Why would anyone continue to use IE?

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Firefox, The Mozilla browser that's been making waves recently, is eating into Internet Explorer's share in the browser market. As someone who's been using - as my browser of choice - Mozilla since 2001 (milestone builds that didn't even have a version number), and Firefox since version 0.6, I am not surprised.

Except for the odd website that is still too outdated to be standards compliant, the World Wide Web works great on Firefox. And, it's safer.

You know all those Popups that keep bothering you on almost every website on the net? It's irritating to have to close them all the time, isn't it? And what about all the spyware - programs like search toolbars - that seem to get installed on your computer without you ever doing anything? Have you made a habit of reformatting your harddisk every few months just to deal with it?

Well, with Firefox, you do not need to worry about that. Popups are disabled on Firefox. But for some reason if you want them to work on a particular website, it's a matter of a couple of clicks to get them to work, and if you want, you can make them work only for that website.
Firefox is more secure. So no more crazy toolbars being installed on your PC without your permission.

I only ever use IE for the company intranet site, which is hardwired to IE.

So I was quite stunned to see that IE still has more than 92% of the market share. It would make sense if alternate browsers were large and heavy to download, and difficult to install.
But Firefox is just a 4.5 MB download! On dialup, that means around 30 minutes to download it - assuming you were doing some surfing on IE in the meanwhile - and a two minute install.
With broadband, it takes all of 5 minutes to download and install Firefox on your PC.

My stats show that almost 75% of people who read this blog are using IE. That's 3 out of 4 people who are using the wrong browser! Why?

Get Firefox today.

Get Firefox!

Even its preview release is a lot more secure than IE. And a lot more usable. You will like what you see.

Warning: Usage of Firefox for extended periods of time causes an aversion to the IE browser. You might never be able to use a PC without Firefox, again.


Rads said...

1. I like IE simply because it is tightly coupled with my OS and other MS softwares. I am not totally pro Microsoft but whether you like it or not, it is the MS age. A few quirks that it has is a small price to pay for all the desktop softwares it has provided with standardized user interfaces.
2. For some reason, I have never really liked Netscape and its products.. Maybe its a mental block, its been there for last 5 years or so. In fact since the time we started with B2B portal development and we spent hours for cross browser programming. Netscape refused to work even for the simplest of things. Of course it has come a long way since then. But yes, I am glad that as a standard, now our clients when they come to us, say that they need a portal which is IE compliant :-)

Rajesh J Advani said...

I'm not asking you to uninstall IE from your PC. I'm asking you to try Firefox for your browsing needs.
But I'll still have to ask you what you mean by "tightly coupled with your PC and other MS software". And where do you use that tight-coupling, anyway?

And what "few" quirks are you talking about? Aren't security holes more than just "quirks"?!

A standardized interface. Now that's a strange one. Try Firefox 1.0 PR, and tell me what is it that you can do in IE, that you need to do differently in Firefox, and is more difficult in Firefox.

Using IE because you want to use the "standardized interface" that MS has, is like wanting to live in a cave all your life, because in an apartment in the city you wouldn't have any place to start a fire to keep you warm!

There are extensions available on the Firefox extensions page (Tools -> Extensions) that give you a lot more functionality within the same browser interface, than you could even imagine. There's the calendar, RSS feed aggregators, blogging extensions, a notepad facility, IEView for IE-only-websites, a plugin for controlling Windows Media Player (and other mp3 software) from within the browser, games, chat tools, download tools, Mouse Gestures, FTP tools, special Privacy extensions, and LOTS more! And if you want to use Microsoft's Windows Update from within Firefox, well there's an extension for that too!

Firefox is NOT Netscape. You might say that about Mozilla, since it uses the same "everything in one package" interface that Netscape Communicator had, but Firefox is lighter, and still a lot more powerful than IE!
When it comes to cross-browser programming, it's Gecko (Firefox and Mozilla's rendering engine) that is more standards compliant.
Customers who want IE compliant browsers need only spend just a little more to get their websites to work on Mozilla. It's this whole "Netscape is dead" hoopla that Microsoft has been throwing at people, that has caused this state of affairs. IE 6, is the last version of the browser, barring security patches and updates (which I suspect, given IE's reputation, must cost Microsoft twice as much as writing a browser from scratch). Microsoft thinks they don't need any more releases. They've taken FUD to the extreme here. They tried to kill Netscape, and when Netscape became Mozilla and went undercover for a few years, they spread their tentacles all over the bloody web! And that too inspite of the fact that almost every browser out there is better than IE!

I'll only say one more thing now. Free your mind. Use Firefox.