Posts Tagged ‘IE9RC’

IE9 RC: Where’s that download manager?

Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) has at last introduced a nice download manager, as shown below.


This was long needed, since in IE8 there were cases were downloads with the same filename, when launched from different windows, could get corrupted. The download manager will also show resume download button when needed. IE8 could also resume downloads, but you had to use the exact download URL again for an interrupted download, which was not always easy to find, since some sites generate unique download URLs – especially those that are ad-funded and want you to visit their download page to see the ads, instead of clicking a direct download URL to get the file.

Note that the small icon with the shield that you see above on the left for “Insert Code for Windows Live Writer.msi” means IE’s SmartScreen filter has checked that file and doesn’t find some threat it knows. It is shown upon hovering over an entry’s row with the mouse.

The GUI looks simple and pretty in my opinion (much cleaner than the one in Mozilla I think), but still has some glitches, for example you can resize the columns, they get only resized automatically when you resize the window (sad to break UI behaviour that users have grown to expect thanks to Windows – do vote on this item to get fixed at

Speaking of unexpected UI behaviour (breaking the “least user surprise” rule), another annoying UI glitch is that when you press ALT+TAB at the download manager to navigate to other window, or click some other window to give focus to it (including the IE webpage window) and then bring back to front / give focus back to the download manager again, it scrolls its downloads list back to the top! Obviously it shouldn’t, however when showing the manager from the Tools/View downloads menu etc. it should still scroll to top maybe and also when invoking it from the download started/completed prompt it should scroll to show the specific download item in the list. Reported it too via Help/Send feedback menu, please vote on that too:


There are other IE9 RC GUI glitches related to the download manager too, checkout and vote my related feedback at: The issues mentioned there are:

  1. The tools menu shown with the GEARS button at the right side of the screen on the same row as the address bar looks pretty bare with no icons at all. Is this a design style? Why have the icons’ area at the left of that menu then if it is left empty?
  2. Can’t add View downloads to commands toolbar. First of all, it has no icon in command bar’s Tools menu and moreover, it’s not available at the Customize commands toolbar dialog (Right click Tools menu and select “Customize>Add-Remove commands” to show that dialog)


P.S. Notice the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) trick used at those Microsoft Connect URLs above? They have a unique ID, while at the end they also have text from the title of the entry (of course this practice can lead into ugly and long encoded URLs if the title is not in English). That allows the URL to be more obvious to humans and for search engines to better index those URLs when mentioned on other webpages. It even allows for the original article to be renamed without a problem, since you can type anything after the slash that follows the unique ID number and it still goes to the same article fine.

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more IE9 RC issues – Tale of two Internet shortcuts

Can you spot any difference at the following two Internet shortcuts on my desktop?


I can’t either. Note that the two files have the same “name”, but different file extension (invisible when using default Windows Explorer folder view settings). The one uses “.url” (classic Internet Explorer webpage shortcut), while the other one, created by Internet Explorer 9 RC when I drag-dropped a page’s icon from the address bar onto my desktop, uses the file extension “.website”. That’s why although they seem to the user to have the same name, they can still co-exist on the same folder (the desktop).

However, there are important differences on how these two Internet shortcuts behave. If you open the .url one with IE9 RC you get the window at the 1st image shown below, whereas if you open the “.website” one, you get the window at the 2nd image shown below. Notice the difference on the address bar? The Back and Forward buttons now have a different color (they get their color from the page icon somehow, maybe calculating the dominant color or something from there) and there’s also the page icon showing up at the start of the address bar (can click on it to go back to this page if you’ve navigated away from it).

Note that when you drag-drop the webpage icon from IE9 RC address bar onto the desktop you also do notice a different behaviour (than you were used to) from IE9, in that it closes that page and opens it up in a new window, with that modified address bar, 2nd image as shown below.


Right-clicking each of those two files (the .url and the .website ones), and selecting “Properties”, you get the displays shown below on the left and right sides respectively. You’ll notice that the “.url” file is called an “Internet Shortcut”, whereas the “.website” one is called a “Pinned Site Shortcut”.


Note that the “.url” file’s “Properties” action takes you directly to a tab other than the “General” one, called “Web Document” (a custom property page) with more info on the URL, a tab that is missing (I’d consider this a bug) from the “.website” file properties dialog. That way you can’t edit the URL from the properties dialog, neither can you set a “Shortcut key” for launching the shortcut using the keyboard.


Right-clicking the “.url” file and selecting “Send to > Notepad” (assuming you have installed “SendTo tools” or similar utility, or created a shortcut to “Notepad.exe” at your SendTo folder), you see the following contents:


Right-clicking the “.website” file and selecting “Send to > Notepad” (assuming you have installed Send To tools or created a Notepad shortcut at your SendTo folder), you see the following contents:

Prop4=31,The revenge of trickle-down economics | Richard Wolff | Comment is free |

I find the new IE9 RC behaviour non-intuitive, esp. the action of closing old tab and popping up a new window when you drag-drop the page icon from the address bar onto the desktop. This violates the UI design principle of “least surprise” for the user.

Moreover it refreshes the page when doing that (which can result in loss of data if you were filling-in something online and hadn’t submitted yet – hope it does at least respect webpages that use closing event handler to warn the user they haven’t saved and allow them to cancel the page closing).

You can see more info on Pinned Site Shortcuts at (as a reader of my previous blog post pointed out).

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IE9 RC bug? page changes IE back/forward colors and prepends icon, maintained for window session


Strange IE9 RC bug: visited (via and then clicked back several times seeing the above strange back/forward buttons (red color) and a Vodafone icon prefixed before them! Closing the window fixed the issue.

Are they using some hidden feature of IE9? Didn’t manage to reproduce the behavior though. If you have more info on this issue, do add comment below.

UPDATE: I think I found the culpit, drag-dropping the page icon from the address bar onto the desktop with IE9 RC doesn’t create a URL shortcut (.url file) as it used to be at IE8, but creates a pinned site shortcut (.website file) and immediately closes the tab/page and reopens it in a new window with the UI appearance shown above (back/forward button colors depend on the page icon dominant color I think). Totally non-intuitive (esp. breaks the rule of “least user surprise”), plus much more slower. Read more on this at (also reported as an issue to Microsoft Connect at

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Remove older crippled Google Search Provider from IE9 RC

Just installed Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) Release Candidate (RC), found the link at:

Was amazed by it’s performance and clean GUI (especially the choice to move the yellow warning bar to the bottom and make it of smaller width than the browser window in order to be more noticeable). Do visit to explore IE9’s potential (and try the billiard game at to see the graphics hardware acceleration).

However, when typing at the address bar (now combined with the search bar since new users were mixing them up and typed URLs at the search bar with unexpected outcome) the suggestions dropdown was showing two Google icons and one Bing.

Then I also noticed that one of the Google icons (the one that was already selected), didn’t allow me to turn on suggestions (send keystrokes to search engine as you type for dynamic search/suggestions).

The suggestions dropdown window just had an “Add” button that takes you to a page with more search providers to add, but no button to allow you to edit those search providers. So I right clicked the empty area at the right side of the address bar and selected to show the “Command bar” (means menu bar).



Then at menu “Tools”, I selected “Manage Add-ons”



There as you can see at the screenshot above (grabbed with ALT+PRINTSCREEN button combination and pasted into Windows Live Writer), the item selected says “Top Result Search” and has “Not Available” and also the “Top Result search address” field says the same. Also noticed in was using “” whereas the other google icon was using “” and had all search address fields filled-in.

So I reckoned I should remove that problematic entry.

A thing I don’t get is those UIs that don’t allow you to press Remove button at a Default choice and force you to first set another one as default, then they enable the remove button. Totally non-intuitive for new users of computers. They should instead prompt you to select other default after you press Remove on the current Default one. If you must always have one entry there they should just disable remove when list item count is just one.

To keep it short, I clicked Bing as the Default search engine by selecting it and pressing “Set as Default”, then clicked the problematic Google search entry and selected “Remove” (the remove button was now available since it wasn’t the default search anymore).

The clicked “Close” and all was fine with search suggestions for both Bing and Google, plus got rid of that 2nd Google icon at the search suggestions drop-down window.

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