How-To Geek

Ask the Readers: Will You Make IE9 Your Default Browser Once the Final Version is Released?

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Microsoft has done a wonderful job of turning Internet Explorer around and making it a competitive browser with its’ newest version. This week we would like to know if you will make Internet Explorer your default browser after the final version is released.


Internet Explorer 9 has made a huge leap forward with its’ hardware acceleration, web standards support, new Chakra JavaScript engine, and streamlined UI. New features such as the “speed dial” styled new tab page, notification bar, One Box address & search bar, ability to pin tabs/websites to the taskbar, tear-off tabs, Windows 7 integration, and a dedicated download manager make this version a joy to use when compared to earlier versions. It literally is a whole new browser.

What are your thoughts on Internet Explorer 9? Is this going to be a browser worth using? Will you set it as your default browser, use it alongside your other browsers, or have you just been burned too badly by past releases to use it? Let us know in the comments!

[polldaddy poll=”3915964″]

Now that you have finished with the poll, you can enjoy reading through our latest articles about the Internet Explorer 9 beta release.

Internet Explorer 9 Screenshot Tour: It’s Got a Completely New Interface

Always Show the Menu & Other Toolbars Bar in Internet Explorer 9 Beta

Customize, Change, or Remove the New Tab Page in IE 9

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 10/13/10

Comments (69)

  1. VICTOR360

    Having a perfect browser chrome who needs ie

  2. David

    Chrome is iterating faster than IE, and IE’s UI is still cluttered and confusing compared to Chrome’s. The big problem, though, is the complete lack of a lightweight extension model.

  3. nbnt

    Hell no, son.

  4. Seasider

    Have been trying IE9 out from the day Beta was released. At first it seemed very good, fast and tidy, but got slower and the crashes began. I only use a few add ons and they won’t work. Lastpass acts crazy, and that’s the new IE9 version. I have gone back to IE8, as my reserve browser of course.

  5. EspaÑaks

    I will make it my 3rd browser, being Opera 1st and Chromium 2nd, though it maybe gets up to 2nd if the final version is faster. The only OS i’ve installed it is in a Win7 and for the Bing Rewards thing, and it was not that bad.

  6. Greg Duncan

    It already is my default browser… :)

    But I had to laugh that in order to vote, I had to switch on the compatibility mode for this site. Without it on, voting wouldn’t work. lol

    But that aside, all my plug-ins (only one had to be updated) now work fine, the speed rocks and it all just seems to work.

    I like the new very simple and clean UI. It really does get out of the way.

    Perfect? Nope. But then what is?

  7. matt

    I was willing and wanted to try out the beta, but lack of XP support left me out. Mozilla still seems to be able to make a modern browser on XP (ridiculous, ridiculous excuse Microsoft, really), so I’ll stick with Firefox.

  8. Howard

    no way !

  9. Greg Duncan

    That said, I agree with David. They need to roll IE.Next next year and updates much faster than they are now. A major release every 12 months (or every 6’ish would be better… Spring and Fall).

    And do something with the extension/plug-in/add-in model. The current approach is so very dated (cough… IE Team… look to VS’s extension model and MEF… cough… ;)

  10. onedeafeye

    I’ll stick with Firefox. I like the fact that I can customize it and play with all the settings in about:config. The speed difference if it exists isn’t enough to make it an issue for me.

  11. KB Prez

    I’m glad Microsoft is trying to “fix” IE, but I switched from IE to Firefox long ago and I’m never going back.

  12. Jebus

    Firefox > Opera > Iron > * > IE

    ‘Nuff said :)

  13. Leslie

    SRWare Iron is the best browser I’ve ever used ! IE9 is good but nothing compare to SRWare Iron.

  14. cnterrychen

    I will stick with Chrome and if I really need 2nd browser, I will think of Firefox instead of IE. Chrome is not perfect, but it keeps improving and new releases are coming out frequently. And I think Firefox 4 is also very competitive, it is faster and it will still be customizable and all the great add-ons will support Firefox after the stable comes out. IE 9 is fine. But if I need a fast browser, I can choose Chrome; if I want to have a customizable one, Firefox is always the best choice.

  15. David Levine

    While IE 9 would not replace my default browser, it will be nice to use a better browser for those IE only websites. However, if I had the option, I might replace Safari 5 with IE 9 on my Mac.

  16. Kmmarti

    IE has always been my default browser, and with IE9 beta running it still and after the final release it will continue to remain. I have only firefox install and use it for compatibility issues with IE especially having Win7 and not everything up to date with it, initially. But now almost, and almost having a second browser is becoming obsolete.

  17. Akshay Bilolikar

    One Box = Omnibar. Seriously, IE9 reeks of Chrome. I will never use a Trident rendering engine, and will never even think of IE. If I need an IE only site, I’ll get that wonderful Chrome extension chrome IETab.

  18. theamazingpete

    I’ve been road testing it for several weeks now and I like what I see. I presume the security is good, as that is something which isn’t apparent through use.

    It’s a beta so there are problems, usually, it seems related to flash. These will be fixed in the final version. One thing… When a site doesn’t work I go to FF or chrome to view it and their UIs seem very old fashioned and dated, particularly FF.

    Overall… I like!

  19. Hatryst

    I’m a firefox fan… There’s no way I’m leaving it for any other browser ;)

  20. Ryan

    nope sorry, FireFox all the way for me.

  21. Abba Dabba

    Actually Chrome is much slower than IE9 – at least for now. The two fastest browsers (for those that care) are Opera and IE9. I’ve never understood the browser speed thing though because I’ve never had to wait for my browser – not sure where this problem comes from but apparently my system is immune.

    Personally, I’ll stick to Firefox and may not switch to 4.x…at least for a while. Chrome is an ugly, immature abomination – it’s horrible and probably always will be but I expect nothing less than failure from Google.

  22. Mohan

    Considering IE doesn’t run on my platform of choice (which I am happy about), I won’t be using. The only time I will use it is to check if a site I am working on looks good in IE in VirtualBox.

  23. Paul

    Not likely; I’m more than happy with Firefox. I think Microsoft have missed the boat on browsers, for which they have only themselves to blame. Their complacency years ago in believing that everyone would always use IE because that’s what was bundled with Windows, and in not developing standards-compliant software thereby shutting out competing browsers, has done them no favors. Now they’re left looking like they’re just following the herd.

  24. SuAlfons

    I will use IE at work, since I must. We will get Win7 with IE8 by Christmas (this year :-). I do not expect them to update the browser within the next 2 years (we only just got IE7 last year!).

    At home, I run several computer old and new. The browser preference varies from box to box (xmarks threatening to go down was my horror!), but IE is only used for WindowsUpdate.
    Right now, I use Firefox on my main machines (the newer ones and those not Windows) and Chrome in the living room (beautiful Fullscreen mode, fast even on old hardware).

  25. David g

    I found IE9 faster than Chrome for things like gmail – so i made it my default browser. But there were things about it that just began to annoy me – such as password handling. It would not let me remember user names and I got sick of having to type stuff in every time I went into my favourite web sites. So even though the web pages loaded faster than chrome (very slightly) it was actually slower because of having to navigate the password screens
    Also the taskbar application icons dont look as good as Chromes so that annoyed me a bit as well – and the speed dial page having icons instead of web pages.
    I probably would have persisted with it but the rest of the family hated it so its back to chrome for me. And how long is it going to be Chrome has full hardware acceleration anyway?

  26. Lady Fitzgerald

    Not until I upgrade from XP. My XP machine is only a little over two years old, will not run on Vista/win 7, and I do not want to replace a machine that is meeting my needs until I have gotten my money’s worth out of it.

  27. Edgar

    Nope. Its good, and i like it, but i have Firefox with all this working addons that make me happy. Sorry Chrome, sorry IE.

  28. at0mic

    i’ll use any browser that i can block ads and google

  29. Matthew

    I’ll be sticking with Chrome (stable & canary)

  30. 2 Replies

    Knowing the mindset of the average non-IE PC browser user, I can already anticipate the “No” responses (regardless of the actual quality of the final IE release).

    //Chrome user for reasons REGARDLESS of IE’s quality in comparison to chrome.

  31. sam

    IE is still a very bad browser. first off the interface is really poorly designed and not practical for a power user at all, second, almost nothing is customizable about the browser, where in firefox I could completely remove the toolbars and status bar if I wanted, only showing the content window and navigating by keyboard, I can change little behaviors like what tabs do when I hover over them, how firefox manages memory, ect. completely to what I need. IE doesn’t and probably won’t ever have this depth of functionality. Microsoft just isn’t capable of that level of quality.

  32. 2 Replies

    I AMY switch, once a majority of the websites I use implement HTML5 rendering technologies (for which IE surpasses Chrome and Firefox in terms of frame-rate efficiency due to the default GPU accelerated rendering).

    But at the moment, for me it’s still just a side-bar browser for testing purposes, with Chrome being my first choice.

  33. achmadz

    Not a chance! got Chromium and Firefox, that’s it

  34. Danny

    IE will always be my 2nd browser, a backup when my primary browser (Chrome or Opera, never FF) is having problems with a site. IE’s still not as snappy as the other browsers and it’s also the main target of malware. With enough compelling innovation, I would be using it more.

  35. 2 Replies

    @sam: Obviously you’ve not even tried IE9.
    By DEFAULT the browser is setup with minimalist controls. (Your specific examples being totally off base because toolbars, status-bar, and the file menus are hidden (is unchecked in the toolbars options menu). These DEFAULT settings are even MORE minimalist than the default settings for the latest version of Firefox (3.6.10), which by default displays the file menu.
    And you also just describe ‘full screen’ navigation, which has been a feature in nearly ALL browsers (IE included since ie6), via F11

    And beyond the hidden ways to tweak IE (exactly the same as how the vast majority of Firefox’s config options are hidden to the average user), there are a TON of third party apps/tools (similar to firefox’s), (many aptly named “IE Tweaker”, google it…) that can also be used to modify customize the browser’s settings.

    But you have your own preferences, and have a right to them.
    But you should know, declaring that IE9 doesn’t and MS isn’t capable of that level of quality just reflects your OWN brand biases and lack of knowledge of the product and/or how to fully use it.

  36. tigladd

    hell! NE – VER!

  37. Miguel

    Alerady my default browser, but I do see a few more interactions are required before releasing it to the public. A few sites I use often do not work with IE9, not even in compatibility mode. But besides that, a clear and nice interface and definitely faster (I am using Windows 7 x64 version, if it matters).

  38. Kevin

    I left IE alone in 2005 and I never looked back

  39. Abba Dabba

    I left Windows behind in the late 90s and was pretty happy running Linux as my main OS but I kept an open mind and Windows 7 was enough to bring me back to Windows as primary. I occasionally still use Linux but now only in a VM and mostly when I’m feeling nostalgic. Times and products change. IE9 is a really nice, fast and compliant browser. It’s not my primary, that’s still Firefox but I do use it on a regular basis. I also have Chrome and Opera and while both are nice, they’re just not as good as either IE or Firefox. If Microsoft ever comes out with a robust and easily accessible addon system like both Firefox and Chrome have I will probably make it my 90% browser.

  40. dood

    I’ll never switch to IE, anything is way better than it.
    The biggest problem that I run into as an IT guy is mainly IE problems, since most users don’t know or want(!!!) to switch over to anything else which requires me to learn (even if I don’t want to) the inner-works of the IE beast, there are even people who are still using explorer 5/6 *shudder*

  41. Jeremy Duffy

    Let’s think logically:

    Will IE ever allow adblocking, script blocking, and stop putting in special exceptions for Microsoft sites/code/etc? I don’t think so and therefore I won’t use it.

  42. Anonymous

    WILL NEVER USE INTERNET EXPLORER. Not even if it is going to pay me $1000 bucks. World’s worst browser is and will be INTERNET EXPLORER!

  43. Bill D

    I have been using IE9 beta since it came out on windows 7 64 bit has been working fine, I din’t even think I will ever go and download firefox or another borwser again.

  44. Gourav Mittal

    After using it, I can only say that I would prefer Chrome over it any day. Chrome is followed by the Epic browser and then maybe IE9…

    Thanks for the post though.
    ( http;// )

  45. Dave v

    Orca browser first ( IE based with FF Add-ons and tools ) SrWare Iron second, Internet Exploder 9 as a last resort

  46. John Shelton

    IE has been my default browser since AOL bought Netscape and ruined it. I have been using IE9 beta on one of five machines (3 Windows 7 and two XP Pro) since it was publicly available. IE8 was a step backward from IE7 in stability (and remains rather unstable) and IE9 appears to be an additional step backward from IE8 in stability. I am not able to get my favorite add-ons (iespell and IE7 Pro for instance) working in IE9. Although IE9 does present a much cleaner appearance, it does not show much, if any, of an improved overall “browsing experience” from previous versions. Needs major improvement from current state.

  47. Ricci

    I love my Chrome , I will stick with him. :)

  48. Leo

    well.. if it’s faster (or same) than firefox could be. Yet, it still needs extensions like Firefox.

  49. mike

    Just after installing Windows 7 64bit they announce IE9 Beta. I’m usually leery of beta stuff, especially from M/S. But I installed it and haven’t given it a lot of thought since. I’ve had zero problems with IE9 which I cannot say for IE8 that I installed and then reverted to IE7 when 8 got in the way of some stuff (noticebly Gmail and Google searches)
    I see no reason to not leave IE9 in place. (unless they tinker with something and break it)

  50. Fodaro

    Well, I tried IE9, and while it should be better than before for those sites that need IE, I use Opera, which is where other browsers ape most of their features from anyway, and I can’t find a feature that will make me switch. The pinning sites to the taskbar is nice, if gimmicky, but not nice enough.

  51. Aethec

    If they fix the blurry text issue, yes.
    And if Adobe finishes its x64 Flash player, I’ll use the x64 version.
    (There are currently 380 stupid anti-MS fanboys. Guys, if you don’t like IE9, it’s your choice, but at least try it…)

  52. frustrated

    Sorry between having address bar taking up space for tabs, even if one resizes the address bar plus the lack of USEFUL addons like there are in Firefox I won’t be using IE9. Also IE9 has the darn annoying popup about disabling lastpass addon due to slower load times. I don’t care stop bugging me!

  53. mrlol198

    I have windows xp and i don’t use this software as browser :)

  54. sidiiq

    Firefox rocks!! no way to use IE

  55. Wevenhuis

    Although results show improved rendering of IE9, it still remains uterly slow. IE 9 beta also has many bugs, has crashed many times, and sometimes even freezes up windows 7!!!

    Google chrome is faster and much more user friendly. The main reason to have IE9 with windows 7 is because they complement each other easier with regard to shared use e.g. Office programs and downloading and the fact the hotmail works well only in IE9. Hotmail does not work properly in Google chrome.

  56. Urichhai

    Ya know it always amazes me how every one dumps on IE and MS. Been using IE forever and have used all the others(FF,Moz,opera,chrome,and all the rest) and to tell the truth they all come down to personal pref. Every browser has there strengths and weaknesses and I find that for me IE works and not all the others do. Maybe I just know how to tweak it for me and not everyone who says they are tech savy really are. I go to clients all the time who swear by there browser but after I tweak IE for them they seem to use it more. Oh well just my 2 cents.

  57. Urichhai

    Oh and Wevenhuis in case you missed it its a beta and thats why MS wants your comments and critique.Thats why they release it that way if its not working let them know. I was part of the Win 7 beta and believe me if something didnt work they heard from me.

  58. w00t

    Ill use it just to download firefox.

    Chrome violates my privacy. IE lacks security and customization.

    Firefox all the way.

  59. RSFalcon7

    God know how mutch secuty issuis the IE9 has….

    I bet that afew weeks later some problems will come up


  60. Archie

    I couldn’t give a rat’s a$$ about fancified GUIs as long as the product works well across all four common platforms – and that automatically consigns any M$ browser to the bin.
    Yes, four platforms ’cause Win7 is different enough to another platform alongside XP.
    Tried it on Win7, not impressed with functionality and found the UI so far off-scale compared to Office 2010 etc that it might as well be a whole new language.
    M$ still doesn’t understand that a bunch of unrelated software apps dumped on top of an OS doesn’t make for a good working environment.

  61. Jan

    I will just try IE for a month and see if it’s worthy of being my default browser.

  62. Graham

    Why do IE versions never allow starts-ups to open with saved tabs open?
    I won’t consider it wthout that feature.

  63. the old rang

    I used windows for years… wanting to get out of it for years.
    I used computers for many years before windows. I was not computer illiterate (experience back to Punch paper tape, Punch cards and manual entry systems.)

    I NEVER liked IE. Being a security type person, trained in computer security, I saw it was worse than a dead end in both security, and just a lousy interface, trying to be Netscape.

    (Ibid with Outhouse, their email system).

    Not using windows or other microsoft security sewers…

    Once I got out of it… I am staying out of it.

    Never will go back.

  64. Steve "Smudgepot" Mosqueda

    I have been using IE9 beta and Chrome Canary 8.0.555 side by side lately and there are some key highlights and annoyances for both. FF is still on my PC as well because I cant bring myself to say goodbye, but it doesnt see much use lately.

    IE9 beta
    + Fresh and minimalistic appearance
    + Hardware acceleration.
    + Page caching control (Check for newer versions of stored pages “Every time I visit the webpage” is my preferred option)
    – No “Chrome to phone”
    – Status bar implementation eats screen real estate and Chrome’s is light years better.
    – No paste and go when using mouse to paste addresses in address bar.
    – No password management
    – No AdBlock Plus (Inprivate filtering is not the same and large lists cripple the browsing experience)

    Chrome Canary
    + Chrome to Phone – best add-on/add-in ever.
    + Status bar implementation.
    + Paste and go when using mouse to paste addresses in address bar.
    + Password management
    – No about:config
    – Missing page caching control (Check for newer versions of stored pages “Every time I visit the webpage” is my preferred option)
    – No hardware acceleration yet.

    Both browsers need better user control of “New tab” features and layout.
    My main browser is Canary because it just seems faster for most of the browsing I do today.


  65. jfjb

    the poll is missing the most important question: WHY ?

  66. miry-mir

    already default…

    google have you…

  67. red240

    I’m using it right now and I must say I am very impressed. It’s much faster than IE8 (I’d say that it keeps up with firefox, which sounds craxy but is true) and it’s just a beauty to look at.

  68. Aethec

    w00t : “IE lacks security”. Just so you know, IE is currently waaaaaay more secure than Firefox, and it seems Mozilla doesn’t really care about security, so this is not going to change any time soon.

  69. John F

    I have been using the BETA 9 version for less than a month. When I go back through the remarks found online, I see that the problems found several months ago have not been resolved. IE9 in the month of December is buggy, has a poor interface that can easily result in loss of a page, and interfaces very very poorly with Hotmail, often not working at all. I liked IE8 very much, and feel that Microsoft is again NOT listening to input from BETA users on the major issues with this software package. Sorry, I feel IE9 is not ready for prime time. thumbs down. Have started using Google Chrome.
    Microsoft: The General Motors of the software industry.

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