So, with the MSN Toolbar, IE finally gets official tabs. I’ve mentioned recently that I’ve switched back to IE now I’m using a tablet, mainly because Firefox seems to hide the text input boxes from the OS. I mentioned that I missed the tabs too, so I was glad to try this out.
All went ok at first. The installer seemed to hang for a long time at around 20% done, but it continued eventually. I was left with Internet Explorer, just with added tabs and search boxes, along with a few other buttons. Turned off the excess of MSN related stuff – links to MSN home pages, Hotmail, and such like. Then I started playing with the tabs.
It just doesn’t feel right. The whole screen flickers and jumps when switching tabs, as if something in the background is quickly trying to hide one window and show another before you notice, but you can see the desktop and other windows briefly before it’s done. There’s no right-click option to open in a new tab, so opening a link in a new tab is a bit of a long procedure – click a toolbar button to turn on opening in tabs, click the link, click the toolbar button to turn it back off again (otherwise every link from there on will open in tabs).
I then tried out the search. Did a quick search for ‘Tablet’ – something that should have plenty of relevant things on my machine. Click to switch to desktop search and…
…all of my tabs vanished, replaced with just the search resuts tab. Damn. I was reading those. Not any more, I wasn’t.
The search results? Two relevant results, followed by tens of completely irrelevant things – RSS buttons as GIF files, background JPG files – all stuff that I can only think might have been in a folder that mentioned tablets. Useless.
Except that didn’t work. Hung completely at around 20%, and this time took Windows Explorer with it. After waiting for a long time, I finally had to use Task Manager to kill it all off. Explorer still wouldn’t respond until I logged off and logged back on again. After logging back on, it does at least appear to have gone – IE and Outlook have both emerged undamaged.
Not, on the whole, a good experience.