Why I Hate Internet Explorer

Steve Smith talks about the reasons why he hates Internet Explorer as a user, web developer, and as a computer repair technician. Also, goes into the issues with having a web browser the updates based on operating system, instead of purely on technical ability and features.

Too many active versions and operating systems, not enough features

Episode # 3-14 available on : Youtube Blip.tv Vimeo 
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Released: December 16, 2012

Today, we have a lot of choices when it comes to the internet and how we browse it. This wasn't always the case, we previously only had Netscape, and Internet Explorer, at least, these were the two most popular choices. We now have Safari, Opera, Firefox, Chrome, and of course, Internet Explorer.

So, while Netscape died and was replaced with better options, why is it that Internet Explorer still exists? The answer to every issue I have with it, is Microsoft.

Most people aren't willing to learn how to use alternative operating systems, and most manufactures won't create firmware, or drivers for alternative operating systems, mainly to avoid having too many tech support questions, which is a crying shame, since Microsoft has slowly been shooting themselves in the foot. How about I divide the reasons why you shouldn't use Internet Explorer anymore by usage model.

As an internet media consumer, we have the choice of millions of web-sites, and many of these web-sites remain pretty compatible, however this means that they have tons more code, take longer to download, and the web-sites that do follow the trend require us to use a more recent browser. This isn't an issue with Firefox, Opera, Chrome, even Safari, you just update the code. In the case of Internet Explorer, you are stuck with the latest browser Microsoft is willing to build for your version of Windows, if your using Windows XP or Vista, your out of luck, no updates to IE10. But, let's focus on Windows XP, their browser still uses ActiveX, a prime target of evil for black hat hackers, and having coded in ActiveX for web-sites, before the Advent of Flash, I can tell you that ActiveX, created by Microsoft, has way too much system access. But, if you turn it off, you don't get updates, so your stuck with a kind of infection you can cure, but won't be allowed to take the cure. In order to fully update your computer to use the latest versions of Windows, also, requires you to burn a lot of cash if you want to migrate from Windows XP to the latest Windows 8, and expect to have the same experience, and have access to the very latest in standards compatibility.

Furthermore, Internet Explorer, is, also, a target for virus creators, to attempt to hijack your system, simply using Internet Explorer is asking for trouble. The chances of infection are greater due to the constant stance of backwards compatibility of Microsoft, and the unwillingness to update, forcefully, all versions of Internet Explorer, on all versions of Windows, regardless of what it may break like other browsers, and may I add, it is very rare that the other browsers ever crash anything. The only thing handicapped is your experience of the internet, when you use Internet Explorer, and the longer you use it, the more likely you will be infected by viruses targeting you for just that reason.

As a web developer, coding for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera is great. You can use the very latest, the idea of making a web-site backwards compatible doesn't exist, that is, unless you want to allow users using Windows XP and Vista the ability of using your web-site, which means you have to add JavaScript to emulate the design, which adds more complexity to a simple task, and some stuff can't be emulated the same way, so you end up adding graphics, which makes loading the site harder, and the more you try to make a cool web-site, the more likely you'll spend more time in the Developer Console of Internet Explorer testing everything about your web-site to see if it works. Let me remind you, we don't use Developer Consoles in other variations of web browsers, since we can safely presume that you keep up to date, since you can. This leaves us with two options, be backwards compatible and have a horrible web-site, or refuse to make backwards compatible code, and leave you the user in the dust having to change your web browser to something more up to date, and ultimately cooler and safer. And, you can't blame us, the web developers for trying to build better web-sites, that is exactly what you all ask for, isn't it? That certainly is what I expect from any web developer, and myself, a web-site that changes, adapts over time, without compromise on technology and design. So, if this means that a web-site tells us that we should use something else, instead of Internet Explorer, please do.

And finally, from the point of view of a computer repair technician, I have, long ago, lost track of how many computers I have had to fix because people who don't know better, get infected most often using Internet Explorer, because it came in the box. This is not a valid reason to use an inferior product. You wouldn't by a car with no wheels, why would anyone want to use Internet Explorer.

Then there are the times that people want to add more functionality, without upgrading version of Windows, and don't want to switch browser experience. Those are annoying. They presume that because Microsoft made Internet Explorer, all web-sites should be able to be accessed with any version of Internet Explorer. Even if this means they use browsers that have ActiveX as a plugin, and those folks will probably allow it to run on all web-sites. By the way, it is impossible to teach an old browser new tricks, change Windows, or Change Browser.

Which leaves us with my last annoyance, Windows and the connection with Internet Explorer. You have to pay hundreds of dollars in most cases to have a full windows, to avoid having to install the older version of Windows first, just to be able to periodically format your computer, after being infected by a virus, you got using Internet Explorer.

And, I could continue for days on annoying stories of why Internet Explorer sucks, and why I hate it so, but please, share you stories and comments on Youtube, my web-site, my facebook page or at ask@tqaweekly.com. And, if you are interested make a video reply about your horror stories of using Internet Explorer below on Youtube.

And, I'd like to thank all my subscribers, listeners, and viewers for continuing to support my show by simply watching, and I'd like to wish every single one of you happy holidays as I take the next two weeks off for my holidays. And, I shall be back January 6, 2013.

And, also, I am going to discontinue backwards compatibility for my web-site for Internet Explorer 8 and earlier since they are technically handicapped and obsolete, so if your still using IE8 or earlier, please upgrade to Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Opera. These are all fine choices of HTML5 capable browsers. You may receive a message from my web-site when you use Internet Explorer 8 or earlier saying that you should upgrade, however, everything should still be readable, its the new style menus, and some new additions coming that may not work as desired, but 8 and earlier are old and have no way to support the newer HTML5 code we are use to now. The new menus will allow for more ease of navigation, and later on the new mobile web-site will allow for all HTML5 devices to use the newer mobile web-site.

May your holidays bring you much joy and appreciation for family and friends, and remember to like this episode if you were interested in today's topic, share if you think someone else could benefit from the topic, and subscribe if you want to learn more. For the show notes of this episode and others, for more information on other ways to subscribe to our show, to subscribe to our weekly newsletter, and how to participate by submitting your questions, comments, suggestions, and stories, head over to TQAWeekly.com.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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Posted by ask
December 16, 2012

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