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Modern IE vs. Desktop IE

Which Windows 8 browser do you prefer?

  • Modern IE

    Votes: 12 48.0%
  • Desktop IE

    Votes: 7 28.0%
  • Neither/Both

    Votes: 6 24.0%

  • Total voters


Super Moderator
I don't mind the split between Modern UI and the Desktop that many people have complained about with Windows 8. For me I see the benefits of each and have no problem jumping between them without a "jarring" experience. However, I do experience this complaint when it comes the the IE browser. I have used many different mobile browsers thanks to Android and there are certainly ways to make them more suited to touch devices.

When it comes to the Modern IE app I just can't help but feel it is wrong. The swipe up/down method of accessing the tabs and address bar feels wrong and is inconvenient. You have the swipe left and right to go forward and back which are different than the forward and back buttons. The forward and back buttons are on opposite sides of the url bar (I rarely hold my Surface with hands on each side in a manner that would make this a convenience), the frequently visited sites and favorites are wonky and don't seem to be very efficient.

Even though it was "made for a mouse" I find the Desktop IE to be a much more usable browser even on a touch device. I like the forward and back being close together and the buttons and the address bar being readily available. The tabs, though traditional, work very well too allowing quick changes between them and letting you glance to see what is currently open.

Google did a nice job on Chrome for Android with non-traditional tabs. They stack vertically and you can slide them up and down for a preview of what is on the tab. The favorites and bookmarks are also well done.

Chrome-for-Android-Beta-Stack-Tile-Scrolling.jpg Chrome-for-Android-Beta-Home_thumb.jpg

I tend go back and forth between Chrome and Dolphin on Android. I like that by simply touching the screen the back and forward buttons come up contextually in Dolphin Mini. If you can't go forward or back as in a new tab, no buttons. Go to one page and only the back button appears. Go to a second and go back and both buttons are now there. Go all the way forward or backward and only the button to go the other way appears.

Really there is no shortage of innovation when it comes to browsers on mobile devices and yet I think the traditional IE does a better job than the Modern IE. Here is a good example of the options for Android. (All sizes | Google rendered on a ton of Android browsers | Flickr - Photo Sharing!)


Let's hear what you think. Did MS get Modern IE right? Do you need both versions? Would you prefer something different? Is there a better way to use Modern IE? Are there a couple of small tweaks that would make all the difference?
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New Member
Absolutely hate the modern version! It might be fine if you want to look up a static web page, but with flash being inconsistant (I know how to add sites, but why should I), total lack of organization of favorites it is miserable to find a bookmark. Add the odd ways to scroll, forward, back, etc, like you pointed out, and it is a nightmare. I always have a mouse or the keyboard attached so the desktop version is so much easier to work with. Plus, it synces back to my desktop!
I've tried to like the Modern IE and give it a chance almost every time I use either the Surface or desktop. Maybe it's just that I'm way more comfortable the desktop IE, but I find Modern IE to be counter-intuitive and totally prefer the desktop version.


Well-Known Member
I use the Modern IE to read my daily routine of news. All websites are linked by separate tiles on my Start screen for quick access. I've got about 100 more tiles on my Start screen linked to the Modern IE browser for everything that doesn't have a dedicated application. I love it!


New Member
I use the Modern IE to read my daily routine of news. All websites are linked by separate tiles on my Start screen for quick access. I've got about 100 more tiles on my Start screen linked to the Modern IE browser for everything that doesn't have a dedicated application. I love it!

I couldn't stand to have 100 random web sites in a big list like that! It might be ok if you go to one web site, close it, back to start, pick another tile, repeat... If I surf, I want to go to several sites, probably related, during that session. It is so much easier to find them in a hierarchical list IN THE BROWSER than scrolling through many "pages" of tiles.


New Member
I use Desktop IE as I prefer it, and use the Desktop side of the surface a lot with an arc mouse,the modern tiles work for me on windows phone but not on the surface,otherwise it is a very good tablet,


New Member
For me, I like them both but for different uses. I like the modern UI when using the Surface as a touch screen tablet, but I like desktop UI with the mouse. The modern UI is horrible with a mouse.


Active Member
I prefer Modern IE when I using the Surface since it's touch friendly, and I use the Desktop IE when I'm at my, well, desktop because it's more mouse friendly.


Super Moderator
Other than possibly using the menus I don't find the desktop IE touch targets to be any smaller or "better" for a mouse than Modern IE. In fact the forward, back, add new tab and close tab targets are all close to the same size in both versions of IE.

Standard Modern IE view:

1 swipe Modern IE:

1 swipe + 1 touch Modern IE:

1 swipe + 3 touches Modern IE:

Standard Desktop IE view:

1 touch Desktop IE:


I mostly use the Modern IE because I find it works much better for touch than the desktop IE. Moving back and forward on pages is a simple flick with my thumb and I've gotten pretty quick at all the swipe controls. I easily browse faster using Modern IE. However, I still use Desktop IE quite a bit especially when I want to stream Sirius satellite or watch some streaming video because I can switch apps without everything stopping.