What would it take to get you to run IE9 on Windows 7?

What would it take to get you to run IE9 on Windows 7?

Summary: Microsoft has launched a holiday promotion to attempt to get more Windows 7 and Vista users to try Internet Explorer 9.


For those of you Windows 7 and Windows Vista users not running Internet Explorer (IE) 9 as your browser of choice, would free music and movies be enough to entice you to switch?

Microsoft is looking to entice users who aren't running IE 9 to give it a whirl, using a holiday promotion as an incentive. But in my case, freebies aren't enough of a reason for me to switch.

During our taping of the November 3 Windows Weekly episode, Windows SuperSite's Paul Thurrott, TWiT's Leo Laporte and I all noted that we use Chrome on Windows 7. As the latest worldwide Net Applications data from October made plain, we're not alone. Net Applications found Chrome to have 16.6 percent of the combined desktop/mobile browsing share last month, and IE (all versions combined) to have 49.59 percent.

Chrome is gaining marketshare among those browsing the Web from their desktop. Internet Explorer is continuing to lose overall marketshare there, even though the share of IE 9 on Windows 7 is growing. (IE 9 runs on Windows 7 and Windows Vista but not on Windows XP.) And on the mobile phone/device front -- where Chrome doesn't currently play -- IE's share is still miniscule, as the overall Windows Phone marketshare is still quite small.

As I've blogged before, I use Chrome because it's light weight and it opens Web pages faster on my PC than IE does. I know there are speed test results out there that show IE is the fastest. It's just not the case on my PC, and so far I've been unable to figure out why. It could be the result of other programs I have installed. It is not due to browser extensions. IE 9 is slower for me even when I turn off all my extensions.

Microsoft is trying a new tack this holiday season to get more Windows users to try IE 9. As Winbeta.org noted last night, Microsoft is offering users who download IE 9 and pin various sites to their task bar a variety of freebies, including music, movies and other goodies. Among partners participating in the giveaway are Slacker Radio, Pandora, Ticketmaster, Vimeo, Grooveshark, Hulu and Fandango.

(When you go to the IE 9 holiday promo page, Microsoft detects your browser. As you can see on the screen shot below, it detected I am running Chrome 15. Click on the page to enlarge.)

Would these kinds of give-aways make you non-IE-using customers load Microsoft's latest browser? In my case, the answer is no, as performance trumps all when I'm browsing.

Speaking of IE, I asked Microsoft earlier this week when those running the IE 10 preview on Windows 7 and Vista machines could expect an updated test build. I was told by a spokesperson that Microsoft had nothing more to share at this time. Microsoft's last developer preview (Platform Preview 2) for Windows 7 and Vista users of IE 10 was on June 29. Microsoft officials said earlier this year that they planned to roll out new dev previews for IE 10 on these operating systems every three months -- which means there should have been something out around late September.

Microsoft also made two test versions of IE 10 available to users of the Windows 8 developer preview in September as part of the Windows 8 dev preview bits. Microsoft also is not commenting on whether there will be any updates to the IE 10 code before the company releases the Windows 8 beta.

Topics: Windows, Browser, Google, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • It's impredictable

    On my computer with Windows 7, Internet Explorer 9's behavior is unpredictable. I have to recover webpages all the time, it freezes (especially running Flash), it's sluggish and work with a lot of tabs is painful. The absence of extensions is also a minus.
    • RE: What would it take to get you to run IE9 on Windows 7?

      @leoberto <b><i>"it freezes (especially running Flash)"</i></b> NO! ... REALLY? ... And what does that lead you to conclude?

      1) That there's something wrong with your copy of IE?
      2) That there's something wrong with your copy of Flash?

      If you answered (1), then you're wrong.

      If you answered (2), then why are you complaining about IE's stability and performance? You should be complaining about Adobe's product.

      Sounds like you need to un-install, clean-up and re-install Flash:

      <li>Download the Flash uninstaller to your desktop from here: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/141/tn_14157.html</li>
      <li>Reboot your machine and log-in again. Close as many apps (including toolbar apps & gadgets) as possible</li>
      <li>Run uninstaller</il>
      <li>Reboot once more for good measure</li>
      <li>Now login and go to Adobe's website and install the latest version of Flash once more</li>

      Adobe have made A LOT of improvements to the latest version of Flash and you shouldn't see the crashes that have been plaguing you recently
      • RE: What would it take to get you to run IE9 on Windows 7?

        @bitcrazed <br>I have the same problem as leoberto has with IE9. You could say that Flash is at fault here and not IE. But Chrome also has Flash, but doesn't crash for me as often as IE does. And yes, I have the latest version of Flash installed on my PC. <br>The biggest problem with IE9 for me is that its behaviour is quite jerky. It may trump others in benchmarks, but experience on it is very choppy. This is why people are increasingly choosing Chrome over IE9. FF7 too has a big problem, it keeps hanging for a few seconds every 2 minutes for me. Chrome really is the most fluid browser out there.<br>It is right to criticize MS for how Flash works on IE9. They aren't working with Adobe as closely as Google is.
      • RE: What would it take to get you to run IE9 on Windows 7?

        @regsrini - if you choose to change your car's t[i|y]res to P0 low-profile units, you don't then get to complain about how "hard" your car's ride is.

        Go complain to Adobe about how poor Flash behaves on your machine(s). Microsoft doesn't have access to Adobe's code and cannot fix/change and ship it - that's entirely in Adobe's hands.

        FWIW, I have had Chrome crash 4 times this week alone, despite it running smoothly for several weeks previously. 3 crashes were due to Flash and one was a crash within the WebKit rendering engine.

        I also <a href="http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=99286&can=4&colspec=ID Pri Mstone ReleaseBlock Area Feature Status Owner Summary">logged a bug in Chrome</a> a couple of weeks ago for a long-standing issue that has yet to be responded to in any way. I also <a href="https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=694343">logged the same problem with Firefox</a> and that turned out to be marked as a repro of an <a href="https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=123341">issue first reported in Feb 2002</a>.

        All browsers have bugs and issues and none of the vendors are perfect in their response, regardless of what fanboys of any particular vendor would have you believe.
      • RE: What would it take to get you to run IE9 on Windows 7?

        @bitcrazed I don't have Flash installed at all (I refuse outright), and IE is slow, buggy, and crashes all the time. Hmmmm, maybe IE is at fault?
      • RE: What would it take to get you to run IE9 on Windows 7?


        Chrome automatically updates flash player
        Firefox nags you when flash player is out of date and sends you to Adobe's website
        How does IE9 solve this problem
        Oh yeah! 5 or more tiny steps
      • RE: What would it take to get you to run IE9 on Windows 7?

        @bitcrazed <br><br>This is why people don't use IE. Because anytime they have a problem, it's a 12 step process. Uninstall flash, reinstall flash, reboot, close apps, reboot again, etc etc etc.<br><br>This is why Apple is gaining ground. People are tired of it. They're just tired of it all. <br><br>Why is it that this guy can run chrome with no problems but not IE? And what sucks is I *love* IE9, I really do - I love the idea of pinning sites like amazon to my task bar, I love pinning hotmail to it.<br><br>But it's the little things... no spell check... and *why* can I not download attachements from a pinned hotmail session? (Seriously, to download attachements from hotmail I either have to open an true blue IE session or use firefox/chrome.) <br><br>Maybe I should reboot?
    • RE: What would it take to get you to run IE9 on Windows 7?

      Microsoft needs to look at the top add-ons that people are downloading for Firefox and Chrome and make those available for IE. They need to streamline the install process and update process for add-ons as well.<br><br>The main issue is the lack of good add-ons and the archaic install process for the existing add-ons. I have been using Firefox for several years because it has the best add-ons. I have price comparison extensions built in that tell me the best price of an item I'm looking at, I have Lazarus installed which saves everything I write in forms in case the browser crashes or I lose the page I'm on, Firefox always remembers and opens up the tabs from my previous sessions, I have YouTube add-ons which make sure that videos always play at the highest resolution and start buffering the instant the page loads, I also have ad-blockers. Chrome has many of these add-ons which IE9 lacks and its the reason Chrome is going to overtake Firefox soon. Microsoft needs to look at the top add-ons that people are downloading for Firefox and Chrome and make those available for IE.
  • RE: What would it take to get you to run IE9 on Windows 7?

    I already am. ;-) And why do you have to "switch"? I actually use all three major browsers (IE, Firefox, and Chrome) and alternate between them on a daily basis.
    • RE: What would it take to get you to run IE9 on Windows 7?

      @statuskwo5 ME too....also, I occasionally crack open Opera and Safari, which are also installed on my machine. I find that I'm using IE9 more often than I used to, and it has become my predominant browser, with FireFox 2nd, and Chrome 3rd.
      • RE: What would it take to get you to run IE9 on Windows 7?

        @gomigomijunk: Why do you possibly need 5 browsers?
    • RE: What would it take to get you to run IE9 on Windows 7?

      @statuskwo5 +1 I think this is often overlooked that many people use several browsers. For me, IE9 is my primary, but there are definitely sites which work better in Chrome. So, I just use whichever one works best at the time. There's no cost in doing this, so imo it's a moot point. Use the browser that works best for you in a given situation.
    • RE: What would it take to get you to run IE9 on Windows 7?

      Same here, I use each one for what it seems best suited for.
      Harry S.
    • No built-in spell checker, no extensions


      One of the basic reasons that I do not run IE 9.0 is because of the lack of built-in spell checker. The lack of important plug-ins or extensions is another issue. Unless these issues are corrected, I just do not see me running IE regularly, although I use it on occasons
  • Couldn't Pay me to run that POS

    Id never run IE Again. In fact on my W7 Netbook I "uninstalled" it.
    • Wow. Talk about POS

      that desribes all of your posts! :)
      William Farrell
      • RE: What would it take to get you to run IE9 on Windows 7?

        @William Farrell

    • RE: What would it take to get you to run IE9 on Windows 7?


      Good to know.
  • I already do.

    I have all browsers installed on my Win7 64 Pro system and routinely play one off against the other.

    ie9 and Chrome get the lions share of the use.

    Now if you could combo those two into one...... :)
    • FYI


      On my other systems, ie9 is the browser of choice.
      I get the most consistent results and speed compared to other browsers based on the sites I routinely visit