Paul rouget wrote a lenghty article about IE9 that causes some noise on the Interweb... Paul is right on many points and wrong on few ones too. The main problem is related to "modernity".

Where he is right:

  • the market is almost ready for some cool new stuff (some CSS3, APIs, Threads, WebGL, ...) that are not in IE9... The users (hear Web authors) want these cool things deployed all over the place as soon as possible.
  • the tests IE9 uses for its marketing are just not relevant, I already said it once here on this blog, we're still there

Where he is wrong:

  • IE comes back from limbos. IE 7/8 was harming the whole market by its old architecture and standards' support, its painful layout bugs, and its still large market share. The desktop browser market was made of three modern rendering engines, Gecko WebKit and Presto, and a dinosaur, IE.
  • IE 9 is back in the game; granted it does not implement the latest cool kids on the block, but it's clear to all IE9 is back in the market leading pack instead of remaining miles behind.
  • the IE team went in a short time from a dying product to a new architecture that can compete with the other browsers; no doubt IE10 will try to reach an even better position in the leading pack
  • marketing and engineering are two different beasts; in the CSS WG, we know well that the IE engineering team relies on hundreds of thousands of tests...

So to answer the question Paul used as title of his article and that I borrowed for this one, yes, in my opinion IE9 is a modern browser. No, it's not the most modern browser. But honestly I don't care. The only thing I see is that Microsoft is back in the game after years of painful purgatory, that the IE team has rather brillantly shown they're able to not only implement more modern technologies but also be back at the standardization table with new cool ideas and a fair spirit of competition (let's exclude marketing, ok ?). In other words, competition is good and I guess we all (well, almost all :-) ) welcome back an IE9 being a new danger for its competitors.

And of course Microsoft's marketing is still Microsoft's marketing... And there, Paul is 10000% right :-)