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Poll Results: How would you rate Microsoft Internet Explorer 9?

Mark Kaelin reviewed Internet Explorer 9 and then asked for comments. See how the TechRepublic membership rates it and let us know if you agree or disagree.

When I reviewed Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft's latest iteration of its Web browser, back on March 16, 2011, I thought it was a solid but unspectacular edition to browser wars. There was nothing inherently wrong with IE9, but it wasn't a Web browser that made you want to drop your favorite browser and make the switch to something new.

I was not, and still am not, particularly fond of some of the UI changes. I was very happy with Internet Explorer 8 and the way it did things, and I am not really interested in changing my ways. However, after using IE9 for a month, it has kind of grown on me, and I don't even notice the UI changes anymore. I can live with it, although it does not excite me.

Apparently, judging from the responses to our request for a rating, the TechRepublic membership generally feels the same way I do. Internet Explorer is a decent Web browser -- not the best, but certainly not the worst either. If you already use IE, then you will probably keep using it, and if you use a competing browser, you are not likely to change to IE9.

So, what browser are you using to view this blog post? Is it your favorite browser? Do you find yourself using more than one browser on a regular basis?

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.

38 comments
Banak
Banak

Ridiculous upgrade. Gmail is unreadable, many websites unattainablek - blank screen, spinning, spinning, spinning into eternity. I downloaded Firefox, no problems. I'm REALLY getting tired of windows and microsoft and all their little problems that take me days to deal with. I'm done with IE of any version, thank you. I'm on Windows 7 by the way. Like I said, Firefox has NO problems for me, IE 9 is undependable at best. Wish I'd never gotten rid of IE8.

cad7348
cad7348

Why would I even want to try it when I know it is going to be basically the same old thing with a new wrapper. There are so much better, lighter, faster products in the market now who cares?

cad7348
cad7348

Why would I even want to use IE 9 when there are so many faster and more customizeable options available for use today. IE is a bloated Browser. Microsoft needs to pay attention to the competition and try to compete! Just adding another number to the end does not make it better!

Lost_Allen
Lost_Allen

i removed it the same day i downloaded it. it cause that many problems it wasn't worth using and i couldn't get any help to over come these problems

Spexi
Spexi

After tried IE9 since it was released there wasn't that much of surprises more than another repeated show of something that already exist in some other browsers to see like Chrome, Dragon etc. So where is the new thinking in make something new? From what I've heard of and seen it still have some of the same known problems from before. For instance it still want to crash from time to time, it still needs to be integrated inside Windows which give serious difficulties when people wants to upgrade or downgrade their browser. That's not practical and could been solved in another way.?? For something that we have to pay for it should be better than something that are possible to get for free. Nothing more than simple logic

PoppaTab
PoppaTab

I am using W 7 pro and IE 9 works pretty well. I'm with the author about IE 9 in that it works well enough. FF4 was epic fail when I tried it and Chrome just works for me. I found a web page that had an error on it with Chrome. I tried IE 9, FF 4, Opera, and Chromium browser. Each had an issue with the page. Bad coding for the website was well shown by example. On the whole; I use Chrome and don't have to worry about what works on the corporate side anymore. IE9 works, but Chrome has the most features I like and want. It's that simple; give me all the features I want and I will use that browser.

gharlow
gharlow

Chrome and Firefox support Adblock + IE does not. I may take a peek when or IF Adblock+ makes it over to IE which I doubt.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I'm on XP, both at home and at work. At home, because I think the upgrade license is grossly overpriced, and at work because much of our proprietary software does not run on Vista or Win7. So, does anybody have the foggiest idea why XP compatibility mode in Win 7 is not compatible with software that runs perfectly under WinXP?

SundayBiker
SundayBiker

I like it on my Win 7 laptop at home, feels faster than Chrome, became my main browser since beta. I still use Chrome at work because I'm stuck with XP, this is my main browser here.

TALKIN
TALKIN

IE 9 was built mainly for win 7 the marriage between the two is a perfect match. No complaints with daily usage, serves my needs more than adequately On a cold boot or restart of my computer and click on ie 9. 2 issues. 1. as soon as my desktop icons have fully loaded I click on ie9 and open to my home page rather fast under 3 seconds. 2. If I wait a minute or more after cold boot up, or restart, and then cliick on ie.9 it takes anything from 12 - 18 seconds to populate home page (google.) In the rc version it took 33 - 38 seconds to populate my home page. Contacted MS connect they informed me it was a font issue with win 7, and they would be issuing a correction update, which they did, and now I am at 12 to 18 seconds as in (2.). Consequently in safe mode with networking it is almost instant in opening and loading home page. Win7 pro 64, Phenom11 Quad core. AMD 965 blk ed. 4 gigs of 800mhz ram Gigabyte mobo ma785gm us2h 3.4ghz ATI 5770 1gb memory HD Western.. 500gb 32mb cache size. Add ons:- Windows live sign in id x2 enabled XML DOM document enabled NIS (symantec NCO BHO enabled only) Shockwave enabled

terradon
terradon

Are these really complaints from other tech pros? Status bar missing? Hover any link, hover any tab and the url shows bottom left. True, it's not always there wasting space, but it's not as hidden as you all make it sound. No text with icons? Again, a tooltip shows when hovering over the icon with much more text than you could otherwise fit. Microsoft didn't make their new browser work on an obsolete OS?? Others complaining that it doesn't fully support HTML5 or CSS3, two standards that are still in the working draft stage. How could any software meet such diverse expectations?? Just this AM, I started using IE9. I approached it with an open mind and am pleasantly surprised at how little I have had to adjust the way I use it. I'm also pleasantly surprised that a mainstream browser breaks so few sites. As a web developer, that gives me more hope than ever that the days of coding lots of browser specific exceptions will fade into a bad memory.

Salmanassar
Salmanassar

I like it but: Where's my status bar? Is this a valid url or bogus? Let's check at the botto... huh? OK let's turn it on then... yeah right. Thanks for again deciding in our steads that "we don't need it".

TG2
TG2

First and foremost ... there's no reason microsoft couldn't have made an IE9 for XP ... the chose to abandon XP ... hardware accelleration doesn't work for me on my Vista Home, or Vista Business laptops ... so I have to turn that feature off.. and that's the main reason for 9 requiring Vista and above... security is a distant cousin to Internet Explorer, it always has been, so you can't tell me "security" was the reason ... there are always work arounds if microsoft was comitted to making a fully functional WEB BROWSER ... Next.. Failure in their defaulted on both in beta and in final product for their Hardware Accelleration ... it didn't work for me in beta, and in the final version it also failed to work, only causing the browser to crash repeatedly .... Microsoft should have presented this as an option ... ie.. "Welcome to IE9 ... would you like to try hardware accellerated browsing?" ...nope.. they just defaulted it to on. Next we have the issue with the file menu and status bar... for YEARS AND YEARS we've told people for security reasons... look at your status bar ... look at your URL bar .... watch where you're going... and what do they do? status bar hidden ... file menu hidden, and URL / Location Bar taking space away from tabs... the whole IDEA of using tabs was so that you could go to multiple sites, having them open and easily switching between tabs.. but to limit the amount of space to such a small area, encouraging people to actually SHRINK the size of their URL/Location bar... again... bad security ... what's to stop a cracker from registering ... https://www.hp.com.supersite.somewhere.else.com ? and with a valid SSL cert for such a site.. the user might only see www.hp.com ... and think they are at a valid site.. but given the full width of the screen for the URL bar... they might actually question all the extra periods... Even if 90% of the users don't open more than 3 or 4 tabs.. that leaves the other 10% of us, that use anywhere from 5 to 15 tabs in a single browser window stuck using smaller space for tabs than before.. They certainly didn't care for my type of user when they went this route..... so I'm using FF4 even more now....

david.hunt
david.hunt

As I only use IE as a last resort for sites that have been programmed by people who don't understand web standards, I'm in no hurry to experience it. I dare say, I'll have to use it at work sometime for the corporate apps that use MS Proprietary ActiveX, but I'm safe on XP-Pro at the moment in that environment.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

Of course, with Opera, voting doesn't work... if I want to vote, I'll need to fire up an IE9 session. But that's more to do with the new TR code than with the browsers, I think. All in all, I need IE for work, the portals I use don't support other browsers (and they really don't) - and luckily IE9 does work for that.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I am sick of programming this word document anyways, could use a nice little break.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

What browser are you using to view this blog post? Is it your favorite browser? Do you find yourself using more than one browser on a regular basis?

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Fast question: Bother using it at all? Yes? No? I suspect no.

Slayer_
Slayer_

My Windows 7 is very very out of date, hasn't been patched since September 2nd, 2010.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

We have people crying about the crying. Wonderful.

eScoop
eScoop

No status bar? Right click in the blank space left of the Home button. Right click menu has a checkbox for status bar. Also has a checkbox for the menu bar that the guy above lamented the "loss" of. Really folks, most of the stuff "missing" from the previous versions are available if you poke around.

Richard Turpin
Richard Turpin

And no mention how FF4 is not fit for purpose? with its massive memory leaks and instability. IE9 has some annoyances but we find it a stable and fast browser an excellent tool for the business, we did trial FF4 but it failed miserably, Chrome was fit for purpose but couldn't work some programmes, IE9 passed all really well. This made us roll out IE9 on our Win 7 and Vista machines [we have no obsolete XP machines]. We are more than satisfied with the product.

matttimpson
matttimpson

Seems to work for me. I tried to show a friend about the Web Of Trust extension I use on other browsers. He needed it for IE, so I found their gallery and eventually gave up trying to look for it. I tried downloading it from WOT and installing it and it crashed IE9. Upon restarting, the WOT icon would only display as an entire toolbar, which was silly so I disabled it. Between that and the popup timers, I don't think MS really *gets* extensions very well, which is quite a set back for any browser. Now that all four major brands look nearly identical, the only notable criteria for comparison is speed and extensibility... and, I suppose, where the Button Icons are. (I think Chrome deserves a nod for sandboxing processes. At least that's some out of the box thinking.) IE9: Speed=meh, Extensibility=bleh, Buttons=Ok

Slayer_
Slayer_

And yet my old firefox works fine (so far) No idea if new firefox has any troubles.

Slayer_
Slayer_

It took about 10 seconds to launch, and about 2 minutes to load MSN and internet explorer advertisement page. Ouch. typed Google.ca, took 4 seconds Opened Tech Republic, 6 seconds to load. It in general feels very sluggish. This could be VM Related, I will test with Orca later. I dislike the new icons, took me ages to find the stop button, and I had to hunt for the home button. Tabs on separate row is way nicer, menu bar is welcome, but in the wrong spot, should be at the top of the screen, accessible, but out of sight. It doesn't allow you to move it. Tabs are stuck at the top of the screen, I don't like that. Only the active tab has a close button, I don't like that Currently selected tab is difficult to see, new tab button is unintuitive. I turned on status bar, but none appeared... Drop down arrow for recently typed addresses is too hard to click, even at 1024 x 768, its only 5 pixels wide and surrounded by buttons I don't want to click. No labels for buttons, how is a user supposed to know what to click? The vast majority of users don't even know about tool tips. I tried to pin a website but couldn't find a button for it, I thought I was supposed to be able to pin websites and launch them as if they were applications? Overall, I rate this as epic fail. There is not a single thing I like about this new browser. I'll stick with Orca, at least it lets me close popups without having to view them first by making them the active tab. Even if the browser hasn't been updated since 2009. Sadly I won't get a chance to see if it grows on me, I am just going to check our programs for compatibility problems with IE9 then delete it. I am sure someone will misunderstand this post so let me state clearly I am not a MS hater, I don't hate IE9 for the sake of hating IE9. I simply do not like the interface, and I seriously doubt my folks would either. It took me ages to get my folks off of IE6, it took youtube displaying a message saying IE6 doesn't work for me to be able to upgrade them, they hated IE7 because the buttons were too small, the concept of tabs was confusing and there was no text on the buttons so they had to try and remember the symbols. I showed them Avant, they liked the look but not the speed. And Avant doesn't have the security I want, so I installed for them, Orca, a browser with security, addins, and big buttons with text. I moved the tabs to the bottom of the screen and explained that they were a second task bar, specifically to show web pages, this concept they liked. They love the speed and the fact that every website seems to work just fine. They really love the autofill that automatically navigates to, logs in, and returns to a home page for all their message forums and gaming sites they frequent. Watching them stumble around the browser interface is almost funny, but Orca takes it in stride, re-opening pages they accidentally closed, figuring out whether they are typing a URL or a search or an alias, re-vealing tabs they don't realize are open.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

Something about showing some respect and not using positive-note adjectives when talking about them. They'll forgive you if you'll agree that they're miserable.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

No, no votes in sight ;) At first voting took me to a 404, but now it just does nothing.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

The newest iteration of any browser seems to have trouble. Opera used to work fine, but then it auto-updated...

awgiedawgie
awgiedawgie

I agree with a few of your points: The menu bar (even though I keep it hidden) should be above the tabs and address bar. I do keep my favourites bar visible, and I think that it, too, should be above the address bar. It would make a lot more sense to have the tabs actually attached to the pages. It is often difficult to tell on first glance which tab is the active one. Drop down arrow for recent addresses is too small. No labels on buttons. Although I do not have any trouble with that, new users who can't tell what a button does simply by looking at it would have a hard time knowing what to click. Things I disagree with you on: I have no trouble at all with startup speed or page load speed. Less than 1 second to launch IE9, and 2 seconds to load TechRepublic. All tabs have a close button, but only the active tab's is visible unless you hover over an inactive tab. Status bar works just fine for me. To pin a website to the taskbar, drag its tab from IE9 and drop it on the taskbar. (I did have to look this one up in the help pages, but it only took me a couple seconds to find it.) You seem to imply that Orca's allowing you to re-open tabs you closed accidentally is something that IE9 does not do, but IE9 (and even IE8) also allows you to re-open closed tabs. New things I like about IE9 (that are not necessarily unique to IE9): You can drag tabs out of a browser window to create a new window, or drag tabs into an open window to add them to the open tabs there. I can kill an individual tab using Process Explorer, without having to kill the whole window. This is useful when I have several open tabs (which I often do), and one of them decides to hang. I actually like the new icons. They are similar enough to previous IE icons that I have no trouble recognizing them. To be fair, those used to using other browsers, or noobs not familiar with any browser, could have trouble with them. I like that the search bar and the address bar have been condensed into a single object. When you start typing in the address bar, it automatically starts filling it in for you, offering suggestions from both your browsing history and your favourites. All in all, now that I'm used to it, I think IE9 is quite an improvement over previous versions, but there is certainly room for improvement.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Right-click the tab bar and check 'Show Tabs in Separate Row'. I agree completely about the inability to move anything else on the toolbars. I hate chasing over to the upper right every time I want to find my favorites. I'll continue using IE strictly for intranet pages since it's required for some local apps, and FF 4 for everything else at work and at home.

j-mccurdy
j-mccurdy

I don't care for IE9 either but if it's running slow for you, the the problem is on your end not IE9. It's actually a very fast browser. I think I could have got used to the interface but, I tried typing something and there was no spell check. I'm sticking with FF4 and hoping they fix the memory leak soon. I often have 15 or 20 tabs open and I'm using 300 to 400 MB of ram on it. But all my systems have 4 gigs of ram so I can work with it for now and it's plenty fast too.

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

with the browser closed open "internet options" and change the home page to a blank page now IE will open as fast as any other program because it's not "reaching out" until you send it out I've never had any use for that MSN page so it's the first thing to go when I configure a system

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

At first I was thinking ".ca? Being in Canada must be the problem." but in all fairness I don't have any experience with lag in Canada and I'm not sure what would be considered normal. What kind of computer are you using? 1024x768? Is it a netbook? Those load everyting slowly so it's kinda hard to blame your software. Enough picking on you for being a Canadian with a slow computer. I agree with your UI complaints. It feels like all the new browsers are trying to be more like Chrome and that's embarassing.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Which is where I want them. Or even on the side of the screen.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I wasn't overly concerned about the speed, thats why I only mentioned it briefly, the interface annoys me much more.

pethers
pethers

Never used IE9 RTM - not right to make a comment

TG2
TG2

I guess our "ouches" are quite different ... I too don't leave my startup page at MSN or Yahoo, I set it to Google.com ... not "igoogle" but the single graphic search starting page .... the *main* reason to set my pc to this, is to show me that its getting internet access. I do this the same as any other pc I repair, or setup for users.. so that they get a *fast* response page which gives them the idea that they did in fact, get to the internet, rather than opening IE and not knowing because it took so long.. Now as to the 9 issue... I installed it on my laptop when in beta, and stopped using it almost as quickly as I put it on, because of the way IE nixed the file menus, and to return them they were still not in a fully and easily user customizable location ... add to this, that IE9 crashed repeatedly till I found out that Microsoft's default was to turn on Hardware Accelleration.. Which again shows another issue against microsoft . . . they defaulted to ON a technology that isn't universally supported even though the browser would run (ie.. doesn't run on XP because supposedly it can't... well whats the difference if I can't run IE9 on my laptop with Accelleration turned on.. that's what microsoft has us believe is why it can't run on XP because XP wouldn't support Hardware accel ... ) And so in microsoft fashion, instead of prompting the user with a dangerous option.. "do you want to try hardware accelleration" and giving a "how to turn it off" if it fails.. ... SO microsoft.. you failed.

Slayer_
Slayer_

i installed Orca on the same machine. The initial startup took an age, so this is probably related to HDD fragmentation. However, page loads were almost instant, 2 seconds to get to TR, link click response was instant as well, unlike IE9's which took about 2 seconds for it to respond. I am not going to bother trying the newest firefox or Chrome. If IE9 isn't better than my current browser, its not really an upgrade is it?

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