Five reasons you should switch to IE9

When Internet Explorer 9 is launched next week, there are good reasons you should switch to the latest Microsoft browser

It's official. Internet Explorer will be officially launched as of Monday, March 14. Whether you are using Internet Explorer 8, or you're one of the dwindling stubborn few clinging to IE6, or even if you are using an alternative browser like Chrome or Firefox -- here are some reasons you might want to start using IE9.

Pinned Sites. With Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft has shifted the focus of the Web browser. Instead of being a tool that renders Web pages, IE9 provides a tightly-integrated experience that treats the Web like an extension of the PC desktop, and treats websites more like applications. And, like applications, frequently visited sites can be pinned to the Windows 7 task bar for easy access. Pinned sites open in a custom browser window with the site icon in the upper left making it simple return to the initial site "home page". Sites can also take advantage of tasks and jump lists to provide right-click access to common functions within the site.

Enhanced Tabs

Tabbed browsing is great for being able to open and view multiple pages at a time. Sometimes, though, you need to see two tabbed pages side by side -- which you can't do by clicking back and forth on the tabs. With IE9, you can drag a tab out of Internet Explorer to view as a separate browser window. You can also drag and drop the tab back into the main browser when you are done viewing the pages side by side, and IE9 color codes the tabs so you can easily identify which pages are associated with each other.

Download Manager

This feature has existed in rival browsers like Firefox for some time, but it is new to Internet Explorer. The Download Manager tracks the files you download from the Internet with your browser, and helps alert you when a file might be malicious. For slow Internet connections, the IE9 Download Manager also lets you pause and restart downloads.

Tracking Protection

I don't have a lot of hope for "do not track" efforts by any browser, and I have some particular issues with Microsoft's approach in Internet Explorer 9, but the hybrid approach of IE9's do not track lists, combined with user opt-out with HTTP headers is better than nothing. Tracking Protection Lists in IE9 designate websites to restrict communication of tracking data and protect your privacy.

Hardware Acceleration

Hardware accelerated graphics is perhaps the "pièce de résistance" of IE9. Internet Explorer 9 taps into the power of the PC's graphics processor to boost performance of graphics-intensive tasks like video streaming and online gaming. Of course, your PC must have a separate GPU capable of delivering the hardware accelerated graphics performance, but assuming your PC is equipped the blazing speed of IE9 allows for a whole different Web experience.

Internet Explorer 9 requires Windows Vista (SP2 or later) or Windows 7 -- it will not work with Windows XP. Newer hardware is also helpful to take full advantage of the hardware accelerated rendering. Internet Explorer is only compatible with Windows, though, so if you are running Mac OS X or Linux you can't join the IE9 party.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags MicrosoftbrowsersinternetsoftwareapplicationsInternet Explorer

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)
Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?