I spent an hour on the telephone with Microsoft today because my IE would lock up whenever I opened a new page. I had been dealing with this problem for almost a week. I ended up installing Firefox, which worked but still did not answer why IE was doing this.
Even disabling IE plug-in would not stop the lockup. It was finally resolved that I had to set IE to open with administrative rights. Once this solved the problem, I reinstalled SP and the problem came back showing that it is the SP causing IE to lockup when opening a new page. To prove this I quickly disable third party plug-in and the issue was resolved once again.
I hope this report helps.
I am using Windows 7 Ultimate, IE 8 and SP 126.96.36.199