Computing Columnist: Gmail fail in IE9
I've been pestered by an odd problem lately: When typing in Gmail, not only are the keystrokes painfully slow, but every third or fourth letter will not type at all. I should note that I run two instances of Gmail: one for work, which I have been running on IE 9, and one is a personal account that I run on Firefox. Both were responding slowly, but IE was notably worse. One thing was soon clear: When typing into another type of interface, or on a Word Doc, there was no noticeable slowness or lost letters, so it was clearly something to do with Gmail.(Though I will admit that I swapped out my keyboard before it dawned on me that I was typing just fine everywhere but in Gmail!)
Then I thought it might be a virus, so I ran a virus scan. Nothing turned up.
And I suppose had I been thinking a little more deductively, it would have occurred to me that I was having the same problem on one of my home computers (though oddly, not all of them).
So, I ran a Google search on the problem, and lo and behold, I was not alone in my misery! Several users on Google Groups were describing the exact problem I was having and several users fingered Skype as the culprit. As I don't really use Skype on my work computer, I uninstalled the program there.
Firefox immediately responded and all was well with my Gmail account when using that browser, but IE was still painfully, obnoxiously slow and buggy.
A little more reading suggested that I uninstall all sorts of additional software, with various users having luck with this or that combination of programs.
Finally, one user wrote this: "After more than a year, the slow typing problem of Gmail is still present. Unbelievable, but true.... It is a very bad trick of Google to let people stop using Internet Explorer as internet browser. I found out that the problem exists on both Vista and XP machines with IE7 or IE8. (And I, Nancy, can attest to the issue on Windows 7.) Sometimes it looks like modern, faster, computers seem not to have this problem with IE. So Google is forcing us to use fast computers or another browser which is totally unnecessary because their previous version typed O.K on IE."
So, I opened Chrome and voila! Gmail functions perfectly, problem solved.
Well, the problem is solved for me in this instance, but I make no excuses for Google forcing people to abandon IE when using Gmail in order to get acceptable performance.