Frank from Highland Beach, Florida asks:
I’m getting updates from MSN to download Internet Explorer 9. Is this safe to do now? I heard it had some kinks in it when first came out and I prefer not to download it if there is still some problems in this browser software.
The short answer is a resounding yes! Internet Explorer 9 is indeed safe to download and is currently free of any major issues. So, if Explorer is your browser of choice, you should definitely hit the update button.
Early versions of Internet Explorer 9 may well have had the kind of problems you had heard about, but these were most likely BETA versions of the software. When Microsoft, and other developers, are working on new versions of their browsers, they often release a BETA version. This is not a final version, but a preview of some of the features and functionality you could expect in a final release.
BETA versions are test versions that people can download to try out at their own risk. They are generally not as stable or secure as the finished product will be, but, like everything else these days, you often don’t know how well something will perform until you try it out.
Sometimes there can be multiple BETA versions of a product. (Firefox, for instance, is famous for this!) However, at no point will Microsoft offer you a BETA update as part of the Windows Update program. They know that it is just not a finished version, so they don’t push it out to customers until they know it is ready to go.
If problems arise with a final version of the browser – as they have in the past with certain security issues – then Microsoft is usually pretty good at getting a patch out to fix the issue as quickly as possible. Other issues can usually be sorted by updating your existing software or plugins.
Here at Worldstart we have lots of great articles on Internet Explorer 9 to help you out. We recently finished a four part series on keyboard shortcuts for IE9, and have other great tips like adding toolbars or pinning links to the taskbar.
So, go ahead and download Explorer 9. It is faster and more secure than any previous versions, and if you do happen to have any problems, you know where we are!