Scott Hanselman

The Ultimate Guide (of Five Things) for New IE9 users Who Fear Change

September 16, '10 Comments [74] Posted in IE9 | Musings | Tools
Sponsored By

Five major browsers shown in the Windows Start Menu

DISCLAIMER: I don't work for the IE Team. I don't have any magic internal knowledge that wasn't found on Wikipedia or a public bathroom wall. Any errors here are mine and any speculation here is likely nonsense. If you quote me in a news article and say something like "Microsoft's Principal Program Manager Scott Hanselman sez all your base are belong to IE9" then you're a dork, because there's like 5,000 of us PMs. We're like cockroaches. Don't imply a product or company or unit has a single PM.

I run all the browsers. Is it because I'm a techie? Because I'm a shill? Mostly because I honestly can't decide. I run IE8 for intranet sites because it's compatible, I run Firefox because I have a bunch of nice add-ins I like, I run Chrome because it's fast, I run Safari...ok, I don't run Safari...I run Opera in case I might miss something cool that those wonderful Norwegians might have thrown in when I wasn't looking.

I run the latest version of everything. I want to see the new features and I want to see what old features get removed or hidden.

I installed IE9 Beta today and noticed that a lot of stuff was removed. I saw this great graph from Jane Kim on the IE team on their blog today show what features folks use in the browser. While I find the high end numbers a little suspect (seriously, who are these 29% of people who aren't clicking the back button? Grandma?) the point is that once you really dig into the telemetry, after the basics, folks just aren't using all the bells and whistles. Why not just get those bells and whistles out of the way?

Graph showing that users don't use much functionality

IE9 Beta's interface is extremely minimal, it seems. Check these shots of IE9b, Opera 10.61, Chrome 7.0.517.5dev, Firefox 4.1b6, and Safari 5.0.2, all with their default settings.

All the major browsers shown in a stack

Looks like all the browsers are starting to get out of the way of the web and include less crap. There's interesting "pairings" in the interfaces, like the back button in IE9 and FF4.1, the colored button in Firefox and Opera, the settings gear in IE9 and Safari, and the refresh button in all browsers. There's only so many ways these metaphors can be presented, right? At least we all agreed on address bars and tabs. ;)

A number of long time IE8 users have emailed me and said "looks like a good start, but x feature is gone."

Here's...

The Ultimate Guide to New IE9 users Who Fear Change

...taken directly from emails or comments I personally got on launch day.

1 - "Does it render text blurry for you? It does for me."

It renders different, for sure. When IE9 renders in it's, well, IE9 mode, it's using DirectWrite to render the text. This means the text rendered is not only potentially hardware-accelerated, but it also means we get (directly from MSDN):

  • A device-independent text layout system that improves text readability in documents and in UI.
  • High-quality, sub-pixel, ClearType text rendering that can use GDI, Direct2D, or application-specific rendering technology.
  • Hardware-accelerated text, when used with Direct2D.
  • Support for multi-format text.
  • Support for the advanced typography features of OpenType fonts.
  • Support for the layout and rendering of text in all supported languages.
  • GDI-compatible layout and rendering.

But when you render using IE8 compatibility mode, you're using the regular GDI rendering that you're probably used to.

OK, so what, right? Well, if you've got some CSS, as I do on my podcast site http://hanselminutes.com/ for example, that says "8pt" that means I have asked for an 8pt font. Not pixels, points. That's a typography thing, not a Windows thing.

When a page like mind asks for font-size: 8pt that converts to a 10.667 pixel font size. If you're using GDI (IE8) rendering that will round up to a nice round 11 pixels, and it'll look exactly as if I'd said font-size: 11px. Which I didn't. But, it'll snap to a pixel, right?

However, if I start to scale a page with that GDI rendered font from 100% up to larger sizes using the Ctrl-Plus hotkey, check out what happens with my text. It's breaking and wrapping differently at each zoomed text size. Those rounding errors are catching up with me.

image

With DirectWrite though, I get smooth transformations all the way up and down. If I ask for 8pt, I'll get 10.667px "exactly" in the sense of "you asked for it."

It's subtle, but it gives the designer more control. If you really feel strongly about it, ask for font sizes that will snap to pixels at small sizes. I'm noticing only at really small font sizes, myself.

This kind of more accurate font rendering is coming though, so get ready. It's in Firefox's betas, and Chrome's nightlies. I'm sure that someone from the IE9 team who actually knows what they are talking about will do a post on this with WAY more detail soon. Before then, here's some text for you to stare at. Note the CSS change in the 3rd shot that makes the fonts "clearer."

IE9 running in 8 document mode:

TEXT: IE9 running in 8 document mode: 

IE9 running in 9 document mode:

TEXT: IE9 running in 9 document mode 

IMPORTANT: IE9 running in 9 document mode but with the font-size changed to 11px:

TEXT: IE9 running in 9 document mode but with the font-size changed to 11px 

Firefox 4 Beta 6:

TEXT: Firefox 4 Beta 6 

2 - "My bookmark bar is gone and I'm freaking out. I get that Microsoft is making it simpler, but stop moving my cheese."

You can right click in any of the 'whitespace' (it's actually transparent) and get your precious Favorites Bar and/or Command bar back.

The Command Bar and Bookmark Bar shown

Personally, since I DO use bookmarklets (see my links?) but I also like minimalism, I have decided against showing the Favorites bar ("bookmarks bar") and am clicking the little Star/Favorites button. My stuff is still there, it's just one more click away. Your call.

The Favorites Sidebar

3 - "I'm using to selecting Print from the File Menu but the whole Menu Bar is gone."

If you click the Gear icon, you'll find most interesting stuff that you'd want is duplicated in there.

The Print Menu under the Gear

See that Print is the first thing? Also, if you're used to Hotkeys, as I am, know that the Menu Bar is actually there, hidden until you use a key, like Alt-F:

The File Menu is back!

4- "Pinned site features are great when you want them - but...[I want to] prevent IE9 from creating a pinned site every time you drag the icon into a folder"

Right now in IE9b, if you start dragging from the "favicon.ico" (that's the websites little icon in the upper left there) you’ll get a pinned site and an icon like this mid-drag, and a pinned site when you drop.

clip_image002

However, if you already have shift down before you start the drag, you'll get a regular internet shortcut that is NOT a pinned site.

clip_image004

5 - "I can't find the Quick Tabs feature and I think I'm going to die."

You could remove "Quick Tabs" and insert just about any feature out there that folks get attached to. Most of the obscure stuff that no one uses (refer back to the chart above, 1.1% guy) is still buried in the settings but turned off. In the case of Quick Tabs, I think Aero Peek is a cooler feature.

If you really want Quick Tabs back, go to the Settings (Gear) menu, then Internet Options, General, Tab Settings, and turn it back on. Ctrl-Q is the hotkey. This is an IE7 feature, so don't get all excited. It'll get you this:

Quick tabs shows thumbnails of pages

But forget about it because you already know that Aero Peek gives you this by just hovering over the Taskbar Icon. And, remember that these peek thumbnails are live. That means videos, animations, everything keeps running and you can see it in the thumbnail.

image

Enjoy, and I hope this helped you find your cheese.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

facebook twitter subscribe
About   Newsletter
Sponsored By
Hosting By
Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by ORCS Web
Thursday, September 16, 2010 9:05:02 AM UTC
Hello,

And, is it possible to have a 'full' line for tabs ? there is so little space there ! above 5 or 6 tabs and this is already full, this is hell with 25 tabs.

For me there is 6 things.
GG
Thursday, September 16, 2010 9:22:27 AM UTC
People will cribber no matter what.. they just cant digest IE can get better than others. lol
Thursday, September 16, 2010 9:22:49 AM UTC
25 tabs! Time for Read Later bookmarklet maybe?
Thursday, September 16, 2010 9:40:40 AM UTC
Answer to Eddie : I am a C#/ASP.Net/WPF developer and this is very easy to get more than 20 tabs used at the same time, my brain can not store each words so no I can not use a read later thing, and I know I am absolutely not the only one.
GG
Thursday, September 16, 2010 9:57:36 AM UTC
GG: +1. I can't find a way to do it.

One of the things that I find is still holding IE back is the lack of obvious configuration options. Opera, Chromium and Firefox all have a mass of settings that are available in multiple ways (I know at least that all of Opera's settings can be manipulate through the opera:config URL, as well popular settings through a standard config GUI) whereas IE still doesn't have a devoted area for config. You have to open the standard "Internet Options" dialogue and then really trawl to find what you're after.
Thursday, September 16, 2010 10:23:12 AM UTC
The DISCLAIMER is a master piece on its own, love you Scott!
Thursday, September 16, 2010 10:29:24 AM UTC
The *only* reason I still use IE8 is the favorites menu (not the bar). None of the other browsers have anything built in that's as quick and efficient for spelunking my favorites. It really irks me that it's now fixed to the right hand side in IE9 :-( Wish we could move the button.

They've also removed the little "open in new tab" arrow on the individual favorites (still there on the folders) which I use all the time when opening multiple favorites at a time. Yes, you can wheel click them, but I don't have a wheel on my laptop so it's a pain in the neck now :-(

Hahah, I love how I'm in the 0.1% who use the add tab group to favorites feature.
Daniel Smith
Thursday, September 16, 2010 10:45:44 AM UTC
Daniel, the panel in Opera contains a favourites button that accomplishes much the same. With keyboard navigation, Shift+Enter opens in a new tab, Ctrl+Shift+Enter does the same but in a background tab, and you can open an entire directory of favourites at once (this is especially useful for checking multiple servers of a site). Tab group to favourites is called "sessions" in Opera and is accessible from a different menu, which might not suit you.

But in any case, IE9 is a beta and I expect it to improve.
Thursday, September 16, 2010 10:51:14 AM UTC
First thing I noticed was the blurry fonts on a lot of sites.

Looking at the 3rd screenshot that you say is clearer still looks as blurry as the others to me (except the "IE9 running in 8 document mode:" one)
Thursday, September 16, 2010 11:04:56 AM UTC
Ie9 Beta didn't work for me. I got the error "Setup doesn't support the Service Pack version currently installed on your PC."

I have Win-Vista Business, SP1

What can I do Scott?
Thursday, September 16, 2010 11:37:01 AM UTC
I have to agree on the font thing - we went through this with WPF until we got to 4... unclear fonts are unclear fonts -- saying the tech used in the browser causes it is... irrelevant? (yes, I know - not your fault at all...)

And FWIW - the rest of the browser is working great... no issues so far.
chadbr
Thursday, September 16, 2010 12:16:29 PM UTC

1.1 percent of IE users is millions of people, not "no one"


I don't use or like Qiuck Tabs, but there's a fallacy in your reasoning.

J
Thursday, September 16, 2010 12:19:56 PM UTC
Now, if only someone would teach me how to rid of Home button. I never used it in my entire life...
Alex
Thursday, September 16, 2010 12:59:15 PM UTC
Would love to see how "my cheese" has been moved but cant cause I am still running Windows XP.....what is the overriding reason why IE 9 is not compatible with XP?....I am guessing some sort security?...or is it to do with all the HTML 5 stuff?
Colin Hardie
Thursday, September 16, 2010 1:02:26 PM UTC
Hmmm....jump lists and hardware acceleration???...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/16/no_ie9_9_on_windows_xp/
Colin Hardie
Thursday, September 16, 2010 1:10:29 PM UTC
I believe the numbers, as I'm one of those that never (OK, rarely) use the back button. I have a mouse button for that. :)
Thursday, September 16, 2010 2:56:08 PM UTC
Great article Scott. I was going crazy about the font also, it makes sense now. The idea of pinning websites to taskbar is great, but I find it to be a mismatch that you can open the website from the taskbar and navigate away to some other website. It does not work like an app in the true sense. May be they should hide the address bar for pinned sites. I understand that they may not have done that for security reasons but hope they can figure it out.
vaibhavk
Thursday, September 16, 2010 3:01:50 PM UTC
So according to that graph, 91% of IE users click on hyperlinks.

What are the other 9% doing?
Thursday, September 16, 2010 3:10:42 PM UTC
I agree with chadbr. It took a long time to convince the WPF team that people actually do want pixel-snapped text at smaller sizes. IE team, please don't make us go through this again! Having text align to sub-pixels should be OPT-IN in the CSS if anything.
Thursday, September 16, 2010 3:23:23 PM UTC
@vaibhavk, I understand what you're saying about the web app being exclusive to that session but what happens when you click a link to an external site. Would you want a new window or just stay within the "web app" since it owns the request?
Thursday, September 16, 2010 3:45:08 PM UTC
Yeah, the only font that looks legible to me is the 'IE9 running in 8 document mode'. When I get a display that's 150dpi+, then we can talk about the "correct" ways to layout fonts. Until then, the text looks like garbage.
Thursday, September 16, 2010 3:48:11 PM UTC
the FF like download manager is nice...
jim novak
Thursday, September 16, 2010 3:58:32 PM UTC
Yeah, DirectWrite is marketing-checklist-ready and buzzword-compliant, but the sad truth is that it renders blurry text. Every time it gets heralded as the greatest thing since Guttenberg with all its space-age doodads and whatnots, I'm sadly reminded of the guy who designed the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
Thursday, September 16, 2010 4:13:32 PM UTC
So we have an added click in order to get to our favorites? Doesn't seem like progress to me... hiding features shouldn't be a new feature.
Thursday, September 16, 2010 5:46:28 PM UTC
AConnell - No, not sure how you got that. The Star/Favorites button has been, and still is, a single click. I'm saying that the Bookmark Bar is hidden by default (as it is on many other browsers, except Opera).

David - I'll pass it on to the team. Note that FF and Chrome are going to turn this feature on soon as well. It'll be interesting to see how folks take it.

BrianB - Good question. I'd personally prefer any link outside my "apps" domain to open a new window.

J - Valid point.

Cyril - Isn't Vista on SP2?

Thursday, September 16, 2010 6:16:14 PM UTC
White text over dark background seems to bring blurry text
http://imgur.com/BfkMD.jpg


Thursday, September 16, 2010 6:26:19 PM UTC
I like the idea of a separate search bar, like was in IE up to 8. That's going to take some getting used to for me.
Thursday, September 16, 2010 7:22:31 PM UTC
I am very excited to see Microsoft being very serious about building a better and more compliant browser! I've used the beta, and I am very impressed. There are a couple of nagging things about the interface that would keep me from switching from Chrome though. I usually have a LOT of tabs open, and IE9 doesn't have enough real estate for them. I can't stand that it's sharing space with the address bar. I also hate sub-pixel accuracy in small fonts. Yes, it's fancy and technically cool, but many people find it unappealing. I thought Microsoft finally understood this by allowing WPF to snap to device pixels in 4.0. I'd still be using VS 2008 if they didn't implement that feature for the new editor in 2010. Also, I wish the download manager (Yay, IE finally has a download manager!) could be shown as a tab in the browser window.
Gary
Thursday, September 16, 2010 8:54:10 PM UTC
"seriously, who are these 29% of people who aren't clicking the back button? Grandma?"

No, just us 4(+)-button-mouse users. Backspace will do it too.

The only time it's worth the effort of actually moving my mouse allll the way to the upper-left corner of the screen is when I want to jump back more than one step.

-Peter
Peter
Thursday, September 16, 2010 9:15:37 PM UTC
Very true Peter. I just have to move my thumb about 5mm to the button on the left hand side of my Intellimouse to click back.
Thursday, September 16, 2010 9:33:49 PM UTC
The tabs position is killing me. Should be on its own line.
Ryan
Thursday, September 16, 2010 9:37:30 PM UTC
observation: not moving my cheese is very closely related to "do not make me think"

observation: on windows logging out has always been initiated with the start button. No matter how hard everyone tried to laugh to make it seem ridiculous, it made perfect sense to me, and I would defend it. But, seriously, Ctrl+Q for a Quick-Whatever feature?

at the backspace/browser back discussion: we've been there before on this blog (on browsers and custom keymaps). Simply use Opera. You won't even have to use the mouse in order to go back multiple steps in history.

No browser can navigate me quicker than Opera. I seriously dig it for all non-cursory browsing.
Thursday, September 16, 2010 11:18:57 PM UTC
@BrianB I understand not everyone will agree with this, but since we are treating the site like a desktop app it should open in a new window, if you open in the same window then the taskbar will continue to show the site icon (say twitter) but the user would have moved on to say Amazon which is a confusing.
vaibhavk
Friday, September 17, 2010 1:27:52 AM UTC
Thanks for this informative, in-depth review of IE9 features. Your feedback is noted and appreciated.
This is also a great tool for IE8 transitioning to IE9!

Cheers,
Kyler
IE Outreach Team
Kyler IE Outreach Team
Friday, September 17, 2010 2:19:01 AM UTC
Is there a way to enable "pretty" formatting when opening Xml files?
Friday, September 17, 2010 11:05:49 AM UTC
@Simon, thanks, haven't tried Opera in a while. Just installed it and the side panel with edge toggle enabled is actually quite handy. I'm really glad we've got all this competition these days, it's prodding all the browsers to up their game.
Daniel Smith
Friday, September 17, 2010 5:48:11 PM UTC
@vaibhavk now that I've played with it a bit (requesting external sites from within say... twitter), I think I like the windows to stay tabbed within the "web app's" window. For instance in Twitter when I click on someone's twitPic, I would right-click and open in a new window (did a few). It felt really sloppy. So I clicked on the twitPics again so that they load in the web app's window (tabbed) and it felt "better" not having to "alt-tab" or switch windows to view the other pages...

I guess it's really a user-preference but I didn't like the new-window feel...
Friday, September 17, 2010 6:32:01 PM UTC
I'd like to me-too everything people have said about the font-rendering - both about how horrible it is, and how tedious the sense of deja-vu is to those of us who went through the same sorry performance with WPF/VS2010.

I think it looks like a good browser, and I keep trying to use it, but every time my eyes start to hurt, I go back to FF. And yes, I did run the clear-type tuner (3 times yesterday), and yes, I've fiddled with the placebo 'clear-type option' in the advanced settings, but I wasn't fooled.

Funny enough, clicking the 'broken page' button does (among other things) get the text rendering fixed, so if there is an option somewhere which allows just that one bit to be adjusted, it would be nice to know about.

I'm not going to choose a browser which makes me squint over one which doesn't, end of - let's face it, there's not much to differentiate any of them.
Will
Saturday, September 18, 2010 3:21:37 AM UTC
There is an art to rendering font so it nicely falls into the pixel grid (font hints). Without pixel-snapping, you can only create pages that would be easy to read at a few zoom levels.

Since I am a human being and not a finicky designer, I prefer readable text to knowing that my lines always break the same irregardless of zoom. There is not THAT much value in controlling the line breaks.

This technology would become okay once the monitor resolutions start to match the print resolution. Until then, the screen is a very different beast than a printer.
Saturday, September 18, 2010 6:39:29 AM UTC
Scott - good work on laying out the "issues". Seems like lots of sites are going to have to do some work to fix their fonts (including you). Aside from the "is this the right move" debate, which seems valid, is there a "Fonts Best Practices for IE9"? Care to tackle it? If, as you say, all the browsers are moving this direction, then it would be great if we had some guidelines on how to fix.
Saturday, September 18, 2010 8:37:40 AM UTC
It have already been said, but just in case: please don't forget that some people can't bear with sub-pixel scaled font. It's not even a matter of "does it look prettier this way?", blurry fonts are giving me headaches after 15-20 minutes. I just can't use them.

Improve the system as much as you want, but please, really, don't forget people like me and provide an option in the browser to disable sub-pixel rendering.
KooKiz
Saturday, September 18, 2010 4:01:27 PM UTC
I'm work with Firefox just for Small right click!!
Saturday, September 18, 2010 7:14:35 PM UTC
I have to agree with the comments about the font rendering too, as soon as Firefox enabled the direct2d rendering by default i disabled it. Its ugly, even with an "correct" font size. Even in the picture with the "correct" size it still didn't look as good as it used to be. I hope the direct2d font rendering will be "fixed" or atleast it will be possible to disable it. Otherwise i won't be able to use IE9, just gives me headaches after a while :(
Helza
Sunday, September 19, 2010 4:27:41 AM UTC
Scott, please tell folks at IE team not to release it till it's fully compatible with HTML5. Web Developers don't want to face another IE 6.
Monday, September 20, 2010 12:50:08 PM UTC
Tried IE9, found what seems to be a bug, unable to submit a bug report
(Live Id not recognized??)
The apparent bug was this:
Went to YouTube, typed in YouTube Search "Whose line", got a drop down
menu of about ten items, (eg "whose line greatest hits" etc)
I could not select any menu item...nothing happens.
No problem in IE8

Monday, September 20, 2010 1:26:16 PM UTC
This guide sucks
Monday, September 20, 2010 2:23:35 PM UTC
The big thing I noticed with IE 9 is that allot of websites that work fine in other modern browsers are now broken in IE 9 beta. They have allot of work to do. I will say this looks much better then the early beta of IE 8 which was beyond horrible.

Even if they do fix all this, I will stick with FF until I get an integrated spell checker.
Monday, September 20, 2010 5:11:40 PM UTC
I think the 29% of people not using the back button consists more of people like myself using Backspace and Mousebutton 4 & 5, rather than computer-illiterate people who take links back... just food for thought.

I am curious though: does Peek show individual tabs on a given window? Your screenshot isn't clear, as there are multiple IE9 windows open, but you seem to be implying that functionality. Any chance of clarification?
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 1:11:26 AM UTC
This is great and all but where is my blink tag? I can't live without it.
Stephen Booth
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 2:01:45 AM UTC
Microsoft can improve IE all they want, but they lost me at IE 7 and IE 8. They told users to use Chrome if they wanted to access their new hotmail inboxes, as IE8 didn't support it! I'm on Chrome now and its way way better than Firefox or IE or Opera or any of them.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 12:44:16 PM UTC
You say I can get the Favorites Bar back by clicking on "whitespace". Doesn't work for me. There's nothing below my tabs etc. so I can't click there. Clicking the transparent background does nothing. I can't even do it from the Favorites Pane.
Rob Grainger
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 7:14:10 PM UTC
Ah, I'm on IE9... I like it, and can live with the cheese-moving.

What I don't think I can live with, is the blurry/fuzzy text - Facebook-status messages in particular are horrible to look at, at the moment (2010-09-21 - 21:06).

My own webpage www.madsd.dk is also suffering a bit under it - it seems. And here's where I don't get it: Which one is "better" to use for IE9-font-render-compatibility? Should I use px or pt in my CSS? I use 12px atm, but from what I understood, it was, if you use fx 11pt that it "breaks" the rendering... or... hmm. Maybe I'm just confused.

Anyway, just here to express my concerns about font-rendering :)
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 7:43:04 PM UTC
While IE9 is much better than IE8 (which was a leap forward), I'm still going to stick with Chrome for everyday browsing. In Chrome, I like how I have more room for tabs and I can see more of the URL. I feel like the IE9 designer used an ultra high-res monitor when designing both the tabs and address bar on the same line. However, since I only use IE for SharePoint, this UI in practice will work fine for me.

I did notice that SharePoint pages render 10x faster in IE9.

Also, I appreciate all the ideas they borrowed from Chrome and will be happy knowing Grandma has something closer to Chrome.

PS: Scott, after OpenID auth, I get redirected to 404... is it broken?
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 12:50:22 PM UTC
Rather glitchy yet.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 1:52:22 PM UTC
Great post but where did MS get the statistics on IE useage?
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 10:40:36 PM UTC
Another me-too on the horrible font rendering. And this line:

"This kind of more accurate font rendering is coming though, so get ready. It's in Firefox's betas, and Chrome's nightlies."

A: More accurate? Who cares, if it looks like crap? The people that do fonts for the rest of Windows and Office obviously understand clarity is important. WPF went through all this too. It's sad to see the IE9 folks didn't learn.

B: Sounds like you're aware that users hate this, and are trying to justify it by saying other browsers are eventually going to suck, so we should forgive IE9's bug? Well, I guess if Chrome added this with no way to turn it off (the IE9 option for ClearType didn't seem to work), then that'd eliminate IE9's disadvantage, true. But that's pretty sad.

I'm so annoyed too, because I've been looking forward to giving IE9 a try, and I just can't use it like this.
Michael
Thursday, September 23, 2010 5:18:49 AM UTC
Michael - Ya, it seems like it's about 60/40 against. I wonder what will happen when all browsers use this tech...Chrome, FireFox, etc. Seems there should be an option to turn off.
Thursday, September 23, 2010 11:22:59 PM UTC
It doesn't make sense to have a option to turn it off, when it won't ever display the text in any readable format whatsoever, when it's turned on.

It's a dumb feature to introduce, specially after a decade where people pointed out that using pixel specific fonts is bad, as it renders to small on people with larger screens. This was specially a issue 6-7 years ago, when larger LCD screen were made available in a price range for the average consumer.

Also, the IE team should realize that the vast majority of websites DO specify a font for the text, and it's extremely rarely / never a proprietary, Microsoft-owned, Windows-only font. As for free, multi-platform, ClearType/AntiAlias enabled fonts, there is none or they're not used.

And making 99% of all websites in the world unreadable, for then just to say "just change your font settings", simply won't cut it. Specially not when the fonts used aren't capable of that on any level whatsoever. Your own screenshots proved that.

And what I've seen of Chrome and Firefox, it's not something that makes text on bing, stackoverflow or even your own blog, near/completely unreadable.
Thursday, September 23, 2010 11:49:19 PM UTC
Addendum: Some comparisons: (Chrome to the left, IE9 to the right, ClearType enabled)

- Stackoverflow - Problems with the menu.
- Wikipedia - No Problems
- Bing - Problems with the bold menu fonts (Internet/Pictures/News)
- A List Apart - Again, no problems in either browser.

Bold seems to be a major issue. All in all it strongly reminds me of the issues with XAML (Silverlight/WPF) before .NET 4.0 was released.
Monday, September 27, 2010 2:26:00 AM UTC
weyr good usefull
Thursday, September 30, 2010 4:54:32 PM UTC
Thanks for this extensive guide on the new IE9, Scott. I haven’t tested the beta version yet, but this will definitely be helpful when I do. You mentioned that you use all of the top browsers for different reasons. Are there any features the new IE has that you think would convince a Firefox or Chrome user to make the switch?
TuneUp
Thursday, October 21, 2010 10:14:44 PM UTC
Hey Scott! Why don't they do that Font problem disappear with all that "*magic*" done in Visual Studio 2010???

I still remember your presentation of the Release Candidate of VS2010 saying that the WPF Font Blur was solved, and indeed it was.

So all those guys at IE9 devel have to do is making the same " Vudu.. Magic " - ;)

I really hope there's some workarround for this, because i too feel my eyes tired of that font's Bluriness....
Tuesday, October 26, 2010 9:40:32 PM UTC
im one of those 29% who doesnt use back button., because i use backspace!!! freak
kuku
Friday, January 14, 2011 4:38:03 PM UTC
Great review of IE9 - can't wait to install it...

As a developer I'm not satisfied with the fact that you can't install different versions side-by-side and need to maintain VMs for all the different browser versions... :(

Do you have another idea? (this will help me move to IE9)
Friday, February 04, 2011 4:03:37 PM UTC
These changes are a hard work for senior citizens. They need a very stable blowser.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 5:54:27 AM UTC
My only beef is with the GeoLocation feature. On the same machine, Google Chrome shows me where I am. IE9 shows me at the same location in the city no matter where I go (I guess this is where my ISP lives). I know this is not the IE team's fault - it is just that the Microsoft Location Service has a long way to go.
James Burke
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 6:00:18 AM UTC
Good tips. Would've wondered if I saw blurry text and where familiar things went. Thx.

I use the simplest tool that does the job. When IE added Tabs & minimized security risks, I had no need for another browser. I still have Firefox installed for special situations but don't use it for everyday browsing.

minor typo: 3. I'm using to => used to
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 6:26:54 AM UTC
Here's a location service update: http://www.geosenseforwindows.com from a 3rd party.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 8:12:27 AM UTC
Thanks Scott. I have GeoSense installed - it uses Google's service. However, there doesn't seem to be a way to make IE9 use GeoSense.
James Burke
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 3:52:45 PM UTC
IE9 font rendering is an absolute disaster - try the codeproject's lounge pane at their homepage; looks like linux antialiasing from 2005. For that single reason I'm switching to Chrome.

anon
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 8:30:01 PM UTC
Microsoft should invest some money and have everybody in the IE team, or whichever team wrote DirectWrite, have their eyes checked!!!

Seriously... we've had this problem with Silverlight, took 4 versions to get it right. Windows Vista and 7 force you have it use ClearType. You can disable it but it still uses it in some places. You can fight it some more with some registry magic and manually replacing fonts and you bring it back to non-blurry mode. We've had the same issues with early version of VS2010. Now IE9 comes out and it's blurry again. I'm convinced the Microsoft folks who made this code are either using some insanely high dpi monitors from the future or just don't see clearly and should have their eyes checked!!
Peter
Thursday, March 17, 2011 3:20:41 AM UTC
@Michael: Chrome is my main browser, but if they changed their font rendering to look like IE9's, without a way to take it back, I'd drop it in a heartbeat.
Benjamin
Friday, March 18, 2011 5:35:47 PM UTC
You prise new font renderer? Granted - it looks nice for 30pt+ but for majority of texts on the web it's pure crap: http://i.imgur.com/bJDbH.jpg ... :/
wu
Sunday, March 20, 2011 12:17:53 PM UTC
For anyone having problem with ClearType - use https://sites.google.com/a/softwareninjas.ca/www/dwrite-dll-wrapper - it brings sanity to IE9 text display
uw
Comments are closed.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.