Annoying Bugs In Windows 8.1 part 2

Internet Explorer 11
Internet Explorer 11 is a mess that crashes, is slow and incompatible with many websites

By Stephen Pate – Microsoft is readying a new update of Windows 8.1. Many users are hoping against hope Microsoft can stabilize Internet Explorer 11.

Whether it’s the slow response of the Modern UI Internet Explorer 11 or the frequent page crashes of the Desktop version, people are very frustrated with IE11.  Over at the Microsoft Community support page for Internet Explorer 11, there are 50 pages of pleas for help.  IE 11 and Windows 8.1 won’t print but I can print in Chrome and all other applications. Or IE11 keeps freezing. Or Uninstall Internet Explorer 11 and Install Internet Explorer 10. Only rarely does a problem get fixed.

Internet Explorer 11 Desktop

As I started to write this story, I tried to open SoundCloud and the page crashed. All in a day’s work with IE11.

IE 11 Desktop page recovery message

Users learn to save anything important regularly because the page will crash.

The question is not if IE11 crashes, it’s when will it crash. IE11 locked up twice in the 15 minutes while I am writing this post.

Microsoft blames add-ins, compatibility mode, your video card, hardware, websites but the question is: how does Google keep up a stable browser in Windows 8.1 when Microsoft can’t.

The incompatibility between the Desktop version of Internet Explorer 11 and the Modern Windows 8.1 UI is another frustration.  Modern features will not work in the Desktop version, such as the balky Charms Bar.  I had to drop Bing completely from my computers this month since it did nothing but lock up. IE 11 Desktop is a little more reliable since then.

Internet Explorer 11 Modern UI

To deal with the Desktop crashes, I set the Modern UI as my default. That creates its own set of issues. First, the Modern UI IE 11 is slow. Pages load in just under double the time it takes the Desktop version.

The interface is so different it feels disorienting to switch from Desktop to Modern UI.  It’s a game called ”where am I now and what should I do?” Selecting a Tab, such as, in Desktop is simple: click on the tab at the top of the screen.

In Modern UI, you Right Click the mouse, then select the tab, or swipe up from the bottom or top of the screen.  Either way, it takes more work to select a tab in IE11 Modern UI and its confusing moving back and forth and you try the wrong gesture simply because they are like two different worlds.

Windows 8.1 Internet Explorer 11 Modern UI – select the tab

IE Modern is however more compatible with site that fail regularly in Desktop. I can’t get SoundCloud to work at all in Desktop 11 but there are no problems in Modern UI 11.

IE Modern UI has very few tools and utilities so you have to switch over to the Desktop to change options, or even worse find the screen in Windows 8.1 Settings.

One of the strangest things is if you are listening in Music in IE 11 Modern and switch to Desktop, the music stops. It does not happen if the music is playing in Desktop and you go over to Modern UI.   Apple iOS deals with that by only playing one music source at a time.

I generally like Windows 8.1 but I, like millions of other users, wish Microsoft would fix the bugs.  Follow me on Twitter at @sdpate or on Facebook at NJN Network, OyeTimes and IMA News Buzz.

By Stephen Pate, NJN Network

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