Microsoft's IE10 for Windows 7: Worth another try?

Microsoft's IE10 for Windows 7: Worth another try?

Summary: Microsoft has made available a new test build of Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7, after more than a year of not updating the pending product.


As I've noted in this blog several times over the past couple years, I have become a devoted Google Chrome user because Internet Explorer 9 on my Windows 7 PC is not up to snuff.


Yes, I have tried just about everything imaginable to fix this. I've disabled all add-ons. I've reinstalled the browser. I've called in the big guns from Microsoft, ZDNet and other shops to try to provide help. Nothing made IE9 running on Windows 7 on my UL30A laptop from ASUS run acceptably. In spite of all of Microsoft's benchmarks and claims to the contrary, Chrome starts up, opens sites faster and hangs less than IE9 on my current PC.

I am willing to see if IE10 will work any better on my current Windows 7 laptop. So I am downloading the new preview build -- the first Microsoft has released for IE10 for Windows 7 in over a year. Here's the download link for the latest IE10 for Windows 7 test build.

There's no word from the IE team as to why they went months and months with no new preview builds for this. (My guess would be the team was busy finalizing IE10 for Windows 8 and Windows RT and there are only so many resources to go around.) In mid-October this year, the team broke its silence and said another test build was on its way.

Unlike the other test builds, the new IE10 on Windows 7 preview build is meant for consumers, and not just developers, meaning it includes the new IE10 user interface. It also is optimized for touch first and includes improved security, performance and HTML5/CSS3 standards compliance, according to the Softies.

Microsoft is not providing a date as to when it expects to release the final version of IE10 for Windows 7. It's also not known if there will be additional preview builds before the final is out. Company officials say all of this will be determined by customer feedback.

Microsoft's IE marketshare on Windows has been either holding roughly steady or dropping, depending on which analysts you believe. Will IE10 on Windows 7 help Redmond grab a few more points? Time will tell....

Once you've downloaded the new IE10 for Windows 7 preview, I'd be interested in hearing your experiences. Please chime in below in the comments.

Topics: Browser, Microsoft, Windows


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).

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  • So far so good.

    I haven't noticed anything off just yet. It feels faster though.
    • agree

      so far no problems usign firefox a sec thru it doe speemspeeder for me considorign onlde rpc system...:)
  • Status Bar: IE Zone

    Have they added back the IE Zone info to the status bar? This was accidentally removed in IE9...
    • Accidentally?

      Apparently not, because it's still missing in Win8... I doubt they'd add it back in Win7.
    • No status bar

      No, I m using IE 10 on Win 7 and status bar is here.
      Prashant Mathur
  • I wonder ...

    The IE team appears to be done with IE10 on ARM and x86/x64 for Win8 and now appear to be nearing completion of IE10 on x86/x64 for Win7.

    I wonder whether the next step is for the IE team to introduce a more rapid release model, shipping new versions of IE every 4-6 weeks like Google, Mozilla and others have been for a while now.

    If the IE team do not do this, I fail to understand how they can get new versions of IE into developers' hands in order for them to build next-gen websites using the rapidly evolving HTML5 suite of standards (including CSS3, JS6, etc.)

    I think that the IE team are now pretty-much on-par with Chrome & Firefox in terms of supporting the major stable parts of the HTML5 specs and in many areas, are now well ahead of the game thanks to their deep investment in hardware-acceleration from the core of IE outwards. Now is the time to capitalize on the rapid advancements in the HTML5 specs and to provide a first-class, up to date browser platform that is as compliant to the letter of the emerging specs as possible.

    Fingers crossed.
    • I hate the idea of rapid release...

      Especially where enterprise users are concerned. I still have sites at work that REFUSE to acknowledge that IE9 exists, let alone IE10. It's sad, but most of those are insurance and government sites, so I can't say I'm surprised (and neither should others).

      I ban the use of Chrome and Firefox because of their release schedules "breaking" things. If IE did this, it would be catastrophic for administrators.

      That said, compatibility mode usually works wonders, and I would love it if they released updated compatibility packs on an on-going basis to improve standards support. That could be done on a frequent basis.
      • One IE to Rule them All

        True, however, if IE did implement the rapid release philosophy, it would force those websites to update their code to be IE-compliant and reduce/eliminate the need of supporting multiple versions. Major revisions could go to MSDN devs a bit out from the public release date to give those shops time to adjust, etc., ideally with example code snippets (MSFT is very good at doing that sort of thing).

        There are myriad stories about how having to continually support IE6 has delayed web development, and now it's kind of the reverse; we can't continue to let these lethargic institutions dominate browser choice and updates.
        • Force Them To Update Or Abandon

          SMS companies would not have browser apps if that were the case, they can't dedicate resources to keep them up to date just because another month passed and a new browser version broke something.
        • You fail to understand...

 the government works. They don't just update to satisfy their customers. They update only when they darn well feel like it. :\
      • @GoodThings2Life

        There are many ways Microsoft could give Admins control over how up-to-date they want to remain, including Group Policy support over when to allow IE to update, whether to auto-update minor version number increments, preventing IE auto-update at all, etc.

        But this should not prevent the IE team from being able to make more frequent builds of IE available to general users or those less vested in legacy LOB apps and sites.
        • Umm...

          I'm busy enough as it is... I'm not wasting more of my time managing every !@#$ing web site's compatibility issues. I'm a system administrator, not a babysitter! :)
      • IE 10??? too little to late

        I'm inclined to agree sadly. I've been in China for the last year where they've developed their own flavour of IE (no surprise). In any case, they're biggest bank "Bank of China" couldn't even use IE9 until recently... NONE of the other browsers will work with their electronic banking, but really until IE 10 is tried and true, there is no point to trying for larger organizations/governments as you've so quickly pointed out.

        • That doesn't make sense

          Huh? How can IE10 which is built to support a constantly evolving spec be too little to late? That reasoning makes no sense.
      • Firefox has an answer to rapid release problems

        Firefox has Extended Support Release versions for organizations that don't want to be on the rapid release schedule. These builds are supported for a year, during which they get only security patches, no major updates. There's a 12 week overlap with the next Extended Support Release to permit testing and certification prior to deploying a new version. Maybe you shouldn't be banning Firefox.
      • RE: I ban the use of Chrome and Firefox because of their release schedules

        You are everything that is wrong with IT. You are the past. You are obsolete. A competent IT manager has no problem with supporting multiple browsers. In our organization people use what they want. They know that a few (very very few) websites only work in IE and they use IE for those sites.
    • next generation websites

      are going to be incompatible with older brosers, for example from everybody still running XP, or people who are frustrated by quick release on Firefox and Chrome breaking stuff, and so turn off automatic update.

      Compatibility with the audience is more important to a website than using all the latest gimmicks.
    • They actually do rapid releases...

      ...via Windows Update. I think the latest version of IE9 was 9.0.10 or something.

      IMO, the way of doing one big release (IE9) and than providing small, incremental updates to it (via that Windows Update cumulative fixes) is way better than the way Firefox etc. is handling it. I mean, with Firefox, we're not at Version 15, 16? Where I can't really tell the difference between 12, 13, 14... it's just a waste of major version numbers when there are no major changes...
      • Firefox is at v. 16 - or 10 extended support

        Those using Firefox Extended Support Release are still on v. 10, the next update for them will be 17.
    • IE 10

      Wow!! I feel so old. I remember when my OS was WIN 3.1, my dialup modem delivered at 17.6 kbps, and Netscape was my browser. This was circa 1994. Most software was available as free downloads and we dint have viruses, worms or trojans. Those days there were no social networks and mark zukerberg must have been in shorts. My first hard drive in 1987 was all of 40 MB. Tell me more about IE10