I installed IE8 on my wife's XP computer. She is using OE6. During install, MS warns that IE8 cannot be removed after installation. I guess it can, but it is a real task to do it.
During her use of IE8 and/or OE the computer freezes up. Trying to kill these tasks through Task Manager either doesn't work or takes a long time to shut them down. Logging off and computer shut down also too several minutes each. I did the following:
Removed all shortcuts and references to IE8 in Start lists.
Set IE8 as disabled (no startup).
Performance was so-so and there were hangs and freezing up still at odd moments. I finally caught on that the default browser was still listed as IE8. Using Start/Set Program Access and Defaults, I made Chrome the default browser.
Everything seems find now. To use OE you have to have IE installed (true?). MS says it is "tightly coupled" with IE, meaning, I guess, it used some of the program parts (DLLs, etc.) in the browser. Anyway, I also added 2GB of ram, so the old Dell is running smoothly. The logical step would be to switch my wife over to a different e-mail client (Thunderbird?) but she knows her OE and just getting it switched would be TRAUMA!
When I try to access any site in these browsers the task mgr shows them using over 90% cpu. IE shows "Waiting for ...", FF and Opera don't even show a frame.