Windows 7 32-bit 9.0.8112.16421
Windows 8 / Windows 7
Internet Explorer is often regarded as the lowly "default" browser that should only be used upon a clean installation, i.e., when no other browser is available. Microsoft hopes to change that outlook with its latest iteration, Internet Explorer 9. This upgrade hopes to abolish many of the issues experienced with previous versions while speeding up general page loads.
A quick examination of the pros, cons and overall package of Internet Explorer 9 gives great insight into the applicability of Microsoft's browser.
New, exciting features underscore IE9's two year development cycle. IE9 provides a One Box setup aimed at minimalists that doesn't compromise on tools and gadgets. For instance, the browser's Jump List feature provides an unprecedented integration of Windows and browser. This option lets users pin a specific section of a specific website, like your personal profile on Facebook, onto your Windows taskbar. Lastly, the improvements to the SmartScreen filter make browsing much safer.
Trying to recreate a previous browsing session still suffers under IE9. Both methods of getting your previous session open feel clunky. One method involves navigating to the somewhat-hidden Tools menu, and the other requires the opening of a new tab. The last approach wouldn't be any issue if it didn't awkwardly open old tabs while keeping the new tab untouched.
IE9 performs better than its predecessors in every respect. Sleeker style, faster page loading and privacy implementations make it a highly competitive browser. IE9 was developed with an emphasis on the "less is more" mentality, and this shows through its capable, yet minimal interface.
Yet, even with a new engine and minimalist intentions, IE9 doesn't even begin to approach Google Chrome's page loading speed. IE9's features also don't hold a candle to Firefox's customization options. The new version does push Internet Explorer in a new direction, but it doesn't yet allow it to replace its competitors.