Expert Discourages Use of Internet Explorer 9

Dennis Faas's picture

Self-proclaimed cranky technology and business journalist Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (whose articles have also appeared in the Washington Post, PC World and ZDNet) recently put together a list of five reasons not to upgrade to Microsoft's newest web browser, Internet Explorer 9. Topping the list of reasons are operating system incompatibilities and performance issues.

We've known for some time that Internet Explorer wouldn't be compatible with Windows XP, but that doesn't make it any easier for Vaughan-Nichols to swallow.

Even though Windows XP is slowly declining in market share, it remains an incredibly useful and easy-to-navigate operating system. It's also the only option for many netbook users, for whom an OS upgrade to something big and bulky like Windows 7 or Windows Vista would represent an inescapable nightmare of slowdowns and performance problems. (Source:

Internet Explorer 9 Speed and Security Major Concerns

Vaughan-Nichols' second issue with Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) is its speed.

While it's true that IE9 is considered quicker in loading web pages than its predecessors, Microsoft Watch expert Mary Jo Foley agrees that Google's Chrome browser is still the fastest browser out there.

Given the amount of hype surrounding IE9 and the sheer amount of resources available for its design, experts seem generally disappointed that Internet Explorer 9 is still lagging behind its competition.

Internet Explorer 9 64-Bit Edition "Second-Rate"

Third on Vaughan-Nichols' list are concerns with the 64-bit version of IE9, which he describes as "second-rate".

"It's several times slower than all the other browsers when it comes to JavaScript," says Vaughan-Nichols. (Source:

Most concerning may be Internet Explorer 9's security features. Here, the situation is similar to questions about performance.

While IE9 is reportedly more secure than its predecessors, it doesn't seem as safe to use as some of its rivals. For instance, Firefox warns users if they're not running the latest version of an Adobe plug-in (which is then susceptible to exploits and attacks). On the other hand, Internet Explorer 9 does not make such a warning.

Finally, there have been lots of reports of trouble with the way IE9 displays web pages. Problems with text wrapping improperly led one expert to complain that he came away with a "splitting headache" after using IE9 for an extended period of time.

Chrome, Firefox Still the Choice for Experts

So, what does Vaughan-Nichols recommend instead of IE9? Chrome 10 or Firefox 4.

Regardless of preference, this is most certainly not good press for Microsoft just days after IE9's widespread release.

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