. Just sayin’.
One thing that Chrome annoys me with is when I right-click and press “R” expecting “Refresh” (yes, I know about F5), while it works in IE, it means “Print” in Chrome. Doh!