As someone who has been developing web sites for the past 15 years, I have always considered Internet Explorer to be the most broken browser on the planet. If you are going to experience a browser problem with your web site not rendering properly, the problem always seems to show up in IE, even if it displays properly with every other browser. IE has also experienced many more security holes than FireFox, Chrome or Opera.
Internet Explorer 10 is a quantum leap for Microsoft that they claim makes Internet Explorer 10 compete well with all other browsers with respect to both speed and security.
- Microsoft claims that it is much more secure than previous versions of IE. One unusual feature is that it will only display Flash if the site you are visiting is on an approved list, which means that Flash animations and video may not display for all web sites. This is meant to secure your PC against several new and emerging Flash viruses. That is probably a good idea because too many people do not update their PCs regularly. Adobe has been aggressively releasing updates to patch Flash security holes, but updates only work when users run them.
- The “Do Not Track” feature is turned on by default, which means you will pick up fewer advertising cookies that customize ad displays and track your movements through the web.
- Microsoft claims IE 10 is 20% faster than IE 9. That should make it competitive with Chrome, although Chrome will still probably hold an edge for speed.
- It will only run on Windows 7 and Windows 8. Microsoft has not released a version for XP or Vista.
- For some odd reason, the address bar disappears if you are not using it regularly. It can be re-enabled, but the method to do so is not intuitive.
- The interface is entirely new and designed more for Windows 8 users than for Windows 7. Windows 8 is designed more for tablet computers with touch screens than for desktop PCs with a mouse. Unless you are already using Windows 8 with a tablet computer, it may be difficult to get accustomed to the new look and feel. If you are going to take the leap to IE 10, expect a new browsing experience, which may or may not be something you will enjoy.
- Microsoft is automatically updating Windows 7 and 8 users to IE 10 if you have automatic updates enabled. That means you could be surprised to see the new browser interface the next time you load IE.
All in all, the changes are likely to be good and should help Microsoft recover some of their plunging market share, which was down to 14.3% in January of 2013 according to the W3 Schools Browser Statistics. Lots of bugs and consistent inferior performance means that the lost market share was well-deserved.