Here to stay
We've been told time and time again that Internet Explorer is the best browser to download another browser. That might be true. Still, one needs to do some exploration on its own to discover whether these words are true. Besides, it's not that hard since your Windows machine already has it installed.
Evolving in the background
Internet Explorer (or IE) is at its eleventh incarnation. It appeared along Windows 8 and is somewhat integrated with the infamous Metro interface. Not to worry though. If you did not appreciate Microsoft's design direction, you can rest assured that IE 11 opens up as a regular desktop window. Windows 7 users can download it, but otherwise it's either installed or incompatible. Being that it has always been sort of limited and kind of behind the pack feature-wise, it has fallen from the users' grace a long time ago.
Surprisingly maybe, the interface is fairly modern. Tabs can be dragged to form new windows a well as to be placed in other existing windows. There are two big buttons for Back and Forward. Pages can be saved quickly on the Favorites bar with a click of a button while other bookmarks, feeds and history can be accessed from a single panel. The text fonts look a bit different than on other browsers They are more rounded but less clear at times.
IE 11 makes a strong statement against tracking. You can assign it to block tracking from websites and can also enable a filter service similar to Web of Trust. This one blocks access to dangerous sites before they can do anything. There is no add-on/extension market however. You cannot browse through available IE 11 extensions and can only find them if you search for specific ones on the net. Continuing the negative note, as a design choice the search/address bar is placed in the same line with the page tabs and consequently it is smaller. It means that you will have to move the cursor to a specific area of the screen instead of generally up in order to reach it.
That being said, Internet Explorer is somewhat faster at loading page content than Chrome or Firefox. Microsoft said they paid special care to make it run as smooth as possible . Anyway, it works. Searching is also handled a bit differently. Typing in the address bar will trigger a web search and display results in real time. You can customize the results by switching through your desired search engines right in the search drop down list.
For Live Tiles enthusiasts, IE 11 can also add web pages as tiles and keep them updated.
- SmartScreen Filter - malicious site filter
- Tracking Protection
- Multiple search engines accessible from the address bar
- Live tiles compatibility
- Integrated browsing protection
- Faster page navigation
- Third party support is not emphasized
- Less clear fonts
Internet Explorer 11 keeps with the pace although it should do more to please the modern user. But if you're not appalled at the lack of a dash board, then you should probably give it a few rides across the web and see if the performance is worth the lack of chrome (pun intended).