Internet Explorer 9 Questions Answered
After a brief mention of Internet Explorer 9 (IE 9) in last week’s column, my e-mail box filled up with questions. Here are a few of the questions with appropriate answers.
Q: I am happy using Internet Explorer 7. Do I really need to make the move to IE 9?
A: While there is no urgent need to install IE 9, it has some great new features. New hardware acceleration makes it faster.
The address bar and search bar have been merged giving the end-user more screen space for viewing Web pages. IE 9 incorporates the new Html 5 standard so it will be compatible with some of the newer websites that will appear in the feature.
Two of the other new features that I really like are an easier-to-use download manager and a new notification bar that always appears at the bottom of the screen.
The most important reason to upgrade, however, is because IE 9 is much more secure. It has been updated to block more threats like phishing sites and malicious downloads.
Q: In today’s column in The Pilot you indicate that is advisable to install service release 1 for Windows 7 before installing IE 9. I am on Vista service pack 2. Do I have to install Windows 7 first?
A: You don’t need Windows 7 to run IE 9. It is available for use on computers that run either Vista or Window 7. For best results, Vista computers should have service pack 2 installed, and Windows 7 computers should have service pack 1 installed. Internet Explorer 9 will not work with Windows XP.
Q: I use Windows 7 and have investigated Internet Explorer 9 and think that I want to install it, but I am afraid that it be hard for me to learn. What do you think?
A: There are some changes that you will have to get used to, but everything is pretty easy. After you install this new browser, you will be taken to a Web page where you can get information on the changes and can view a video of the new features. You will definitely want to investigate the resources on this page to help you get accustomed to the new features. It may be a good idea to bookmark this page so you can return to it later.
Q: Before I install IE 9, can you please tell me if I can easily remove it if I don’t like it?
A: If you want to uninstall IE 9, you can do it easily. You just need to know where go.
Click on the Start button, then click on Control Panel. When the Control Panel appears, click on Programs and Features. At that window, click on View Installed Updates and then scroll down to Windows IE9, highlight it and then click on Uninstall. You will be asked to restart your computer. When you do, Internet Explorer 9 will be gone and a previous version of Internet Explorer will be ready for use.
Q: I read your article with great interest today and easily downloaded service package 1 to my laptop. However, I couldn’t figure out how to install IE 9. I would appreciate any help you can send my way.
A: IE 9 is available for free download at the Microsoft website. You can find a link at the Microsoft main page at www.microsoft.com. Choose your operating system and click on the Download button. Be sure to read the answer to the next question before you choose your operating system. When the download is complete, just double-click on the download, and the installation will begin.
Q: I tried to install IE 9 and didn’t know if I should choose the 32-bit or the 64-bit version How can I tell which one I need?
A: This is the part of installing IE 9 that gets a little hairy. If you know whether you have a 32-bit or a 64-bit computer, you can easily make this choice.
If you don’t know what type of computer you have, click on the Start button and then click on Control Panel and choose System. Alternatively, you can press the start key (with the Windows logo) and the pause/break key on your keyboard at the same time. Either of these methods will bring up the system properties window, which will list the type of operating system, whether it is 32-bit or 64-bit, and will also give you other information about your computer.
Now, here is the sticky part: If you are using a 64-bit computer, you must install the 64-bit version of IE 9. If you try to install the 32-bit version on a 64-bit computer, you will get an error saying “wrong version of Internet Explorer installer — this version of setup doesn’t support your Windows system type (32-bit/64-bit).”
Logic might indicate that installing and using the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer would be the right thing to do. However, the 32-bit browser is the one you want to install and use. Microsoft put more resources into the development of the 32-bit system, so it is faster and better overall than the 64-bit version.
On top of that, almost all add-ons are 32-bit only at this time. So if you try to run the 64-bit version, you will no doubt have trouble viewing certain Web pages and videos such as YouTube. I can assure you that if you try to run the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer, you will be calling me to come over and help you fix your Web browser.
So why would Microsoft make you install the 64-bit version? Well, I’m sure it has a reason, but it is certainly not obvious. Microsoft, however, does know that this problem exists, so when you download and install the 64-bit version, you get not only the 64-bit version, but also the 32-bit version.
After you install the 64-bit version of IE 9, you click on the Start button and view All Programs, you will see that two versions have installed: one marked 64-bit and the other simply called Internet Explorer (which is the 32-bit version). The 32-bit browser is the default even on 64-bit systems, so if you have an icon on your desktop for Internet Explorer, it will run the 32-bit version, which is what you want.
As long as you never go to the All Programs menu and choose the 64-bit version, everything will work properly. When Microsoft does things like this, it makes me want to pull my hair out.
If I were you, however, I wouldn’t let this scare me away from IE 9. If you are an Internet Explorer fan and have a Vista or Windows 7 computer, IE 9 is an excellent choice. If you are using Windows XP or just want to try some other Web browsers, Firefox, Chrome and Opera are all free and are very good choices.
Send your computer-related questions for publication in this column to Sandy Berger at Computer Living Corp, P.O. Box 5895, Pinehurst NC 28374; or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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