Internet Explorer on 64-bit - Is Browsing Possible and Working Well?
As promised, I would like to continue our series of articles on 64-bit browsing with Internet Explorer. I've used it for a couple of days, tried to find the plugins and add-ons I needed, and evaluate if I can actually make the switch from the 32-bit version. Can you browse the web on 64-bit, without ever returning to the 32-bit edition of Internet Explorer? Learn from this article.
The Main Plugins Offer 64-bit Support
Unlike when Windows 7 was launched, the main plugins used on the web now offer 64-bit versions that work with Internet Explorer 64-bit.
To get the 64-bit Adobe Flash Player, open the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer and go to the downloads page of Adobe. Prior to downloading and installing Adobe Flash Player, uncheck the box for installing the bundled Google Toolbar. You might not want it installed.
Java also has a 64-bit version available. You can download it from the Java Downloads for All Operating Systems page.
One important aspect to consider is that, if you want to use also 32-bit browsers, you need to install both the 32-bit and 64-bit Java packages.
Microsoft's Silverlight plugin might not be that popular and widespread but sometimes you do need it. Microsoft distributes it via Windows Update. However, if you want to download it from the browser, you can find it here. It provides support also for the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer.
Most of the Internet Explorer Add-ons Work on 64-bit
What about add-ons? Any browser, no matter how good, it isn't worth much without add-ons to extend its functionality. I used the list we compiled a while back with Top 9 Must Have Add-ons for Internet Explorer 9. I installed them all on my 64-bit version of Internet Explorer and they worked without issues.
I browsed a bit through the add-ons gallery from Microsoft and I noticed that most add-ons work on 64-bit too. At least the newer ones do, that were not created for old versions of Internet Explorer.
Can You Actually Browse the Web on 64-bit?
After using Internet Explorer 9 64-bit for a couple of days, I can say that it works well. Due to the good plugin support and the working add-ons, I had no troubles when browsing the web. If you look also at the small performance improvements in 64-bit browsing, you might want to stop using the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer and switch to the 64-bit version. Personally, I pinned the Internet Explorer (64-bit) shortcut to the Start Menu and never looked back.
I'm sure other readers have tried the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer. If you did, don't hesitate to share your experience with others. I think it is about time we had more 64-bit browsers being used.