IE9 says Yahoo Axis slows down the browser

Installing new search add-on from Yahoo -- a Microsoft search partner -- may trigger Add-On Performance Advisor warning

Although Microsoft and Yahoo are search partners, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) may complain that Yahoo's new Axis search add-on is slowing down the browser.

After installing the Axis search extension in IE9 on Windows 7 today, Computerworld found that the next time the browser launched, it popped up a message asking if the user wanted to disable Axis and other add-ons to speed up surfing.

The Axis add-on, which displays Yahoo's new search results motif at the bottom of IE, was at the top of the performance-affecting IE extensions installed on the test PC.

According to Microsoft, Yahoo Axis for IE slowed down IE9'S start-up by 0.07 seconds.

The add-on disabling message is not new or somehow triggered by Axis' installation: IE9 has had the feature, officially dubbed "Add-on Performance Advisor" -- since the browser launched in March 2011. The Advisor regularly shows warning messages when the combined slow-down time reaches a triggering level.

Yahoo launched Axis yesterday, offering a free iOS app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, as well as add-ons for the desktop editions of IE9, Apple's Safari, Google's Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox on Windows, and the latter three on OS X.

The iOS app is essentially Safari with a custom overlay; Apple restricts browsers distributed through the App Store to only those that rely on Safari as its engine.

Yesterday, a security researcher reported that the Axis add-on for Chrome contained a private key that could be used by anyone to digitally sign browser extensions in Yahoo's name.

Yahoo acknowledged the key problem and has issued a revised Chrome add-on.

IE9's Add-on Performance Advisor told Computerworld that Yahoo's new Axis search extension was slowing down the browser.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is

See more by Gregg Keizer on

Read more about internet search in Computerworld's Internet Search Topic Center.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

It’s time to break the ChatGPT habit
Shop Tech Products at Amazon