IE User Experience

The information published in this post is now out-of-date and one or more links are invalid.

—IEBlog Editor, 20 August 2012

My name is Bruce Morgan, and I am another one of the development managers on the IE team.  I manage the developers who work on the User Experience of IE – the UI and related infrastructure.  I spend most of my time focused on the features “outside the rectangle” of the page the user is browsing, such as Favorites, History, the “Internet Options” dialog, and the like.  Essentially, John is focused on security and platform issues, Dave is on web developer issues, and I’m all about the end-user feature set.

I’ve read with great interest the feedback on this blog as well as contents of the Internet Explorer Wiki on Channel 9.  I think these are fantastic additions to our other, less public user feedback mechanisms such as MVP feedback, user focus groups, home visits, and the like.  I wanted to roll up the UX related feature requests that I’ve seen frequently and get your input and feedback.  Note that this list intentionally doesn’t include web developer/designer oriented features (transparent PNG comes to mind) or security related features.  While those may indeed have UX implications, they’re better suited for a different post.

Commonly requested UX features include:

  • Tabbed browsing (far and away the most requested UI feature)
  • Richer popup blocking (more than what’s in XPSP2)
  • Better printing (don’t chop off the right inch of the page, etc)
  • Richer, easier Favorites
  • FavIcon fixed and used in relevant places in the UI
  • Inline search (search field in the IE chrome)
  • Richer Find dialog and functionality
  • Find as you type
  • Page Zoom
  • Better keyboard support
  • Roaming of settings / favorites / history
  • Skins / Themes
  • Mouse gestures
  • Richer Download Manager functionality
  • Better ability to delete browsing history / cookies / autocomplete / forms data
  • Richer (and better documented) UI extensibility for toolbars, menus, right-click menus, etc.

I’d love to hear more about ideas you have on the merits of these features, other ideas you may have, or other suggestions for ways for us to improve the user experience of IE.  You can update the Features Request Wiki directly, or just reply to this post.  I’ll have later posts where I discuss some of these features in depth.

Note that, as Dean said in an earlier post, we can’t commit publicly as to whether a feature will or will not make it into the next version of IE, or talk about specific dates and the like.  But that shouldn’t inhibit us from having a conversation about features, their merits, and what would make IE better for you. 

A bit about me: I’m originally from Portland, Oregon. I lived and worked in and around Silicon Valley from the mid-1980s, working on software for PCs and Macs. I started at Microsoft in early 1995 on the Encarta team, where I was first a developer, then a dev lead, then the dev manager. I worked on the CD product for Mac and for Windows (as far back as Win3.1), the online product, and on the custom content management system. I then became the development manager for the browsing and mail composition features MSN 8.5 and MSN Premium. About three months ago, I joined the IE team in my current role.


Comments (77)

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think this recap was a wise idea as a post, and begins to show some of the aknowlegement that some of the more level-headed critics are looking for. I’d like to see the "developer related version" soonly.

    However, I think it’s a little telling that standards compliance is seen only as development related and not as UX related. My own personal opinion is that it’s profoundly UX related, and allows web professionals to leverage these technologies for the best and most consistant UX possible.

  2. Anonymous says:

    *sigh* Are we really going to parade out every single person marginally "involved" with IE to this blog and show off a list of features other browsers already have and then say "Well, we can talk about these things but let me tell you why we can’t do them." We get the picture:

    1) It’s just too hard to do! [tabbed browsing, standards support, transparent PNG]

    2) It’s the world’s greatest browser already and you must be crazy to use anything else!

    3) Nah, we don’t really see a need for… [tabbed browsing, standards support, transparent PNG]

    4) Why bother when we have 95% of the market!

    Ok, so nothing’s changing. We get it. There’s nothing to see here. Since this blog started, not even a single hint of any improvements are forthcoming. Just people parroting 4 year old lists of features.

    Once people realize that Microsoft’s grand strategy is to make the web look "bad" compared to XAML and Longhorn and that their direction is on pushing rich clients (Use WinFS! Use XAML! Use Indigo!), then it makes perfect business sense to have a broken browser.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Another thing. Isn’t it very telling that the WinFS team, the Avalon team and the Indigo team are allowed to talk about whatever the heck they want and they are making very grandiose promises about huge pieces of functionality, while the IE team can’t even commit to whether there will be an update to IE before Longhorn or not.

    If they haven’t started thinking out loud about their feature set and what they are committing to for Longhorn, and if Longhorn is going to beta next year, isn’t a bit late to be fishing for features? They should have functioning prototypes of all these features in the latest Longhorn beta if they were serious.

    In a few months they’ll come back and say: "We’re sorry, it’s too late to add additional features to Longhorn, but please enjoy the new colored mouse pointers to complement our colored scrollbars available ONLY IN IE! We know this has been a highly requested item and we’re happy to deliver it to you!"

  4. Anonymous says:

    i want the Speech add-in for IE to be integrated so that SALT-enabled web sites will be voice-browsable. also, want the experience for ink-in-IE using the Tablet PC API to improve. embedded WinForm controls need to load faster. while they are loading, IE should render some text that it is being loaded, and if the control does not load, it should render some alternate text that i specify. it would also help if WinForm controls could send events to the HTML page without requiring additional security (otherwise the page has to use javascript to poll the control).

  5. Anonymous says:

    I echo Carlos’s feedback though not to the same extreme. If there’s anything I learned from my internship this summer, it is that companies such as Microsoft don’t care about the user no matter how much they advertise that they do. If something won’t make them money in the short term, it won’t happen. Those decisions, however, are from the management side, not from the developers. From what I have seen the developers are very interested in improving IE, but their managers don’t give them the time to make the improvements.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The one thing that always *always* bugs me when I have to use Internet Explorer, is that middle-clicking doesn’t open links in new windows. I’ve looked around, and haven’t found any way to change this.

    It sounds silly, I know, but even if Internet Explorer was miles ahead of the competition (as if that’s ever gonna happen), I would still avoid Internet Explorer until it was possible to do this. This is a complete show-stopper for me. Middle-click == open in new window.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Daniel, I wouldn’t read too much into my excluding webdev oriented features from the list of UX features. I didn’t want to speak to those features today because it’s not my primary area of responsibility. I’ll let Dave Massy cover that instead.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Before adding features (making it bloats), please fix the underlying rendering engines first.

    I assume you know what the problems are, e.g.:

    – CSS

    – XHTML (i mean application/xhtml+xml)

    – JavaScript (especially the event model, where are the W3C event handler methods like addEventListener?)

    And maybe the UI of IE should be rebuilt with XAML, so that we can have a richer user interface (for both web application and the browser itself)? I mean something like XUL…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Nice to have features like JNLP (Java Network Launch Protocol), Java Applet(with the sandbox model for security, unlike ActiveX controls) type support for .NET in IE. These are doable today but it would be nice if IE could provide better support for these to make the developers job easy. This will provide the capability for a lot of cool apps over the Internet. IE should provide more ease of integration with .NET applications.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I have many of the same requests for standards support as everyone else, but it would be redundant to list them here. These are some of the UI features that I would like to see, however:

    – An alternate stylesheet selector, especially one that remembers what I choose for more than one page.

    – Better support for zooming the display, more like Opera than Mozilla, especially if it remembers what I chose and applies it to the whole site in the future.

    – Spell-checking in forms.

    – Better history completion in the location bar.

    – Support for link rel=next, etc.

    As a web developer, this is what I’d like to see in the UI:

    – Better logging and display of JavaScript errors and warnings.

    – Extra sidebars and search engines that are easy to install and remove.

    – Something like Mozilla’s DOM Inspector so that I can figure out what dimensions an element is getting, whether it has layout or not, what CSS rules IE is applying to it and the computed values for the properties, etc.

    – A cookie browser and editor.

    – A way to see what a page will look like in previous versions of IE.

    – A built-in way to trace the HTTP headers.

    – A better View Source, with syntax highlighting and display of invalid HTML for the given DOCTYPE.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Tabbed browsing

    As an end user, I appreciate tabbed browsing keeps my taskbar less cluttered, and can load pages in the background ( a real plus!) but other than those attributes, I wonder what others see that I am missing. Most of my Internet training clients probably never use more than 2 or 3 open windows at once.

    As a long time IE user who is 99% switched over to firefox, I would love to see security issues tightened up. Have you folks been able to release a complete patch to the problems of a month or so ago where a simple visit to a web site could infect computers with a virus/trojan/whatever it was? I know what some sites called a "work around" was released.

    There must be so much pressure on you right now. And I appreciate this blog as an attemopt by you to communicate and interact.

    You need to strike a real difficult balance between rich functionality and tight security.

    And that’s going to be a toughie.

    Firefox has some nice features but what ultimately caused me to switch and to recommend to my clients to switch was security.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Something *better* than tabbed browsing. I use Firefox, but when you have a few firefox’s open, each with a number of tabs in them it gets confusing as to where to click to find your page – the task bar, or one of the tabs.

    I often find I use one Firefox for looking up code examples, a second open with the SQL manual. A third on slashdot… etc… each with many tabs open.

    I don’t know what the answer is – the ability to group tabs?

    Or some cunning ability to group things on the task bar – group IE’s by task, so all tasks are listed together?


  13. Anonymous says:

    A simple last ten things viewed/visited would be nice. I’m forever going back to pages on MSDN and am sick of having to clear the out of my favourites or spend all day finding them again by using the URL autocomplete feature.

    My biggest gripe about printing (apart from losing the right hand edge all the time) is the ability to force page breaks via markup. Though that might be dev related.

    As for some of our cynical friends above. Give these guys a break. They’re only human and try and get a grip, its a web browser for Gods sake. Not life saving surgery. The lack of perfection in IE isn’t going to cause widespread famine, flooding or large scale death. If you want to rant about something at least pick something important. Global warming, rampant capitalism, oil prices, war, the presidential election…. Take your pick.

    I usually opt for dissing small minded negative cynical bigots.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I know this itsn’t directly your job and it’s more Dave’s job, but better standards support is a must over any other UI changes. If IE can render pages properly to the standard, it allows web designers to write richer UI’s inside the box (for instance things like CSS menus don’t work in IE due to poor :hover support on things other than anchors). I guess transparent PNG support could come under this.

    As far as UI goes …

    Printing support should support the CSS page break properties. I hate the fact IE doesn’t follow these when I put the @media print stuff. Certainly better printing support would be nice. that way coupled with print style sheets, designers can design pages to look good in print mode.

    I love the way i can do URL rewriting. I use it a lot when doing PHP coding, as I can type php <<keyword>> to get help on a PHP function. It’s very good for searching etc.

    Tabbed browsing is a must for the developers / power users. However, it should be easy to disable for people are not used to this.

    The ablity to control how javascript window resizing would be nice. nothing f’s me off more than a page that set’s it’s self to full screen. It’s very annoying when a 3200×1200 sized window overtakes the computer (yes that’s what i run my screen res at home).

    personally skins support should not be part of IE. if people what skins, they should use the skinning engine which is part of Windows XP / 2003, otherwise you are just adding bloat.

    If you can make the security settings easier to change / understand for non-techie people, that would be good. I can’t think of any way you could make something like this more user friendly. However it would be nicer to make it easier for non technical users to understand what security settings do, etc.

    A Side bar interface like IE 5.2 for the Mac would be good.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Something that does also annoy me is when i go to save a webpage as a mht / HTML and it can not save (I understand this for SSL sites etc, but some pages for some reason trigger IE to say ‘This page cannot be saved’). could this be fixed. Saving Frames based pages would be good too. I often like to reference stuff when I don’t have access to the net.

    Like wise when you save as a webpage, could it keep the markup as it originally was (with the exception of paths for resources like images). It annoys me when lots of MSHTML crap is put in, specially when I save a web page because I want to study it’s mark up.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Good summary… my top 3 items are:

    1) Tabbed browsing

    2) Better print support

    3) I like the google toolbar that highlights words or phrases in different colors. Very useful to quickly scan the page without making other dialog and keyboard realted actions to find what you’re looking for.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I assume that my requests will be seen as "developer" requests, but *I* see them as UI requests, because I think it helps everyone focus on what *needs* to be done in IE, if you see (as I do) that "underlying" technology improvements implicitly affect the UI and are, therefore, just *deeper* ways of improving the UI.

    Like Carlos, I don’t see much *real* hope, because I don’t think it is in Microsoft’s business plan to improve IE – BUT, I’m willing to give you guys the benefit of the doubt (for now) and ask that you PLEASE make the following *UI* improvements:

    1 – FULL native support for CSS 1, 2, and as much of 3 as possible

    2 – FULL native support for MathML (yes, real people actually do want, and *need*, this) – think scientists, mathematicians, researchers, statisticians, etc.

    3 – FULL native support for PNG

    4 – FULL native support for SVG

    5 – FULL native support for XML *and* XHTML (delivered either as html or xml)

    6 – Tabbed Browsing

    7 – pop-up blocking (customizeable by site)

    8 – NO integration with the OS (yes, I think that’s a UI issue)

    9 – NO integration with other Office products (again, I think that’s a UI issue)

    10 – SMALL Core Footprint, with the ability for plug-in/extension development to provide for more specific features – again, to me this is *definitely* a UI issue, since plug-in functionality drastically changes one’s user experience

    11 – DROP Alexa: it’s spyware – don’t know if this is directly UI-related, but for me just knowing it’s there lowers my opinion of IE, and no amount of *pretty-fying* IE will change my opinion on this one!

    12 – FIX IE’s printing bug, where it prints something like "file://C:DOCUME~1(name)LOCALS`1TempNNL02KNO.htm" instead of simply printing a web page’s actual URL

    13 – related printing capability: as in Firefox, let the user choose from a selection of options of "document info" (date, page #, URL, etc.) and let the user assign any of these choices to any of the 4 corners of the page

    I *REALLY* believe that you *SHOULD NOT* separate UI from "developer" wishers – every developer’s wish results in a user experience and although that may not be directly the result of a browser (but is rather the result of the developer’s site design), it *IS* in a sense the result of the browser:

    For example, in a Mozilla-based browser I can view full CSS and MathML and XML:

    …but I get an error message in IE – a case where an "underlying" technological deficiency simply prevents me from viewing scientific material – if that’s not a UI problem, I don’t know what is!

    Likewise, try making sense of this:

    … in IE…and then compare it with recent Mozilla, Firefox, Netscape, and Opera browsers…again, I think this is a *UI* issue, not a "developer" issue – if I’m a mathmatician wanting to publish my research online and I come up with the onscreen crap that IE gives me, there’s a problem and *as a mathmatician* I’m not going to give a damn about "developers" – I’m going to say (and rightly so) that IE sucks…

    Page zoom, mouse gestures, skins, "richer" favorites, etc. are all well and good, but the *REAL* UI issue is being able to accurately publish and retrieve *INFORMATION* – if IE can’t be relied upon to do that basic UI work, then the "extras" will never make up for its deficiencies.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Any idea why there seem to be so many more ‘small, focussed, useful’ extensions available for Firefox than IE?

    Is this a misconception on my part?

    Is it because access to an extensions library site is built into the FF browser, making dissemination easier?

    Am I missing an equivalent site for IE?

    Is extensibility more difficult in IE?

    Just wondering if anyone had input on this subject.

    IMO, the large selection of FF extensions are one of the best things about the browser.

    An equivalent ‘sand-boxed’ extensibility facility for IE would be great (if there isnt already such a thing :-)).

  19. Anonymous says:

    Currently the interactive on-screen help (the little ? button in the window title) isn’t as helpfull as it could be. Especially the newly introduced security options in SP2 are a good example:

    Open the security dialog for the internet zone, click on the ? and click for example the new "binary behaviors" option or any other option. You will get the same (not really helpfull) text over and over again – no matter on what option you click. Press F1 to get some detailed help – the same dialog again. There are only about 500 characters of documentation for the entire security settings part!

    There is a lot of good documentation for SP2 on MSDN – why isn’t this integrated in the help? Not even a link? I mean you put months and millions into this new security features and you do not explain it properly? The user has to guess or try out what some features mean (especially in the german version).


  20. Anonymous says:

    fedUP makes some pretty good comments. Seconded.

  21. Anonymous says:

    It’s the little things that make Firefox so pleasant to use.

    For example:

    — Hitting ctrl+l uses the location bar instead of opening a dialog box.

    — Typing multiple letters in a combobox (e.g. a list of U.S. states) matches all of them; so "il" will select Illinois, not Louisiana.

    — To expand an image that’s been shrunk to fit my screen, I only need to click on it. In IE, I need to move the mouse off of the image, back over it, wait a second, see other buttons pop-up, wait another second, then click the button.

    — To create a bookmark in a folder, I can drag the page icon from next to the URL and tranverse the bookmarks menu until I get to the folder and position I want.

    — The scroll bars extend to the last pixel on the screen, so I can push my mouse all the way to the right and scroll, rather than having to carefully position the cursor just before the edge of the screen.

  22. Anonymous says:

    > Give these guys a break. They’re only human and try and get a grip, its a web browser for Gods sake.

    Look at it from the other point of view. Web developers waste large amounts of their time working around Internet Explorer’s bugs. When you are wasting your time day after day for years, and the people responsible are making it fairly obvious they don’t give a damn about the problems they are causing, and there is no end in sight, it’s hard not to consider that highly offensive.

  23. Anonymous says:

    > The scroll bars extend to the last pixel on the screen, so I can push my mouse all the way to the right and scroll, rather than having to carefully position the cursor just before the edge of the screen.

    Actually, I have this problem in Firefox and it is quite annoying. Is it a theme-related issue?

  24. Anonymous says:

    I understand this is extreme, but…

    Why doesn’t Microsoft abandon Internet Explorer completely and begin to work WITH Mozilla, to have Mozilla/Firefox bundled into future versions of windows.

    Think about it, at this point Mozilla, is no doubt leading the pack. All the featurs which are isted to be done for IE, have been done in Mozilla for a very long time now.

    All IE can hope to do is imitate Mozilla, somthing which does not seem like a good business plan. There is no money to be made off of Internet Explorer anyways, so they would be better off supporting the Mozilla Foundation and using their web browsing software.

    When 2008 rolls around, Mozilla will already have CSS4 support, something which IE will not even have dreamed of yet.

    Why play catchup forever?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Brendon makes a good point, though I doubt that it’s likely we’d ever see mozilla/firefox bundled with Longhorn.

    But for those who’ve already switched to firefox, the bottom line is: to even consider switching back, IE would have to become not just *as good as* firefox — but better. And ‘better’ does not mean inclusion of a bunch of IE/windows-only features. In fact, I admit that I don’t know what form ‘better’ would take — but if winning back those who’ve switched to firefox is the goal, that’s what it will take.

    Now, if the only goal is to keep any *more* people from switching, then it will be sufficient to become ‘as good as’ firefox; and it would be a great relief to those of us trying to design pages for both browsers.

    Just my $.02….

  26. Anonymous says:

    I have to admit I have been quite surprised with the aparent lack of activity (other than security patches and SP2 improvements) over the last few years. I am just a humble home user, who more of a microsoft-phile then anything else- but there are two things that i would like to see:

    1) Improved favourites. I have about a 100 or so…and they are all a big mess. I find it difficult to keep them organised. Every few months i resort to opening the Favorites folder and sift through as bast as possible, but it takes time. Please sort something out for me! ( I have no suggestions on how: ill leave you, the geniouses to sort that one!)

    2) Tabbed browing: but more than Firefox…Grouped some how. I quite often have a dozen or more pages open. I am thinking along the lines of OneNote (SP1). Its nice and hierachical).

    But I can moan all I like, but its still a great browser. I just want it even better!

  27. Anonymous says:

    I think competition is better than working with Mozilla.

  28. Anonymous says:

    1. Internet Explorer should support better accessibility for people with disabilities. People that are using screenreaders. Internet Explorer should provide a text only mode for example, in which you could read the contents of a page with the arrow keys. Please allow reading a page with the cursors like in a word processing application. These can help blind people to read webpages easily and without the need to install complicated screenreading plguins.

    2. What about Outlook Express? Have you abandoned it? It is part of IE isn’t it. It needs beeter contant management and e-mail distribution lists. It needs spam filters.

    3. We really need an IE plugins library site, where developers would publish their extentions or post a link to them and on which users can download and rate extentions. I am sure there are lots and lots of extentions (activex) for IE, they just need a central organization site on which we have the best of them listed and so publisized. Like the Windows Media Player 9 plugins and skins site.

  29. Anonymous says:

    1. A better Search Assistant. IE’s search toolbar should be better than any other that is put out there to promote a particular search engine like Google, Yahoo! or MSN. IE should have an in-built Search Companion which will make search and filtering through the top search engines and your harddisk extremely easy. Currently nobody uses your IE search assistant or the IE Search Explorer bar or even the ? in the address bar. And for a good reason!

    By the way, why doesn’t the current IE Search Explorer bar support the most popular search engine (Google)? Why? Why? Are you trying to keep out Google. I know that you can make Google your default search engine but this is not what we want. In IE there is an explorer bar by which you can search through the top search engines in a row. It starts with MSN or your engine of choice and then when you click Next it sends the same requery to the next engine on your list. Well, Google is not on this list and cannot be added. Why? Why hasn’t anyone asked for a better search experience?

    2. I want better History organization and management. Order by last visited should not be only limited to Today history.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Better Favorites, namely:

    1. Replace Favorites with Labels (Like Google)

    2. Make Labels multi-level (

    3. Store them on MS Server

    4. Allow to export to a file.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Change functionality of dropdown control: Search for items in the list with the sum of all keys pressed, rather than just the last key press. Firefox does this. So if there is a dropdown list of years (1999, 2000, 2003, 2020, 2021) typing 202 will select/highlight the first element that matches all of the keys I typed (2020).

  32. Anonymous says:

    Jim: it may be a theme issue. I use Windows classic theme, and my scroll bars extend to the edge of the screen. With the Windows XP theme, there is a small border in-between. Which theme are you using?

  33. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure how much new UX is needed. Most of the stuff added in 6.0 is frivilous at best. Smart Tags looked interesing – but – didn’t happen.

    Tabs would be nice. I don’t know how much more. I’m a developer, so I focus mostly on rendering.

  34. Anonymous says:

    IE should support German umlauts in domain names in the Address bar. Since April 2004, it is now possible to register domains, which is very common in German speaking countries. For example, it’s now possible to register http://www.mü instead of IE doesn’t support this so far. Mozilla and Opera do support it. As more and more domain names containing umlauts will appear, it’s absolutely crucial that IE supports this.


    PS: I love the new IE enhancements in XP SP2!

  35. Anonymous says:

    I haven’t read through the sea of comments yet, but…

    The issue that still baffles me to no end is that of pop-up blocking. It seems like the easiest thing in the world to implement on a development stand-point: Don’t allow the software to load a pop-up window unless a user requests one. WHY IS THIS HARD?

  36. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know how to UNINSTALL IE???

  37. Anonymous says:

    Pop up blocking is supported in IE 6 SP 2. Yea it is a true rudimentary "1.0" product where some of the options need improveing. I think it needs the ability to permanantly block a site. I think we need to see the IE team make updtes to ienot just security updates but actual program updates and bug fixes. make the ex. make the pop up blocker and manage addons ons version 1.2 before the next service pack.Service packs are too few and far by between to have that the only time we see non security improvemnets.

  38. Anonymous says:

    The user experience would be less creepy if you would stop using the invisible folder %HOMEPATH%Local SettingsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5 to store things even after the cache has been cleared.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Oh yeah, and if you could prevent IE from being polluted by other applications such as Norton AntiVirus (it installs a toolbar without permission), that would be pretty swell too.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Standards compliance + great security + better UI features only equals to where Firefox is now.

    The IE team needs to match and then better FF in order to win back its user base. You should use Firefox as your *baseline* for improvements and be innovative. Up for it?

  41. Anonymous says:

    Cool list of features!

    Wait….. all that’s in Firefox. Already.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Eliminate application-specific Print Preview by making a systemwide "Preview" print device (like OS X.) Print-to-PDF then display the resulting PDF.

    This will eliminate all bugs that come from an application having to maintain two near-identical bases of code:

    1) code that renders to a print device

    2) code that renders to print preview

    A re-render will be necessary for every Print Preview change (landscape to portrait etc.) but that’s not a big loss. And the number of bugs eliminated is a big win.

  43. Anonymous says:

    I’d complain about how IE’s lack of standards compliance prevents web developers from delivering the best user experience possible but it looks like other people already covered that so I’d like to 2nd their requests.

  44. Anonymous says:

    I would like to see the URL autocomplete improved. It always seems to me that IE remembers some weirdly-specific url for a site rather than the main site address. I’d also like the ability to removed URLs from the autocomplete on an individual basis. For instance, if I have a site that begins with "f" that I visit on a regular basis and which usually appears first on the list for the autocomplete, then one day I visit some random site that also starts with an "f" and IE decides to place that site higher in the list, I either have to put up with this random site being listed or clear the entire URL history.

  45. Anonymous says:

    The more I read on this blog, the more it seems people are recommending features for Interfect Explodus that are available already for other browsers.. it would be so in keeping with the M$ philosophy to cherry pick the best innovations in other browsers and screw up the implementation.

    If M$ cared about the end-user experience, perhaps they might have realised by now that embedding the browser within the operating system can only lead to one thing.. enhanced opportunities for Russian Gangsters, skript kiddies and l337 hackers to "0wn" Windows systems, without providing any major enhancement to the end user experience.

    It’s pretty obvious that M$ care more about market share than they do about the end user.

    If there’s ONE thing to be gleaned from this blog, it’s simply this: If you want relative safety on the web, and if you support standards, using IE is not advisable.

    Anything M$ do with IE will not change their motives for doing it: commercial self-interest.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Still can’t uninstall OR reinstall IE. Have gone ahead and downloaded Netscape. Pretty cool actually. A loy more features and easier to use. Bye-bye IE

  47. Anonymous says:

    >If there’s ONE thing to be gleaned from this blog, it’s simply this: If you want relative safety on the web, and if you support standards, using IE is not advisable.

    Believe it or not, we don’t need you to glean information from this blog for the rest of us! What’s the use in saying something that’s been said 1,000 times?

    You think your comment is going to get MS to rethink their entire IE strategy?

    If you don’t have anything useful or different to say, why say anything at all?

  48. Anonymous says:

    > You think your comment is going to get MS to rethink their entire IE strategy?

    Nope. Not in the slightest.. you miss the point, evidently.

    It’s more about encouraging the wavering IE user to jump ship, zero to do with trying to goad a behemoth organisation into change <laugh>.

    > If you don’t have anything useful or different to say, why say anything at all?

    Ditto. And try signing off with something other than "Me" next time, unless you *like* giving the impression you’re a clueless muppet! πŸ™‚

  49. Anonymous says:

    some of my ideas was:

    open IE with different security settings:

    – allow user to decide which security rule to apply at a given time

    – switch on or off cookies or set security levels with kbshortcuts.

    – allow user to reorganize and hide the menubar (the rightclick menu too)

    – hide scrollbar

    – built-in rss feeds reader?

    i would rethink my wishlist because i’m a heavy modder and have a lot of ideas.

    here’s the screenshot of my IE:

    i sent you a link before, here it goes again:

    opensource Mouse Gestures plug-in for Internet Explorer

    users may use it until the update IE interface reaches their computers πŸ˜‰

  50. Anonymous says:

    > Ditto. And try signing off with something other than "Me" next time, unless you *like* giving the impression you’re a clueless muppet! πŸ™‚

    This snippet of "wisdom" from a guy named "Rogue"… LOL

  51. Anonymous says:

    >Nope. Not in the slightest.. you miss the point, evidently.

    You miss the point! What is the use of repeating the same crap that has been spewed throught the comments on this site? Do you think that the IE developers haven’t seen it yet? Or, do you think you are so brilliant that you can say it in a way that they will "finally" understand? What is your point, buddy?

  52. Anonymous says:

    I would like to see better HTTP Referer security. Maybe make the referer work like cookies, where cross-site referers are not posted, or maybe just the domain of the cross-site. But once in a domain, the http-referer runs as normal.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Please support W3C standards, like CSS1,2,3, XHTML, XML, SVG, MathML. How can we make good websites if your browser doesn’t displays it property? We don’t need really new features, just a browser that works.

  54. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know if anybody has checked out the <a href="">iRider browser</a>, but it has a lot of UI features that I dare say rival Firefox’s. Instead of plain tabs at the top or side of the browser, it includes a side-bar with "tabs" of mini-images of each page that you have gone to. Any links that you have clicked on from that page are sorted underneath the main "tab" and appear in a tree-like fashion. This makes it easy to see your history. You can run your mouse over all of the "tabs" to close them or to "pin" them, which opens the tabs the next time iRider is launched. You can select a bunch of links on a page and open them all at once. You can create a book of favorites so that a group of them open at once. It’s got page zoom, too. Popups, though, are not blocked but are displayed in the tree formation. This isn’t desirable, but at least they’re out of the way.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Bug Free – CSS Support please, I don’t need or care about anything else. I long for a day when I can produce a website that looks the same in IE/Firefox/Opera etc.

    Although saying that I do like the mouse gestures in Opera but you have to fix the underlying problems with the rendering engine first. Couldn’t this be produced as an update?

  56. Anonymous says:

    Just thought i’d comment on the striking similarity between the requested features and the features currently in Firefox ( Coincidence? I think not! πŸ™‚

  57. Anonymous says:

    1 – Simpler preferences

    2 – Disable Active X

    2 – Full support for PNG

    3 – Full for CSS 1,2,3, full compatible with w3c standards.

    4 – repair all bugs in CSS

    5 – maybe implemenet compatible mode for IE5, 6 for older sites?

  58. Anonymous says:

    can we have the blog comments sorted by date, descending (most recent first?)

    Also, why do web developers keep voicing their concerns about css etc., when people keep making it clear that IE and MS development is almost entirely business-case lead. Adding nice javascript event handling won’t be done unless the management of the development team can give a good reason to their direct bosses why their team should be spending time on this feature, instead of something else.

    A lot of you blog commenters need to get out and get a job developing software, not just doing it in your spare time with a few other developers/doing academic style development. Almost every software company is the same – after all, they are the ones paying the developers, they want return on investment, e.g. return on their developer’s salaries.

  59. Anonymous says:

    > I would like to see better HTTP Referer security. Maybe make the referer work like cookies, where cross-site referers are not posted, or maybe just the domain of the cross-site. But once in a domain, the http-referer runs as normal.

    This is HTTP specifications, nothing to do with IE

  60. Anonymous says:

    Hi Bruce,

    I’m a really big fan of the favourites bar feature in firefox (I’ll prolly get flamed for mentioning that here). It’s a really great feature that I think IE would benefit from.

    I’ve got a gif of what I’m talking about here:

  61. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, I like the Bookmarks toolbar as well, but other than "open in tabs" I didn’t see richer functionality than IE’s Links bar. Correct me if I’m wrong on that.

    IE support folders in the Links bar, displayed as menus with cascades and the like, like Firefox. In fact, Firefox imported my IE Links bar favorites and seems to show them the same way.

    Creating folders in IE, however, is more of a hassle. It’s not so easy as a right-click "Create Folder" like Firefox. You have to use Organize Favorites or the Favorites pane (View, Explorer Bar, Favorites or Ctrl+I). In Org Favorites, there’s a Create Folder button. In Favorites pane, you have to right click again and the New Folder is near the top.

    You can also shift+click the "Organize Favorites" option in the Favorites menu to open the Favorites shell folder in an Explorer window, where you can make folders and drag things around. That’s actually how I usually organize favorites with IE.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Bruce, I’ll give that a go! Can’t you tell that I’m an ignorant Firefox user? Sorry πŸ˜›

    I’d really REALLY love to see a better code view (by default) than notepad. Maybe something that color’s the code much the way dreamweaver does. Helps when finding troublesome tags.

    Sorry Bruce, I’m not sure if this complies with your pure UX request or not… but it would be handy!

  63. Anonymous says:

    Know what all that sounds like? Firefox. IE is too long in the tooth, and at the risk of offending Microsoft’s delicate sensiblities, it’s dangerously insecure.

  64. Anonymous says:

    Tabbed Browsing PLEASE!

  65. Anonymous says:

    A uninstall function !!!

  66. Anonymous says:


    Sorry, but i think that a quickly dissolving userbase is enought reason for management think about a standards based, secure Internet Explorer.

    My features:

    * Port IE to Mac and Linux. That way we, webdevelopers will actually be able to open a page once in a while in IE to check if it is not yet looking totally scrambled.

    * Implement a popup blocker, an adblock and better control over resizing of windows.

  67. Anonymous says:

    It would take something really special to convince me to go back to using IE. I switched to Firefox sometime before the summer and have never looked back. Yes, it would make life easier as a web designer if there was better standards support etc but that would still not get me and many of my colleagues to return to IE.

    After using IE for years, you kind of feel betrayed when you don’t get any significant updates in over two years. Firefox on the other hand continues to improve and is always going to be in constant development.

    Sorry but i think this is all a moot point. Most people are not going to want to switch back if theyve switched already.

  68. Anonymous says:

    Aside from full CSS2.1 & DOM level 2:

    CSS3 column support would certainly be welcome.

    A few UI priorities:

    Link-rel support

    Stylesheet switching

  69. Anonymous says:

    Most of these features are already in Firefox. I wonder how many of these Microsoft will try to "patent" once they finally get around to implementing them…

  70. Anonymous says:

    Put Tabs or MDI into IE and I’ll leave the windows world.

    If people want tabs use a mac or something.


    Adobe does MDI and I’m very good at sabotaging their sales. If people can’t cope with 9 years of UI advances then let them go.

  71. Anonymous says:

    So, here we’re talking about UX? Well, I keep all my whinings as a webdeveloper away and I’ll suggest a simple feature:

    Super Drag’n’drop.

    I’m using since a lot of time ago Maxthon (former MyIE2) a great improvement over the base rendering engine of IE.

    Tabbed browsing, ad blocking, etc etc… but one of the best UX features is SDnD, as said (…maybe try Maxthon to see if there’s something else interesting…).

    What’s that? Well, I’ll try to describe how it works: you can take any link on the page, dragging it on every other place on the page (i.e. from 1 pixel far to the whole html page) and then drop it: a new tab will be opened, containing the page linked.

    A similar plugin has been recently developed for FireFox as well. I think that makes browsing (tabbed one, at least) really, really faster. πŸ™‚

    Oh, well… could I just make a small footnote? Add to IE a well documented and open plugin system, as FireFox. I’m sure it could be a real community mover πŸ˜‰

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