What can IE9 Do for Your Small Business?

For a small business, the decision to upgrade software to the latest technology can be daunting. Even upgrades like Internet Explorer 9, the latest version of Microsoft’s very popular web browser, can bring questions. Will it work with your other software? Is it necessary to upgrade to visit the websites your business needs?

Improvements

With this latest version of Internet Explorer, Microsoft boasts an increased speed, thanks to hardware accelerators and an improved JavaScripting engine. Beta testers reported a much faster experience than IE 8, some saying IE 9 was as much as ten times faster than its predecessor. This will allow your small business to save time and money by being more efficient throughout the business day.

Web surfers will also notice a cleaner browser look, with the browser’s menu bar now condensed to one row. To show the menu in its full glory, users need only to press the Alt key.

Pinning is another new feature offered with IE 9. With just a click and drag of the mouse, a user can pin any website to his taskbar. This allows users to go directly to favorite websites without having to first open Internet Explorer. Your employees can pin your company website and any sites used frequently for doing business and save time.

Jump Lists are the latest thing in software design, and IE 9 has them in spades. Anyone who has used Windows 7 is probably familiar with these drop-down boxes that are very similar to the “My Recent Documents” lists of operating systems past. Jump Lists open when you click on the Start Menu or the Microsoft Word, Excel, or Powerpoint button in Office 2007 or 2010. Jump Lists are now available as part of IE 9.

Security

Small businesses have an even greater need for security than larger corporations. Your small business likely does not have the funding and IT staff necessary to erect the stronger-than-steel firewalls used by larger companies. IE 9 has built-in security features, which work in tandem with Microsoft’s own Security Essentials and Malicious Software Removal programs, now standard updates with Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Microsoft’s new Application Reputation helps alert users to malicious software that may not yet have been reported, allowing you to make a decision as to whether to proceed. IE 9’s Smartscreen Filter helps protect you against malicious software and phishing attempts and the new Tracking Protection List helps you control which sites get access to your information.

But perhaps the biggest change was the introduction of Internet Explorer’s first download management software. IE 9 opens your downloads in a separate window, keeping track of them and allowing you to review them later. The download manager also warns you of any malicious software and allows you to pause and restart downloads.

Requirements

One thing to know in making this decision, if you’re still running Windows XP, IE 9 will not work for you. IE 9 works only on Windows 7 and Vista. It also requires a computer with a 1 GHz processor and at least 512 MB RAM.

Should your small business make the jump to Internet Explorer 9? Only you know what will work best for you. As always, before downloading any major updates, search for any known issues with existing software you have. Microsoft has a list of known issues for Internet Explorer 9. Reading as much as you can will help you make the best decision for your small business.

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Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who worked in information systems for more than a decade. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.

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