The widely distributed Web browser from Microsoft
Windows 7 32-bit 9.0.8112.16421
Windows 7 / Windows 8
Internet Explorer 9 is a web browser from Microsoft, and this version includes a vast array of features that help the software run as efficiently as possible.
IE 9 is able to take advantage of InPrivate technology that allows for private browsing. That means any websites visited won't be logged, and you won't accept cookies from any site. Thanks to the advanced tools in IE 9, the user can now personalize their privacy settings to allow certain types of personal data to be shared with certain sites.
Microsoft has upped the security of Internet Explorer for this version. It includes tools that protect your online activities from tracking, and the SmartScreen Filter helps you stay away from unsavory pages by checking the security certificate of every site you use.
Internet Explorer 9 is the first version of the classic browser to include a tab system. For users who hate having multiple windows open at once, this is an excellent update. It seems strange that Microsoft would wait so long to implement such a universally desired feature, but at least they've finally caught up to the benchmark browsers.
Of course, the fact that IE is one of the oldest browsers also means it has intriguing and useful options. You can alter the language settings so that websites appear in whatever language you select. This is helpful for those who frequently travel out of the country, or for those who simply want to see webpages in a language besides English. The browser comes with a built-in search engine functionality, and it uses Bing by default, of course. Thankfully, you can change the default search engine to something you prefer.
One area where Internet Explore has famously faltered is extensions, but IE 9 doesn't have that problem. This version has a fair number of plugins to optimize your flow, and the extension performance center offers a real-time view of resources used by various plugins. You can find plugins slowing down your software and remove them.
Internet Explorer 9 is a vast improvement upon the past versions of the software, but it hasn't reached the end yet. There are still a number of features that need to be tweaked and optimized. The support for plugins, additional security and privacy options, and performance center put Internet Explorer 9 on par with other benchmark browsers.
Even with the many advancements that have come to Internet Explorer, it still has a long way to go before it's competing evenly with industry leaders like Firefox or Chrome. Even Opera is smaller and more efficient than IE 9, but that doesn't change the fact that IE 9 is a fine browser that will work efficiently in a pinch. The app is too large to let it run quickly, and it's too small for the plugin support.
As Microsoft’s answer to viewing the World Wide Web, Internet Explorer 9 launched in March 2011. This was a watershed moment, as Microsoft finally started to fix many of the problems inherent in the previous versions. Since the browser came on to the scene in the mid 90s, the browser had been at the forefront of pushing the Internet experience. That had lagged with previous versions, but Microsoft finally started to get it right with this entry.
A new Era
One of the best features of the browser is the fact it uses Hardware acceleration to keep it stable. The previous versions of IE were slow and cumbersome, with the speed of Google’s Chrome browser surpassing it on every level. The added hardware acceleration makes sure IE 9 uses the resources of the computer to remain zippy in all areas.
The user interface finally gets a huge overhaul in IE 9. This UI reflects the leaps and bounds that other browsers have experienced in recent years. There is a way to minimize the chrome, or unused portions, of the browser until it is almost unnoticeable. It is easy to get the browser to look like a modern program without much issue. Tabs also play a major part in making this possible, since the implementation is no longer cumbersome.
Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
Unfortunately, not all is good with this version of IE. With all the positive changes, it seems that Microsoft is content to hang on to the past. The browser is faster, but lacks some of the features many users have come to expect. There is also an issue with security. Although many of the security vulnerabilities of the past versions of Internet Explorer have been fixed, there are still many holes that pop up on a daily basis.
With a world that is so mobile, bookmark syncing is a high priority on the lists of many. Syncing between the phone, a laptop, a desktop and a tablet is something that is needed in the modern marketplace. The lack of this feature for Internet Explorer 9 is a big miss. IE 9 also lacks theme support. This isn’t as big of a fault, but modern users like to customize their own experience. There is much customization to be had here, but none that changes the look of the product.
- Internet Explorer 9 is a big step forward from the previous versions.
- The security holes so prevalent in other versions of IE are gone.
- The browser is blazingly fast. It uses hardware acceleration to help make this possible.
- The user interface is a step up from any other version of IE.
- It is missing modern features that are common in other browsers
- Bookmark syncing and theme management are a no show.
- HTML 5 is supported but not in all areas
- Many security issues are fixed, but new ones are popping up.
- Limited to Vista and Windows 7 computers and earlier.