Internet Explorer 9 brings a range of interesting changes to the table, but the overall evolution of the browser is geared toward blurring the line between web apps and desktop applications.

One aspect which is truly illustrative of the work the IE team poured into making websites look and feel as Windows applications is related to the integration between IE9 and the Windows 7 user interface.

In Windows 7 users have the option to pin sites to the Taskbar, and enjoy some of the same options that the Superbar offers Windows programs, such as the mini Start Menu, also dubbed JumpLists.

Essentially, with IE9 and Windows 7, sites can be ripped from the browser, and integrated into the Windows 7 desktop.

Scott Seiber, a member of the Windows Planning and PC Ecosystem team opines that IE9 has the upper hand over its rivals when it comes down to taking the rich web-based experiences to the next level on Windows.

“Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 9 makes the user’s apps experience the best it can be whether the application was written in C/C++, .Net, Silverlight, or HTML/JavaScript. With Internet Explorer 9 you can now customize your web apps to seamlessly integrate with the Windows desktop,” Seiber said.

“With Internet Explorer 9 and pinned sites enabled for a website, users can pin that site to the Windows 7 taskbar or add the site to the desktop or Start menu. Pinned sites enable easy access to favorite websites and add shortcut functionality similar to that found in Microsoft Windows applications.

What’s most important is that Microsoft has made it extremely easy for developers to tailor their websites to Internet Explorer 9, and allows users to benefit from features such as Pinned Sites.

In fact, all sites can be pinned by default, and devs only need to add some meta elements and JavaScript in order to expand the functionality of their sites.

“Pinning a site is easy; click the icon to the left of the web address, the tab for the website, or the website’s icon on the New Tab page and drag it to the taskbar,” Seiber explained.

“Now the website has its own taskbar icon and it only takes one click to get to the site. By using meta elements you can customize the way the pinned site renders after it is launched and how the application behaves on the taskbar.”

Some extra reading for all you developers out there: Pinned Sites: Windows 7 Desktop Integration with Internet Explorer 9.

Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) Build 9.0.7930.16406 is available for download here.

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