Windows 8 App Review: Internet Explorer 10

By Vamien McKalin | Nov 22, 2012 09:35 AM EST

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Microsoft has set out to make Internet Explorer 10 a very worthy Web browser, a task that has been mostly accomplished. From what Microsoft has done with the browser, it has proven the company's willingness to compete strongly with the likes of Firefox and Chrome.

There are two versions of Internet Explorer 10; the desktop version and the more touch-centric version that runs as a Windows 8 application. We'll be putting all focus on the Windows 8 design style version of the browser, since it is the most exciting.

First time users of Internet Explorer 10 will be surprised at how the browser has changed, and how easy it is to use when compared to the desktop version. However, all this simplicity comes at a price that might not go down well with other users.

Pros:

  • Optimized for all things touchy feely
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Fast performance
  • Render pages very well.

Cons:

  • Limited setting options
  • Flash doesn't work everywhere

Look and Feel

Internet Explorer 10 is beautifully designed, no other browser looks this good, and that's saying a lot. Users will notice that browsing from Internet Explorer 10 is always a full screen affair, that is because the browser is designed in such a way that it hides everything and only show what is important, the Web page. If and when a user might want to dabble in settings or switch between tabs, simply right click on the screen to bring up those options.

Since there are no visible back and forward buttons, many might be wondering if Microsoft in its need for simplicity has removed this option. Worry not, it's there, and what's cool is that users are not required to right click in order to have access to these buttons. By moving the mouse cursor to the right or left side of the screen, the buttons should show up. Alternatively, folks with a touchscreen tablet can easily swipe left to right if they want to go back and forth between pages.

Features

In terms of features, there isn't much to be expected from Internet Explorer 10. The browser is designed for simplicity, so those looking to customize the browser to their liking might be disappointed. Flash is here though, and so far after testing it out on multiple Web sites, it seems to work relatively well, apart from a few sites where it is asking for a new version of Flash. However, there will be a time when Flash is no more and HTML5 will come creeping in. Thankfully, HTML5 is supported in Internet Explorer 10.

There is also the option to pin a Web site to the start screen; it goes up as a tile, but don't expect it to be live.

Performance

Internet Explorer 10 is fast, probably the fastest Web browser when compared the likes of Google Chrome and Firefox. We came across no problems of the browser freezing or slowing down when multiple tabs are opened. Everything just works, as one would expect.

Conclusion

Internet Explorer 10 is no doubt the best Web browser for Windows 8. It's touch friendly, fast, simple to use, and looks really good; still, some users might find a problem with the lack of setting options and the inability to make the Flash work on every Web site.

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