Internet Explorer 10 is now the default browser in Windows 7 and Windows 8 systems.
But is it the best browser? Or is the best browser actually multiple browsers for different applications?
Browser history: From one to … a few
Like everything in personal computing, Web browsers have evolved significantly over the years. I’m old enough to remember when there was only one good browser — Netscape Navigator. You had to pay for it, but for the most part, every website worked as expected on the browser — as long as Web designers followed a few guidelines. Then Microsoft released Internet Explorer and gave it away free.
That was a quaint concept by today’s standards, but for a time it did allow IE to rapidly corner nearly the entire browser market and effectively kill off Netscape Navigator. The numbers are squishy, but taken together, the various versions of IE still own more than half the browser market. But it faces stiff competition from Chrome and Firefox — along with Safari, Opera, and a few others.
Just as we were trying to get comfortable with IE 10 (primarily on Windows 7), Microsoft surprised most technology watchers by announcing in a July 25 IEBlog post the availability of Internet Explorer 11 Developer Preview for Windows 7 (download page).
So without further delay, let me give my final recommendation on whether you should install Internet Explorer 10. The answer? A qualified yes. There are still sites that might not play well with IE 10, but none of the sites I use regularly have a problem with the browser.
For the few sites that fail with IE 10, the best solution is to open the site in IE’s Compatibility View mode. As noted in a Windows Server Essentials and Small Business Server Blog post, you can use IE 10’s Compatibility View Settings (under the Tools menu) to list all sites that should be displayed in compatibility mode. Adding the site to IE’s list of trusted zones can also be helpful. Simply select Tools/Internet Options/Security and then click the Trusted sites button. Paste the site’s URL into the entry box, as shown in Figure 1. (Some sites will be placed into compatibility mode automatically.)