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Poll: Is the beta Internet Explorer 9 as bad as I think it is?

The TechRepublic Windows Blog member poll question of the week: Is the beta Internet Explorer 9 as bad as I think it is?

As the host of the Microsoft Windows Blog here on TechRepublic, I have to keep up with the latest happenings at the software giant when it comes to the Windows Desktop. That means I have been trying out the beta version of Internet Explorer 9. And, to put it bluntly, I hate it.

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Now, in general, I think all the major browsers are essentially the same. They all display website content, have multiple tab capability, keep my bookmarks, etc. Each has a quirk or two that I would like to change, but nothing that drives me crazy. I think Firefox is a little slow, but I still use it. I like Internet Explorer 8 and use it often at home. Chrome is pretty nimble and seems to work the best on my Zotac ZBox connected to the big screen television.

But Internet Explorer 9 is awful. Perhaps it is just because it is in beta, but I cannot see using it in its current incarnation. It is too dark, the tabs are stuck in the wrong place, and it keeps asking me if I want to disable all the add-ons. Why would I want to disable all the add-ons and why isn't there a way to tell it to stop asking me every single time I load it? Is this supposed to be a security feature or just a way to make me crazy?

What do you think of the beta version of Internet Explorer 9? Am I being overly critical? Will it be better when it gets to a completed retail version?

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

49 comments
danienmartyn
danienmartyn

Windows 7is very similar to Vista, but Microsoft has taken complaints into account and the company has made some serious improvements. ??? Speed: Windows 7 is noticeably peppier upon startup, application opening, and shutdown.

immadstee
immadstee

I have not personally tried out beta 9 but even from the screenshot you provided, it looks and sounds like a more sluggish IE8 trying to look like chrome.

darryl
darryl

Cosmetically, it seems like a lame attempt at minimalism imitating Chrome, failing utterly. I can't get over the interface for long enough to even begin to consider technical issues...

john3347
john3347

IE9 Beta seems to follow a Microsoft update pattern that really got out of hand with Office 2007 and also includes Windows 7. They have primarily added a lot of cosmetic changes that take away from the productiveness of the application and buried configuration and customization settings so deep within the application that the typical home user cannot even find them. It does, however, have a much "cleaner" look.

jfuller05
jfuller05

and while I think it's functionality looks impressive, the video was trying to make you think IE 9 is going to end world hunger, suffering, and lead us into a utopia. It's just a web browser. :p

jfuller05
jfuller05

because I'm running XP. I have to upgrade to a more recent version of Windows. :0 Bah. I didn't want to use it anyway. ;) I did want to try it though.

marvin.novello
marvin.novello

I have been using IE9 on both my machines for a long time now. I really don't get it when people develop such extreme opinions about browsers. They either browse the web or they don't. IE9 browses fine and I prefer to keep my browser pretty sparse looking. You wouldn't catch me using an additional toolbar for anything - so I like the single stripe at the top with everthing in it (address, tabs, home button etc). Part of the stated design philisophy for IE9 was to keep the browser out of your way and let you get on with using the content and I think IE9 scores highly on this point. The only tiny issue I have with it is that I keep going to the left hand side for my favourites - when the favourites button in IE9 is actually on the right. As for the "disable addons" question that keeps coming up - have you considered clicking it? It actually doesn't stop you using online flash content, or viewing PDFs in the browser - or anything that I am aware of. As soon as the final release is available I will install it.

jonopo
jonopo

Not only is it a bummer, I'm up against a wall trying to uninstall it

NI70
NI70

Didn't like it, so I immediately uninstalled it and reverted back to IE8. Firefox is my main browser of choice, as I've been using Firefox since the early days when it was known as Phoenix 0.2. I've tried Chrome, Safari, and Opera, but I always go back to Firefox! IE9 reminds me of Chrome, IE8 reminded me a bit of Firefox. Only use IE for web apps that don't work with Firefox here at work. I'll stick with Firefox thank you very much! I don't trust Internet Exploitable (or Internet Exploder?)!

Dbwolf
Dbwolf

Ive been a avid windows user since win 3.1.The IE 9 beta has some nifty features and man its quite fast of 64 bit win7.Curiously people used to knock MS about no alternative browsers to choose from.Well now you do.But despite the choice folks still rail MS. The only bug ive come across is this one issue where the browser will hang and not load a website.This occurs maybe once every 3-4 weeks.It used to be a few times a week. Still it suits my needs and what i use it for.Downloads?Meh, not interested.Use Firefox if you wish.Im not missing anything that the other browsers offer with IE 9.Ive tried them all.Same goes for OS. P.S.Without beta testers how would you know if software is compatible and working properly eh?

dwdino
dwdino

I downloaded the poll html and parsed it. I found a large section just below your subject line that was full of MSO and various office integration scripts that seemed to be strange. I deleted that section from the HTML and the page rendered beautifully. Thus indicating that the code is in error. The section begins with "if gte mso 9"... Editing because code post was effecting IE viewing of thread.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Shot themselves in the foot again I see. I am firing up my WIn7 VM right now to test it with our software our company makes.

batnet
batnet

Poll: Is the beta Internet Explorer 9 as bad as I think it is? | TechRepublic http://t.co/fwXutnu Yes it is, can't wait for the full version to come out, the beta is not reliable and full of scripting errors, bad links and unsecure connections to internet banking or any other secure activity. I couldn't even view this post properly or reply with ie 9 beta so firefox to the rescue. WAIT for Full version.

szf
szf

Since I manage a few websites, I always load beta versions of browsers just to see what they do to the sites I manage. So, I checked out IE9. It worked OK, but caused other problems. I use a utility called Star Explorer for bulk uploads of photos to SmugMug. It's always worked well until I installed IE9 beta. After that, Star Explorer would no longer work. It was tracked down to some baggage included in IE9, a new wininet.dll was installed. So, I removed IE9, and reinstalled IE8. Star Explorer worked again! This was back in October, and I haven't checked again to see if they fixed the problem.

piratesmvp04
piratesmvp04

Sure, there are issues with it, but the software works really well overall. It reminds me so much of Chrome and it's almost as fast as Chrome too. The only issue I have with it is that Facebook doesn't work properly, even in compatibility mode. That's the main reason I've uninstalled and went back to IE8. It also seems a little glitchy at times, but I'm sure Microsoft will get all the kinks worked out for final release. But, posts like this one you made are important because it lets the folks in Seattle know what we like and don't like about IE.

dave the IT guy
dave the IT guy

I can't get this article to show up in IE8... Had to use Firefox to read it and post

Nsaf
Nsaf

Remember, it is called a BETA...so; you would get some quirks here and there (I am thinking you should already know that). BTW, nice headline, it is indeed interesting enough to gather a few of haters (you know) for some juicy anti-Microsoft opinions (well, not necessarily rational ones), but never the less for them to take another jab at Microsoft.

ezrydr84
ezrydr84

not sure this poll is just an issue for IE9 couldn't even get this to open in IE8 had to use FF I'll wait until IE9 is full release before I try it. I have enough aggravation with MS already - why just ask for more? :)

klarsen
klarsen

I'll have to abstain from voting for now because we're still stuck on Windows XP here at work (and I haven't completely made the transition at home yet either), so I can't even install it. But, it was interesting that I had to fire up an old copy of Firefox to even get this column to load beyond the first paragraph (I usually run most everything in IE8).

edtoff
edtoff

could not even load this poll in it. had to go to Chrome to view the poll correctly

Craig_B
Craig_B

IE 9 is still in beta and I don't think it's very good when compared to IE 8 and other browsers. A prime example is this TR poll does not display in IE 9. I had to switch to FireFox to read the full article and to respond. I really do not like the look and feel of IE 9. The speed is no better than any other browser. They hid the features I liked in IE 8, reduced my tab space and only copied other browser's ideas. I will check out IE 9 once again once it's fully released but most likely I'll end up using another browser as my main one.

The Daleks
The Daleks

That pop-up drives me nuts, also. Glad I'm not the only one. The biggest problem with IE 9 is that it's a step backwards, rendering differently from IE 8 and other browsers. I thought IE was supposed to be W3C complaint now, but horizontal positioning and widths are calculated differently. So now in addition to writing a special style sheet just for IE 7, I'll have to add a special style sheet just for IE 9. The backwards compatibility option is little help. In IE 8 it made sense, since the rendering engine was different. But in IE 9, what does "backward compatibility" mean? Does it emulate IE 8 or IE 7? It should give you a choice. I test pages with Adobe Browser Labs and IE Tester (freeware) which emulates several versions, but testing in the real browser is supposed to be the real proof.

alistair.k
alistair.k

Joke! TBH I don't mind IE9, I've been using it for a while now. I miss the separate search box IE8 had and a bunch of pages don't render right in it (pop up boxes to log in on sites like Techrepublic for example!) but if they fix that, yeah, more space to view content in. I have yet to find my perfect browser. The one which is fastest and least obtrusive I think would be it.

vonrosenchild
vonrosenchild

Vonvictor Valentino Rosenchild I have been using IE9 Beta for many months now, and while there is room for improvement, it is "good." I find myself using Google Chrome and IE9 for a vast majority of my research of various topics, i.e., Trading Floor Software, NYSE technical support issues, etc... There are times when IE9 shuts down, however, I find that I can always switch to Google Chrome to get to the data/information that I am seeking. Firefox is good for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and as you may know, we have to use Firefox for AWS. Each browser has its issues, however as a professional I always find a work-around. IE9 is in Beta so I am certain that they are getting a lot of "feedback" and are working on many of the issues that the end-user is having problems with. The primary purpose of feedback is to make a product better, to provide the user with a more rich and user-friendly experience. If you are like me, then you are willing to help companies improve their products by trying them in the Beta phase, and providing quality feedback. At the end of the day, the improvements are for "everyone," and not just the company that creates and markets the product(s). It is up to you to try this product/service during the Beta phase, but I like to try new technologies within a Non-Production environment; this keeps me ahead of the technology curve. Kindest regards, Vonvictor Valentino Rosenchild

Daniel Breslauer
Daniel Breslauer

When I discovered Firefox, IE was out the door. Been on Chrome primarily for the last 9 months or so, with FF as backup. I don't touch IE except for sites that require ActiveX. Meaning, I couldn't care less about IE9. Haven't seen it, haven't touched it. I honestly don't care, and the only reason I opened this article is because finally, someone seems to say something BAD about it, instead of the endless praise I hear from some other sites. I dare to stake my repuatation as an IT professional on Chrome being better than IE9 at all times.

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

when vote button is clicked IE is just bad period would be my selection if it were available and I could actually participate certainly won't be using IE9 anytime in the near future

Rodo1
Rodo1

In all honesty I can't try it as I'm still using XP.

wizardb
wizardb

Microsoft has never learned to build a browser and I really doubt they ever will look at all the trouble they have trying to make an OS

blotto5
blotto5

It's in beta for a reason. I use it now side by side with chrome because there are some sites its just plain cant render. ironically i cant use ie9 to access this site im actually using chrome to read and comment on this page. the reason i still use it even tho there are some problems is that i do like the overall minimalistic design and because of that i cant wait until the official release or at least some updates to make it more usable

thomas4g
thomas4g

Though i'm sure you've probably discovered this, you can turn it off. Next time that bar comes up, click "disable add-ons" and then use the drop down the change the time that IE waits for addons to load before showing that. Basically if you set it to 10 seconds it probably won't ever come up again unless you have a really slow add-on. Also, at first, i thought i'd hate the tabs on the same bar as the address bar too - but it's actually really cool. I really like the beta (thought obviously it's a beta and has some problems) and i can't wait for the official release.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Is the beta Internet Explorer 9 better than I think it is? Am I being too critical? What is your opinion of the beta IE9?

Rodo1
Rodo1

I don't care for the new TR format either. Seems like everyone is falling all over themselves to make their stuff look like Windows 7 which also looks like crap in my estimation. What's up with that guys?

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Apparently, I didn't strip out all of the extra style information Word tries to sneak into WordPress when you do a copy/paste operation. We have a special paste button - either I failed to use it or it failed to strip the code (probably the former). Anyway, Internet Explorer should work now.

Slayer_
Slayer_

We will be trying again later on a physical machine.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

I figured out the problem and the page and poll should now display properly in Internet Explorer.

bmcmenamy
bmcmenamy

I primarily use IE8 but this article would not render. Had to use Firefox to read the article and comments. I have a feeling it has to do with the updates to Tech Republic to give it the Social Networking look and feel. I hope Tech Republic's web designers actually test their site with more than one browser. The majority of the world is still using IE as their primary or only browser and sites should be developed to render in any browser no matter who makes it.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

I have informed the development team - look for a fix sooner than later.

DoylePIrish
DoylePIrish

I could not get IE9 to even open this article all the way, I switched to Mozilla, no problem.

Nsaf
Nsaf

I am so sorry...

rfolden
rfolden

Dis, dis and more dis. Microsoft laughs all the way to the bank, and you're stuck installing the 45th incongruous distro in as many days in yo mama's basement.

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

...can't pass up an opportunity to dis M$? ;-) Your criticisms are a "little" vague. I think what we are looking for here is something more concrete and useable, perhaps?

r.rice
r.rice

I use IE9, and the latest Opera, Firefox, and Dragon. Sometimes I use all 4 at once. I have the least problems with IE9 and it is very fast. Therefore it remains my default browser. I think it a huge improvement over IE8. But I use Opera for my favorite sites which I have on Speed Dial. And I prefer the ergonomics of Opera, but it has problems with a number of sites. Firefox is my "locked down browser" and has a lot of security and privacy related add-ons, and these seem to make it pretty darned slow. Dragon is the customized, privatized version of Chrome modified by Comodo. I would never use straight Chrome, which is spyware at its heart.

Tink!
Tink!

Do you know how long it took me to even migrate to IE8? I still have at least 1 PC that still isn't updated to IE8 (doesn't use the internet much). LOL. I'll switch to IE9 once I hear a large portion of TR people have been ok with it.

3dziggy
3dziggy

After learning a bit about webdesign, html5 and css 3, I understood why the whole world was screaming and swearing at IE about making an incompetent browser that didn't adhere to webstandards. I suspect the improvements in the Webkit browser ( Chrome and Safari) and in Firefox somehow made Microsoft realise that it should not wait till 2020 with implementing more html5/css3. I was really astonished at first, to see IE do a good job. One drawback,.. at one point it did something really awkward. On opening a website, it zoomed all the way back so I could hardly see the content was even there. Let's hope that will be a beta-bug, and we don't have to start coming up with new IE-hacks. As far as the silly add-ons thing, I have a simple but steady opinion: It will remain a Microsoft Product, and will annoy you by default, since it seems to be created for monkeys. Let's hope MS can find a way to add an "advanced section" somewhere (everywhere?), in order to keep people that know just a little more from finally going to Apple.

Justin James
Justin James

... to not use beta products, and to not judge the final product from the beta. The Win95 beta taught me this. At best, I'll use a CTP to get an idea of what direction a product is going in. The color issue is a perfect example of why applications should use the system defaults, not their own skins. J.Ja

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

Interesting that any other (TR) link that I clicked in IE8 *did* load - just fine, apparently, although I didn't do any detailed studies - just this poll won't load past the initial paragraph. Green button link to "30 comments" also does nothing. FF seems fine, after sorting out an initial problem where I wasn't allowed to post comments - cleared cache & cookies and now here I am...

blotto5
blotto5

I believe the problem with techrepublic and the many other sites that ie9 has trouble rendering is purely because of the fact its in beta and still pretty buggy. I'm having trouble with techrepublic on ie9 so I use chrome side by side for the sites ie9 cant render properly. I hope ms gets these problems fixed soon in updates or when the finished version comes out.

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