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Though I am a Mozilla Firefox fan and always use Firefox nowadays, there was a time, back when we brought our first computer (an exciting day!) that we were Internet Explorer users. Though soon enough, we switched to Firefox as it was definitely less laggy and just much easier to use. My whole family found Explorer to be too crowded and confusing, and so we opted for the simpler Firefox. However, I knew that Microsoft had worked hard and had really tried with Internet Explorer 9. And after I heard some pretty good reviews about their newest try, I decided it was worth a go. Here are my experiences with Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9: Installing It The first contact you come into with their new Internet Explorer, so surely they would make the effort to make it as pain free as they possibly could? Unfortunately for them, it wasn't the best start! I'm pretty good with computers and so expected it to be very easy; a few clicks and there you are! Their new browser all up and running, ready for me to use straight away. Maybe I would have to restart but that isn't much of a hardship! However, it was quite a different story! Once I arrived at their Bing and Msn plastered automatic homepage, I spied a little link saying "Download IE9 Now" - not hugely advertised and all over the page which is good. Microsoft do have a reputation for advertising their own products quite, well lets say heavily! The link was no't the easiest to find though, I will say! But once you click on it, it brings you to a flashy looking page boasting that the new Explorer is "Fast, trusted and clean". Big promises! It also says that Bing and Msn are built in, not that much of a plus for me to be honest, as I hate Bing! The page is quite dark and looks modern and buisnessy. With all of the different features everywhere it does look like it means buisness! Really and truely, it was so far so good and I was looking forward to a fresh new Internet Explorer. So, as you do, I clicked the "Download Now!" button which was a bright orange and very easy to notice. It came up with the normal things that come with downloading a browser - run, download and all the normal things. I went through all the steps and it started downloading. When it had finished, it just disappeared and I was left there thinking "And now what?!". About two minutes later, I finally had a little notice flash up saying that Internet Explorer 9 was downloaded and ready to use. All I had to do was restart my computer. Following their instructions, that was exactly what I did. When my computer had turned on and I had logged in, I immediately noticed a difference with the Internet Explorer icon, its much lighter coloured and looks much more modern. And more luminous looking, instead of the dark blue and gold on the old icon. It certainly did look fresh and I was pleased. Then came a big moment that I had waited a whole five minutes for! Clicking on their new and improved icon and answering the question I had flying about in my head. I had finally managed to install Internet Explorer 9 ... but, of course, was it any good? For installing I give it 3/5 stars because it is much harder to install than say Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. I know for certain that some of my friends would not of been able to either. It was made long winded and even when it was installing it was not sure what percentage it was at. It jumped from 2% to 5% and then to 47%! They could have made it much, much more simple and a lot easier to install. The Layout Another big thing for Explorer. As I mentioned earlier, we have always found their browser just too crowded and busy. But now they have gone completely the other way! Here is just a brief explanation of where things are now. In the top left corner are the page skippers (backwards and forwards arrows); next to them is the search bar, which is actually very small. I don't think that is that bad really though, as Firefox's search bar is waaay too big anyway. Next to the search bar are all of your open tabs, which are also very small. Then at the other side of the page (the top right) is a button shaped as a house (the home page button), a button shaped as a star (which has a drop down menu with favourites, feed and history all in their own mini tabs, if that makes sense. And finally, the last button at the far end of the browser screen is the tools button, which has all of the normal tooly buttons in the drop down menu - print, about Internet Explorer, zoom, safety - the normal things. Their idea was also to make it not so busy near the top of the screen; so it had more of a full screen look about it. And I have to say, they have definitely succeeded. About 90% of the screen is for you and whatever website you are on. It works very well and does actually feel full screen as you have everything in one line at the top of the screen. Unless you want the tabs underneath, which you can do by just right clicking on a blank bit of the screen which you are not using and selecting "Show tabs on separate row". So what do I think of the layout? I actually love it! It is incredibly simple and easy to use. Though there are a few things I don't like much. One of my first thoughts after clicking on the icon for the first time and looking at the new layout was "Where is the Google Search bar?!". Sure enough, it was not there. I know why it isn't there as well. It's because Microsoft want you to use Bing, but it really is just a bad rip off of Google in my opinion! Even their maps arn't a touch on Google Maps! Another thing is the fact that your bookmarks - or favourites as Explorer call them - are tucked away in a little star button. When I am on the internet, I'm always checking on this and that and so I much prefer it when I can see the bookmarks all in a line under the search bar. It's much easier than the long winded process of clicking on the star clicking on the favourites tab button and then scrolling through to try and find the one you were looking for. On Firefox I could have just clicked on it straight and I would been on the site much quicker than on Explorer. Apart from the few problems, I think the layout is a huge improvement on Microsofts recent tries that have failed miserably! Coming from Firefox does take a bit of getting use to, but I found that I was soon whizzing around and doing nearly all of my normal things (just a tad slower if I got access to it through the bookmarks though!) The Layout gets 4/5 stars for a real good effort. Would have been 5 stars but the lack of a Google search bar and the placing of the bookmarks (or favourites as some know it) lets it down a bit. Apart from the things that I have highlighted above, it is a great improvement and I am really pleased! Speed Not one of pluses at all! In fact, a big minus! Here is why! When I have just one or two tabs running that don't take up too much juice, it is really fast and incredibly quick. The story changes when you have perhaps a game open in one tab, Facebook in the other and another open on Ciao. It really doesn't deal with it to well and starts to lag badly as well as freezing up frequently! It really can get very frustrating as I am a bit of a Facebook Games addict. And when it is just freezing every two seconds every time you try to click on something it becomes pointless even trying. So If you are like me and like to play a time wasting game or two (maybe moreee!) then Internet Explorer probably isn't for you. 2/5 stars for the speed. A big disappointment when it lags non stop! It only managed to scrape back two stars because it does run pretty well with not much going on in other tabs or in the background. But, listening to a song on Youtube and playing a game on Facebook say at the same time is pretty much impossible. Unless you like lagging I guess! I can also say that it isn't my computer. I have Windows 7 on a computer I got for Christmas - so it definitely isn't. It also always performs really well on Firefox and barely ever lags or crashes. Another Little Feature It also has a useful feature which is quite similar to a tried and tested Google Chrome favourite. When you click on the little plus at the end of your row of tabs and open a new tab, it will automatically go to a page of 10 boxes. As you use Internet Explorer 9 more, it will slowly fill these boxes with the websites you visit most. So if you are a Facebook addict like me, it will have Facebook in one of the many boxes. Underneath is also a bar which tells you how active you are on this site. I am most active on Facebook, Google and Youtube! If you don't want your family to know what you have been looking at because you have been looking for say a wedding ring and it would give the surprise away, then you can click a little X in the corner of that box. It will automaticly remove it from your Active page. Though I am not sure if it will also delete it again next time, or if you have to do it manually. Quite a nice touch, though I know for a fact it's copied from Google Chrome lol! 5/5 stars though, because it is still a great feature, even if it isn't completely their own idea...! Updates So far, there has not actually been an update of any kind as IE9 is still pretty new out. When they do update I really hope they make it work a bit quicker!Without all the lagging it would be a good contender for Firefox and Chrome. Right now it is way behind them in the browser race! I'm pretty sure they will try to make it faster, but then you never know I guess. Overall I have to say, I am actually writing this very review on Firefox, because I just really don't get on with Internet Explorer and I don't think it is made for me! I use my browser for personal reasons and love surfing the web, going around from one bookmark to another, playing games that take up a lot of juice and just using my browser to the max! Internet Explorer 9 however, just isn't ready for me yet. And unfortunately for them, I'm not actually that different to a lot of people on the web! But the nice little things like the backwards button is bigger than the forwards one because they know that people use the backwards one more, makes for a promising browser. Though Firefox already do this and have done for a while, it shows a turning point for Microsoft as they are finally listening to the average person and centring the browser around them. Also, if you right click on the backwards button, it will show you the last ten pages you visited, making it easier for you to see your history (Firefox also do this though!). Yet they have not actually told people and you have to find out from friends. I think their communication has broken down and got a bit lost in the mad rush to get Internet Explorer 9 out to people before they completely forget about Explorer. I would still say give Exploere a go though as you might like it! Even if you don't like it, it does no harm sitting there, now does it? If you don't use your browser as heavily as me and just use it to do light weight things I think that Explorer will be perfect for you though. So 3/5 stars overall. Internet Explorer has great, great potential and one day they will get it right. But today just isn't that day! Thanks for reading! Please comment and rate! :) x
I have always been a Windows user, and my browser of choice has always been internet explorer as I find it easy and intuitive to navigate and do what I want with my computer. I am a high use internet user, on for hours every day, so I like my browser to help make my time more efficient with the ability to have lots of pages open at once with no effect to the speed of my experience. I was using internet explorer 8 alongside Windows 7, when I was prompted around 8 weeks ago to upgrade to IE9. Promising to be a faster and smoother experience, and having already used IE9 on my husbands laptop, I was happy to upgrade. Installing Internet Explorer Version 9 This was a simple matter of going to the microsoft website, choosing downloads compatible with windows 7. The familiar explorer logo is one of the first ones I saw, so I clicked on the download here link and then followed the instructions given to me on screen. Within minutes, all was in place on my computer, and it was good to go. Using IE9 Upgrading from explorer 8, this version felt very different, although it was mostly organisation of the browser for me. Nothing too horrible but it did take a little while for me to get used to it. My favourite saved sites had all transferred across to IE9 in the same order, but now instead of seeing them on the top left of the screen under the word favourites, I had to search around. Now they are at the top right of the screen on the same part of the screen as the box you type the website into. It is an icon now, which is a star. Hover the mouse over it and it tells you it is the favourites, feed and history of the browser. Clicking brings up the list as you would have seen it in IE8, but it does take a lot of getting used to being on the opposite side of the screen. Apparently it has been set up in this manner to let the site you are browsing be seen better over the whole computer screen. You can pin it over the other side of the screen for that browsing session if you like, but I felt it was easier long term to just get used to it. I'm just happy all my favourites are still as I set them up, and it is just as easy to add new things to it and organise it. The next thing that needs more getting used to is the way the tabs are set up if you have multiple screens open. I tend to have at least 4, sometimes more screens open at a time. These tabs are again all on the same line as the address box and the favourite icon, so it is quite a small area of the screen that gets quite busy for me. I have found that I can sometimes accidentally close a tab as I am trying to move between them which is somthing that didn't happen on IE8 for me. It can be frustrating. Using the web address book is something I really do like on IE9. It has a good memory of sites you regularly use. These options come up in a box underneath, and you can just click on the one you want from the list. You can also go straight to a search engine from this bar. You can add in any engine you want just by clicking on the arrow pointing down in the bar, and there is a little add button on the bottom of the box that appears. You can type in yourself or choose one the browser suggests. This is really what does make the process quicker as there is less typing involved by the user and it is great for me as I am the main person in the house who uses this computer so it is all really tailored to me the individual. I don't know if it would be less great if you had 2 or more members of the family with hugely different site usage. Another great feature is there is a little icon next to the address bar that looks like a torn sheet of paper. If you are viewing some sites that are not designed for his browser, then it will correct how they look so they appear normal to you. This will then save so that every time you visit that site it will look like this. Whenever I open a new tab, the screen is different to anything I have ever seen in explorer before . It now shows a screen with 10 boxes that have suggestions of sites that I have visited in the past and I might want to go to again. This could be really useful, but it has suggested really random ones like a review here, that l would have looked at on only one occasion, so I do not know why that would appear as a highly used site, when the homepage of dooyoo which I do go to daily is not on there. If one of the sites that is suggested is useful, then I can click on the square, and this opens in the tab. This feature could be so much better if the suggestions that appeared were useful. Although this is new in explorer, I have seen it before in Google's chrome browser. Final Thoughts Overall, I do think it is faster, and it does seem to work really well with Windows 7, but I do find that it has a bit of a tendency to crash randomly the way I use it. Weirdly, this will affect some sites more than others. It does recover from this quickly and then reload the pages you had open, but it just bugs me. Once you get past the changes in layout, it has been a fairly smooth transition, and if I took more time to look into features such as pinning websites to the toolbar, I could probably get even more out of it.