Windows Secrets Newsletter: It’s time to move up to IE 9

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By Susan Bradley/Windows Secrets Newsletter

With the exception of Internet Explorer, updating to your browser’s latest version is usually a given.

For Vista and Win7 users, upgrading to IE 9 requires a bit more consideration and planning than updating Firefox or Chrome — but the time has come.

As a member of the Center for Internet Security (info page), I participate in that organization’s online security discussions. Recently, one of the participants asked whether you should always update to the latest version of Internet Explorer that your workstations support. The consensus was “yes.” IE 9, for example, adds major security enhancements for Windows 7. Vista also benefits from IE 9. (Unfortunately, Windows XP users are out of luck.)

Regular Patch Watch readers know that I recommended skipping IE 9 for the moment. Now I recommend giving it a try. Most Vista and Win7 users will see it offered in Windows Update, but you can also download (page) it directly from Microsoft. If you check the install box in Windows Update, you should see a box similar to the one shown in Figure 1, which gives you a second chance to approve or prevent IE 9′s installation.

W20110623 TS IE9 Install Its time to move up to Internet Explorer 9

Figure 1. An IE 9 installation dialog box lets you continue updating to IE 9 or keep your current version.

Installing IE 9 includes additional updates

Unlike updates for Firefox and Chrome, moving to IE 9 requires your full attention — you’ll want to close all other applications during the installation process.

Once IE 9′s up and running, it’s time to install all the additional updates I previously said to pass on:

  • First up is KB 2488113, which fixes a problem you might see when IE 9 is used with Direct2D or Direct3D — software that speeds up graphics rendering on your computer.

  • Also install KB 2506928 — it patches a flaw in which links in Outlook-based HTML files fail to open.

  • Install the two updates tied to printing problems: KB 2511250 for properly printing certain websites and KB 2522422 for better compatibility with some models of Canon printers.

  • Finally, there’s KB 2530548 for Internet Explorer 9′s built-in download manager (part of a package of IE security updates released on June’s Patch Tuesday). If you use any third-party download tools, you should also update to their latest versions. For example, Microsoft Support article KB 2561716 describes how a third-party tool called Internet Download Manager (not to be confused with the app included with IE 9) may cause the browser to stop responding.

Fine-tuning IE 9 graphics performance

If it can, IE 9 will use your graphics card to speed up screen rendering. You can check that capability by clicking IE 9′s Gear (Tools) icon and selecting Internet Options. Go to the Advanced tab and check the first option: Accelerated graphics/Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering.

This option will be grayed out if your card doesn’t support IE 9 hardware acceleration. If it’s not grayed out, look at the option carefully — when checked, hardware acceleration is not enabled. (As shown in Figure 2.)

W20110623 TS IE9 GraphicAccel Its time to move up to Internet Explorer 9

Figure 2. When the IE 9 graphics-acceleration box is checked (circled in yellow), you’re not using your graphics hardware.

Article continued here.

This post is excerpted with permission from Windows Secrets.

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8 thoughts on “Windows Secrets Newsletter: It’s time to move up to IE 9”

  1. IE9 requires SP2 in Windows Vista. I have Vista Basic and am unable to install SP2 update. I keep getting message, “install failure” and am unable to resolve it. IE9 is too proprietary and I’m sticking with Google Chrome and Firefox 5….

  2. Since I installed IE9 I noticed the my hotmail, is slower to respond and often when I click an email to open or even to respond to an emil, windows live hangs. this is anoying. grrrrrrr


  3. IE9 Makes me cringe. I quite using IE back when version 7 was released and never looked back.

    Biggest problem I have with IE is simply reliability. That and the fact that I can’t simply add addons to it and do things that I want to do and that I should be able to do.

    With IE9 I get a third addition to my previous gripes. The most hideous interface ever created for anything. It is a bad experience all around now.

    1. @Corpsecrank

      If you quit using I.E. in version 7, I wonder why you are even fooling with version 9, if it as bad for you as you say. Other broswers not giving you what you want?

  4. IE9 fixes some bugs and may be faster, but many sites, like StubHub and Ticketmaster, don’t support IE9, even in compatibility mode. For that reason, I’ll be downgrading back to IE8, which I’ll stay with until Microsoft finds a way to make IE9 truly compatible with sites that work on IE8.

  5. Fr Howard Smith

    There is a compatabliity problem with IE9 clashing (intentionally?) with Open Office and with the Computer associate anti malware suite. I did upgrade to IE9 and found that Open Office would not work at all. I also found the anti virus programme would not show all the details on its Home screen. After searching through the forums for both programmes I discovered that removing IE9 solved those issues. It automatically reverts to IE8; however I decided to move over to Firefox, and have the same problem as Steve with IE9 wanting to be downloaded and installed. I just frustratedly tell it “No thanks!”

    1. @ Howard Smith
      Funny, I have 5 computers at home and haven’t had any problems with using Open Source. I believe that some problems must be searched out and resolved. Of course, removing the program causing problems instead almost always “solves” the problem. Until the broswer you use is no longer supported or available. Can’t speak for Computer Associate, as I haven’t used any of their products in years.

  6. I had IE9 on my PC but took it off and went back to IE8. The reason is that once a month I get a sales report from a factory I represent. The report is on a program called Hyperion I think it’s from Oracle plus it also loads Juniper networks when it runs. The problem was that I couldn’t access or load the program in IE9. But, when I went back to IE8 it loads and runs fine. My question is that I keep getting a message saying new updates are available for my computer and that update is an update for IE9 for Windows 7. I’m afraid that if I install it, it will take me out of IE8 and install IE9 which I don’t want to do. Am I correct? If so, how do I delete the update message because it continues to be in my system tray and every so often pops up telling me that a new update is available

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