I have recently been giving the Release Candidate of Internet Explorer 9 a go and I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s actually really, really fast and really, really easy to use. And it seems to have made security a priority as you browse the web.

The reason I’m surprised is that I’ve been a huge Firefox fan for the last few years and I just never thought that I would have a reason to move back to Internet Explorer. The last time I used Internet Explorer was back in 2007, with version 7. Firefox was so far ahead in terms of usability and speed that I never thought IE would catch up again. But I’ve just spent the last few hours trying IE9 out, and I love the detail with which it renders web pages. You can really notice the difference.

Also, I love the way you can ‘pin’ websites to the Windows 7 task bar and how much easier it is to use tabbed browsing (it was Firefox’s genius use of tabs, back in 2007, that won me over in the first place). Little touches like these show that Microsoft has learned from the success of Firefox and Chrome. After all, it doesn’t matter how fast your browser is if it’s too clunky to use. And as for security, it’s great that IE9 pauses a download if it thinks that it might be malicious.

I’ll still use Firefox from time to time, you can’t overlook all the brilliant add-ons that people make for it. And I’ll still keep an eye on Chrome. But for now, I’m an Internet Explorer 9 convert. It certainly seems to offer more advanced browsing than Firefox 4. I can’t wait for it to be officially released.