Home Visual Explorer: New Browser Built on Top of Internet Explorer

Visual Explorer: New Browser Built on Top of Internet Explorer

Today we came across Visual Explorer, a new browser that wants to provide users with a better, more tightly integrated browsing experience. Similar to what Flock does with Firefox, Visual Explorer is built on top of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and provides users with a new user interface, as well as a number of new features. While Flock focuses on integrating lots of social media services, Visual Explorer tries to provide its users with a more extensive set of general browsing features such as live previews for tabs or an enhanced download manager.

Because of its dependence on Internet Explorer, Visual Explorer is only available for Windows. There, however, it will run on any version of Windows, including Windows 98, ME, NT, and 2000.


Among Visual Explorer’s more interesting features are its built-in themes, content filters, and its ability to use IE add-ons. Unlike the latest versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Google’s Chrome, Visual Explorer does not feature any private browsing modes, but it does feature an interesting ‘cloaking mode’ which hides the browser after it has been inactive for a set amount of time.

Some of Visual Explorer’s other interesting features that are not available in IE7 or the latest public beta of IE8 are its ability to save web pages as images, an enhanced download manager, and easy access to RSS subscriptions (though no integration with third-party RSS readers).

Oddly missing, however, is a bookmark bar where you can drag-and-drop your most often used bookmarks for quick and easy access. Visual Explorer also doesn’t support IE8’s Accelerators.

Just as Slow as IE8

Just as expected, when we ran Visual Explorer through the SunSpider benchmark, the results were identical to those for Microsoft’s IE8 – and just as unimpressive, especially when compared to Google’s Chrome or the latest nightly releases of Firefox 3.1. It is worth pointing out, however, that the Visual Explorer, just like IE8, feels just as fast as Google’s Chrome when browsing regular web sites.

Can it Find its Niche?

The browser market is obviously huge, so even getting a small piece of this pie would be a huge success for Visual Explorer. Other companies like Maxthon and Flock have been able to carve out a niche for themselves, and Visual Explorer might be able to do the same by giving users who need to use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer more flexibility and useful features than the original product.

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