Today I decided to give a try to Internet Explorer 9, currently in the Release Candidate phase, and available to download at http://www.beautyoftheweb.com. These are the impressions after the first day. I used it for my usual browsing activity, such as email, search, facebook, etc. No benchmarking or things like that. Unfortunatelly, I can’t say I’m impressed. I stumbled upon some issues and features that can’t help convincing me to drop Firefox and Chrome and use IE. Hopefully, at least some of them can be fixed until the RTM, though I have doubts. Here are some of them. Maybe in some case is the site’s fault, not the browser’s fault, but bottom line is that I want a nice browsing experience. If the browser is not able the display a page correctly, even if it’s the site’s fault, I’ll have to use another browser that is able to do so.
First, after the installation finished it asked to restart Windows! Why does a browser need a system restart? Even when you install a new driver you can use the device that needs it without restarting the system. But no, Internet Explorer need a restart.
Second, not that important, but does not score well in the aesthetic category, the big, round, Back button is cut at the bottom. If the button had to be made so big, why a circle? Why not something else that didn’t leave the impression it was too big to fit the bar?
The next thing that strikes is the blurriness of the text. On the most sites that I browsed today (the only exceptions being Amazon and some Google sites such as Reader, Documents, Picasa, but not Gmail) the text appears blurred. Here is a comparison between IE9 and Firefox 3.6.x for facebook.
When using Gmail, it is not possible to select any text in any email. Here is a comparative screenshot. Don’t know what IE9 has disabled by default, and I don’t care. This is an important feature that should always work, by default.
And speaking of Gmail, the text font used in the email editor is so small. Below is a screenshot from a reply to the previous shown email, but the same font size is used when composing a new email too.
Another problem I have experienced while writing this post. This might be the fault of WordPress, but does not happen with the other browsers. The Add an Image command is supposed to insert an image at the location of the caret in the text. However, in IE9 this is always added at the very beginning of the text.
I hope things will improve with the final release. And perhaps I will get better experience with media content (as IE brags). But so far I didn’t see something to make me set IE9 as my default browser.