Note: if you do not upgrade to IE10 now it will likely be rolled out in the next few months as an automatic Windows update – if you do not want this (i.e. you want to stick with IE9 or earlier for the foreseeable future) you should download the IE10 blocking tool.
Upgrading To IE10 – Download the right upgrade package for your language/Windows 7 edition from Microsoft here.
Installation may take a few minutes as further files may have to be downloaded as part of the process – a reboot is required after installation completes too. It has been a couple of years since the release of IE 9 so most users will have forgotten just how tedious this long installation process is compared to rivals such as Chrome and Firefox which are ready to go after just a few seconds…
That said, if there is only an upgrade for IE every couple of years, it’s not a major disadvantage.
Hardware accelerated performance is up 15% over IE9, and drawing performance shows a 30% improvement.
IE10 also finally includes integrated spell checking and auto-correct for common spelling mistakes – features which were sorely missed in the previous version.
HTML5 support and compliance with modern web standards is improved – IE10 gains a score of 320 at HTML5Test, compared to the lowly 138 of IE9. However, this is still well below the 448 and 393 scores of Chrome and Firefox respectively.
Unlike in Windows 8, IE10 for Windows 7 does not have an integrated Flash Player so you must keep the separate flash player from Adobe installed and updated, the same as before.
Finally, the controversial implementation of Do Not Track (DNT) – turned on by default – is included with IE10 for Windows 7. This appears to violate the proposed DNT standard which requires a deliberate choice by the user.
Tip: if you wish to turn DNT off – click the Tools ‘cog’ icon then select ‘Internet Options’ and select the ‘Advanced’ tab. Browse down the list of Settings to the Security group of settings and un-tick the checkbox for ‘Always send Do Not Track header’. Pres OK and restart IE10 to apply the change.
System Requirements – the minimum requirements for IE10 on Windows 7 according to Microsoft’s site published today seem just plain wrong:
RAM – 512MB
Drive space – 70MB (32bit) or 120MB (64bit)
Hopefully the page will be corrected in due course but, until then, the existing requirements for IE10 on Windows 8 are more realistic and can be used as a minimum for Windows 7 too:
RAM – 1GB (32bit) or 2GB (64bit)
Drive space – 16GB (32bit) or 20GB (64bit)
IE10 is a significant improvement over IE9 and brings the browser up to speed with its main rivals – or arguably surpasses them, depending on which benchmark test results you believe.
It still lacks the customization options and variety of extension/add-on support available for Firefox and Chrome though so it is difficult to recommend for power users – for basic use though, it is again worthy of consideration.