Internet Explorer

Last updated: Nov. 25, 2005, 10:05 p.m.

I'm going to take this opportunity to rant about Internet Explorer. You may have seen my review of Firefox, which is, of course, very favourable. However, my opinion of Internet Explorer is somewhat lower.

It is a Microsoft product, but the usual problems associated with Microsoft products don't really apply, since it is fairly stable (not as stable as I'd like, but oh well,) and it is FREE! Which was actually a cunning plan by Microsoft to take over the browser market so that they could define the web standards just by owning the most common browser. In this aim they pretty much succeeded through the early 21st century, because of Microsoft's dominance, W3C, the people who define Internet standards were pretty much powerless.

No longer is this the case, thanks to Firefox (and Opera and the others.) By opening up the browser market, Opera and Firefox have to be fully compliant with standards, to ensure that any web page will look just as good on them as it does on any other browser. This also has the effect of forcing other browsers (Internet Explorer), to comply with these standards do that they are not loosing out. You may notice the warning at the top of my pages about using Internet Explorer. My pages should be quite usable in Internet Explorer, however, because Internet Explorer does not guarantee standards compliance, the pages will not look as pretty in IE.

This brings me on to the other problem I have with IE, in the last year, Firefox has had about 7 releases, admittedly only point releases, but the last update for IE was with XP service pack 2 about 2 years ago! This kind of update rate, can't keep up with fixing the bugs (something Micrsoft are rightly famous for) let alone keep up with changing web standards and technologies.

In general, if you're still using IE out of choice, you shouldn't be, it's bad for developers, bad for users and bad for your security. If you're using on a workstation, suggest changing to Firefox, it is rapidly becoming a standard even in corporate networks. If you're a sys-admin, look into it, it can't hurt can it?



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