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Dewi Morgan

I tried setting IE as my default browser for a month... it lasted a day.

I tried setting IE as my default browser for a month... it lasted a day.

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It has been many years since I tried to use IE in any serious way, so I decided to switch to it as my default browser, to answer two questions:
1) Does it function as a modern browser at least as good as Chrome?
2) Have they made a decent effort to remove the hurdles to re-adoption?

The short answer is no, neither, not at all.

1) Does it function as a modern browser at least as good as Chrome?
Not really: it just felt quite flakey and half-baked. Not the "I don't get this interface and it is foreign" feeling I get from Chrome, but more of a "the quality control on this is really not very good" feeling.
- The help for the Internet Options is a web page. Really dumb choice, given you'd be looking at those options if web pages were failing to load.
- Internet Options is the only settings page IE has, so it lacks configurability: for example, there's no (discoverable) option to keep all pages as tabs in a single window, and prevent popups, so there was a definite problem with too many windows.
- When I tried to merge windows by dragging tabs between them, it worked so intermittently that for some time I thought the feature was unimplemented, and I only ever managed to get it to work once.
- All plugins must be actual windows applications, but since they are pretending to be lightweight plugins, they install themselves to my tiny and nearly-full SSD OS drive, instead of offering the option to install to my nearly-a-terabyte-free D: drive.
- Many other options on the menus take you to web pages, many of which give popups about scripting and security errors (which, yes, are disabled by default in IE, but still: "settings->go to pinned sites" brings up two completely different error popups from the same JS error.
- That website, iegallery.com, is just completely unnavigable. Selecting "add-ons" and using their built-in search to search for the word "tabs", it had only one suggestion: a download of the non-IE browser "Slepnir". Clicking the back button to try again, it had unselected the "add-ons" category.
- The range of plugins is also really really poor: only 850 plugins are available. I can find nothing even approaching Tab Mix Plus. Chrome has better plugins, but I've not switched to it because I've found no good tab-control plugin yet. Fair comment to IE though: at least they DO have plugins now. I'd never seriously have considered even trying out IE if Adblock Plus had not been available for it.

2) Have they made a decent effort to remove the hurdles to re-adoption?
Absolutely not. I got no feeling from this browser that they were making any effort to recapture the market share they've lost.
- They've made no effort at all to import password settings. This was what eventually made me switch it off again, because this was just stupid.
- I did find the option to import bookmarks... but "import from another browser" was greyed out, not unselectable, even though I have SEVERAL other browsers on my machine! There was no explanation of why it might be greyed out: it was just nonfunctional.

So for the time being, looks like I'll stick to FF, with Chrome as my backup that I mostly use for Pandora.
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