Will Internet Explorer 9 finally get a download manager?

by Lee Mathews (RSS feed) May 22nd 2010 at 10:00AM

Just a couple days ago, Microsoft posted a new application on their download site. It’s calledMicrosoft Download Manager, and it’s pretty much you would expect from an app with that name.

Its features are fairly basic compared to the download managers you’re already familiar with likeDownThemAll, LeechGet, Orbit, and Free Download Manager. Microsoft’s app currently only handles HTTP downloads, but it can pause and resume transfers, automatically retry, and it supports up to 16 simultaneous connections. Here’s what the MS page has to say:

The Microsoft Download Manager enables you to download files from the Internet in a more reliable and faster way than using a browser alone. Using the Download Manager makes it easier to download large files such as an application or multimedia files. The Download Manager has been specifically designed to manage file downloads from supporting Microsoft Web sites in a secure and reliable way.

Sounds good… but not quite true. While it handled smaller downloads with aplomb, the 570MB Windows SDK 7.1 ISO download gave it fits. Downloading the file in IE 8 proved to be faster and far more hassle-free.

As a standalone app, it’s not too impressive. It would, however, make a nice feature addition to Internet Explorer 9. Internet Explorer has been able to resume downloads (at least in theory) for ages, but an actual download manager like the ones present in competing browsers would be a welcome improvement.

Microsoft has made it pretty clear that they want IE9 to compete with the browsers Like Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. A download manager would certainly help — but this one needs a little more work before it’s ready for prime time. IE9’s release is still quite a ways off, so there’s plenty of time for Microsoft to put a shine on Download Manager and bolt it on.

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