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Internet Explorer Sucks
2004.11.27 (Sat) 22:59
Anyone who has been involved in web design will know what we're talking about here; anyone who has had to download patch after patch to plug up the security holes in Internet Explorer will feel the same way.
Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser is a terrible piece of software, for two important reasons: one, it is chock full of security holes; and two, it refuses to interpret web page code in a manner consistent with that of most other web browsers.
Microsoft is aware of the fact that IE is riddled with security problems, yet rather than choosing to address these problems in the basic code for the program itself, they simply throw the consumer a patch every so often — a patch which will solve some security problems, while leaving countless others unfixed.
This problem is exacerbated by the fact that anyone using a Microsoft operating system, like Windows, has IE inextricably bound to nearly every aspect of their OS (such as Office programs, the file explorer, and worst of all, the basic internet options built in to Windows). So these flaws in IE pose a great security risk for the user's entire system.
The other problem with IE is one of code interpretation; code, such as HTML tags, that appears correctly in nearly every other major browser requires irritating and tedious workarounds to function correctly in IE (so that the page will look the same to the end user, regardless of their OS or browser). The big problem is that correcting the code to accommodate IE often results in other browsers being unable to process the code correctly. So as a web designer, you're basically fucked, particularly because the overwhelming majority of the public uses IE as their primary browser.
A more long-term issue with IE, and Microsoft applications in general, is the interest in fully integrating all applications with each other and the core operating system. While full integration is an interesting goal, which may have numerous benefits, it also has drawbacks — most notably, the far-reaching effects of any integrated application's flaws, and the obstacles created for competing applications. Any bug or security hole in an application can then affect other applications — or even the whole operating system — if everything has been integrated. And the effect such mandatory integration has on the competition is remarkable — forcing other software developers to figure out how to fit into the tiny "niches" left available to them by an integrated platform (such as Microsoft Windows), or alternatively, simply be left in the dust because of an inability to create an application that can actually be used.
Does Microsoft create a good product? For the most part, yes. They've made a quantum leap forward in stability and usability with the release of Windows XP, and many of their Office tools have become the standard for use in every industry. Unfortunately, their habits of rushing flawed products to the market, ignoring the standards popularized by other development companies, and deliberately avoiding compatibility with other developers' software are all major strikes against them. It is hard for a corporate giant like Microsoft to realize that they must hold themselves to the same standards to which consumers hold other software developers, but it's either that, or end up out in the cold as the efficacy and facility of other companies' products eventually outweigh the ubiquity and accessibility of Microsoft applications.
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[ Filed under: % Business & the Economy % Computers & the Internet ]
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Internet Explorer Sucks, 2006.12.28 (Thu) 21:49 [Link] »
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