Internet Explorer unpopular but maybe not that bad


— 12:53 PM on May 1, 2012

Internet Explorer seems to have been largely shunned by PC enthusiasts. Google Analytics tells me that only 18% of our traffic for the last month came from Windows' default web browser. Firefox had a 35% share, followed closely by Chrome at 33%. Over half of our IE users are running the latest 9.0 revision, and a big chunk are surely only using the browser because they're on work machines with no other option.

Is Internet Explorer really that bad, though? Lifehacker decided to take a closer look with a week-long test. As it turns out, the latest IE release is pretty solid. Although it doesn't render pages quite as fast as competing browsers, the author calls its performance "more than acceptable." He also points out that the browser never crashed or got bogged down, issues he still encounters with FireFox and Chrome.

Better Windows integration is named as another benefit; some sites offer additional functionality in their preview windows when pinned to the taskbar. However, it seems the browser doesn't do a good job of integrating with anything else. Bookmark syncing is surprisingly missing, and the selection of extensions is deemed "really, truly, awful."

The article concludes that Internet Explorer is no longer a liability for casual users—provided they keep it updated—but that power users should continue to steer clear. I've been too busy going back and forth between Firefox and Chrome to form an opinion on the latest IE release, but I have to admit I'm now tempted to give it a shot.

   
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