State of the Web Browser

Firefox in its “latest incarnation”: has left behind Internet Explorer so far behind that I feel sorry for those poor souls still stuck with it. Firefox has been superior to IE ever since version 0.7 so long ago, but with the 0.9 release it moves miles ahead.

It will be said of the year 2004 that the race for the very best browser was tight, with Opera far ahead in features and speed, but slowly ever so slowly Mozilla’s entry Firefox edged closer. IE remained way back in the year 2000, up shit creek with a disbanded devolpment team to boot.

It’s a tough sell convincing people to use a browser other than IE, for nobody cares about things like web standards, browser and computer crashes and even speed. All they want is a nice big button labeled the ‘Internet’.

Mouse gestures, keyboard shortcuts, adblocking, tabbed browsing, _(and quite a few more)_ – these all are all things which are in many ways features one has to use before they can be really appreciated.

I haven’t even mentioned spyware yet. There’s really not much to be said about it. Just think of Windows as a big giant blackhole which sucks in spyware, and IE and Outlook Express as the twin ushers, sending all and sundry scumware, viruses and spyware to their places in the operating system. A typical pc these days is fast – even a 1ghz plus pc is idle 98 percent of the time, so the one good thing about all these scumware is that they are utilizing all these otherwise wasted cpu cycles.

What does all this have to do with Internet Explorer? Just the simple fact that ever since I -stopped using it 4 years back- wait a minute, I never did actually use it! Anyways, by not using IE/OE, I never had a *single* virus or spyware infection! This is despite not using a firewall or a virus scanner for most of that period – there was never any need to. So applying basic scientific principles leads us to:

* windows + IE/OE = spyware ridden unusable piece of shit

* windows + any other browser/email = no viruses/spyware

* therefore IE is EVIL, as it does much evil.

This test has been repeated many times with many different computers – so must conclude that the most used web browser in the world is a steaming pile of shit.

Did I mention “Web Standards”: anywhere? I’m not a web designer, but just in the process of designing this website I had numerous problems with Internet Explorer. Despite writing much of current (or is it past) web standards, IE breaks them in really annoying ways. Many think that this only effects the web developer, not the user, but they’re wrong. By not following standards web developers have to spend a lot of time figuring out workarounds for the many bugs inherent in IE. This leads to longer and costlier development times, and raises the barrier of entry for causual web developers. The web was supposed to a medium where anyone could publish, but bug-ridden browsers like IE make it hard to create a good looking site for the casual user. The following sums it up best:

bq. You’re current web browser, Microsoft Internet Explorer, is non-compliant with internet standards, outdated by over three years and dangerously insecure.

>> ‘comment seen on microsofts site’:

More advice:

bq.. Just about everyone reading this has seen computers that have been beaten down with spyware – the evil junk that hijacks IE and renders a system virtually useless. How many times have you been called to a family member’s house to clean up their system? Or had to call your techie friend to come clean yours? It’s often quite awkward – the system slows to a crawl and every other mouse click conjures up some species of perverse, obscene image. What most people don’t realize, however, is that there is a very simple and powerful way to defend your system (and/or the systems of your loved ones) in one fell swoop.

*Don’t use Internet Explorer.*

>> “Why You Should Dump Internet Explorer”:

p. The spyware problem will be fixed to a certain extent with the release of the “second service pack”:, but that only applies to Windows XP. So pretty much everyone else using IE is screwed.

h4. Related Links

* “Browser Wars v.2004: Part 1”:

* “Is Internet Explorer Living on Borrowed Time?”:

7 thoughts on “State of the Web Browser”

  1. I’ve been using Opera and Mozilla [switched over to Firefox a few months back] for more than half a year now – and even though they are much faster compared to IE, I still miss using IE for the sole reason that a lot of websites are designed around it, and they look weirder in any other browser. Though Firefox has changed all that, but I feel its still slow.

  2. The game of IE is not over yet. Not for designers, at least. My 91% users still use IE’s flavors. Firefox is much better and hopes to improve even more. But I still see no empirical data to DUMP IE for any reason. I’d have to stick with it (with Opera and Firefox still running alongwith it) for few years until the fog gets cleared.

  3. Dare to be different – what fun is it when you run the same piece of software like millions others – i switched over to firefox to get a flavour of whats on the otherside of town – tabbed browsing (though also on netscape) captures my imagination – plus themes

    though i would agree with Ejaz – no other solid reason to switch over (i do miss the CLTR+ENTER) but the tabbed addtion outweighs the clutter on the taskbar

  4. Well, here I go again… I’ve completed the layout for a new section according to the wc3 standards and it looks, and works, perfect in Firefox. Now it’s time to go through the hell of making it look right in IE. I briefly opened it up in IE and sure enough… F#@K!

    I dread the thought of having to go though the next 6 hours hacking the code to make it work in IE. It reminds me of the old Nutscrape Aggravator days. Chairs through walls, broken relationships, drunken escapades… My hair was just starting to grow back and now, programming for IE is even worse.

    I hate all companies that ignore the standards. M$ really takes-the-cake here too, as they are doing it on purpose. This effectively keeps the competition at bay because no one has the money to pay for 2 separate websites (one for IE and another for all the browsers that actually follow the standards).

    What’s really amazing here is that M$ are the richest entity known to human kind. They currently have over 64-billion in reserves (they are richer than all the countries on the planet combined!) We often discuss the fact that no one will ever be able to catch up to, or compete with M$, as they have all the capital and resources in the world for R&D. But I am beginning to wonder why their browser market share is dropping like a lead balloon… (it’s because their ignorance of the standards and, even more importantly, their attention to security is horrible.)

    The Department of Homeland Security even warns against IE and recommends using a different browser like Firefox.

    Now, why would M$ allow this to happen? Is it just that the people in the IE development team are really a bunch of morons? Or is there an agenda that goes higher up? Maybe it’s that M$ actually won the monopoly and now they just don’t give a S#*T.

    Fact-of-the-matter is IE is still fully integrated into the Windows OS. They never complied with the court order. When you “uninstall” IE it doesn’t remove IE. It just takes the shortcut off the desktop. When you have to repair IE you can’t just re-install it you have to repair the whole OS.

    M$ has gotten by with shoving a pre-installed substandard product for years now but they are due for a huge wake-up call soon. Their market share is dropping hard and our government is warning everyone not to use IE for security reasons.

    I spend hours and hours, every week, taking BHOs, trojans, ad-ware, etc. etc. out of people’s machines. I charge $120 per hour but people still call, as they have so much advertisement crap loaded into their computer that it won’t even work. It has gotten ridicules. I have been switching everyone over to Firefox and that has made dramatic improvements. M$ is going to have to get their act together quick. Because I, and everyone else in-the-know, are dropping IE.

    How is Firefox (with relatively no money) able to make a better product, compete, and take major market-share away from the richest entity known to human kind? Makes no sense… what is M$ doing with all this money? Maybe they’re too busy working to monopolize the Windows Media market…

    Well here I go… into the wonderful world of developing for IE. I guess I’ll go get a bottle of Scotch, bolt down all the chairs, and warn the neighbors. I wish that IE would just get their act together, as too many people still use it. Until then, do yourself and all of us a favor STOP USING INTERNET EXPLORER.

    You’re current web browser, Microsoft Internet Explorer, is non-compliant with internet standards, outdated by over three years and dangerously insecure. Upgrade immediately to one of the following Mozilla FireFox, Opera Internet Browser or Mozilla Web Browser 1.6 which are all available to download and free to home users.

  5. Internet Explorer owns FireFox and Phantom of the Opera…and if you get viruses stop looking at porn…perverse nation. You get owned by viruses by clicking on a link noobs.

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