Thursday, March 24, 2011

Internet Explorer 9 - So Far, So Good

Although I have spent some time using Firefox, have been very impressed with Chrome, and use Safari every day on my iPad and MacBook, Internet Explorer has been my browser of choice since Netscape was bought by AOL. One of the major factors is that Microsoft Dynamics CRM, an IE-only web-based customer relationship management database, is my major line-of-business application. The fact that IE is pre-installed on most machines that I come in contact with also contributes to my use of it as a primary browser - chalk it up to the path of least resistance. I have endured the huge security holes and constant patching of IE6, and been somewhat content with the performance-lacking IE8. As soon as I had the chance to test the IE9 Technology Preview, I jumped right in.
 And was very disappointed. The Tech Preview (also known as beta) had major compatibility problems with many of the sites I use on a daily basis, including a complete inability to work with Microsoft's own CRM!

Now the release of the ready-for-primetime Internet Explorer 9 has come, and I am very happy so far with the improvements to the browser. The performance increase is very noticeable - it has dropped FireFox to the bottom of my browser arsenal, and is comparable to Chrome in speedy page rendering. Dynamics CRM feels like a new application, shaving seconds off each interaction, such as opening and saving of records or running queries - this adds up over a work day! The new interface is more streamlined, and searching in the address bar just makes sense. The decision to not support Windows XP and below was a major departure for Microsoft and while some may call it a move to force users to upgrade, the performance increases point to a deeper technology improvement not possible while maintaining expanded backward compatibility. If you haven't heard, Windows 7 is everything most thought Vista wasn't, so it's about time to get on the upgrade, XP users!

While I first thought it a gimmick, I have found the "Pin to Taskbar" function, which creates an icon in the task bar for any web site or web-based application to be very useful. At this point, these kind of cloud services deserve some desktop recognition- CRM, Blogger, Mint, and Dropbox should be one click away. My experience with compatibility has been pretty good - on the few sites where I have had an issue, one click on the "compatibility mode" icon has fixed it.

Some exploration of HTML 5 sites really excites me about what will be happening with browsers in the coming year, and its good to see that Microsoft's old warhorse is ready for the fight. If you are a Microsoft CRM Dynamics user, or use any web application in Internet Explorer on a daily basis, you need to upgrade now.


  1. Yeas and I can even repond to this post though it.