Today I’d like to talk a little about Internet Explorer 10’s Metro Version. I want to start by saying this is one of the easiest, fastest, and clean looking browsers I’ve ever had the privilege to use. If you think I’m just someone who loves everything MS, I generally use Firefox, but also have used Opera, Safari, and Chrome over the years. I’ve found that Firefox, Opera, and Chrome are my favorites. Generally I’ve always hated IE, up until version 9 when they started to get a few things right (though not enough for me to switch to it). So what makes IE for Metro so special? First off, this is one of the only parts of Metro’s UI that I feel truly keeps its promise to be as good with keyboard and mouse as it is with touch. It is very basic, doesn’t have a ton of options, but is fast, largely secure (thanks to lack of plug-ins), and I actually like the way tabs work in it.
Unfortunately, it isn’t perfect either. In fact certain parts of what makes it so great as impose some of its biggest limitations for my own uses. First off, lack of options when right clicking makes it a bit hard for me to use. I can’t save pictures from within IE Metro (at least not to my knowledge), which is a bit of a problem for someone who works on over six blogs across the net. This hinders my work and requires me to rush to the desktop, paste in the link, copy the picture, and head back over to Metro. Is this a deal-breaker that makes IE Metro bad? Nah, in fact it won’t be a problem for the vast majority of those that use it.
The next issue is that in order to be more secure, IE Metro ditched plug-ins. This means things like Flash don’t work, which makes viewing some kinds of videos impossible. Sure, it supports HTML5, but at the moment even Youtube doesn’t work flawlessly with it. In fact, looking at their HTML5 trail terms, it says that any video that sports ads, currently won’t work with HTML5. Will this be a non-issue in the near future? More than likely, but it is at least a minor issue at the present. So should they have allowed plug-ins? I don’t know, I’m mixed on this. For x86 users, the option to allow plug-ins in IE Metro might have not been that big of a deal. For ARM though, having this lock down helps prevent compatibility issues, and on both platforms it is the most secure way to go about things. In the end though, I walk away from IE Metro largely impressed. Sure, it doesn’t offer anything that IE Desktop or another browser can do, but it is a very user friendly browser that I find myself having little negatives to report, outside of obvious things like lacking Flash and the ability to do things like save images within Metro.
On the subject of blogging and images though, I absolutely love the image loader within IE Metro. It is so much more attractive that just a boring Windows box, like I would find in IE Desktop and Firefox. For those that have used Windows 8 Consumer Preview (or even Developer Preview), what do you think of the Metro version of Internet Explorer? I will go out on a limb here and say that if Firefox released a Metro version and it didn’t add things like Flash or saving files, I would find absolutely no reason to use Firefox for Metro over IE for Metro. I am very much loving Windows 8 Consumer Preview, and though it isn’t perfect, it is more polished that we should expect from just a ‘beta’.