Recently I upgraded to a new laptop running Windows 7 Enterprise and it came with IE8. The Ie8 browser was so incredibly slow it was unusable. However, I found a way to correct the problem. If you are having similar performance issues with IE8 you may find this information helpful for speeding up this bloated browser. Disabling Add-ons and installing the Google Chrome Frame plug-in may help you speed up IE8 to the level of "acceptable".
I have run Vista for several years now. I was an eager early adopter of Vista because of its solid IPv6 support. I have enjoyed using Vista and don't see what others see who complain about it and have dragged their feet on deploying it. I recently moved to Windows 7 RTM because I wanted to experience the latest Microsoft has to offer. After installing a bunch of software that came with different add-ons it made the IE8 browser crawl. I added an AV suite that added a plug-in, AOL Instant Messenger added stuff, Adobe, my HP printer driver installation, Java, SnagIt, and somehow a Yahoo Toolbar crept into the mix. It was taking 15 to 20 seconds to open up a new browser tab. It was so slow that I was multitasking with other applications while the browser loaded pages. Ouch!
I have upgraded to IE8 on several of my other computers (Vista and XP) but I haven't had the extreme slowness that I have experience on Windows 7. It is no secret that IE8 hasn't been reported as a speedy web browser. In this recent ComputerWorld test IE8 was considerably slower than other browsers. This data has been consistent with my experiences. Although I don't use Safari or Opera I have experienced quick Firefox performance.
I was considering scrapping IE8 for good and going with Firefox permanently on my new Windows 7 computer. Trusty Firefox has served me well for many years. You might have seen the recent post that Netscape Navigator turned 15 years old. I remember back to 1994 when I used one of the first versions of Netscape. I was amazed that the Internet had overnight transformed from e-mail, FTP, and gopher to the WWW. That year I was completing my masters degree in telecommunications and finishing my thesis on how ATM will cure all communications ailments (boy was I wrong). Just like in the introduction of "All in the Family" goes "Those Were the Days…". Ooops, I might have just disclosed my age.
I got so frustrated with IE8 that I started poking around to find a solution. I quickly ran across this blog posting that helped me fix my problem. To correct the issue just click on the Tools -> Manage Add-ons menu item. By disabling different Add-ons I was able to get IE to open up a new browser tab in an acceptable 4 seconds. The culprit looks to be the Sun Microsystems, Inc. "Java™ Plug-In 2 SSV Helper" version 6.1.7600.16385.
You may have also read the articles that "IE8 runs 10 times faster with Google plug-in". You can download the Google Chrome Frame plug-in from this download link. However, there was Microsoft backlash to this recent announcement of the Google Chrome Frame plug-in. Check out the article "Microsoft blasts Google over Chrome Frame plug-in". There is concern about how this Chrome plug-in will allow users to delete browser cache data and how it might interfere with the privacy protections provided in IE8. Regardless, this too may speed up your IE8 web browsing experience.
Good luck and speedy surfing.