I just came from an online forum which I occasionally lurk on and there was a thread in the technology section about IE9 - They were saying that the design was bad...hmm yeah well that is one of the criticisms people have against Internet Explorer.
I too find that the design of the new IE lends a lot from modern designs...of other internet browsers...
I don't mind, I like the simplistic, minimalistic designs...so long as all options are still available somewhere. I believe significant internet browsing software (Chrome, Firefox, Opera) are released with company expectations that it will work well for a large percentage of users without having to change a single setting...for everyone else they are free to tinker with settings, or find a browser software more "them".
I use Chrome more than other browsers, I always like the design and because it looked so simple I figured it must save resources and therefore faster - I'm not sure if this is true, but it sure does feel fast to me compared to other browsers. One thing I don't like about Chrome is that you can accidentally close all your tabs without Chrome determining if you really want to do that.
Firefox is the browser for ADD-ONS, seriously there are a wide variety of them. Think of iOS app popularity and range then think of everything that a browser could potentially do for you...and Firefox appears to have all the software designers gearing their work for use with Firefox. My criticize of Firefox? It may be predictable but it NOMS (consumes ) RAM and really makes machines work hard to cope with Firefox and its hardware demands. I've been told that Firefox works better on Linux - But I'm weary that this could be some Linux cult member trying to convert me, so I can't know for sure if that's true or not...All I know is it's a strain on my laptop, and I can imagine how an older machine would(n't) cope with excessive RAM demands.
IE is the short back and sides type that you wouldn't rely on in an emergency. It's plain and boring, whilst the look has changed, the feel hasn't especially looking under the hood under the settings and it looks exactly as it did say 10 years ago - The internet has changed, IE hasn't. Software associated with Windows has a long reputation with security, so I'd imagine IE often is a hesitation choice for those that have been burnt badly by malicious software. Other than the perceptions of some, IE is a reliable go to browser that comes with Microsoft Operating Systems.
Opera I don't know very much about but I have known of numerous satisfied Opera users.
The same with Safari, it must be good if it keeps all the iOS device operators happy.