Will Internet Explorer win back the West?

Internet Explorer has been getting some flack lately...

April 28th, 2006 at 5:00am — Comments: (0) — By: Jonathan Danylko — Tags: Microsoft

...and it looks like a lot of people are coming out with guns a-blazin'. :-)

Now, for those who know me, Firefox will, and always will be, "my browser" for a loong, long time. I like the ability to take and customize it to the way I work. IE doesn't do that. If I want to, I need to write a toolbar extension with interfaces and all that wonderful stuff. Trust me...I've been there.

Firefox makes it easier to create extensions as opposed to ActiveX components. Heck, it's getting to the point where there are almost as many Firefox extensions out there as ActiveX components for IE...maybe even more.

The news about IE started out this week with Dvorak on The Great Microsoft Blunder. After reading this, I totally agreed with him. I really am trying to understand what Microsoft is trying to accomplish with releasing Internet Explorer. Fix the bugs. Add tabs. Change Security. What else would be more motivating after five years of being "King of the Mountain" than to start adding more bloat...sorry, features to the browser to browbeat another browser into submission before it's even a threat.

Can you see Bill Gates sitting back in his chair, with his Don King hairdo, rolling his eyes and saying, "Another fight? After the Netscape fight, I thought we had this title in the bag. I guess we have to train IE again for another match." And so, the beta was released as we wait to see how it fares again Firefox.

Then, I noticed a post from Nick Bradbury in response to Dvorak's article. Being a fellow programmer, I respect Mr. Bradbury a lot. I bought both of his products (FeedDemon and Topstyle) and he is in a class of his own.

There were some comments that made me think, though. Sure, you can embed IE into applications, but judging by the Beta 1 I've seen (maybe it's fixed in Beta 2), can you tell me that IE will be able to attach their "ActiveX" tab bar to the top of IE and say that it will work when embedded into another application? Just watching that tab bar come up on the screen gave me a queasy feeling while watching a make-shift way of slapping tabs on a browser, just to appease users' requests for tabbed browsing. Hmmm....

A day went by and I came across IE7 Isn't Good Enough by Jason Cross at ExtremeTech. Jason brought up a couple of good points:

To be honest, the browser itself isn't the weak point in online security. The weak point is viruses, Trojans, and other locally-run programs. ActiveX apps can install these things, but as long as you don't click on that little bar on the top of IE that says "hey do you wanna run the ActiveX control on this page?" when you're not sure it's safe, you're okay there.

Something we've all known about the ActiveX technology in Internet Explorer, but just wanted to reiterate it again.

But the kicker this week was the Destroy Internet Explorer Campaign. Nothing like going heavy duty and turning away users who frequently visit your site. I would consider this a little extreme. :-)

Has anyone else come across more columns/posts/news lately on IE getting punched some more?

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Jonathan Danylko is a freelance web architect and avid programmer who has been programming for over 20 years. He has developed various systems in numerous industries including e-commerce, biotechnology, real estate, health, insurance, and utility companies.

When asked what he likes doing in his spare time, he answers..."programming."

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