The Internet Explorer 10 Experiment: Days 6 & 7
On 16 January 2013, I posted the introduction to this new experiment of mine: give Internet Explorer another chance by using Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8 as my primary browser for fourteen days, documenting what I love, what I hate, and what makes me generally say "meh". These are my thoughts from days six and seven of my experience.
A Week with Internet Explorer 10
I've now spent an entire week with Internet Explorer 10, and while I can’t say it’s been a perfect experience—by any stretch of the imagination—it’s been a far better one that I had anticipated. My previous experiences with past versions of Internet Explorer had made me anticipate a browser that was crash-happy, miserably slow, and frankly a huge waste of my time. Instead, I was met by a quirky, yet capable browser that, while not entirely devoid of shortcomings, is far from the wreck I had expected.
As those who have read each of these reports will know, the majority of my complains haven’t been on the technical end. Most well-coded websites don’t have issues with Internet Explorer 10 and, in the whole time I've been using the browser thus far—in both the Modern UI and the desktop UI—the only technical issues I've had with the browser were here on The Verge (the "Visual View" in the forum post editor doesn't work properly) and on my university’s online learning website—which is about as well-coded as Windows ME shoved through a meat grinder.
I've been continually impressed with Internet Explorer 10’s speed. The fact that any full-functioning browser can be so swift in its loading of webpages—that a browser has actually bested Chrome in that particular aspect is pretty impressive, though Chrome has admittedly slowed-down over the years.
The interface of Internet Explorer 10, however, has been a bit of mixed bag. While the majority of mission-critical features are in place and ready-to-go, it seems to me that many of the little things have been neglected.
A cool feature I learned of after complaining about the multiple types of pinned sites for the Start Screen is called Site Tasks. Now, it only works on a few sites, and seems to only work when a site is pinned from the Modern UI version and accessed from that pinning when Modern UI Internet Explorer 10 is not yet open (yeah, that’s a bit clunky), but it’s pretty nifty anyway.
Site Tasks provides a jump list of sorts that allows a user to jump to different segments of a website from a simple menu accessible from the bottom bar of the Modern UI of Internet Explorer. It’s handy, though it’s sometimes-there, sometimes-not appearance is frustrating—and I’d rather like access to the list, even without pinning a site to the Start Screen.
Flip Ahead is an experimental feature that’s pretty cool in concept, but in practice, it’s pretty broken. Don’t get me wrong, I do like it—when it works. Unfortunately, it takes the same UI elements as the forward button/gesture in the Modern UI. This means that, if you click any links in the course of flipping through your articles, the entire "flip ahead" scheme breaks, and you have to navigate back to another article in the stream to be able to use the feature again. It’s nice, but it’s new—and by "new" I mean definitely still in beta.
Now, this is a key and extremely handy feature in Windows 8 (and Windows RT), and its inclusion in the Modern UI version of Internet Explorer 10 is extremely welcome. I’d’ve liked if it were possible to use in the share charm within the desktop version of Internet Explorer 10, but it just isn't. I'm fairly sure it’s not possible for any desktop program to access the charms bar, but it’d be nice anyway.
That aside, the Share charm works as expected—and is a very welcome addition to web browsing as a whole.
Doesn’t Save Where I Save
At first I wasn't sure that I was even going to mention it—it feels a bit like nitpicking—but when I save images in Chrome—the file explorer remembers where I've saved the file. It’s handy. It’s something I've come to find lacking in Internet Explorer. I really don’t understand why, but, for some reason, Internet Explorer seemingly forgets where I'm saving stuff. It makes it difficult to save large numbers of pictures, for example, from various sites.
The Days Ahead
As you may have noticed, the number of new and interesting observations I've made has slowed as I've become familiar with the browser. In an effort to provide quality content, I’ll only be making one more of these posts—the final one on the thirtieth which will reveal my new insights and provide a retrospective on this experiment.
In the meantime, I’ll be seeking out features I've missing, trying new add-ons and trying to overwhelm the browser in a test to see just what it takes to get it to crash, as suggested by The Verge user JohannesZ. I’ll be performing an identical test on Google Chrome to see which browser folds first—if either folds at all.
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