Third party software slows Internet Explorer

Redmond (WA) – Internet Explorer 8 might appear slower than other browsers because of the way it interacts with third party software, Microsoft has claimed.

The company said that add-ons, pluggable transfer protocols and non-Microsoft security software are causing IE 8 to bog down. Redmond insists that there is nothing wrong with the browser and suggests users run its Process Monitor tool to isolate the problems.

Writing in the IE blog, a Microsoft spokesman said that Process Monitor allows you to view all registry, file system, and process activity on your computer, and includes a set of filtering features to enable you to narrow down your view to just one process.

Users can filter out the processes that slow the browser and then save the list of acceptable processes. Add-ons can be disabled using Internet Explorer’s “Manage Add-Ons” command under the Tools menu. The most troublesome add-ons typically are toolbars and browser helper objects, which will run with each new tab opened in the browser.

One of the major culprits, according to Microsoft, is the Skype add-on which slows the browser significantly. Microsoft does not provide a work around for the Skype problem but describes how to manage other add-ons here.

Pluggable transfer protocols, which are typically installed by download managers, can also affect the browser’s performance. Microsoft was not telling anyone how to deal with them either.

Likewise it did not say how to fix problems with security software slowing down IE 8.  Part of the problem is that some software scans content flowing through Internet Explorer, causing poor performance. Security software can strip out an HTTP header that tells servers to send back compressed content.

Despite all of that, Microsoft still claims that IE 8 is the fastest Web browser.