I've been using Windows Vista Ultimate x64 for quite a while now on my notebook and try to use 64-bit software in most cases as well whenever it's available. For instance, I have the 64-bit versions of all my Dell drivers, .NET 3.5, SQL Server 2008, Virtual PC 2007, Paint.Net, PerfectDisk, Live Mesh, IE7Pro, Daemon Tools, Zune 2.0 and others installed. One of the applications that I use constantly is Internet Explorer 64-bit.
I've found that IE7x64 is much more stable than the 32-version and is also much more responsive. However, there is one issue with it. Plug-ins like Flash and SilverLight (to mention a few) are not compatible with it. To make matters worse, most web sites check only for the browser type and whether the plug-in is install or not. If it's not, they try to install the plug-in. Which means that not only does my machine waste bandwidth by unnecessarily downloading the required CAB file (which cannot install), I also get prompted to install Flash (for instance) every time I try to browse using IE7x64 on such sites.
A solution to this problem is running IE7x64 in the "No Add-ons" mode. This mode disables even trying to load the plug-in, saving time, bandwidth and the irritating popups. You can enable this mode by modifying the shortcut to launch IE7x64 and adding the the -extoff parameter to the end like this:
"C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" -extoff
This brings up the window with a message stating that the browser is running without add-ons enabled. If you do not want this message to be displayed every time you launch the browser, you can change the shortcut to add a URL at the end of the previous like to look like this:
"C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" -extoff about:blank
Of course, you can replace the "about:blank: with a URL of your choice as well.
Of course, if you do need to use these plug-ins, you will need to keep a 32-bit browser handy as well - at least till the time that the plug-in developers release 64-bit editions of their products.
Tags: internet explorer