Internet Explorer 10

Internet Explorer 10

Editors' Rating:
4
Excellent
Average User Rating:
2.4
out of 57 votes
See all user reviews

Quick Specs

Version:
10.0
File Size:
Not available
Date Added:
February 25, 2013
Price:
Free
Operating Systems:
Windows 7/8
Total Downloads:
77,232
Downloads Last Week:
784
Product ranking:
#23 in Web Browsers
Additional Requirements:
Not available

Editors' review

Review:
The story of Internet Explorer resembles nothing less than the "Ugly Duckling," a maligned and mocked bird that grew into something far more beautiful. Such is the case with Internet Explorer 10 and its roots as Internet Explorer 6.

Microsoft has improved its signature browser in fits and spurts coinciding often with major Windows upgrades over the past 10 years, but IE 10 is the winner that Microsoft fans have long been craving. Fast, standards-compliant, and even future-forward in some ways, Microsoft got it right with IE 10. Still, it has some drawbacks that keep it from getting our highest marks.

Installation
If you're using a Windows 8 computer, you won't have to install IE 10 separately. The browser is so integral to the operating system that its engine powers the new Metro-style interface.

If you're running Windows 7, the installation process will be familiar. You must go through Windows Update, as you do for all Microsoft software, and you will have to reboot your computer to complete the installation. None of the major competition does, so that's a frustrating problem -- who likes having their workflow interrupted? The good news is that IE 10's improvements over IE 9 are well worth it.

IE 10 has one other major installation problem. It only works on Windows 8 and Windows 7. Vista and Windows XP will not get the upgrade, ever, according to Microsoft. That makes sense from the company's perspective, since it wants to shutter those legacy operating systems as soon as possible. But seeing as how Chrome, Firefox, and Opera function just fine on XP and newer, that's another major strike against Internet Explorer.

This isn't new in IE 10, either. When IE 9 debuted, it was only for Vista and Windows 7. (Currently, IE 9 is the highest that Vista can go, and IE 8 is the most recent version of the browser available for Windows XP.) Microsoft has embraced forced obsolescence, following in Apple's footsteps, and while it's true that Windows XP has dropped by around 50 percent globally since Windows 7 launched, we dislike the idea of keeping a faster, more secure browser from people simply because they're on an older operating system. If IE's competitors can get their hardware acceleration working on older Windows systems, then surely Microsoft can, too.

Microsoft has told CNET that the browser will not be moving the rapid-release cycle of upgrades that Chrome and Firefox currently abide by, but that updates will come to IE 10 more frequently than in years past. This is important as Web standards continue to shift, although it probably means more forced rebooting, too.

Interface
Internet Explorer 10 has two distinct interfaces on Windows 8, the touch-focused Metro-style and the Desktop mode, and it takes some time to get comfortable with the Metro-style interface. Desktop mode is nearly identical to the look of Internet Explorer 9. If you're on Windows 7, you'll only see the Desktop mode version.

IE 10's Metro-style interface fits in well with other Windows 8 apps. The browser "chrome," the bits of the browser interface that you click or tap on, is hidden by default. This allows the Web page to take up the entirety of the screen, a permanent full-screen mode.

Swipe down from the top edge, or right-click on any empty space of the site you're looking at, and the rest of the interface reveals itself. Tabs are enormous thumbnails, and the location bar lives at the bottom. Most but not all browser settings and options are accessible from the Settings charm.

Until you're able to familiarize yourself with which options live where, the very slick, super-minimalist interface will remain confusing -- possibly supremely so. For example, to close all tabs or open a private-browsing tab, called InPrivate in Internet Explorer lingo, tap or click on the three dots icon on the Tab bar. But to automatically get a Windows 8 app for a site, search on the site you're looking at, or view a site in Desktop mode, you must go to the wrench icon next to the location bar. (A "+" symbol will appear next to the wrench when the site you're viewing has an app you can download or reopen the site in.)

The separation here does make sense -- tab functions live with on the tab bar, site functions live next to the location bar -- but that takes some getting used to since most people are used to having all their options in a simple, lengthy list.

Another icon on the location bar lets you pin a site to the Windows 8 Start screen. This is like having a bookmark on your home screen or Windows 7 desktop, but it doesn't work quite the same way. When you pin a site in IE 10, it will always open in IE 10, even when you change your default browser. Microsoft is clearly making it harder for alternative browsers to integrate into Windows.

If you were wondering where your add-ons show up in IE 10, the answer is short: not in Metro mode. You can only use them in Desktop mode.

Options that are accessible behind the Settings charm in IE 10 are limited. They include deleting your browsing history; controlling whether sites can determine and interact with geolocation; and "Flip Ahead," a cool new navigation feature that lets you advance to the next page of a multipage gallery or article with a simple swipe even when you haven't visited the next page before.

But to get access to the full range of IE 10 preferences, you must go into the Desktop version of the browser. This bifurcated approach reflects Microsoft's overall take on preference and option settings in Windows 8, where some are accessible in Metro mode, but you can only access all of them from Desktop mode.

The Desktop mode for IE 10 is practically identical to IE 9. Only the most avid of Internet Explorer fans will notice any differences between IE 9 and IE 10 on Windows 7.

Besides getting at IE 10's more advanced settings, such as the Tracking Protection list accessible behind the gear icon, the rest of Desktop mode IE 10 ought to be instantly familiar and easy to use. The location bar and tabs live on the top, along with links to your Home page and Favorites.

As with most modern browsers, you can conduct searches with your default search engine from the location bar. As a Microsoft property, Internet Explorer naturally defaults to Microsoft's search engine Bing. The company has put a lot of energy into developing Bing in the past few years, so defaulting to Bing is not a bad thing, the onomatopoeia of its name aside.

Features and support
Internet Explorer has vaulted itself from being notoriously inept at modern Web standards to being at the forefront of the cause. Its HTML5 and CSS3 support is excellent; it has innovated with touch in a way that no other browser has; and for what might be the first time ever, it has excellent security.

Many of the innovations in Internet Explorer simply bring it up to speed with the competition. Through Windows 8, you can now sync your favorites, bookmarks, preferences, and passwords. Sadly, Windows 7 users appear to be left out right now, and tab and add-on syncing is missing, but this is a major leap for Internet Explorer.

As befits the marquee Windows 8 app, IE 10 sports fantastic integration into the new operating system. You'll be able to share URLs with many of the major apps available through the Share charm, pinned sites appear on the Start screen to help blur the line between app and Web site, and the Metro version of the browser resizes smoothly to accommodate Snapping, the Windows 8 split-screen use.

Multifinger touch gets a lot of love from IE 10, too. All your favorite smartphone touch-screen gestures such as swiping, pinching, and spreading work fantastically well in IE 10. Microsoft's team has done well in pushing the Touch API that allows the gestures to work in the browser, and it's impressive how sites in the browser feel like native apps.

Firefox is the undisputed leader at managing massive tab loads -- think upwards of 100 open tabs -- but Microsoft definitely wins for the largest tabs around. Its tabs are enormous thumbnails, easy to touch -- perfect for Windows 8 -- and easy to see because of their size.

However, as with the rest of IE 10, the problems derived from the Metro interface infect the browsers' features, too. You can only reorder your tabs, for example, in Desktop mode. And the Metro mode's inability to incorporate add-ons severely hamstrings your ability to customize what it can do. Microsoft has yet to figure out how best to improve the browser without killing useful, modern functionality, and that haunts IE 10 in Metro.

Another vexing flaw is the lack of download manager in Metro mode. To get your Favorites or frequently visited sites, you must click or tap on the location bar. Your sites appear as Start screen tiles, in a horizontally scrollable bar. This works well when you've got a dozen or so bookmarked sites, but become unmanageable when you start clocking in triple-digits.

There's no doubt that of the numerous and growing Windows 8 Metro apps, IE 10 is by far the best one out there. But it's flawed, and the fact that its Metro mode doesn't live up to expectations of what a modern browser ought to do makes up a major chunk of those flaws.

One place where IE 10 has lead has been Microsoft's decision to include its Tracking Protection List feature by default. If you've heard of Do Not Track, this is a beefier, active version. Instead of politely asking sites not to track you, IE 10's Tracking Protection blocks cookies from following hither and yon across the Web. This actually debuted in IE 9, but improvements have made it much more usable. It doesn't hurt that Microsoft took a lead in consumer protection by having Do Not Track turned on by default.

Other security improvements in IE 10 include aggressive malware blocking, and Microsoft's "SmartScreen" protection. The SmartScreen determines how safe a download is before you run it. It's basically app verification tech baked into the browser, and that's nothing to sneeze at.

Still, we hesitate to call IE 10 "progressive" because it has yet to demonstrate its ability to stay abreast of the rapidly changing browser world. And while the Metro mode's minimalist approach to its interface is interesting, its minimalist approach to feature configurations leaves a fair bit to be desired. Nevertheless, IE 10's overall Desktop and Metro feature set place it with the other future-facing browsers, and it's eminently usable.

Performance
Internet Explorer 10 presents a lot of firsts for the market share-dominating browser, and that easily stretches to the fastest and most stable ever.

Load a site in IE 10, and you'll be able to use it in around the same amount of time as in the latest versions of Firefox or Chrome. It's almost mind-boggling that this is Internet Explorer we're talking about, the browser of so many jokes and chat room flame wars that even Microsoft jumped in and began its own campaign to decapitate the zombie shambles of of IE 6.

CNET Labs is currently in the process of retesting all major browsers, including IE 10, and updated benchmarks will be included here when available. So far, tests from Microsoft indicate that IE 10 is on a par with the competition.

Most impressive about IE 10's performance is that it appears to be similar on both Windows 8 and Windows 7. IE 10 on Windows 7 is blatantly faster than IE 9, but it also appears to render sites in around the same amount of time as its Windows 8 counterpart. For Microsoft to have improved performance on its new operating system would have been enough, but on a legacy OS as well is quite impressive.

Conclusion
Less than impressive has been the company's reluctance to compete with Firefox and Chrome on Windows XP and Vista. We get that it's important to move people onto newer operating systems, regardless of their reasons for wanting to lag. Security, speed, and standards compliance are important aims. But if Google and Mozilla can do it with their browsers, it takes Microsoft down a peg that the company can't or won't.

In and of itself, Internet Explorer 10 is a superb browser and can fulfill all the basic requirements of a default browser. If you've got a new Windows 8 computer, you could do much worse than IE 10. And on Windows RT, you don't have a choice -- it's IE or the highway.

As solid as it is, IE 10 doesn't stick its landing. Set aside platform compatibility, you can simply do more on more platforms with less hassle when you use Chrome or Firefox. The differences, like the cross-platform and even cross-Windows compatibility, or tab sync, are small, but they stand out in a highly competitive field.

If you're entirely given over to the Windows 8 paradigm, those problems might not bother you. Otherwise, it's best to acknowledge that this is a strong browser that has yet to get its finer points straight.

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All User Reviews
  • All Versions:

    2.4

    out of 57 votes

    • 5 star: 6
    • 4 star: 9
    • 3 star: 8
    • 2 star: 13
    • 1 star: 21
  • Current Version:

    2.4

    out of 57 votes

    • 5 star: 6
    • 4 star: 9
    • 3 star: 8
    • 2 star: 13
    • 1 star: 21
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

    Results 1-10 of 57

  • 2 stars

    "FRUSTRATING"

    October 21, 2013   |   By sugarbooger

    Version: Internet Explorer 10 10.0

    Pros

    ?????!!!!!

    Cons

    Every time I right-click a link, either on IE or using e-mail, to "Open in New Tab" a BLANK tab opens. My OS is Win 7 Pro (like if that makes a difference). I'm tired of copy and pasting links URL from their Properties to open in a new tab. Humph
    IE has never defined ALL the Internet Options, Tools, Advanced Security Settings, ie. SSL, TSL, etc. Which ones should or shouldn't be checked? If SSL 2.0 isn't checked, by default, why would it be available?

    Summary

    I had IE8 on an XP computer, and skipped updating to IE9 because of the reviews. If I can get IE8 for Win7 Pro, I would.
    WHYYYYYYY does MS does this? If they made cars, they'd put them out with no engine, steering wheel, seating, etc. Of course people will be stupid enough to buy the cars expecting a fix or work-around from MS. smh BTW, they should ditch Win8 and go on to an OS people will buy. My husband's company removed Win8 from ALL their computers and reloaded Win7 Pro. That should tell you something right there. Win8.1???? From what I read, it's a big FAIL. Try again. Back to the drawing board.

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  • 2 stars

    "It's unstable"

    October 09, 2013   |   By Joltin-Joe

    Version: Internet Explorer 10 10.0

    Pros

    It was easy to upgrade from IE9.

    Cons

    It freezes often. You have to go to task manager to kill it and start it up again. Their support people say it's not their fault. They recommend running it without add-ons or rebooting your PC.

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  • 1 stars

    "Piece of Crap"

    September 02, 2013   |   By Kisho87

    Version: Internet Explorer 10 10.0

    Pros

    Nothing, Nothing at all

    Cons

    Performance killer, Garbage
    Got stuck with all websites, need to kill process each and every time. nothing but ********
    this is from Microsoft....I cant believe it..!

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  • 3 stars

    "Better than the last"

    August 20, 2013   |   By Brooker32

    Version: Internet Explorer 10 10.0

    Pros

    Quicker than I expected.

    Cons

    I've had issues with crashing, and I still find it to go slower than other browsers. Not as customizable as previous editions.

    Summary

    I always want whatever new version of IE is coming out to renew my faith in it, but I always find myself defaulting back to FF, Chrome, and most recently torch browser. I like quick, and I never get that from IE. I can't say that the crashing was related specifically to IE and not my computer, but I don't seem to have as many issues with this when using other browsers. Maybe the next version will be better.

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  • 3 stars

    "Great speed, touch screen compatibility"

    August 09, 2013   |   By RichhD

    Version: Internet Explorer 10 10.0

    Pros

    IE10 on Windows 8 with Touch screen offers much better user experience than either current Chrome or FireFox.

    Cons

    Lack of plugin support means you lose some functionality that might be essential to some, e.g. if you are using LastPass to remember all of your passwords.

    Summary

    On my touch screen laptop, I am using two browsers - IE10 for surfing, FireFox for commerce. Waiting for Chrome updates to get a decent touchscreen experience.

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  • 4 stars

    "Better than ie 9 and older versions"

    August 03, 2013   |   By JEFL

    Version: Internet Explorer 10 10.0

    Pros

    Fast on boot up and page rendering

    Cons

    It can have a bug here and there especially when you exit one tab the other tab gets really big but then goes back to normal after

    Summary

    overall the best ie to date as ie 9 and 10 really fixed my older problems with ie 8 and older with page loading and boot time are the big difference

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  • 5 stars

    "my IE10 opens in 1 second :)"

    July 01, 2013   |   By salesalex

    Version: Internet Explorer 10 10.0

    Pros

    IE10 is faster than IE9 or IE8 and more light than every other browser , CPU usage is 1% while I watch online HD videos .And it works great with 'free download manager' for downloading videos .

    Cons

    it should be a bit more customizable (like IE8) and without 'empty space' above the tabs .

    Summary

    internet explorer is the fastest and the lowest CPU and memory demanding browser ... Just disable all add-ons except adobe shockwave and it becomes lightning fast browser .

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  • 4 stars

    "The absolutely best browser for the casual user"

    June 27, 2013   |   By Cryio

    Version: Internet Explorer 10 10.0

    Pros

    Best in class scrolling (Maybe even best smooth scrolling)
    Best in class hardware acceleration
    Best in class page loading speed (so far)
    Best in class protection for browser
    Best in class Flash performance - real life scenarios. Using both hardware accelerated features of Flash, indifferent of resolution or of FullScreen condition (FS or not) (surprisingly)
    No compatiblity issues
    The only proper touch first browser. Including Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8
    Uses the Color Palette of the OS under Windows 8
    Flip Ahead
    The most CPU and battery friendly browser
    Adblocking present, even though there are no proper extensions otherwise
    x64 build somewhat present, used only for security (unfortunately)

    Cons

    The tabs don't properly resise after opening a new one/closing an older one. They just aren't as snappy as Opera/Chrome's.

    No extensions, except Adblocking. (good enough for most)

    The browser becomes instable under heavy load e.g. 40-100 tabs.

    Isn't as reliable as Opera when it comes to loading all tabs after a cold/warm start. 15-20% rate of failure.

    Lack of Firefox's Load tabs when selected

    Lack of a proper Speed Dial

    x64 build somewhat present, ISN'T used to leverage more memory or to utilise CPUs better.

    Lack of WebGL.

    Nitpicking:

    • The Scrolling is SO GOOD, you can't actually tell if it's smooth scrolling or normal scrolling. Therefore, I think it's after Opera's scrolling and before Firefox's scrolling.
    • Under Windows 7, IE10 isn't properly using the OS's guidelines.
    • Under Windows 7, IE10 i slightly slower than on Windows 8. Still overall the fastest browser available.
    • It's not available under Windows Vista (great OS)

    Summary

    If you read both this and my Chrome review, you would understand why I recommand Internet Explorer 10.

    I certainly do NOT recommand any version of IE except of IE10 and soon, IE11.

    It's simple the most secure and the fastest browser in existence (until further notice)

    Therefore we have it like this:

    IE is the fastest and the most secure
    Firefox is the most memory friendly, stable (debatable) and is overall great. Second fast after IE10 too.
    Opera is the most customisable, stable (debatable) and feature-rich.
    Chrome is fast, secure, clean and easy to use. Nothing to really stand out in the crowd.



    Use Internet Explorer 10. It offers a great experience. ESPECIALLY on touch devices. Both versions actually. Desktop and Modern-UI.

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  • 1 stars

    "Productivity killer!"

    June 21, 2013   |   By Bluebonnet1873

    Version: Internet Explorer 10 10.0

    Pros

    The are NO pros.

    Cons

    Toolbar hidden
    Favorites list either destroyed or hidden
    Forced on me through automatic update

    Summary

    Useless! Disaster! Microsoft forced IE10 on me through automatic update last night. Turned on computer this morning and could not do any work. Toolbar hidden: could not find it and "help" advice to swipe down to find it was a useless instruction. Favorites list that is vital for my work: could not find it and went into panic stress mode, fearing that hundreds of important links were lost forever. Could not find anywhere to click to use my printer to print the uninstall instructions -- had to use Ctrl+P to print. I uninstalled IE10 as fast as I could! Also downloaded the MS IE10 Blocker Toolkit to prevent any further automatic installation of IE10. I use Win7 64-bit HP desktop computer. Hate Microsoft more every day! As a desktop user who does actual WORK on my computer, I have absolutely no use for all this mess Microsoft designed for casual users on mobile devices. Hello you fools at Microsoft: I do not want all the useful functions hidden just because you thought the screen looked prettier that way! I am losing too many hours of productive work time while I try to undo new Microsoft junk. Microsoft is alienating users and driving us away.

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  • 2 stars

    "Crash city"

    June 07, 2013   |   By myshebagirl

    Version: Internet Explorer 10 10.0

    Pros

    There isn't any unless you like crashing all the time

    Cons

    I go to check for windows updates and I get "Internet explorer has stopped" try again ? This happens with 8,9 or 10.I have Windows 7 64 Home . Come on Microsoft, it's your platform .IE crashes all the time no matter what version. That's their baby, I don't get it.

    Summary

    I have never had any issues with Google Chrome. I do use Bing as my search engine though. Microsoft seems to get that right. But IE no way. I'll use Chrome for my webpage

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  • Results 1-10 of 57

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