Welcome Back, Paul


Last year, Paul Thurrott had a few things to say about IE:

My advice is simple: Boycott IE. It’s a cancer on the Web that must be stopped. IE isn’t secure and isn’t standards-compliant, which makes it unworkable both for end users and Web content creators. Because of their user bases, however, Web developers are hamstrung into developing for IE at the expense of established standards that work well in all other browsers. You can turn the tide by demanding more from Microsoft and by using a better alternative Web browser. I recommend and use Mozilla Firefox, but Apple Safari (Macintosh only) and Opera 8 are both worth considering as well.

Ouch.

Well, I can tell you that a lot of us took that one to heart.

In a recent review of Windows Vista’s Internet features, Paul admits that he’s back to the fold (emphasis mine):

I know, I know. But the truth is, IE 7 basically duplicates all of the functional advantages once enjoyed by Firefox, and it’s obviously a lot safer than was IE 6, especially on Windows Vista. (I don’t like the look and feel of IE 7 on XP, either, for whatever that’s worth, but it looks fine in Vista.) And let’s face, Firefox 2.0 is a huge disappointment, with an ugly default user interface, a confusing Options dialog, and no major enhancements over the 1.5.x versions. IE 7, somehow, has found its way into my daily routine. No one is more surprised by this than me.

Okay, we still have a ton of work to do with IE (and we’re doing it!), so it’s a little early to declare victory, but to paraphrase AA, “one user at a time.”

Thanks Paul.

Sean


Comments (1)

  1. tzagotta says:

    While I’m glad the IE7 has improved over IE6, really it has a long way to go in terms of usability and experience.  If you think about it, the average Windows user probably spends a lot of time on the Internet, and thus a big fraction of their "experience" is in IE.  And really, the user experience of IE has only moved forward in one significant way – tabbed browsing.  Most of the other changes are not significant/visible from the standpoint of the "average user."  There is still room for a lot more innovation – as well as adoption of features from other browsers.  There is no shame in borrowing the best (non-patented) ideas from other browsers.

    For example, most users download files with a browser, and the experience there is lacking.  Consider Opera’s download manager, which is not necessarily well-executed – but it shows the potential of consolidating download management into a single panel instead of having downloads going to different places all the time with lots of little, separate windows.

    Also, you can look to the strong ecosystem of Firefox extensions to pick up ideas as to where users see needs.  For example, spell check and grammar check in browser form text boxes (like the one I’m entering text into right now) is sorely needed.

    I see IE as a strong piece of the overall OS, and I hope to see Microsoft continue to invest and innovate in this area.  I think it is really important.