Windows Secrets Newsletter: Internet Explorer 8 & 9 pushed out

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By Susan Bradley/Windows Secrets Newsletter

Starting Jan. 17, Microsoft began pushing out IE 8 and IE 9 to all customers through Windows Update.

It began in Brazil and Australia. As noted in Microsoft’s Dec. 15, 2011, Exploring IE blog, the company’s plan is a slow rollout of IE Versions 8 and 9 to all Windows XP, Vista, and Win7 users who have automatic Windows Updates turned on.

IE 9 has been offered to users as an optional update (prechecking the update box), but this is the first time a new version of IE has been set to automatically install. If you previously said no to IE 9 on Vista or Windows 7 (or IE 8 on Windows XP), Microsoft will continue to respect your wishes — neither of those browsers will automatically download to your machine.

Fixing what Microsoft did to your IE settings

Although I like Internet Explorer 9′s new features, I’m not thrilled with its default interface — a sort of Google Chrome clone. So the first thing I did after installing IE 9 was re-enable all the toolbars, menus, and favorites I used to see in the previous versions. I also chose the option to show tabs on a separate row.

If you, too, prefer the classic IE look, follow these steps: Right-click the upper edge of IE9. A hovering, popup menu should appear, as shown in Figure 1. Click those items you’ve used in the past and would like to see again. As you’ll see in Figure 2, I checked Menu bar, Favorites bar, Command bar, Status bar, and Show tabs on separate row.

Figure 1: IE 9 in its bare-bones, default look, sans menu bars. Right-click the title bar at the top of the window to bring up your display options.

Here’s the rest of the story.

This post is excerpted with permission from Windows Secrets.

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