Why I Like Windows


The information published in this post is now out-of-date and one or more links are invalid.

—IEBlog Editor, 20 August 2012

The great thing about Windows is all the software that runs on it. Every day, there’s new software released for Windows. Today, with Firefox’s release, is no different.

As someone who has worked on many big software projects over the last few years, I’m happy for the developers who worked on it. Signing off on your work and letting the rest of the world use it feels good. As someone who works on Windows, I think more software for Windows is a good thing. As someone who believes that customers making choices in a marketplace is a good thing, I’m happy to see more options out there. 

I’ve listened to different customers, and partners, and pundits talk about their browser choice. I’ve seen a healthy spectrum of articles and commentary on the topic. I wanted to offer a few comments on the subject.

First, IE, like Windows, is a platform. That means that by choosing IE, customers choose a rich, healthy ecosystem of additional offerings. You can see a collection of these at Windows Marketplace. I know people whose first activity, after starting IE, is clicking on the MSN toolbar or the Google toolbar. Friends of mine at Microsoft use browsers “powered by IE” like Maxthon and NetCaptor for tabbed browsing and other great features. Every day I get mail about different IE add-ons; they keep on surprising me. Of course, there are some great ActiveX controls out there as well (who doesn’t use Flash or the Adobe PDF reader?). 

Second, IE, like Windows and the rest of Microsoft, is committed to Trustworthy Computing. You’ll see that commitment with the next beta of Longhorn. XPSP2 demonstrated that commitment. The work in Windows Server 2003 around “hardening” showed that commitment. Our work on security updates for a browser released in 1999 shows that commitment. I’ve talked with customers running Win2K and IE5.01 who have solid business reasons for not changing OS or browser. They understand that they are running an “old” platform. They want to be as secure as possible in that choice. Microsoft is there for them, and will be for a long time. 

Last, the IE team, like the Windows team it belongs to, lives to innovate. I’d love to say more about what we’re working on right now on this front. I can’t. I will defer to Mr. Scoble’s comments.

-Dean

Updated: corrected capitalization of Firefox.

Comments (197)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t it better to use an OS because you think it is a good platform, rather than because it has the market share so everyone makes the software for it?

    You IE people keep mentioning Firefox (yes, Firefox, not FireFox like Dean from MicroSoft spells it) in the most obscure ways. It’s kinda like you’re trying to send out the message that "people from IEBlog aren’t afraid to talk about Firefox. Yeah." Yes, it came out today. Yes, it kicks ass. And guess what? I’m viewing this site using Firefox on Fedora Core 2 (just downloading FC3 at the moment actually), because Firefox is cross-platform. Which makes your comment about Firefox even more irrelevant.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure this has been covered before, but what the hell… it’s a shame that major IE updates (more than bug fixes) have to come piggybacked with Windows updates. It would be nice if the IE team would, like Windows, ACT LIKE a platform. I realize that compatibility tests would become more complex, but Microsoft seems to do be able to release other major pieces of software tying them into Windows service packs/releases…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Oops. Fixed spelling of Firefox.

  4. Anonymous says:

    blah.. blah.. blah.. <and a high-intensity marketing pitch>.. blah.. blah.. blah..

  5. Anonymous says:

    wow, marketing sp34k. and for a second i seriously believed you are going to put something useful here.

  6. Anonymous says:

    > Our work on security updates for a browser released in 1999 shows that commitment. I’ve talked with customers running Win2K and IE5.01 who have solid business reasons for not changing OS or browser. They understand that they are running an β€œold” platform. They want to be as secure as possible in that choice. Microsoft is there for them, and will be for a long time.

    Have you made the security fixes present in XPSP2 available for them yet?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Yo Jim… I think some of the fixes from XPSP2 are available in Win2K in security updates today. What hasn’t happened is a mondo update with all the changes in XPSP2 down to Win2K.

  8. Anonymous says:

    All the great things you mention about IE are precisley what bugs me about it. It’s really hard for me to get excited about Active X controls, IE Extensions, Toolbars, and other superfulous crap when it can’t even render basic CSS properly (hello, :hover pseudo-class? are you there? yeah, didn’t think so.).

    If you folks at MS would get your stuff together and fix the rendering engine, I’d be a lot more interested in what other features you might have up your proverbial sleve. My first priority, though, is browsing websites. If sites don’t render properly, I could care less about your damned toolbars.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Note to "31337L!NUX H@XOR":

    You, my friend, are the reason no one will ever take your platform seriously.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’ve had my usual fun deleting comments that violated our guidelines.

    Anon is right, BTW – see MS04-038 http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS04-038.mspx

  11. Anonymous says:

    The IE team on today’s release of Firefox.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I was looking at Mr. Scoble’s weblog and wondered whether he actually does any job. Too much bloggin, no? πŸ™‚

  13. Anonymous says:

    If choice is such a good thing, I keep wondering why you have to bundle and integrate your browser into the OS and force it down everybody’s throat. I smell a little bigotry here. Somehow I feel there probably won’t be any OEM who is going to sell me a computer with Windows and Firefox pre-installed and no IE present on the system.

    Moreover, all those nice little extensions and Active-somethings have turned your living platform into a bug-ridden, virus-infected zombie. Three years have passed since the release of XP and during all that time, MS has been unable to fix the outstanding issues in this _old_ piece of software and web developers still have to code their way around all those flaws.

    This November 9, 2004 is not really a day to celebrate for the IE team – look at the sad state of your product and you will notice. I sincerely hope this will cost you a huge amount of your market share.

  14. Anonymous says:

    > First, IE, like Windows, is a platform.

    A note to web-developers. Make the web (and web standards) your platform not an individual browser.

    -dean

  15. Anonymous says:

    And one more thing: the only prospect you are able to give to your users is all that Longhorn talk. Vaporware all the way – this is the same thing your company has done for the past twenty years: some competitor comes along, Microsoft announces something. Years after that, MS releases a crappy 1.0 version. Two years after that, you have forced it down everyone’s throat with an OEM deal and people get used to it. Next step: monopoly.

    Yeah sure, Longhorn will be the next big thing. First, we thought you are going to release it some time in Spring 2015, then you tore it apart to be able to release something at all. The result will probably be the same as Apple’s Copland announcements vs. the real Mac OS 8: just another OS update, all those "fantastic" technologies will be gone. Time for a reality check, I think. For the normal user, this Windows version is non-existant, therefore there’s nothing to announce here.

  16. Anonymous says:

    You say there are some great ActiveX controls, like Acrobat Reader, and you ask who hasn’t used it. My question is, who WANTS to use it? It’s one of the most irritating pieces of software on my computer and that’s all I hear from my friends. If I want to freeze up my browser for 30 seconds, I’ll do it myself.

  17. Anonymous says:

    IE is a platform… for viruses, trojans, spyware and dialers.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Dean, done that, embraced web standards fully. But your product gets in the way and causes so much headache.

    Every bit of web code I write these days I test in Firefox, Opera, Safari, OmniWeb, Konqueror and IE 5.0, 5.5 and 6.0. Layout simply falls apart in IE, even IE 6.0. With this said, I think IE causes an inordinate amount of disservice.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Bruce, Anon:

    > I think some of the fixes from XPSP2 are available in Win2K in security updates today.

    That’s what I expected – _some_ fixes. As far as I am aware, not all of them have. For instance, the hole that allowed active scripting in text files. Or did I miss that one?

    Milan, Dean is the volunteer behind the "IE7" scripts that bludgeon Internet Explorer into working a little better. As far as I know, he doesn’t work for Microsoft.

  20. Anonymous says:

    >Note to "31337L!NUX H@XOR":

    >You, my friend, are the reason no one will ever take your platform seriously.

    Hold on, you’re not talking about me are you?

    For the record though, people *do* take GNU/Linux seriously, which is the reason that most web servers run on it?

  21. Anonymous says:

    No, he’s referring to a post I deleted. The ratio of abusive content to non-abusive content was poor.

  22. Anonymous says:

    > Microsoft is there for them, and will be for a long time.

    On the one hand it is great, that Microsoft tries to support old versions and old features as long as possible. On the other hand this is the root of many (security) problems.

    Backwards compatibility seems to be one of the major priorities – but hopefully the IE team considers sacrificing a few of the old features. Some of them are just to dangerous or a flaw by design from todays point of view (e.g. the AnchorClick behavior allowing all those drag and drop attacks).

    Probably some customers rely on really old activex controls and Microsoft just can’t "kill bit" most of them – but please consider turning a few of them as "opt-in" instead of "opt-out", at leat in internet zone.

    mikx

  23. Anonymous says:

    OK.

    *Mumbles something about people categorising Linux users*

    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/my_doom.html

  24. Anonymous says:

    Wow, you IE guys sure have to deal with quite a bit of hostility on just about every post!

    From a firefox and linux user, your blog is appreciated and thoughtfully considered. Not everyone wishes you harm ;o)

  25. Anonymous says:

    I appreciate your comments, Herrin. Thanks

  26. Anonymous says:

    IE is the WORST browsers. Firefox really puts it to shame. IE has lots of addons, hundreds of them, and they’re very easy install too: spyware.

    IE is slow, very buggy, is the OS’s worst secutiry hole. It’s just plagued, it’s no good at all. Very poor CSS support. Lots of common bugs that really cripples it even further.

    But oh wait. This is hosted on MSDN. It’s not like it’s even slightly biased towards their own stuff, just like Ballmer’s latest memo… I usually find MSDN like a good resource, but what you posted here clearly RIDICULES MSDN’s usual standards, you’re giving it a bad name.

    Just say NO to IE. Friends don’t let friends use IE. Nice, Firefox final came out today, sounds like a plan eh? (feel free to kill my comment too – as it doesn’t reflect your opinion)

  27. Anonymous says:

    I’m hoping to see more insight on the IE blog in future, it’s a step in the right direction and I’m personally pleased you gave a quick mention of Firefox on the front page πŸ˜‰

    The thing I like about Firefox is I can be as involved as much or as little as I want. I can be a normal user that only downloads official releases or I could take slightly more interest and look at sites like MozillaZine or if I wanted to get even more involved there’s a site called the Burning Edge that lists the progress made on daily builds, if I want to get even more involved I could look at bonsai and bugzilla to see what’s been fixed, if I want to get even more involved I can submit my own bug reports and watch their progress in getting fixed, if I want to go even further then I can contribute my own time to the development.

    With IE you don’t know how things are going until there’s a release, if something is annoying you then you can’t fix it yourself, etc.

    I know this level of involvement is only interesting to about 1% of the population, but it is still a good thing IMO.

    BTW – if anyone from MS is reading now, pop over to spreadfirefox.com there’s an online talk going on at the moment interviewing key Mozilla staff. I find listening to both sides of the fence and I’m sure you do too.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Just a quick update to my last post: the recent iframe security hole is another example where I believe XPSP2 users are safe but W2K users are not. References:

    http://secunia.com/advisories/12959/

    http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/842160

    It’s already being exploited by a MyDoom variant.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Dave: good point, but if Microsoft really cared about being open and supporting standards, they could do what they have done best for years: copy Apple – no seriously, they could as well open source their engine or even take Gecko or KHTML and contribute to it.

    If you look at where KHTML was before Apple adopted it and if you look at it today, you know what I mean: it has worked extremely well for everyone: Apple contributes their changes back and they get backing from the developer community. Of course your engine has to be standards compliant for this to work, but it’s never too late, I guess, if they _really_ wanted to play nice πŸ˜‰

    But Microsoft prefers to let their browser display Word documents instead of nice-looking CSS and XHTML based websites πŸ˜‰

  30. Anonymous says:

    i5mast: I do the videos on http://channel9.msdn.com and am a technical evangelist.

    You’ll note that most of my blogging is done in the evenings and on weekends. Blogging is my hobby. It’s not my job.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Bruce Morgan: "I appreciate your comments, Herrin. Thanks"

    It’s a pity you don’t speak German, Bruce – this almost made me spill coffee on my beloved Powerbook ("Herrin" is the German word for mistress)

  32. Anonymous says:

    I enjoyed this post and think it is fair. I like Windows as a platform as much as I like Firefox as a platform. My bank and online grocery store have also found that it makes sense to support these platforms. In fact, all the commercial websites I use support both, and IE as well.

    I feel like I get a second-rate service at the MSDN website, however. It doesn’t endear itself to me. πŸ™

  33. Anonymous says:

    Now that I think about it, I’ll tell you something that this article prompted me to remember: people (let’s call them ‘customers’) don’t really know what browser engine they’re using. They fortunately don’t know what rendering engine they are using. When "the web doesn’t work" it’s the fault of the individual site, or even the Internet as a whole, but not the browser! It’s just a program, not the Internet, silly!

    This isn’t new; it’s the case made against IE on the desktop. Luckily, it also explains why if IE doesn’t accelerate beyond glacial — security isn’t a feature, it’s the removal of unnecessary features and bugs — simple marketing and momentum will enable a more competitive web (which is what you say you want).

    We’re also talking about consistent speed here – Firefox saw IE’s blocker bar, recognised a good feature, and distributed it within a month of XP SP2 RC1. Having a "nice RSS feature" for example won’t work because it’s not new, won’t attract any attention that a new IE release wouldn’t, and will be copied before you’ve stopped marketing it.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Windows are great. Linux is just at the second place. Admit it.. and quit whinning like a sissy about it. There’s no you for you linux geeks out there try to exploit and talking trash about Windows cause windows supporters will always stay loyal to Microsoft no matter wat thrash you dish out. So lets just get on with our life and stop judging others when your own linux is not really the Omega or the next BIG THING in the OS world. Let there be the freedom of choice and let people choose the OS they want. Windows are still the best OS for me. Used to be, still am and will always be.

  35. Anonymous says:

    James seems to be under the impression that IE has to catch up with Firefox by adding enticing new features.

    Looking at the market share, I’d say it’s the other way round.

    Most of the population don’t currently have a tab browsing fetish. If it looks like people might be into that sort of kinky stuff, the IE team will release IE6.1 in a matter of months or a few percentage points of market loss.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Matt-

    What in God’s Holy Name would make you think Microsoft will release IE 6.1 "in a matter of months?" They haven’t released a major browser upgrade in, what, three years? Microsoft themselves have stated there won’t be a mjor upgrade to IE until Longhorn. Microsoft has killed IE for Mac. Please tell me — what in the world makes you think they’re on their way to a major upgrade that would introduce a feature like tabbed browsing?

    And, just so I don’t contradict myself — I love tabbed browsing, but I honestly don’t give one bit of a damn if it’s in IE or not. I want the rendering engine fixed. Like, yesterday. IE’s job is to render websites. You can give me pop up blockers, toolbars, Active X controls, proprietary CSS add-ons, and "security features" until you’re blue in the face, but until I see that IE has a rendering engine on par with Gecko and WebKit, I’ll consider IE to be a second-class citizen. Render web pages, damnit. Once you can do that, then you can think about giving me some superfluous extras that you’ve either copied off another browser or that no one really wants.

    Jeff

  37. Anonymous says:

    Oops, got Deans all mixed up. I meant to respond to Dean-the-poster, not Dean Edwards. Sorry, Deans. πŸ™‚

  38. Anonymous says:

    Amen, Jeff, Amen.

  39. Anonymous says:

    If anyone has problems using Firefox on so-called IE-only sites, try User Agent Switcher ( http://www.chrispederick.com/work/firefox/useragentswitcher/ ).

    Works for me.

    As to IE: there are reasons why it is/was bad to integrate it into the OS; it requires custom patches for each OS and SP combination (and many times, operating system purchases for BROWSER upgrades!).

    Until the browser and OS are seperated, I’ll stay with Firefox. And as previous posts have shown, the IE team (or perhaps some marketing team) wants to integrate it more.

    Sigh.

  40. Anonymous says:

    <i>That means that by choosing IE, customers choose a rich, healthy ecosystem of additional offerings.</i>

    I think "ecosystem" is precisely the right word.

    Poorly understood, easily nudged into unstable behaviour, subject to inexplicable changes in behaviour. Healthy, though? I don’t think so.

    Firefox extensions are simple things, you can go in and poke around and change the way they work, and you don’t have to worry about the dragon waking up.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Jeff, Jeff, Jeff. Naive little Jeff.

    Tabbed browsing is the only significant consumer facing feature that Firefox has over IE. Adding them to IE would be close to insignificant taking (here I go again) a matter of months. I’d be very surprised if the IE team didn’t have a working prototype of IE with tabs (my name for that: IE6.1) already.

    And most normal users couldn’t give two hoots if IE shot sloppy turds at developers every time they mentioned CSS or XHTML. IOW IE’s market share’s staying where it is because normal users care about using the web and not in the technical detail of the infrastructure and standards behind it. They’ll have more trouble viewing existing web pages with Firefox than they will with IE.

    There’s going to be a lot of IE about for many years to come. You’ll have to swallow your sanctimonious standards waffle and develop for it however repulsive you find that proposition.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Hey RALPH,

    "It’s a pity you don’t speak German, Bruce – this almost made me spill coffee on my beloved Powerbook ("Herrin" is the German word for mistress)"

    It happens to be my last name. By the way, Ralph is also slang for VOMIT. What’s your point?

  43. Anonymous says:

    As someone who has been using a range of operating systems across anumber of platforms, I have seen the good and the bad methods of making something "core" to an OS.

    It is my belief that until MS make the API for the browser engine open, allowing others to integrate their own engine, the argument of it not being an illegal bundle will never be removed.

    One example of where this has been possible was on the (now dying a slow death) Amiga OS. There was room to replace certain sections of the core services (such as the Installer) witout making the standard features available to the user.

    When will we see the option for using the Gecko engine instead of the MS version? I am more than willing to lose the ability to have a webste as my homepage, if it means the software I browse the web with is not tied so closely to the OS.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Yes, bundling the OS and hardware (Amiga) is such a great example of modularity.

    If CBM didn’t force you to buy AmigaOs with an Amiga, there would have been healthy competiton and choice in the market for OSes for Amiga. Instead CBM made everyone pay the Commodore tax every time they bought an Amiga computer, and trampled the rights of thousands of operating systems companies that were doing so well before they made that awful illegal hardware/software bundle.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Of course Gnome allows users to choose which HTML engine to use.

    Until you find a program that’s useful and depends on a different engine.

    You end up with three or four browsers on a useful Gnome (or KDE) system because of those dependencies. Of course that’s not bloat because OSS is never as bloated as the proprietary software from the illegal monopolist. And normal users are thrilled to have the choice of four obscurely named browsers.

  46. Anonymous says:

    I’m a happy Firefox user, content with 1.0 πŸ™‚

    Anyways… I’m glad for the good comments, but I’m curious about how all of your argument was supposed to apply to Firefox… you say it’s good to make things for windows, and there are people using "old" software… but wont people be able to use Firefox on the older unsupported systems as well? And wont it be able to work fine on windows too?

    And… RSS is kinda old, it’s just added to Firefox for flexibility, it’s in other Mozilla products as well…

    Oh well… I am curious why you have to keep things so under wraps though… I know it’s super company policy but… there’s something to be said about "we’re working on such and such to improve performance, so don’t worry" would do lots to relive many of our fears.

    Oh… and congrats to microsoft on Halo 2 πŸ˜‰

  47. Anonymous says:

    There are absolutely no technical reasons for using PNG when GIF or JPEG will do. Stop trying to make a religious point about it. Who cares about alpha transparencies anyway?

    Who even uses Tab Browsing, it just gets in the way. You can’t even run Windows Update on Firefox. You couldn’t even settle on a name. Who cares about $250,000 in 10 days – Microsoft earns that much in seconds. And it’s much easier to download extension software for Internet Explorer, and you’re not even limited to doing so from a MS site!

    Microsoft HTML and CSS is fully documented in the MSDN section, see a couple of stories earlier. If you so called web developers used that instead of the politically correct w3 standards you wouldn’t be having these stupid problems anyway. The web is largely ‘done’, there isn’t going to be any real innovation, and it is the job of responsible MS employees to recognise that and preserve web pages.

    Offtopic rant: Microsoft has invented most of the protocols underlying modern internet (TCP/IP, UDP, AppleTalk etc), and was generous enough to open them up to the world without asking for a dime. It deserves some loyalty in the face of this onslaught, and I encourage you all to buy their license. Anyway, I can use IE safely without worrying about infringing intellectual property. Firefox RELIES on TCP/IP for much of its functionality – and the developers just keep turning a blind eye!! Firefox uses JavaScript, but I don’t see them paying billions to Sun for the right to use their precious IP!! While we’re at it, there aren’t any GPL’d mail programs that can even handle SenderID, despite it being an open proposal for ages. So much for your frivolous ‘speedier than MS’ dogma. Why don’t you go and make nice pictures of penguins and gnus and leave software development to professionals with a proven track record?

  48. Anonymous says:

    GREAT GAME HALO 2 Congratulations Microsoft.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Far out Tajinder. I hope that was a joke. Firstly I don’t know where you got the idea that microsoft made TCP/IP, UDP etc. It was around in BSD long before Windows was around. That comment is just plain wrong. No wait everything you said it just wrong.

    Are you a web developer? No. I didn’t think so. Have you tried developing a GOOD web site!? No, I didn’t think so. CSS allows you do cut down on bandwidth while increasing graphical features. IE just cannot do CSS 2, let along CSS 1.

    XHTML and XML are the way of the future. Handheld devices will rely on this and so will everything else.

    The internet is not "done", there are so many ways it can be improved but MS don’t have the time to do an upgrade on IE.

    I don’t care if it has tabs or any extra features. If you want that install Firefox. But what I want is a browser that renders sites the way it is ment to.

    With the use of CSS you can make websites more accessible to non-sighted viewers. Everything MS hasn’t done has just slowed down the progress of the internet.

    I was really quite angry with your post Tajinder and am hoping it was some kind of sick joke. Really I do. Because everything you said was just so wrong. MS made TCP/IP! LOL!!! What ever you want to think.

    You really have no idea. I hope more people get stuck into you.

    *sigh*

  50. Anonymous says:

    Tajinder, I don’t know where you learnt your internet history, but Microsoft certainly did not invent TCP/IP or UDP (go read page 1 of RFCs 768, 791 and 793 — see Microsoft there? I thought not), and there’s a reason that "Apple" is in "AppleTalk". Javascript was invented by Netscape (i.e., the Mozilla/Firefox crowd in a previous incarnation), and the only IP similarity it shares with Java is is name, and that the syntax of both is broadly based on C.

    Even SMB was originally invented by IBM.

  51. Anonymous says:

    For crying out loud, you people should look up the word "sarcasm".

    (Still a FF opponent and an Opera fanboy.)

  52. Anonymous says:

    Tajinder

    So…. what remains from your completely silly last paragraph????

  53. Anonymous says:

    As you probably know, the Mozilla Firefox browser hit 1.0 yesterday and was released under high traffic-pressure and much attention….

  54. Anonymous says:

    I don’t get the point of this entry. Let’s see

    > The great thing about Windows is all the software

    > that runs on it. Every day, therex{2019}s new software

    > released for Windows. Today, with Firefoxx{2019}s release, > is no different.

    What is more interesting about Firefox is that the developers were able to write it in a PLATFORM AGNOSTIC way, then it runs on different platforms. This is a thing you (the team behind ie) weren’t able to do. Or… could you compile it for Mac, Linux, BSD, OS/2, whatever-OS, without a fuss? Yes, yes, yes. You are not interested… but the specific answer to my specific question is: "no we could not". Or all the *amazing* stuff you are working on runs also on Mac, a platform you’ve been supporting till a couple of years ago?

    > …Ix{2019}ve talked with customers running Win2K and

    > IE5.01 who have solid business reasons for not

    > changing OS or browser. They understand that they

    > are running an x{201C}oldx{201D} platform. They want to be as

    > secure as possible in that choice. Microsoft is

    > there for them, and will be for a long time.

    What??? Please remember telling them that as far as they don’t upgrade soon (paying… obviously) they will loose the patch-of-the-day for escaping from the brand new virus/trojan/worm, in this swiss-cheese piece of software that is ie. What… you say that ie is free?

    > Last, the IE team, like the Windows team it belongs

    > to, lives to innovate. Ix{2019}d love to say more about

    > what wex{2019}re working on right now on this front.

    > I canx{2019}t. I will defer to Mr. Scoblex{2019}s comments.

    ohhhhhhhh.

  55. Anonymous says:

    First of all I do agree that there is a lot of high quality application for Windows that are not available for Linux, however, none of these applications are necessary for my job so in my instance it doesn’t bother me.

    But I like the fact that most Linux software is open source, therefore I can feel confident a utility I’m downloading will not come bundled with spyware, I can do this either by looking at the source myself or searching forums to make sure the app is safe, alternatively I could just use the apps that my distributor has tested. It’s great to be able to install a wide variety of applications free with the OS. When you consider Windows just comes with a few low quality apps bundled (remember Office is not part of Windows) whereas Linux comes with a full set of apps to satify most uses.

    However, if Microsoft did release a fully featured bundle of applications with Windows, they’d get shot down as being anti-competitive, in one way that’s a shame in another way it serves them right for their past antics of trying to squash competition.

    To me it’s OK if you want to bundle IE with the OS, you just need to make the API you use public so that other browsers can replace the embedded IE so a user and easily switch the rendering engine used by the OS and other apps that embed it, rather than the current system where you can change the default browser, but all the apps that embed IE still use IE.

    Innovate, but make it so that other people can use that innovation, give people choice rather than forcing.

  56. Anonymous says:

    Charles on… anything that comes along &raquo; &#8220;Why I Like Windows&#8221; vs the Bofra worm

  57. Anonymous says:

    I think

    a) Tajinder’s post was a very clever joke/troll – hilarious!! If it wasn’t, then I worry for his/her state of mind…

    b) (S)he was talking about this:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/randz/protocol/royalty_free_protocol_license_agreement.asp

    where MS is trying to license stuff they don’t own in such a way as to restrict their main competition. It’s like the Godfather asking people for ‘protection’ money – what’s the point of raising it with them, use all your contacts at political levels to point out how unfair it is.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Gecko is a rendering engine, too. And yet that’s not the way Mozilla advertizes their wares – they push Firefox. Are we supposed to accept that lack of tabbed browsing is an IE "feature" because you can use OCX controls to make a tabbed browser of your own?

    Microsoft needs to do some work. Its time to issue a mea culpa and get back in the game.

  59. Anonymous says:

    The daily microsoft/windows/IE bashing that takes place in the comments of this blog is really funny and relaxing. I’m seeing these pages from my KDE desktop using Firefox, so I’m safe from anything microsoft is planning for its "customers". From this perspective, these poor MS fellows fighting against the rest of the world have something tragicomical to them. Keep up the bashing! πŸ™‚

  60. Anonymous says:

    It’s pretty pathetic that this blog is so obviously (ab)used to simply attempt to promote the ‘glory’ of Microsoft and Windows, rather than for providing useful information. First off: Firefox isn’t Windows software, it’s cross-platform and runs in the exact same way under Linux for example. Second, I’m getting the impression that the oh-so-great ‘IE development team’ is sitting behind a single PC all day writing blog entries to save their face instead of fixing the severely outdated rendering engine, lousy performance, myriad of security holes, standards incompatibility and complete featurelessness of their browser. When did this blog ever mention genuine coding progress in IE development, in stead of ridicilous entries like "why I love Windows" or "why I love IE"? The IE development team is making a fool of itself.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Just bashing Microsoft or the IE product or the IE team is pointless.

    People have an opportunity here to actually affect what Microsoft will do with IE, and most comments here just entirely waste it.

    Calling the IE team names, saying their product sucks, etc. – why bother? You feel "ha ha ha I got say IE sucks on the IEBlog" but what good have you done? Sure, some people think it’s funny and relaxing, so you can entertain somebody who already agrees with you. Pointless.

    Be constructive. Bashing doesn’t add value. It makes people ignore you, call you a fanboy, tune out anything else you have to say.

    Don’t overstate or exaggerate your case. A simple CSS bug in IE is not the end of the world as we know it.

    Be persuasive. Explain why you want something done, why you want a bug fixed, why you want XHTML supported, etc. Make your business case. Make your "it’s the right thing to do for the web, and here’s why" case.

  62. Anonymous says:

    T,

    My point is I don’t want any improvement in any microsoft product. Firefox is already there for people to switch. Linux will be ready for "my mom" in a few years too. I think something really pointless would be helping the IE team create a better product in order to keep their monopoly. We’ve all seen what they did when having a 95%+ market share. To be constructive and persuasive is pointless with a company we all want to disappear. You talk like the MS monopoly is here to stay forever. I don’t believe this is the case.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Okay, I most certainly hope Tajinder was joking. There is absolutely no point in saying that alpha transparency is useless, and that would take away one of PNG’s best qualities. Tajinder, do you really believe all those web developers (mind you, standards-minded) are wrong in using CSS, semantic and valid (X)HTML and PNG? I personally think not, <a href="http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2004/11/09/254596.aspx#254899">dale</a&gt; think the same. Think and maybe you’ll understand.

  64. Anonymous says:

    "We all want [Microsoft] to disappear".

    Flavio, not "we all". Not me. Your comments are typical of many posters, assuming everyone is just like you and wants what you want. You are just one person and one voice. There might be many people who share your desires, sure, but certainly not everyone.

    What I want is Microsoft to make a better browser just like Firefox has, then I want Firefox to get better, etc. Competition is the only thing that is going to drive improvements into either.

    Mozilla has had a non-moving competitor for the last 3 years, while Microsoft has been reworking security into all that 1995-2001 code. I’m eager to see what happens now that IE is starting to move forward again.

    BTW, the Firefox community shouldn’t be patting itself on the back too hard on the security front or the stability front. Let’s see how 1.0 does with regular users (not just enthusiasts), with real market share, without the "beta/prerelease" shield to fend off issues. I’m hoping it does great, but only time is going to tell.

  65. Anonymous says:

    T,

    Ok you’re right I should not talk for other people but just for me, sorry for that.

    I think Microsoft is not a requirement for a wealthy competition. OpenSource projects *compete* agaist each other and will continue to do so even if MS would not exist.

    Actually MS is a problem for the competition itself. MS will try to keep its monopoly in any way. Take a look at these documents:

    http://www.opensource.org/halloween/

    BTW You sound like a Windows user, try KDE… you just won’t believe your eyes.

  66. Anonymous says:

    What has Trustworthy Computing got to do with IE?

    I thought TC was a distributed censorship mechanism, to prevent piracy.

  67. Anonymous says:

    There are four browser makers that matter: Microsoft, Apple, Opera, and Mozilla.

    Microsoft has IE, and of course it’s integrated into Windows. And there are a bunch of additional browsers based on the IE platform bits, ranging from AOL and MSN Explorer to Maxthon / iRider / Netcaptor etc.

    Apple’s Safari is the only browser that matters on the Mac. Even Microsoft walked away.

    Opera keeps plugging along, but I wonder for how much longer? Firefox will probably kill it.

    And Mozilla has Firefox.

    After these four, everything else is into rounding errors in terms of market share.

    And market share is the only metric that matters here. No major browser maker (except Opera) cares about their browser actually creating revenue. Apple and Microsoft do it for platform defense reasons – without a strong browser, then their platform is weak. Mozilla does it for whatever reasons you’d care to say – altruism, "take back the Web", whatever. Nonprofit org, too. With a big chunk of funding from AOL and IBM, of course.

    With Safari, Mac has a strong browser. With Firefox, Linux has a strong browser. IE is looking pretty weak in comparison – not as weak as many people would like to claim, but weak indeed. Does anyone really think that Microsoft is going to sit by and let the other two platforms have stronger browsers?

    Make no mistake: at the end of the day, Microsoft is the Windows company. When Windows is at stake, Microsoft will move quickly, aggressively (too aggressively, yes), and historically very intelligently. Many biz school case studies are written on Microsoft’s come-from-behind wins and left behind competitors. This is why I look forward to IE improvements.

    BTW, the Halloween documents are old news. People love to trot those dinosaurs out. If you think that gives special insight into how Microsoft will compete in 2005 and 2006, you haven’t been paying attention to the industry.

    As for what I use, why do you think I sound like a Windows user? Because I’m not bashing it like a Linux fanboy? I have Windows, Mac, and Linux server boxes. Each has a good purpose. Maybe I should check out KDE.

  68. Anonymous says:

    I used to argue with friends about whether or not Playstation was better than Nintendo 64, then I realized it was a stupid argument.

    You can talk all you want about IE, and its problems. I personally am a 70% Mac user and 30% Windows user, and I use Safari as my default browser.

    IE has some advantages, nonetheless. As a businessperson you need to find a way to separate yourself from competition, and as long as I’m the only guy in my area that develops for IE, as well as every other platform/browser, I like that competitive advantage.

    Because a lot of IE nuisances are to do with CSS support, I like it! You can work around the bugs and it can be difficult, but what better way to weed out the really poor web designers that build sites for only $300!!

  69. Anonymous says:

    "We all want [Microsoft] to disappear".

    You know, Flavio, I for one would preferred if you disappeared. Guys like you are complete meaningless, and don’t contribute anything whatsoever to anything. If you disappeared from the internet, nobody would miss you for a second.

  70. Anonymous says:

    Rob Mientjes, I’m sure Tajinder was joking… there’s just too much ‘detail’ in what is wrong for it to be true.

    For instance, KNOWING about alpha transparencies and then saying that there are no technical reasons! Obviously TCP/IP isn’t a MS invention (even though they want to appropriate it!). Similarly regarding CSS etc…

    Looking at it from that point of view, it’s a sidesplittingly funny post… I found the JavaScript thing particularly amusing, because Tajinder obviously knows that Sun don’t even own it, and the reasons behind the settlement…

    There’s too much flaming on these blogs, the signal to noise is even worse than /. A reason to smile is most welcome!

  71. Anonymous says:

    Some nut said: ">You know, Flavio, I for one would preferred if you disappeared. "

    Well i like Flavio. I think he would be missed if he were not a part of the internet. he is one of the guys that is holding ms’s feet to the fire.

    Rage on Flavio. ma che caz…

  72. Anonymous says:

    Actually, Flavio isn’t one of the people "holding ms’s feet to the fire".

    Like many people here, he’s not asked for anything other than perhaps to drop out of the browser business. He’s not demanding anything specific be fixed, he’s made no requests for features, he’s made no requests on IE or MS that I can find.

    There are plenty of noisemakers in the world, but they contribute little forward motion.

  73. Anonymous says:

    These have become interesting comments.

    But I must say, posting comments like these don’t add to my trust value of your company. This is essentially a marketing pitch – of course you’d love windows… you work for them. It is your job to promote and sell the company you work for; this is, after all, reflective on your employment.

    The point is that these posts in the IE Blog are simply political and marketing orientated. I understand that the average user is going to take your words at face value – but experienced designers/developers remembered the actions of this company, just as we do with any company, as things progress. You will eventually have to save face much in the same way Quark is attempting too at the moment because of it’s stagnant development.

    You love PC, and that’s great — I imagine employees at Red Hat love Linux, and Apple employees love their platform. Please though, I’m not going to buy into your marketing pitch until I see physical results – that makes me an informed consumer, as the term implies. Show some progress, admit plans to support our complaints, and things may change for the better — until then, claiming the benefits of IE when many of us are aware of the constant issues for the past three years, is not going to bring you many supporters as the number of IE users keep dropping. For the record, I’ve helped that cause.

  74. Anonymous says:

    The number of IE users isn’t dropping, it’s increasing because the market is expanding at a faster rate than the market share drop IE has experienced.

    And the market share drop is mostly in the web developer community – which is massively over represented in the blogging community, and thus here in this blog as well. The posters here or elsewhere on blogs are highly self selected and can’t be taken (yet) as representative of a the full broad spectrum of end users and software developers.

    The corporate IT community hasn’t dropped IE for Firefox in any significant way. No stats I’ve seen have IE dropping anything outside the margin for error.

    Nor have consumer end-users – just marginal, single digit percentage drops, even over the last 6 months.

    IE’s market share drop so far is massively overstated. Worrisome for MS in the long run, but overstated so far.

  75. Anonymous says:

    "Opera keeps plugging along, but I wonder for how much longer? Firefox will probably kill it."

    Opera exist since 1994. Netscape didn’t kill it. IE didn’t kill it. And FireFox won’t kill it. Why? Because Opera is the only browser that can be sold and some people want to buy it πŸ˜€ It’s simply the best.

    Actually Opera’s market share is increasing, though much slower than FF. But it depends on country, in USA Opera is not as popular as in Europe. For example in Poland Opera has 4.2% and FireFox only 2.3% of the market share.

  76. Anonymous says:

    My main problem with this blog entry (while it is understandable someone from microsoft would make such an entry) is the fact it praises IE for being part of windows. This does not tell me that it is a good product or reliable. Why would I choose IE over another browser based on this blog entry, unless I already thought MS was infallible.

    In any event, it has been my opinion for a while that MS deliberately allows bugs to remain in it’s OS and other software so that it has a reason to keep selling new products. Why would anyone buy a new OS if there was nothing wrong with the old one?

    Not that this is much justification for the sad state of IE. Does MS even make money on IE? There was one version of IE I didn’t completely hate, and that was 5.0. It was amazingly less buggy than 4.0, and it also seems less buggy than 6.0 which I use on the rare occasion that I need it (ie. updating windows, which is about the only reason I use IE).

    I genuinely think Firefox is a superior browser, I did not initially like Mozilla as it was bloated and slow initially, and did not offer much that really made it better, but as mozilla improved, so did the features, ie. popup blocking without having to install additional extensions, tabbed browsing (which I am now completely addicted to), the ability to only view images from the originating website, and the ability to clear the cache, cookies, images, etc all with one button (I think this is purely firefox).

    Firefox to me, handles what I want handled infinitely better than IE can. Sure there’s the occasional page that was blatantly tailored to IE that refuses to work on firefox, but it is a rare occurrence.

    I do not think the appeal is solely among web developers (I am not one). Friends that I have turned on to firefox all love it. And the people that I know that have downloaded it, downloaded it prior to the official release. I do not think it is unreasonable to think firefox’s market share will increase to at least 10% in the next year (as is firefox’s goal) if not much more. One reason to think regular people would download it, is if they keep getting security alerts from their ISP about IE, and the ISP even mentions alternatives such as firefox to avoid such issues.

    There seems to be plenty of major news sources that discuss firefox (like Forbes, NYT, etc). I do not think it is over the top to think Firefox will gain significant market share. It would be unreasonable to think it would have the majority within a year, but a few years from now, I do not see there being much motivation for people to stick with IE save for not wanting to download and install a different browser aka laziness.

  77. Anonymous says:

    Ten percent is not significant market share.

    The numbers that http://www.spreadfirefox.com is so proud of so far – 8M, 10M downloads – represent but a tiny fraction of the worldwide PC marketplace. Look at Yahoo or MSN’s unique worldwide user numbers – hundreds of millions per month.

    Personally, I think the Firefox people are intentionally lowballing their goal of 10%. It seems trivial to capture 10%. You’re at least halfway there with just the "early adopter/I use what’s new and different" demographic. Add in the "anybody but Microsoft" crowd, plus people who use whatever their cousin put on their system, and voila – you’re easily at 10%.

    No, 10% in a year wouldn’t impress me at all. If Firefox hit 25% in that year, I’d be impressed.

    Many if not most end users I know don’t care much about the browser. Does Amazon work? Can they check their Yahoo mail? Does the traffic report still work? Can I read CNN? They take a very practical approach to using software as a tool. A large percentage don’t upgrade from Win98, they use IE5.5 or 6.0 (not SP1, even), etc. That sort of user isn’t going to be downloading Firefox.

    The fact that news sources are discussing Firefox matters little. Few end users would bother to go from reading Forbes to download Firefox. They might remember a positive impression, so when Cousin Bob says to use it, he/she might say "Yeah, I’ve heard good things, I should try it".

    Or they may have a spyware problem and hope Firefox will fix it. Which it won’t, if they keep installing file sharing apps and the like with spyware piggybacks.

    Corporate users are entirely different. A business case needs to be made to switch to Firefox. Line of business apps need to work. End user support has to be provided, both in and out of house. Adoption there will be slower, and Firefox isn’t currently very corporate friendly.

    Thus IMO getting to 10% is easy, 25% is hard. I predict the Firefox people are going to be claiming a rather meaningless victory at 10%.

  78. Anonymous says:

    I still love it that I find the majority of IE supporters link themselves as anonymous on this site. Short of causing a conspiracy, I’d like to see some of these people link to who they are as well.

  79. Anonymous says:

    While I wouldn’t say I’m an IE supporter, I am not an IE basher, either.

    I wouldn’t dream of linking my blog to this site. I’ve seen the kind of crap a lot the people here post; I don’t want my own blog hammered like that, or my email address signed up for more spam.

    A good post should be able to withstand the anonymity of the poster.

  80. Anonymous says:

    As a pornographer I am a strong believer in branding.

    IE has negative connotations, it simply isn’t a warm and fuzzy brand because it’s increasingly associated with bad things like spyware and viruses.

    Firefox has no such hangups (yet), it is the darling of the media right now. But just wait, they’ll shoot it down sooner or later.

    Right now what Firefox needs in the world at large is Brand Awareness. If it cracks that I’m sure it’ll start eating more into IE market share.

  81. Anonymous says:

    >>A good post should be able to withstand the anonymity of the poster.<<

    That may be true in an intellectual discussion, but when we’re sitting on a corporate site, where a lot of the supporters and bloggers are internal employees, I begin to question the anonymous poster — sorry if that was targeted to you, it was not meant as a personal attack. However, I have yet to receive any spam from this site, and very few hits.

  82. Anonymous says:

    Although I’m on Windows right now, I can’t wait till I can afford to switch to a Mac. IE is the most disastrous piece of software pretending to be an Operating System… oh, wait. Is it an OS pretending to be a web browser? I have no idea, it doesn’t seem to be very good at either job.

    MS need to seperate IE from the Windows, and market them as seperate products. IE is not feature of windows, it’s a back door to viruses, trojan horses and other malicious software.

    MS also need to fix the rendering engine. I will never switch back to IE, but it is a plague that just won’t go away, and as long it’s around in it’s current state, most websites will be unwilling or unable to implement fully standards compliant sites.

    > That means that by choosing IE, customers choose a rich, healthy ecosystem of additional offerings.

    Ha? By choosing IE, users don’t have access to a rich, healthy internet built on standards and open technologies. They’re stuck with useless MS extensions that are inferior to existing standards in every way.

    Wake up Microsoft, and listen to what people want, and stop forcing inferior products down people’s throats!

  83. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been a Windows users since I switched from a Slackware/DOS dual boot to Windows95b, and I like Windows too.

    A couple example of why…

    Two days ago I installed the freely download Virtual Server 2004 software out of curiosity.

    Two hours later, I terminal serviced into a remote webserver, opened up IE on the server and pointed it back to the Virtual Server admin interface, and after a few clicks I was looking at a virtual machine booting into an ISO image of Winternals ERD Commander that I had mounted with daemon tools on my machine. My jaw literally dropped. I know it’s been done before, but Microsoft enabled me to do it without ever reading a manual in 2 hours.

    Here is a little thing I love…did you know Microsoft includes an ODBC driver for CSV files with the OS? Take any old CSV file, run through the wizard and in 2 minutes you can execute SQL statements against it.

    I really do hate that all the haters have turned this blog into nothing more that market-speak though. Guys, if you have nothing constructive to add please don’t say anything at all.

  84. Anonymous says:

    Tajinder, congratulations your post was a work of art!

    That was probably one of the best trolls I’ve ever seen…

    To those with their panties in a twist… *sigh* there is no hope or you.

    (Sarcasm is the lowest (but most fun) form of wit… and if you can’t recognise it…)

    ps. It wasn’t till the part about Microsoft inventing AppleTalk that I cotten-ed on.

    (Getting slow in my old age.)

  85. Anonymous says:

    My appeal to all non-IE users to use the User Agent Switcher sparingly, or never. By telling the sites that you are visiting that you are using Internet Explorer, you merely spread the misconception that Internet Explorer is a market leading browser with the features that it takes to be a market leader. You encourage web developers to develop for a broken box model. You encourage developers to use a mind-numbing subset of CSS. You discourage the use of beautiful effects such as translucency, as available in PNG and future versions of CSS (already making their way into Gecko based browsers).

    Do not encourage anti-social behaviour – build on the open, free platform which the W3C has made available to everybody, rather than the platform which MS has cobbled together themselves. (I also invite Microsoft to more readily join the W3 party, heck, just fix your CSS box model, please!)

  86. Anonymous says:

    So today Microsoft put up a weblog for their search engine people, via Dave Winer. Seeing that I decided to leave a comment and pose the question I had about how we can feel confident and trust their results not…

  87. Anonymous says:

    i have only just skimmed through all the post up until http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2004/11/09/254596.aspx#254818

    has anyone ever tried removing ie from windows?

    i remember i did it in win98 once, increased performance a huge amount..

    i have also tried it again recently in xp (using winLite, a program thingy that allows you to uninstall pretty much every component aside from the kernel).

    even though alot of things that i had previously taken advantage with returned errors after the removal (since xp relies so heavily on ie for explorer’s shell etc..) the computer sped up by ~3x (without pulling out stats and physically comparing speeds)

  88. Anonymous says:

    The developement team for IE is pretty smug against a barrage of articles and reviews that all state that Firefox is the better browser, which goes a long way for a program that is only at 1.0 and counting.

    Is the IE dev team saying that Forbes Magazine, the Wall Street Journal and even the Department of Homeland Security, as well as many other major publications, are all wrong and stupid by recommending that people switch away from IE and use a browser such as Firefox?

    How long can this team afford to sit back and gloat over a program that can render badly developed websites but not sites that are standards compliant? It is true that 10% may not be much of a market share to aim for, but Rome didn’t fall in a day. Over time, Firefox will gain more and more ground, forcing the IE to reconsider it’s development plan. That may not come in the immediate future, but as long as the IE dev team continues to sit back and gloat, that day will come and perhaps it may be too late.

    Don’t forget what the "visionary" Bill Gates said not so long ago:

    "The Internet? We are not interested in it"

    — Bill Gates, 1993

    "Sometimes we do get taken by surprise. For example, when the Internet came along, we had it as a fifth or sixth priority."

    — Bill Gates, Jul, 1998

    It’s this attitude at Microsoft that prevents the internet to develop as it should and for people such as Tajinder to get their history wrong in the history of the internet and the computer.

  89. Anonymous says:

    Mozilla:

    Our browser is more advanced and secure!

    You can use XUL as a platform for web applications on any OS!

    MS:

    Firefox is a nice browser!

    Windows has a lot of software!

    IE + Windows = the perfect platform for applications!

    Nobody cares about the browsers anymore :p

    I don’t really care who wins, I went from NS3 to IE4, from IE6 to Phoenix and I’d be willing to turn back to the ‘evil side’ again (I kid! I kid!) if your next browser is superior to Fx.

    It just needs tabs! Yes, it’s a fetish =(

  90. Anonymous says:

    <em>Firefox isn’t currently very corporate friendly.</em>

    Overclaiming a tad. Firefox can do LAN manager authentication, and doesn’t require all kinds of spyware watching of the sort IE does. If a company wants Javascript functionality, a rich DHTML/XHTML environment, lots of cross platform compatibility, and no ActiveX, it is in fact quite difficult to imagine a browser that could be more friendly…

  91. Anonymous says:

    All you whiners and complainers simply fail to understand Windows and Internet Explorer. In your selfish thinking you constantly misunderstand the purposes being offered to you for free. That is extremely simple ease of use, fantastic integration with the OS, all sorts of user friendly capabilities.

    I mean, this piece of junk known as Firefox, have you even tried to download something from the internet? A barrage of warnings, an inability to install directly, you have to save whatever you are downloading to some location first. This is totally inconvenient.

    Please. Think about the newbee for once and not yourselves.

    Look at Internet Explorer, just by surfing a webpage it will install whatever the webpage is serving up. Who the hell are you all to complain about such convenience and ease of use. The new user need not worry about warnings, about saving files to directories then running them. Just go to a web site and Internet Explorer will do everything for you!

    Now that’s service and its free. Lookee here –

    http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/842160

  92. Anonymous says:

    Robert, you fail it… Learn how to do it with style and panache from Tajinder.

  93. Anonymous says:

    Robert:

    "Look at Internet Explorer, just by surfing a webpage it will install whatever the webpage is serving up." … "The new user need not worry about warnings, about saving files to directories then running them. Just go to a web site and Internet Explorer will do everything for you!"

    Well, maybe YOU don’t realise it, because you never accidently make a mistake when entering a web address, you don’t accindently type "msdm.com" instead of "msdn.com" – however normal users do make errors in their web addressen (also known as URLs). And the result might be that they end up with a computer filled with software opening porno popups, which they cannot remove – why, because they don’t know how. It’s true they don’t no how to install additional software, however they also don’t know how to remove unwanted ActivX controls….

    "PLEASE. Think about the newbee for once and not youselves", you couldn’t say it better. But the newbe only wants to surf websites, not end up with porno popups because they made a typo.

    That’s the reason why the web should stick to standardized HTML,CSS,images and JavaScript.

    Actually I have to remove such popup software (based on ActiveX technology) from computers when the newbee has made this mistake. Even users that are a little more experienced couldn’t do it, the "computer expert" had to do it…

    I don’t care if Internet Explorer has a market share of 50% or even 70%, as long as it is following open standards (W3C) and the user is free to choose what application he or she is using to open the site. If he wants to use IE, fine – however he should also be able to open the same site in Firefox (on a MacOS X machine) or in Opera or on his cell phine (with another obscure browser…)

    And for that newbee, I told her to try Firefox for a change (before 1.0 came out) – now she is only using IE when she really has to, in this case for a website containing an ActiveX control that connects to a "web application" (actually its a terminal server running a windows application – I don’t see any open standards used there…)

  94. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft on standards &lt;Anne’s Weblog about Markup &amp; Style&gt;

  95. Anonymous says:

    Tabs are sweet.

    Just like the drop-down taskbar icons that XP has, but they’re at the top of the screen where they belong.

    I suppose I could drag my taskbar to the top of the screen… (oh, wait, I’m not using XP!)

  96. Anonymous says:

    You don’t have the taskbar at the top of your screen? It’s better that way.

  97. Anonymous says:

    Ok, this may sound off, but i think it would help a lot: Start Internet Explorer over from the ground up. Start with a blank screen and do your best to build it better than the competition. i.e. actually compete πŸ˜‰

    btw, which text editors do you Microsoft people typically use?

  98. Anonymous says:

    Actually I have my taskbar at the left, to tell the truth.

    I’m at 800×600 resolution, too, which is the minimum most sites accept without horizontal scrolling. With my left 50px or so taken up by the taskbar, most sites I visit are missing their right 50px.

  99. Anonymous says:

    In Soviet Russia, Windows likes you!

  100. Anonymous says:

    Seeing all those "i hate MS/IE" posts almost makes me feel sorry for you guys…

    albeit… almost…

  101. Anonymous says:

    name773: That’s exactly what I think. Explorer has been patched, glued and bubblegum’d together too much for any conventional use. It needs to be rebuilt from scratch.

    However, I would sill be satisfied if it supported standards.

    Personally, I don’t particularly like Firefox. XUL behaves like a Java applet. Slow and choppy. I do like the customizability, the myriad of options to tweak in about:config, and tabbed browsing. But it’s stuff I can live without.

    I would use IE if it supported standards. IE is very fast [for me], customizable enough, and has the security options I need to make sure I don’t get raped by the World Wide Web.

    Really, some of you Firefox supporters make the rest of us [Firefox supporters] look bad. Grow up.

  102. Anonymous says:

    "Last, the IE team, like the Windows team it belongs to, lives to innovate."

    Is that code for "we’re going to do everything the existing standards do in a completely different way, just because we feel we’re that special"?

    I would feel better about MS’s ability to innovate if their innovations weren’t almost always existing technology redone incompatibly to lock in users.

  103. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand why you Microsoft guys always have to throw in your marketing babble "why our product has to be better than yours".

    I like IE as I like Firefox. Firefox has some really handy features – even the "find in page" dialog rocks. IE has some great features, is really a cool platform, easy to reuse ande it is fast. But why do you always have to mess around instead of making your browser better?

    Unsubscribed.

  104. Anonymous says:

    "Corporate friendly Firefox bullshit…"

    So where’s the Group Policy support, or AD MSI support, or the support for different proxies on different connections, or the IEAK equivalent? Grow up. Firefox is a hobby browser that won’t come close in a corporate environment.

    "however normal users do make errors in their web addressen (also known as URLs). "

    No. Normal users use their homepage to search for what they need. There are very few you type "msdm.com" accidently in the address bar. And those who do should recognise there mistake. If it happens regularly they should stop pretending they need to go to the Microsoft Development Network.

    "Start Internet Explorer over from the ground up. Start with a blank screen and do your best to build it better than the competition."

    Marvellous idea. Might have been done before though. And I don’t see any reason for IE to go down the same path as Netscape.

  105. Anonymous says:

    And if someone types "msdm.com" in the address bar, it could very well be a sign they should start a career in dentistry, not that IE is an inferior browser

  106. Anonymous says:

    "you couldn’t say it better. But the newbe only wants to surf websites, not end up with porno popups because they made a typo. "

    Install SP2 to get rid of those pop ups.

    Otherwise those "porno"s aren’t an "accident"

  107. Anonymous says:

    You know what I hate – I hate going through MSDN.com – and reading some of the old columns and stuff.

    Its enough to make one want to cry.

    Then it gets worse when you realize the stuff is four or five years old.

    I just want to be able to use the tools that IE supports that nothing else does. I mean people cry over a simple css tag, my god – fake it – oh wait – it might not validate and the w3hitsquad will get me.

    The way I see it, some people choose to buy a mac, some run linux, some run other stuff that I probably never heard of, nor care to. People that choose one of those platforms choose to not have certain software available to them, just as I choose to use a Windows platform, and I choose to not have some of the nice graphics software that is on mac available to me.

    Why is it any different on the web? You choose to use one browser – thats your choice. You may not be able to access every website with that browser, be it IE, Moz, or Opera.

    As far as css and all that jazz – god if css is the answer to all that troubles the world, then why has all the small sites gotten so damn ugly and boxy. At least we can still go to the major sites, that keep getting better and better, with tables (oh my god – how dare they), and other stuff that is supposed to be so wrong.

    I am just sick to death of the attitude of what I am sure is just a vocal bunch of preteens talking about about how great Moz and Linux is, and how stupid someone that uses something else is. My question is – who exactly was it that got the ball going on the idea of a common platform and shared resources. Who is that made it so that everyone can play, instead of a select few.

    It was Gates, when he got his break with the sale of the rights to use DOS to IBM. It takes a lot of balls for a man to get the biggest player in the game at the time, to play ball your way, much less to get them to buy/rent a product you dont have. Because of that deal though, and him coming through with his end of the bargain – it crushed the Apple model of it all being closed shop. It provided the power for all those IBM compatibles, as we used to call them. And this was before anyone ever heard of Microsoft – it was just some white or green text on a screen that vanished as soon as that damn thing finished counting on boot up.

    If we had ten, twenty different platforms, and an equal number of users on each – guess what – the only people that could play in that environement would be the big companies with the money to have developers that could develope for all 20 platforms. The little guy would not stand a snowballs chance in hell cause he could not port to all platforms faster than some big company could, basically taking his idea and running it out to everyone else.

    But in the end – everything above this is why Firefox does not take off any more than it has – I sure do not want to be associated with that crowd. (and I am php/linux server guy)

  108. Anonymous says:

    @Zach

    "But in the end – everything above this is why Firefox does not take off any more than it has …"

    You may recall Firefox wasn’t launched until three days ago. Seeing it already has ~3% browser market share, I believe you may end up being WRONG about Firefox not getting off… I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  109. Anonymous says:

    The biggest problem with IE is lack of updates. This is why I like Firefox. IE doesn’t get updated very often…Firefox, on the other hand, does. Firefox loads faster than IE, has many good new features, it’s more secure…all problems with IE that have not been corrected due to few updates.

    This is why I use Firefox.

  110. Anonymous says:

    @Matt:

    Everyone makes a typo now and then, from the newbee to the most experienced internet user. And this shouldn’t result in an ActiveX control OR and installed applicatie that more or less randomly opens porno sites.

    Can I install the latest version of Internet Explorer (the one that came with XP SP2) on Windows 98, Me or 2000? You are refering to the possibility of installing SP2 of Windows XP – howevet not everyone is using Windows XP, some users are still working with older versions of Windows.

    OK. They could buy WindowsXP, but that costs about 100EUR – if you don’t need the XP functionality Firefox will do the job just as nicely.

    (If you have 10 computers, then upgrading to XP costs about 1000 euro, only to get a popup blocker – in Firefox it’s available for free.)

    BTW: The URLs I’ve used are only an example.

  111. Anonymous says:

    Matt:

    >> So where’s the Group Policy support, or AD MSI

    >> support, or the support for different proxies

    >> on different connections, or the IEAK

    >> equivalent? Grow up. Firefox is a hobby

    >> browser that won’t come close in a corporate

    >> environment.

    How many of these features did IE have in version 1.0?

    Zach-

    >> As far as css and all that jazz – god if

    >> css is the answer to all that troubles the

    >> world, then why has all the small sites

    >> gotten so damn ugly and boxy. At least we

    >> can still go to the major sites, that keep

    >> getting better and better, with tables (oh

    >> my god – how dare they), and other stuff

    >> that is supposed to be so wrong.

    Oh, you must mean major sites lie Wired.com, ESPN.com, ABCNews.com, Sprint.com, etc, etc, etc? Yeah, those are all designed with CSS and no tables.

    There are a lot of boxy CSS sites. That’s too bad. But, it is absolutley not a fault of the technology. CSS can do everything tables can do and much, much more. CSS even has the ability to construct traditional HTML tables (display: table-cell). There’s no shortcoming in CSS that causes boxy sites — that’s simply a shortcoming in the designers creating sites.

    And you can bag on CSS and you like, but Microsoft professes a commitment to it. IE 5Mac was the first browser with solid CSS support, and IE6/Windows was ahead of the game when it came out, too. The problem is simply that there were a lot of bugs in MS’s implementation. This is not a big deal, expect that they refulse to fix them. Firefox had bugs in it’s rendering engine, too — but most of them have been fix. Sfari did too, but most of them have been fixed.

    I’ve got nothing against MS or IE in concept — the bottom line is just that the IE rendering engine is ridden with bugs and hasn’t gotten a major update in three years. Bugs are to be expected — but so is fixing them.

  112. Anonymous says:

    I’d like to point out that Firefox 1.0 has been updated exactly zero times. All the updates you’ve seen so far have been builds, betas, and RCs.

    Only time will tell if Firefox will get feature updates, and how frequently. Only time will tell how successful Firefox will be supporting 1.0 users with bug fixes and security fixes while making forward progress on 1.x and 2.0.

    And kees, just about anybody who wants just a popup blocker for IE can get one from Google, MSN, Yahoo, and lots of other places for free. It doesn’t need an XP upgrade.

  113. Anonymous says:

    Just a few things,

    One great job on Halo 2 [MS]

    Second, This blog (not comments in general) is a great source of information at the IE teams inner-mind (same with Raymond Chens blog in terms of Windows in that regard)

    Thirdly, with IE’s CSS support in terms of broken features, they have in the past explained why they made their choices in, for example, the box model.

    To fix the issue write your pages as strict html 4.01 and the box model is greatly improved (to use CSS3 terminology, border-box becomes content-box which the latter is currently described in CSS1 and 2;

    I wholeheartedly believe it is time for the IE team to reconsider these "Backwards compatability" terms, or at the very least put out a note that in non-standard pages the CSS3 property will have, "border-box" for the html element, and in standard pages "content-box" to conform with current design, and support the spec in terms of that property at the least, so that designers can code for a proper box model in properly updated IE versions.

    There are many other IE shortcomings in CSS though the box model is the most used (from my experience) argument against it.

    Fourthly, To see how CSS design can be of use, and beneficial please see the css-zen-garden for design ideas, in a standards environment, visit most of those designs with IE _and_ Firefox and you will see a similar page, and usually a much nicer page in Firefox (imo).

    Fifth, The Microsoft team is involved in many of the W3 working groups in determing everyones specification, to downtrot the specs just because "you like to invent" does not speak well for my personal belief of an organization.

    Yes you are allowed to invent stuff yourself, though if it is for the internet I would imagine you would present it as an RFC, Ietf spec, W3 spec, etc. once it is complete.

    Yes you are allowed to work with standards organizations, though you should then be expected to actually support the standards you publish on.

    Sixth, I personally being a programmer and web-designer prefer rendering as my choice for a UA (web browser in this talk), though I agree that 99.9% of internet users dont have the same concern as me. Though what they do have is a desire to visit and use the most accessible (to them) page they can, while still being visually elegant. Proper CSS and Standards support can only enrich this experience for the user, though most corporate sites (such as CNN) try not to have any disimilarities between IE and other UA’s to prevent user confusion (and their own effort), proper Support for standards in IE will enable every website to feel they can design elegant pages, and much more user friendly pages than are currently possible.

    With that in mind the User Interface is the most important thing for many users, which is why Firefox added a "go" button, as IE has had one for too long, which has gotten most users accustomed to it. There are of course 3’rd party features to be added to IE which prevents some people from using Firefox, though once those developers decide to support Firefox with similar extensions I see no reason for those IE users to not use Firefox (other than desire to switch)

    Seventh, Yes I am a bit biased as I do program for Mozilla Firefox (as a contributor rather than a part of the Mozilla Foundation) though I have used and coded solely on IE for far too long to abandon hope for it as well. I can not wait to see what rabbits the Microsoft Developers pull out of their hats (Microsoft is quite good at that). They may solve many of the rendering issues in a coming version of IE for winXP (and other OS’s?) or they may not, that is their choice and we cannot get mad at them for contributing to their (imo) demise.

    Seventh, if you made it this far let me congratulate you on reading through my comment, thank you.

    Lastly if you reply to this comment please also send me a personal e-mail (remove the -NOSPAM- part) with either the contents of your comment, or a link to the comment itself (reachable by a copy link target, or similar feature on the ‘#’ to the left of your name on the comment itself)

  114. Anonymous says:

    Sorry my e-mail did not seem to get copied in correctly, (1160-NOSPAM-57@baco-NOSPAM-n.mass.edu)

  115. Anonymous says:

    "And kees, just about anybody who wants just a popup blocker for IE can get one from Google, MSN, Yahoo, and lots of other places for free. It doesn’t need an XP upgrade."

    So that just leaves all the security problems then. Oh well, I guess some is better than none when it comes to using IE.

  116. Anonymous says:

    "Everyone makes a typo now and then, from the newbee to the most experienced internet user. And this shouldn’t result in an ActiveX control OR and installed applicatie that more or less randomly opens porno sites"

    Rubbish. Installing those things requires several steps, including a type. Either read the warnings and decline installation or stop whinging about all the stuff that IE (as in convenient excuse for your stupidity) installs on your computer.

    ">> So where’s the Group Policy support, or AD MSI

    >> support, or the support for different proxies

    >> on different connections, or the IEAK

    >> equivalent? Grow up. Firefox is a hobby

    >> browser that won’t come close in a corporate

    >> environment.

    How many of these features did IE have in version 1.0? "

    Irrelevant. You measly mouthed Firefox people try to have it both ways. You wander around the Internet looking for gullible people to give your sales pitch about Firefox’s corporate readiness, maturity and superior features. Someone gives some real, concrete counter examples and, all of a sudden, Firefox is only on it’s first release, will have those features real soon and obviously IE’s had so many more years to add them (conveniently ignoring Firefox’s decade long heritage.)

    It’s just weasel words. As you’re trying to get someone to install Firefox you claim it’s feature complete and better than IE. As someone complains about a missing feature you make excuses about immaturity and v1.0.

    "With that in mind the User Interface is the most important thing for many users, which is why Firefox added a "go" button, as IE has had one for too long, which has gotten most users accustomed to it"

    Rubbish. MS added a go button in response to real usability tests years ago. Users couldn’t work out what to do next after typing in an address.

    Firefox should have had the same feature in it’s first interface prototype. It’s that simple and obvious a feature. It’s about ease of use not about any "stupid user" IE addiction.

    Congratulations to Mozilla on Firefox 1.0. Enjoy the credibility you’ve got now – it’ll be gone in a few years time when your market share hasn’t reached double digits and more of the claims of your proponents are shown to be false.

  117. Anonymous says:

    "Congratulations to Mozilla on Firefox 1.0. Enjoy the credibility you’ve got now"

    Funny you should talk about credibility, Matt. Especially since Microsoft’s credibility/reputation is in flames and not looking to improve any time soon. People are becoming smarter about their computing experience, and Firefox offers clear advantages over IE on the personal desktop. Microsoft’s response to a superior product: a pointless blog about so-called IE development that is really nothing more than IE devs patting themselves on the back and hoping the rest of the world will buy it. You bought it.

    Firefox is on the rise whether you realize or admit it. Microsoft is not keeping up. Period. Firefox will gain market share. The lack of group policy support (or whatever other corporate-only bell/whistle) will not prevent this.

  118. Anonymous says:

    Stop whining about freaking IE!!!!

    Are you a talented-at-all designer! Then you can build a site that works with it.

    Kudos to Firefox for getting almost 10% share, but honestly, like others have said, that’s not that big a deal. I like Firefox, (although Safari is my default) but when 90% of users are using IE5.x/6 I’m going to build my sites to work with IE first, then the others.

    Go ask your mildly computer-literate friend/associate to visit a site with IE and Firefox, and see if they give a flying crap about which one they use.

  119. Anonymous says:

    "Funny you should talk about credibility, Matt. Especially since Microsoft’s credibility/reputation is in flames and not looking to improve any time soon."

    Jason, now you’re ruining your own credibility as well as Firefox’s. I can’t think of a competitor (even a free one) that MS has failed to crush. If Firefox looks a threat (and it *does not* at the moment) MS will improve IE in a matter of months. At the moment Firefox attracts open source crazies and web developers who like to have public wet dreams in any forum they can find about the day Firefox has a substantial market share.

    There’s no good evidence their randy Firefox dreams are anything more than an unrealistic fantasy. There’s plenty of evidence that MS can win a browser war. In fact, I believe they’ve already won one where the competitor had substantially more than a couple in every hundred users.

  120. Anonymous says:

    Matt:

    "Rubbish. Installing those things requires several steps, including a type."

    Well, well, what do we have here? Could it be… oh my… no way! IT’S A TYPO!

    Think about it. You appear to be an experienced user who’s not afraid to loudly proclaim and defend his opinion. Despite your experience, you managed to make a typo. Do you really think it’s all that uncommon for a person who surfs the ‘Net perhaps 7-8 hours a week to make a typo now and then?

    Matt:

    "If Firefox looks a threat (and it *does not* at the moment) MS will improve IE in a matter of months."

    Yes. Around 30 of them, in fact.

    Matt:

    "At the moment Firefox attracts open source crazies and web developers who like to have public wet dreams in any forum they can find about the day Firefox has a substantial market share.

    There’s no good evidence their randy Firefox dreams are anything more than an unrealistic fantasy."

    My, my. That’s a little strong, isn’t it Matt? I’ve heard of people being called Linux fanboys, open-source fanboys, and the like, but I’ve never come across a rabid M$-fanboy before.

    j:

    " Stop whining about freaking IE!!!!

    Are you a talented-at-all designer! Then you can build a site that works with it. "

    For the love of all that’s holy, learn to differentiate between a question mark (that’s ?) and an exclamation mark (that’s !).

    As far as your argument goes… the point is to NOT have to jump through hoops to make valid, semantic pages render correctly in IE. Sure, it "shines on broken code", but the problem is, as one person commented, "it breaks on shiny code"!

  121. Anonymous says:

    Internet Explorer with pop-up blockade is great. I don’t want any strange "tabs" πŸ™‚ Don’t break it!

  122. Anonymous says:

    I like Windows (NT 5.x) because it makes me feel in control. That’s why I like Firefox.

    Wait, what does me liking Firefox have to do with me liking Windows?

  123. Anonymous says:

    Uh, someone is using your blog URL to generate some comment spam…any ideas on who might be doing it?

  124. Anonymous says:

    We all make typos. Woopee. You’ve still not accounted for the several (as many as four) other steps required to install that nefarious ActiveX control or run that evil executable.

    And if you don’t think MS can have tabs in IE (the ONLY significant consumer facing feature of Firefox) in 3 months at worst, you’re fooling yourself. They’ve had no reason to add them over the last 30 months – the competition, including open source has been that dismal.

    I am an MS fanboy (note it’s possible to say MS without including an insult), because I’ve evaluated the alternatives and MS beat the crap out of them on every measure except initial cost of product. That initial cost quickly becomes insignificant.

    Pretty every open source product is deficient in usability, manageability and feature set. No Active Directory equivalent, let alone AD support in client apps like Firefox and OpenOffice. No SMS equivalent. No decent GUI (it is 2004 not 1974 – servers can have GUIs and actually benefit from having one). Bad compatibility (Samba until recently required registry changes on most clients, Firefox chokes on pages that IE doesn’t). No Firefox Administration Kit. No decent groupware. Bad device driver support.

    It goes on and on and on and on. You open source idiots go onto forums, claim it’s ready for prime time, deny the obvious in terms of lack of features and then wonder why people reject you. They reject you because you’re trying to peddle inferior products. The Firefox (or Linux) market share in 1, 2 or 5 years time will back me up.

  125. Anonymous says:

    > You’ve still not accounted for the several (as many as four) other steps required to install that nefarious ActiveX control or run that evil executable.

    I can’t comment on the ActiveX stuff because there’s no way I would use Internet Explorer to view untrusted (i.e. non-Intranet) web pages given it’s terrible security record.

    > And if you don’t think MS can have tabs in IE (the ONLY significant consumer facing feature of Firefox)

    Look how long the competition had popup blocking before Microsoft added it. Look how long Internet Explorer languished as the world’s worst browser in terms of security. Popup blocking and security are significant to consumers.

    > I am an MS fanboy

    Please note that most people understand "fanboy" to mean something not unlike zealot – somebody who ignores things like logic and evidence when defending whatever it is they are a fan of.

    > I’ve evaluated the alternatives and MS beat the crap out of them on every measure except initial cost of product.

    Good for you. I’ve evaluated the alternatives and I haven’t used a Microsoft system as my main desktop for about five or six years. Your personal anecdote isn’t going to convince me when my own experience contradicts yours. It may be that we have different requirements, however you seem willing to assume that your requirements are the only ones that matter.

    > Pretty every open source product is deficient in usability, manageability and feature set.

    That’s a pretty sweeping statement. I very much doubt you can name every open-source product, let alone have already evaluated them all.

    > No decent GUI

    Are you kidding me? Have you actually used Linux in the past five years? The GUI is one of the main reasons I use Linux over other operating systems. UNIX systems have been supporting things like virtual desktops since the 70s.

    > Firefox chokes on pages that IE doesn’t

    Internet Explorer chokes on pages Firefox doesn’t. What’s your point?

    > Bad device driver support.

    In my experience, Linux and FreeBSD support far more hardware than Windows. I’ve got an Intel-based server right here that Windows won’t even boot on, but it’s been running FreeBSD for years without a problem.

    > You open source idiots go onto forums, claim it’s ready for prime time, deny the obvious in terms of lack of features and then wonder why people reject you.

    Open-source idiots? So we’ve stooped to calling people names now?

    If open-source software was lacking the features I need, then I wouldn’t/couldn’t use it. But it’s Windows that lacks the features I need.

    I haven’t seen open-source being rejected at all. Half the Internet runs it. You think Microsoft are the popular choice for mail servers? Web servers? DNS servers? News servers? Open-source has a clear lead in many areas.

    http://news.netcraft.com/archives/web_server_survey.html

    > They reject you because you’re trying to peddle inferior products. The Firefox (or Linux) market share in 1, 2 or 5 years time will back me up.

    Feel free to look at the current market share compared with previous years. Use of both is increasing, not decreasing. It looks like _you_ are the one that is denying the obvious.

  126. Anonymous says:

    Jim, you’re making things too easy.

    If there’s no way you’d use IE to view sites outside your intranet, or you don’t feel you’re qualified to comment on ActiveX controls, then don’t comment on either. You’re comment amounts to "I don’t like IE security because I read it was bad on the Open Source sites I visit." You’ve no experience by your own admission and it’s entirely possible to use IE securely.

    Pop up blocking was an add on feature to IE for years. The IE team added it to core IE when it became an idea with wide appeal. They’ll do the same with tabs if they become widely appealing (and they’re available already in add on products and have been for years). That’s not controversial. It’s fact. The two most appealing features of Firefox to consumers are already available in IE.

    At least I’m open about calling people open source idiots. I don’t "stoop" to vague implications using code words like M$ fanboy (I know you didn’t use "M$" but you indirectly defend someone who did).

    I have used Linux (and FreeBSD) in the last five years. I stated that I’d investigated alternatives, but you decided to ignore that because it suited your argument. Open source GUIs are bad.

    Tried to add a program in Gnome or KDE? It’s inconsitent, awful and bad. You can’t give a set of instructions to do so because it varies so widely between distributions and OS’s. Same for network configuration, device management and server/daemon configuration. It’s a horrible mess that won’t be sorted out any time soon.

    Tried to implement a Samba domain before the recent 3.0? You’d have been running around Win 2000 and XP machines fiddling with registry entries because of a deficiency in the server software.

    Tried to configure desktop machines from a Samba domain server? You’ve got nowhere near the power you’d have if you spent a small amount of money on Active Directory and SMS.

    Netcraft show a small decline for Apache in the last 12 months (Windows 2003 seems to have arrested decline in IIS). Netcraft show Windows in the most reliable survey (a majority of entries for September.)

    "I haven’t seen open-source being rejected at all. Half the Internet runs it. You think Microsoft are the popular choice for mail servers? Web servers? DNS servers? News servers? Open-source has a clear lead in many areas."

    Half the internet’s an absurd exaggeration. If you exclude client machines, perhaps but what sort of Internet would there be without them? Excluding certain classes of machine’s because it suits your argument is absurd. If you want to spend your life masturbating over routers, go ahead. The internet’s absolutely nothing to most of us without client machines though. As for the server question – Mail: yes; Web:yes; DNS:yes; News:yes (but not often – NNTP’s not too popular these days). In fact Exchange is more popular amongst installations that want to offer more than the most basic mail service.

  127. Anonymous says:

    I forgot device support. As Jim seems to be a fan of FreeBSD, I’ll make my argument by quoting the FreeBSD 5.3-RELEASE errata:

    "(31 Oct 2004) The re(4) and em(4) drivers may behave poorly under heavy load. In particular, there are reports of em(4) on the IBM ThinkPad T40 locking up under such conditions.

    (31 Oct 2004) There are reports of the sk(4) driver locking up under heavy load, especially when ASUStek on-board NICs are used. To clear the condition, bringing the interface down then back up and/or rebooting the system may be needed."

    Not. Happy. Jiiiimmm. Realtek and Intel network card chip sets aren’t uncommon. Especially those fancy Intel gigabit cards supported by em(4).

  128. Anonymous says:

    > Jim, you’re making things too easy.

    What am I making easy? I’m expressing my opinion, that is all.

    > If there’s no way you’d use IE to view sites outside your intranet, or you don’t feel you’re qualified to comment on ActiveX controls, then don’t comment on either. You’re comment amounts to "I don’t like IE security because I read it was bad on the Open Source sites I visit." You’ve no experience by your own admission and it’s entirely possible to use IE securely.

    Please read what I wrote again. I was saying I’m not qualified to comment on how easy it is to accidentally install ActiveX controls. That doesn’t generalise to security in general.

    Of course it’s entirely possible to use Internet Explorer securely – like I said, I restrict it to trusted documents only. However, when it comes to viewing untrusted documents (a.k.a. "surfing the web"), please try and explain away the sheer quantity of security holes documented by both Microsoft and external organisations. *That* is why I don’t trust it with external documents. Yes, other browsers also have problems, but nowhere near as bad as Internet Explorer.

    > At least I’m open about calling people open source idiots. I don’t "stoop" to vague implications using code words like M$ fanboy (I know you didn’t use "M$" but you indirectly defend someone who did).

    Huh? I disagreed with you on certain points. That doesn’t mean I automatically endorse all opinions expressed by people who also disagree with you. I find things like "M$" childish and annoying too. You were claiming you were a fanboy, I wasn’t sure if you knew all the connotations of that word.

    > Pop up blocking was an add on feature to IE for years. The IE team added it to core IE when it became an idea with wide appeal. They’ll do the same with tabs if they become widely appealing (and they’re available already in add on products and have been for years). That’s not controversial. It’s fact.

    It took them years to add popup blocking, why do you think it will take any less time for them to add tabs?

    > I have used Linux (and FreeBSD) in the last five years. I stated that I’d investigated alternatives, but you decided to ignore that because it suited your argument.

    No, I just doubted you’d used them recently, because they’ve made tremendous progress over the last five years or so. I find a lot of people first tried Linux ~1997 when it was first becoming a buzzword, and now have this fixed idea of what "Linux" is without having any clue of its current status.

    > Open source GUIs are bad.

    As I stated above, I find open-source GUIs (in particular KDE) to be more useful than anything else.

    > Tried to add a program in Gnome or KDE? It’s inconsitent, awful and bad. You can’t give a set of instructions to do so because it varies so widely between distributions and OS’s.

    Distributions are essentially different operating systems. Who cares if they are consistent? It’s like saying "installing/configuring stuff differs between FreeBSD and Mac OS X therefore they are both bad" – it makes no sense. Configuring things between different versions of Windows is also inconsistent.

    > Tried to configure desktop machines from a Samba domain server?

    Quite clearly no, because as I stated, I find Linux to be better on the desktop for my needs. Why would I care about configuring Windows clients for a Windows protocol? Why is it a pain in the neck to configure Windows to use NFS/Coda/Intermezzo/AFS?

    > Netcraft show a small decline for Apache in the last 12 months (Windows 2003 seems to have arrested decline in IIS).

    Please supply a URL as you seem to be contradicting Netcraft’s website. The bottom graph seems quite clear on this page:

    http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2004/11/01/november_2004_web_server_survey.html

    > Netcraft show Windows in the most reliable survey (a majority of entries for September.)

    Again, I find that the information provided on Netcraft’s own website disgrees with you:

    http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/today/top.avg.html

    Note that the top four, and the vast majority of the top 50 are Apache, and that Microsoft appears nowhere in the top 50.

    Please supply a URL to back up your claims.

    > Half the internet’s an absurd exaggeration. If you exclude client machines, perhaps but what sort of Internet would there be without them?

    You are right, I wasn’t counting client machines. More accurately, my statement would be "half the Internet’s infrastructure". I don’t really consider client machines to be a part of the Internet, just things that _use_ the Internet.

    > As for the server question – Mail: yes; Web:yes; DNS:yes; News:yes (but not often – NNTP’s not too popular these days). In fact Exchange is more popular amongst installations that want to offer more than the most basic mail service.

    I thought we were talking about popularity? The vast majority of installations use Sendmail, Qmail, Postfix, etc. And those packages all offer more than "basic" mail service.

  129. Anonymous says:

    > I forgot device support. As Jim seems to be a fan of FreeBSD, I’ll make my argument by quoting the FreeBSD 5.3-RELEASE errata

    I’m not so much a "fan" as I am a satisfied user. FreeBSD does the job, Windows could not. Mentioning a single bug does not change this fact. If you want to talk about hardware support, this is a much more relevent URL:

    http://www.freebsd.org/platforms/

  130. Anonymous says:

    Jimbo, I never mentioned uptime (your netcraft counterexample). I mentioned reliability. I believe Netcraft uses http://uptime.netcraft.com/perf/reports/Hosters as a measure of hosting reliability. Windows holds 4 of the top ten spots despite its smaller market share.

    I didn’t point out a single bug in FreeBSD. I pointed out 3 bugs in 3 different network card drivers, at least some of them in very popular network cards. That hardly inspires confidence in an OS that markets itself as an ideal network server.

    FreeBSD might have better platform support, but who cares? Even Sun are starting to ditch sparc in favour of Intel/AMD. Other platforms have no influential support at all.

    You can’t argue that clients don’t count as part of the Internet. All of the open source infrastructure wouldn’t count for squat if there weren’t clients to use it.

    And in the context of package/program and system management consistency is important for the sake of supporting the user. It’s simply not acceptable to refer clients to another company because you only support SUSE and they’ve got Debian. Or because your Debian expert’s out to lunch or on holidays.

    User magazines wouldn’t be popular if they had to publish a dozen different sets of instructions for basic tasks on a dozen different distros.

    Inconsistency’s a nightmare for users and for the companies that support them.

    As for the fanboy rubbish, you brought it up. It is possible to intelligently assess alternatives and become a "fanboy" of one based on solid arguments. And as long as you’ve got those arguments I don’t see "fanboy" as a derogatory term. FTR I have seen ill informed Windows fanboys, but the Linux variety seem to outnumber them 10 to 1.

  131. Anonymous says:

    IE used to be a good browser. I remember the first CSS implementations of IE 3, superior CSS to Netscape – and so on.

    Unfortunately (and this is what I read between the lines of most of the people here) there has not been any major improvement since IE 5. Please don’t use security/stability-updates as an argument for IE 5.5 or IE6.

    I have the strong impression that Microsoft has abandoned wanting to keep a technical lead in browser technology (they have already abandoned IE on the Mac). Thereforfe, I am using anything but IE, since I can’t get pop-up blocking, RSS and other features on my Windows 2000 machines (yes, I know – Windows 2000 it is an absolutely obsolete and archaic operating system for which I should not even think of getting browser updates anymore…).

    Since I also operate a couple of Macs here for the designers, we switched finally to Firefox. This gives us the same look and feel – and the same featureset – on all operating systems: Mac, W2K, XP.

  132. Anonymous says:

    > Jimbo, I never mentioned uptime (your netcraft counterexample). I mentioned reliability. I believe Netcraft uses http://uptime.netcraft.com/perf/reports/Hosters as a measure of hosting reliability.

    The OS column is not necessarily relevent because Netcraft uses the HTTP request to determine the OS, and failures can happen before that point, e.g. DNS is often outsourced.

    However, even if we take that table to be entirely accurate, the top two are FreeBSD using Apache, six out of the top ten are using open-source operating systems and seven out of the top ten are using open-source web servers.

    > Windows holds 4 of the top ten spots despite its smaller market share.

    It’s showing three out of ten to me.

    > I didn’t point out a single bug in FreeBSD. I pointed out 3 bugs in 3 different network card drivers, at least some of them in very popular network cards. That hardly inspires confidence in an OS that markets itself as an ideal network server.

    Windows install disks (98, 2000, XP) won’t even boot on the server I am talking about (yet both Linux and FreeBSD work without a problem on the same machine). I’m far more confident in the operating system that I’ve been using for the past few years than in one that won’t even boot. FreeBSD has broken records with its network performance:

    http://www.terasolutions.com/pr092900.html

    I have confidence because it does the job and it does the job well. My experience with Windows is nowhere near as good.

    > FreeBSD might have better platform support, but who cares?

    The Intel architecture is pretty badly balanced and unreliable compared with other architectures. It’s getting better, but if you want _really_ reliable systems, Intel and similar aren’t a viable option. Windows being tied to Intel architecture is a big deal in this case. Not the majority case, I agree, but you were the one that brought up hardware support, so I think it’s important to point out that FreeBSD supports many more platforms than Windows.

    > You can’t argue that clients don’t count as part of the Internet. All of the open source infrastructure wouldn’t count for squat if there weren’t clients to use it.

    Client are as much a part of the Internet as telephone handsets are part of the POTS. Some people would say yes, some people would say no. Once I realised we were using different definitions, I clarified my statement.

    Our difference of opinion on what does and doesn’t count as part of the Internet is irrelevent to the point I was making that open-source is not being rejected as you claim. So you object to my wording of "half the Internet". Big deal. Open-source is still massively popular and a fundamental part of the Internet. Open-source is not being rejected, far from it.

    > And in the context of package/program and system management consistency is important for the sake of supporting the user.

    That’s the reality of cross-platform development. Operating systems differ. Sorry if that makes it hard to support, but it’s no different to supporting any other two operating systems unless you think that having the same kernel counts for anything.

    > As for the fanboy rubbish, you brought it up.

    No, somebody called you a fanboy and you said you _were_ a fanboy. I merely pointed out that many people will assume you have an irrational argument because of that.

    > It is possible to intelligently assess alternatives and become a "fanboy" of one based on solid arguments. And as long as you’ve got those arguments I don’t see "fanboy" as a derogatory term.

    Like I said, the word "fanboy" refers to somebody who will argue even if he doesn’t have those arguments.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fanboy

    If you want to characterise yourself as "a person who is completely loyal to a game or company reguardless of if they suck or not." then by all means do so.

  133. Anonymous says:

    Just for the record: Jim is the one using rational reasoning here. Stating what he believes and not coming with silly claims and attacks such as:

    "As for the fanboy rubbish, you brought it up"

  134. Anonymous says:

    flavio sorry to dissapoint you,i don’t want microsoft to dissapear

  135. Anonymous says:

    and yes i like IE more than Firefox

  136. Anonymous says:

    "Windows Marketplace" – why, I could buy a popup blocker for $30 (yes, it’s true, "Pop up Blocker" by Pop Up Killer is $29.95) or a Download Manager for $20.. or I could get those and more for free with Firefox. I don’t see anything half as good as Firefox’s Web Developer extension, to name but one. And why would I need spyware/adware removal programs without IE?

  137. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a nice long post by an anonymous person who has no connection with either MS or Firefox or Linux besides being a user of both. Hopefully this should be (sorta) unbiased.

    In my opinion, Microsoft’s best products since … umm … MS-DOS … have been Halo and Halo 2 (they keep the XBOX alive). They absolutely rock – the best First-Person-Shooters since Goldeneye. Back to Windows.

    Windows 98 (AHH! NOT THE BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH!!! Crash and burn, baby!) was absolutely horrible. Thank god XP at least doesn’t crash at the slightest error. XP is a step in the right direction but it is still nowhere near good.

    "Longhorn" will not be a "revolutionary" new OS but simply another super-expensive piece of bloatware. $200 for that ****! I could buy a whole computer for $350! And, even funnier, is that it would have Windows already on it! How does that work … a computer for $150? Why don’t they just sell it with no OS for $150? I’d happly buy it and load Linux (which costs only as much as your willing to pay) on it … Anyway …

    Windows was built before the Internet. IE was built beore people realized the Internet was a perfect place to spy on people, ruin other’s computers, make noisy advertisements, etc. Trying to patch all its security holes after that is like … ummm … I cant come up with an analogy, but oh well. There are too many holes, too many problems, all you will be doing is adding patch after patch after patch. Windows has become BLOATWARE.

    What happened to the good old days when you could run MS-DOS off a floppy disk … Now you can’t even run Windows off a whole 700 MB CD (XP is like 2 GB)! Linux still can – take a look at Knoppix for an example of a full-featured graphical OS all on a CD.

    Here is my (constructive) recommendation: restart the whole bloody thing.

    Take a look at what the Mozilla Foundation has done with Firefox. It realized the original Mozilla was bloatware so they stripped down everything but the core, added a simple interface and viola, there was Firefox, supposedly the "revolutionary new browser". Who would have guessed that gem was hiding under that piece of bloatware? Perhaps IE and Windows should do the same thing. IE 6 SP2 was a step in the right direction, but just like XP, still not good.

    If I was head of Windows I would tell people "We’re not going to release another version for the next … maybe 10 years … and we’re just going to focus on developing a new, STABLE, SIMPLE, NETWORK AND INTERNET SECURE AND READY, and OPEN platform." This results in more customizability for experts and simplicity/ease of use/safety for beginners. It doesn’t have to be open-source – MS would never do that – but just more open e.g. documentation released about all the aspects of the system so programs can be designed to take advatage of the good points of the system. Maybe they can even try and copy Apple and their MacOS. After all, they invented the mouse and GUI.

    I run one Linux machine and one Windows (XP) machine. I have experienced both worlds. Don’t call me a fanboy of MS or Linux because I am neither. Currently I prefer Linux/Firefox/Non-Microsoft products for almost everything but Microsoft Office (and of course HALO <2> ). I beleive OpenOffice is not quite there yet. If Windows does improve vastly, which is unlikey given that lately the organization itself has become bloated and sluggish, I might start going to Linux forums and posting threads about how the community needs to stick together. However, now it is MS that needs the help – its digging itself in a deeper hole each day, patch, and Service Pack.

    Maybe Microsoft should just stop developing any new OS’s and just concentrate on Office and XBOX.

    Does anyone know what the final product name of Longhorn will be? (cuz Longhorn is just a codename, right?) Windows XP 2? XP 2005/6/7?

    Oh yeah, another point: if Microsoft disappeared William H. Gates would not be getting a steady inflow of cash to donate to charity.

  138. Anonymous says:

    Windows is great… too bad that the powers that be at MicroSoft decided to abandon things like the Internet and thin clients as a platform in favor of bigger applications and higher feature counts.

    Its really a disgrace when you compare Windows NT 4 (which killed commercial Unix) to Windows XP. Adding bells and flashy widgets to a solid product polluted the original NT idea and left the consumer with a bloated mess.

    IE is the same scenario… IE blew Netscape out of the water because the original IE team focused on making the best browser on the market — period. Today the outrageous amount of time, effort and money that enterprises need to spend to secure IE is a testament to what happens when a company gets arrogant and refuses to maintain a fine product.

    I work at a huge enterprise of over 45,000 workstations, and we are looking at having 10% of the client population running some variation of Linux by January 2006. We’re not alone.

  139. Anonymous says:

    Just to clarify: I was the one who called Matt a fanboy, and it wasn’t meant as a compliment.

    As for the M$, that’s just a reflex action. No offense meant. πŸ™‚

  140. Anonymous says:

    Matt: you’re a sore loser, man πŸ™‚

    Firefox only for webdevelopers and the like? How naieve are you? Or, how IE-like are you, running behind on the facts of today so terribly much? Seriously, Firefox is spreading immensely among people of all kinds, web-experienced or not. Virtually everyone that tries Firefox sticks to using it, simply because it’s in all ways better than IE. Mozilla became very popular among webdevelopers in the days of Mozilla 0.9, but that’s ages ago already.

    Jeff: you forgot http://www.blogger.com/ πŸ™‚

  141. Anonymous says:

    You know the funny thing is is that Firefox is only used by net Geeks, family of a net Geek, or possibly a friend of a net Geek. (I mean no offense by the term Geek – so if you take some, chill).

    At my websites, I have four known Firefox users. I pay attention. I have hundreds of everyday users that I get to know a bit about over time, and four that use Firefox. One is a engineer type, the other three are 20ish college. (And one I think quit using Firefox when he heard about the other two using it :)) –

    The rest have almost to the person never heard of it. It can take me twenty minutes to explain to them how to install security zone buttons to them – and another 30 to explain right click on the toolbars in IE, go to customize, go down the list on the left – all the way to the bottom, now move the restricted and trusted buttons over…….

    These are not dumb people, they just do not give a rats ass about a browser. They get on, talk to some friends, turn the computer off, and get on with life. You mention Firefox, and they will probably to a person go – oh yea – that was a great movie man. You actually gave them a firefox browser to use – god, help the person that gets beat to death trying to explain it to them.

    The general user may not realize it – but they like those things that some jerks exploit – because before the jerks came along – it made it so what they wanted to happen happened with them ever having to know why. They do not like instructions, they do not like thinking about it, they do not care – its a stupid tool to get them to a webpage to check some scores, post on a forum, or check out some porn. Its a browser, they know how to use, and thats all they care about it.

    IE does a wonder job at keeping it simple – the others do not.

  142. Anonymous says:

    I work at a huge enterprise of over 45,000 workstations, and we are looking at having 10% of the client population running some variation of Linux by January 2006. We’re not alone.

    So 4,500 computer on some form of Linux. Only 40,500 on windows.

    Someone call Bill – they better start the layoffs now.

  143. Anonymous says:

    This is a little off IE – but anyway – this is what I would love to see.

    Microsoft gets what, 300 a machine last I heard – until India broke the price structure. (Those damn third world countries with 99 zillion people do it to you everytime).

    Microsoft obviously needs to keep getting their install money – and anybody that thinks Microsoft, for all its mistakes, is not vitally imporant to the computer industry is, well insane (if it wasnt Microsoft – some other company would have to be blazing the trail and making the mistakes – its not the company so to speak – its the one that goes where nobody has gone before, and no laws govern, that gets to make the mistakes).

    Anyway – get Microsoft, whatever the best version of Linux is (if that can be decided), and all the computer makers together – agree to give Microsoft 100-150 bucks for every box made. Then put Linux and an install of Microsoft each in a different small, super fast harddrive – the core files for both non touchable through normal means (obviously have to have some sort of udpate mechanism) – but keep the core files protected – and then sell the computers – you now have linux and Microsoft on every computer, eliminates the monopoly, as they are effectively 50 percent now. People get a choice, or can switch back and forth with ease, using whats best of both. The operating systems for both would be more stable because they can not be messed with. Microsoft gets its money to keep working and developing its products, Linux gets exposure, working exposure, unlike ever before. And effectively eliminates a third OS from ever becoming competition, and further splintering computer developement in the future.

  144. Anonymous says:

    While these IE "add-ons" provide some useful features, they can also be a source of vulnerabilities and privacy concerns.

    Just last month, it was reported that one of these 3rd party IE "add-ons" — that gives the feature of tabbed browsing — is vulnerable to attack.

    Secondly, with the bad publicity of google gmail’s potential privacy concern — people have to wonder whether all these "add-on" toolbars are spyware in disguise.

    I think Microsoft should incorporate some of these "add-on" improvements themselves in IE7, instead of relying on these 3rd party providers.

  145. Anonymous says:

    Regarding Zach’s comment on CSS, it’s not the CSS that causes boxy designs, it’s the designers. If you go to http://www.csszengarden.com, that gives one a pretty good idea of the wide range of designs CSS is capable of supporting. If you really want to stick to tables and traditional HTML, you are only limiting yourself to a narrow area of design. If IE only supported CSS as fully as Firefox, Opera and Safari, designs would evolve into a whole new realm that the Zen Garden gives one a preview of. But since IE doesn’t support CSS as much as it says it does, we are instead boxed into a world of the same old boring designs that so many sites pride themselves on.

    And it’s the IE team’s hubris that prevents the web from progressing as it should. All their claims to the contrary are simply wrong. There is so much more that is possible, but IE just keeps everyone back from shining.

  146. Anonymous says:

    One more thing, I recommend viewing http://www.csszengarden.com in Mozilla, since IE will not support many of those designs as they should.

  147. Anonymous says:

    Hey Zack –

    Most companies rollout new pcs gradually… if 4,500 Linux desktops are rolled out in one year as part of a pilot program, the MSFT folks should be concerned.

  148. Anonymous says:

    Okay again, people are saying normal people would never consider firefox. I beg to differ. I know the university in this town (Northern Illinois University) actually HAS firefox installed on its computers in its public labs. Over 20,000 students attend this university. Most of them have used the computer labs at some point. The average student here is not a computer geek, but still has to use the internet and write papers. You don’t think any of these people will decide they like firefox?

    Also, a lot of those add ons for IE that I’ve looked at are spyware. The googlebar isn’t as far as I know, but I can’t tell you how many friend’s computers I’ve seen get royally messed up due to the crap they add to ie. (and removing it magically seems to fix things).

    That alone tends to get people to try out firefox when it is suggested.

    Remember, 4 years ago, hardly anyone knew what google was, it takes a little time for word of mouth to spread.

  149. Anonymous says:

    I imagine the IE team are quaking in their boots now. Tertiary educated yoof at one university *might* use Firefox.

  150. Anonymous says:

    FYI I removed a post because it violated our posting guidelines.

  151. Anonymous says:

    I really think Microsoft is becoming a thing of the past. Sorry. In XXI century and all the globalization stuff, what the heck is the PC/desktop world relying solely in only one US Company?

    Microsoft you made a magnificient work in XX, continue your efforts, I’d appreciate them because I’m a tech-fan of your work, but have my first comment in mind.

  152. Anonymous says:

    maybe you’ll find someone understanding german or use opera’s/google’s translation function:

    http://blog.pxq.ch/item/374/

    and be careful while surfing the net, be sure you’ve installed all your patches, client-side firewalls and stuff as surfing with ie is really dangerous.. πŸ˜‰

  153. Anonymous says:

    Please, us a break. Is it me, or do I get the impression that Bill Gates is some fascist dictator who forces his employees to make such pointless biased posts. This is nothing more than normal MS properganda to me, that just tries has been worded in an "opinion" / point of view form in order to stop it looking like a piece of properganda.

    Isn’t this site ment to be about getting feedback about IE and addressing issues along with tips and tricks? to me this post is nothing but a deviation to distract people away from what really needs to be addressed in IE.

    People aren’t interested in support for stupid pointless features / plugins these days. The current support for them has being abused so much with the advent of spyware. it would be so much nicer if IE could focus on standards support and then deal with other features. This is what Firefox / Mozilla has done. All the features have been added after getting a solid rendering engine to work. Because MS has done this the other way, it seems resources are now being wasted on fixing up flaws dealing with security and therefore little effort can be focused on the rendering engine now.

    The one problem I think with MS is that is has long release cycles (look at how old IE is now compared to other OS’s), where each release has lots of feature’s or tries to cram in lots of new "features". Wouldn’t it be better for the company in most cases to shortern release cycles between products and instead of trying to be revolutionary, try and make their products evolve more with more feequent release cycles that don’t cram in lots of new features that tend to be buggy and require lots of patches. Look at Apple, they have the opposite approach to MS (Since OS X they have released many updates to the OS, i.e. 10.1, 10.2, 10.3 and soon 10.4). Each time they have gradually introduced features and fixed numerous bugs and made ***many improvements based on feedback they receive***.

    Likewise, Apple do not focus so much on backward compatiblity. At the end of the day, backward compatiablity should not be such big issue now. There are many new technologies out there that transparently handle this (i.e. VMware, virtual PC, Plex86 etc). If IE was not so tighly bound to the OS, backward compatiablity does not prove to be such as issue as it would be more modular. As good OO design dictates, classes should not have large numbers of dependancies in order be as reuseable and modular as possible. This can be upscaled to the software in general and the deployment of it. Windows in general is overly complex for the installation and deployment of software at times (look at how hard it is to remove spyware and all the stuff that has to gon in the registry). Again Apple win support here as installing is nothing more than drag and drop the contents of a disk image. deintegrating any form of addins for IE is nothing short of a pain in the backside if there is no uninstaller (or the uninstaller breaks).

    As far as compatiblity with old versions of IE is concerned (going back to the post made earlier on this blog), how many sites break in Firefox? Nto many, if FF/Mozilla can do it, i can’t see why IE can’t?

    MS have done some good stuff for the computer industry (without them computers would not be mainstream, whether you like MS or not). However in recent years I feel MS have held the industry behind (i.e. Standards support in IE etc). It’s only now that MS seem to realise that they should listen to the developer communities out there. They have a lot of catching up to do in some areas and though sites like this are the way forward for addressing these issues, and to me properganda on Windows just seems to be going against what this site is ment to be achieving

  154. Anonymous says:

    Hahahahaa!

    *wipes tears of mirth*

    This is hilarious

  155. Anonymous says:

    I think every one here has missed the whole point about IE.

    IE is developed to work (IMO) for 1 main group of people, which is your standard home user. Who want’s to visit the couple of sites that they use. While it may work for the needs of others MS as a Profit Making organisation have to cater for the needs of the many.

    People also seem to miss one other point, while it is important that there is an organisation that set industry standards, isn’t it more important that web developers design their sites for what the majority of users will be able to render. Not what the W3C says should be the latest and greatest.

    Don’t get me wrong IE is way behind the times compared to CSS. When longhorn comes out i’ve no doubt that they will be back on top again, at that point it would not surprise me if Firefox were behind, or other browsers that are available.

    It’s great that there is competition in the market, and if people honestly prefer Firefox (or other browser) to IE then nothing MS does will stop it becoming the most widely used product. It was only a couple of years ago people were bashing XP and the OEM’s saying that due to them Linux would never take off, well here in the UK there are many OEMS that are/have offered PC’s with Linux. The number has now dwindled, why because most people do not need/want/understand Linux. As a system builder myself I will happily put Firefox on a users system as a IE alternative, however would not consider removing it (if it wasn’t so closely integrated) as at this time I still believe that it has the most user friendly UI.

    Lastly for all those people that believe that Linux and Firefox are more secure than XP and IE. Get a reality check, if Linux and Firefox ever got close to the market share that the MS products have then all the sad script kiddies, hackers and crackers would spend their time finding exploits with those products instead of the MS ones.

    IMO I would rather have a product where the security holes are found, either by MS or the Hackers/Cracker, reasonably quickly so that I can protect myself against them before MS patches them. Rather than a product with relitivly few numbers and have security holes that could be there for years without being found/info released to the public.

    With the millions of lines of code in all O/S’s there will ALWAYS be security holes.

  156. Anonymous says:

    => Chloe,

    You just answered your question. Plonk!

    => Greg,

    So whe should wait until MSFT release a new browser? We should not care of accessibility laws and keep using tables because it’s the more easier way to keep the visual intact in IE? Sorry, but when a product is outdated *and* when it’s possible to offer better experience *and* when it simplifies a lot the development process (keeping presentation outside content) it’s just time to switch off.

    Already this point about market share and security… The majority of the Internet infrastructure is not running Windows as I know, and it’s targeted all the time by crackers, but the delay between security flaw and correction is very short most of the time, that makes a difference.

    At this time Linux and Open Source programs are mostly used by advanced computer users. So when a bug occurs or a security flaw is discovered the feedback is – most of time – fast and of good quality, it helps.

    With all the material posted on Channel 9 or on this "blog", MSFT have a quantity of quality information about what advanced computers users think which way IE should go to and a lot of bug reportings.

    The question is only : do MSFT wants to enter the browser "competition" in a true and open fashion?

  157. Anonymous says:

    Greg:

    "Don’t get me wrong IE is way behind the times compared to CSS. When longhorn comes out i’ve no doubt that they will be back on top again, at that point it would not surprise me if Firefox were behind, or other browsers that are available."

    It would certainly surprise me, since all that’s come from Microsoft so far just indicates that they’ll keep crowing about IE being able to render broken pages and ignore the fact that it cannot render non-broken pages properly, since they’re worried that they’ll break backward-compatibility.

  158. Anonymous says:

    Ping Backζ₯θ‡ͺ:blog.csdn.net

  159. Anonymous says:

    Chloe, I’m deleting your comments because they are off topic.

    This is the IE team blog, after all. It’s where we post things we want to say to the world. We leave the comments on, and unmoderated, so people can say what they want back to us.

    We posted a set of general rules for comments that we hope people follow.

    Chloe, your posts are political not technical. That’s off topic. I’m not going to let the IE blog commentary become a political discussion.

    You are welcome make your comments on your own blog and leave a trackback here. Or you can post a short comment here with a link to your longer comments on your own blog. That I wouldn’t delete.

  160. Anonymous says:

    I’m not back here to bash Firefox but came across this and thought it was relevant to all the discussion about tabbed browsers http://www.internetnews.com/ent-news/article.php/3424491 – Dated October 20th 2004, a month on and the flaw still exists in Firefox.

    Also try putting the following in a HTML document and open it in Firefox and see the mess in the title bar

    <html>

    <head>

    <title>Document title</title>

    </head>

    <body>

    <script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript">

    <!–

    document.title = "Firefox rendersnnthis wrongly";

    // –>

    </script>

    </body>

    </html>

    Once again I am not bashing Firefox, simply pointing out that it is not almighty and has it’s fair share of problems.

  161. Anonymous says:

    FYI Greg:

    http://secunia.com/product/4227/

    tabed browsing vulnerability not presnet in released version.

    Firefox is much better at fixing flaws quickly.

    IE flaws : http://secunia.com/product/11/

    Sorry will have to wait until next month for MS to patch, if at all.

  162. Anonymous says:

    12 days without a critical flaw in Firefox 1.

    I’m surprised they’re not marketing that.

  163. Anonymous says:

    As an American working in the UK I can see how political things have become first-hand. Intellectual property is political. Internet usage and governance is political. When monopolies should be allowed, and how they should be compelled to deal with antitrust issues, is political. Open Source may be an economic movement but Free Software is certainly political.

    All this is of direct importance to software development, particularly of Internet Explorer, which was under so much scrutiny in the DOJ trial. Firefox is marketed not only for its extra features but politically, in that it is non-Microsoft.

    Microsoft is an American company. The internet was an American military invention. Yet this week we find that a German company might take over the .net DNS server. These developments are very important – and I would argue, disturbing. More pertinently, they directly affect the way the internet develops. These issues are therefore important FOR INTERNET EXPLORER.

    Information is more important than ever before. I would say that it is in the US national interest to have as much control as possible, including at software development level. Should closed/patented file formats for internet content be allowed? This is political too – ask any continental-European/Asian government if you don’t believe me – and directly relevant to Internet Explorer.

    Let’s examine your ‘comments policy’. My first post made a WW2 joke and I will therefore concede it could be considered ‘abusive/offensive’, so OK. What about the second one? I don’t think it was abusive/offensive, and I am not pretending to be someone else or spamming.

    I don’t think I am being off topic at all. If you want ‘technical’ comments only from web developers then of course that is your choice, it is your blog. But deliberately ignoring the political dimension of software development and burying your head in the sand seems rather dumb to me.

  164. Anonymous says:

    Chloe,

    Science and progress are based upon previous findings. Firefox use the same notification bar as IE XP SP2 and I believe a new IE will use the "search as your type interface" from Firefox because it’s a good idea. The Arpanet was an US effort but just remember that www was from the CERN with worlwide work. I’m european and at this time we are not subject to software "patents", which is a good thing from my point of view.

    A lot of projects are possible because Internet is a worldwide network, things like Wikipedia are more humanist than technical related. As you (probably) don’t know the Internet is may be the most important event of the 20th century, of course anybody can see politics in this, but when you speak in public it’s politic also (just re-read Platon).

    So this blog is about Internet Explorer and its future but you’re speaking of the Internet which is another topic.

    So please get in mind there are a lot of people in the World which are using Internet and not only American people.

    I will just repeat (to stay on topic) why the <button> html element is not supported by IE4+, and what about <object>?

    Of course I’m off topic but if I can have a reply about <button> and <object> (my main issues at this time it would be great)

    Thanks

  165. Anonymous says:

    Edward Ray, Thanks for the clarification and I appologise for the misinformation provided.

  166. Anonymous says:

    > Also try putting the following in a HTML document and open it in Firefox and see the mess in the title bar

    Please note that the DOM refers to document.title as being a way of accessing the title element in an HTML document. If you check the HTML 4.01 specification, you will see that the title element is not CDATA, but rather PCDATA. This means that whitespace like newlines should not be normalised by the parser but passed on to the application unchanged.

    In essence, where the windowing system cannot represent two lines in the window title, there is no correct behaviour. I agree that the way Firefox chooses to deal with this condition is suboptimal, but it’s not a misrendering. For what it’s worth, Konqueror displays this with normalised whitespace, and Opera acts like Firefox. I assume Internet Explorer also normalises the whitespace? That’s a good idea, but not required by the specifications.

    In future though, if you are going to post code that you claim a browser renders wrongly, please at least post valid code with a doctype. Otherwise it’s not a case of rendering things wrongly, but a case of not handling an error condition as you would like.

  167. Anonymous says:

    Just spotted this, in case anybody wants a laugh:

    http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/ProductFeedback/ViewWorkaround.aspx?FeedbackID=FDBK10939#1

    It seems even Microsoft’s own websites are recommending that we install Firefox now πŸ™‚

  168. Anonymous says:

    For info, in my testing of Greg’s html document Firefox, Opera and IE display the title in the same fashion. They do not normalise the white space but attempt to display the newline characters (rendered as boxes).

    Myself I don’t particularly see that as a problem. In that piece of code, the error surely exists at programmer level…

  169. Anonymous says:

    Oh, then I should clarify: Firefox and Opera, for me, display a blank title bar. As I hinted at above, it’s likely to vary depending on which windowing system you use. In my case, it’s KDE/X.

  170. Anonymous says:

    Imagine this scenario.

    With IE development continuing to be non-existent from a consumer standpoint, and with the growing buzz of alternate browsers such as Firefox that are crossplatform, Microsoft is exposing Windows itself to market vulnerability.

    I don’t imagine that mass hordes of people will switch to Linux, or that mass hordes will switch to Mac. But, considering that software like Firefox (and OpenOffice.org, and any other truly cross-platform application) looks and acts nearly identical on all platforms, people will be more and more comfortable when sitting infront of a non-Windows computer for the first time.

    They will see the logos they recognize and feel right at home using the applications. Between those who can afford it switching to Mac and those who are technical enough switching to Linux (and other similar OS), Windows could see a serious weakening of it’s position in the market.

    Microsoft has a vested interest in people prefering Windows/IE — which means they want sites to break the standards and contain MS proprietary coding.

    Not a conspiracy theory, as I doubt most people in Redmond are actively trying to twart standards, etc., just a 12:30 a.m. though.

  171. Anonymous says:

    >I’m sure this has been covered before, but what the hell… it’s a shame that major IE updates (more than bug fixes) have to come piggybacked with Windows updates.

    It’s also quite amusing (at least to me) – IE 4, 5 and 6 were browser updates that bundled Windows system updates.

    IE Team: I have to say that reading this weblog has increased my appreciation of what you guys *DO*. I still use Firefox as my primary browser (for everything except Windows/Office Update and our SharePoint portal, in fact), but I did test drive IE6 SP2 when it came out, and I will make a point of evaluating your next release of IE. Until then, keep working at it – I’m sure you can find plenty to keep you occupied! πŸ˜‰

  172. Anonymous says:

    All I want is for IE to render sites according to the W3 standards. I have a number of complaints about IE6. CSS allows me to write a standards-compliant website a lot easier than an IE-compliant website. However, just as with Netscape Navigator 4 up until a few years ago, I have to keep coding for that piece of crud because most of the people on the web use it.

    The things I would specifically like to see fixed:

    – Box model

    – CSS compliance (and CSS I would like to see fixed to include a client-side gradient without having to use the DirectX filter hack)

    – PNG alpha transparency without DirectX filter hacks.

    (Needless to say, I consider anything platform-specific on the web to be a hack of the worst kind, and DirectX filters are just that).

  173. Anonymous says:

    > Second, IE, like Windows and the rest of Microsoft, is committed

    > to Trustworthy Computing…XPSP2 demonstrated that commitment.

    Apparently, one of the "security" changes introduced in Windows XP SP2 is that Internet Explorer will now block Javascript included in an HTML page. But the default settings are such that only HTML files hosted LOCALLY are affected while files delivered via http are unaffected. For example, I have a program that generates HTML pages containing some Javascript code. These pages used used to work fine in IE regardless of whether the HTML file is located on my local hard drive, on a Novell network drive, or on a web server. With the new SP2 change, the Javascript is blocked when I open the page from my local hard drive. Yet, the Javascript is NOT blocked if the same HTML file resides on a Novell network drive (using the file:// protocol) or on a web server (using http://).

    Even more perplexing, Microsoft has documented a way for the HTML author to essentially override this security setting by embedding a specially formatted HTML comment into the page. For example:

    <!– saved from url=(0024)http://www.blahblah.com/ –>

    So, I’m wondering:

    1) Why should HTML files hosted locally be subject to tighter security than files retrieved from the network? This seems totally backwards.

    2) If you provide a way for HTML authors to override this, what’s the point in the first place?

    As far as I can I tell, this isn’t helping anyone (with the possible exception of Firefox).

  174. Anonymous says:

    Why I Like Unix

    The great thing about Unix is all the software that runs on it. Every day, there’s new software released for Unix. Today, with Firefox’s release, is no different.

    blah blah blah, blah blah blah …

    Yet I still have to send an incorrect mime type so that IE renders xhtml!

  175. Anonymous says:

    >>considering that software like Firefox (and OpenOffice.org, and any other truly cross-platform application) looks and acts nearly identical on all platforms,<<

    Huh? Funny that you should mention those two, because they DON’T work exactly the same on every platform. At least on the Mac platform, they sure don’t. There’s been an open bug with Firefox for at least a year that middle-mouse button clicks don’t work. That one bug makes Firefox completely useless on my Mac as far as I’m concerned. If I have to right-click and "Open in new tab" in order to fully take advantage of tabbed browsing, I’ll stick with Safari which works better on OSX than Firefox. Aside from that, there are many extensions that don’t work properly cross-platform, themes that are OS-specific and so on.

    As for OO, you are right that it does work exactly the same, but the problem is, it doesn’t work like a native OSX app. It retains the Linux/Windows paradigm for menus and such, and the fact that I have to run X11 in order to get it to work just means more memory overhead. No thanks, I’ll stick with Office 2004, I get all the functionality I need (and more) and none of the headaches.

  176. Anonymous says:

    That is totally ridiculous. How can you say that you like a certain product because of the programs that are released for it? It’s not that the point itself is inane, it’s just that they way in which Microsoft got the patents, rights, etc. to use the products is dirty and underhanded. They are still a monopoly, like an overgrown plant they are just choking the roots of the competition.

    Also, their product is far inferior to Linux, Mac, etc. A single flipped bit at shutdown could spell doom for your registry.

    This post will most likely be deleted, but I enjoy to rant every once in a while.

  177. Anonymous says:

    As you probably know, the Mozilla Firefox browser hit 1.0 yesterday and was released under high traffic-pressure and much attention. Some stuff written around the net: Post-release wrap up by Ben Goodger, Lead Engineer IEBlog uses Firefox to show why…

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