I am not a big Internet Explorer fan and below are 5 reasons why.
1. Internet Explorer is two Steps Behind, Outdated and Outclassed
Just take a look at the pictures below. I am using some CSS3 and HTML5 which despite every other major browser supporting them to some degree, IE does not.
|Internet Explorer 8||Firefox 3.6.3|
Internet Explorer 6 was released in August 2001. At that time it was revolutionary. Internet Explorer defeated Netscape Navigator, Mosaic, and every other browser. After that, Microsoft wasn’t interested in making Internet Explorer any better since there was no competition. Internet Explorer stagnated. Then around 2006 Firefox began to steal lots of users from IE. Firefox had developed new features and progressed the web experience and IE realized it was behind.
IE was quick to release IE7 in October 2006 (5 years after IE6). It was a buggy rushed release to catch up. Then in March 2009 IE8 was released which was essentially a more stable version IE7.
Internet Explorer is behind in the game of catch of.
2. Internet Explorer doesn’t follow Standards
There is an agency composed of industry experts called the W3 consortium that develops “standards” for web browsers. Unfortunately Internet Explorer has chosen to ignore some of these standards and develop their own. This causes a problem because web developers have to program their website to follow both Internet Explorer’s standards and the W3 standards that other browsers used. This is why web developers almost unanimously dislike IE because it makes their job harder.
It does appear that IE9 will finally become standards compliant, but that doesn’t change the fact that large numbers of people are still using IE6, IE7, and IE8.
3. Internet Explorer’s Settings are Confusing and Lacking
Internet Explorer make it really hard to configure your browser settings.
For example, for the security options, IE gives you the ability to pick a security level: Low, Medium, Medium High, and High. I have no idea what these options are. If you attempt to customize your security level you are presented with a laundry list of wtf. I cannot imagine how much pain people have caused themselves by changing something, thinking security would be improved, when they turned something off that causes their browser to not work properly.
4. Internet Explorer’s Add-Ons are Lacking
Say you find yourself doing a repetitive task on the web. For example you want to check all of the news websites for the most recent news. Instead of going to every website and checking them, you could find or create for yourself an addon that grabs the recent articles and displays them to your on one screen. You have friends who want to check the news too, no problem you just give them the name of the addon, and then they find it and put it on their computer. That is what an addon is, something useful that works in your web browser that people can share. Every day more are created.
Unfortunately IE really doesn’t have very many addons or support for creating addons, whereas Firefox and Chrome have capitalized on addons.
The single biggest reason I use firefox is because I use a plugin called Firebug which is now a vital part of my web development toolbox.
For more examples of plugins/addons take a look at Firefox’s.
5. Internet Explorer Doesn’t Update
Internet Explorer does not update itself. There are IE6’s and IE7’s running around like cats and dogs. All other major browsers seamlessly upgrade themselves to the most current version.
So if there is an important security update for IE, then IE can’t fix it automatically. Well if there is a major bug then there is a windows security patch released but it is not installed unless you have the windows automatic updates enabled and restart your computer.
Alternatives to Internet Explorer
Mozilla Firefox: My favorite. It has tons of plugins and addons. It is on the cutting edge of technology.
Google Chrome: A relative newcomer whose claim to fame is its simplicity. If you just want to browse the web then this is the browser for you.
Opera: Opera has been around for a while and has established a good following.
Coming soon, and article that talks more about web browsers, their history and future.