Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 19th Jan 2007 22:55 UTC
Internet Explorer A store owner in a bad neighborhood must balance safety against commerce. Too many locks and bars will keep away customers with the crooks. Based on Microsoft Watch reader feedback, Internet Explorer 7 sacrifices too much usability in the interest of safety.
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archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

Seriously, I think MS should have just thrown in the towel and moved to include Firefox as its default browser. This is an example where it can't win: if it keeps backwards compatibility, security problems ensue. If it breaks it (as it seems to have done to some degree), then people are going to see it as broken and complain loudly. The (dubious) strategic advantages of IE are not worth all this trouble.

All in all this is good news for alternate browsers, as more people will migrate to Firefox, Opera and others.

Reply Score: 4

jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

Moving to an alternate browser as their default would completely undermine the Windows brand name.

IE7 is leaps and bounds beyond IE6, and IE8 is slated for release in 18 months or so. I am by no means an IE type of guy, but I have a feeling IE8 will be a great release.

Also, for us x64 users, IE is the only (real) choice we have for a native 64bit browser...IE7 x64 blows all the other browsers away when it comes to performance on my machine.

Reply Score: 4

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

IE7 was also slated for release two years ago, as was Vista. I'll believe it when I see it and not before. Firefox is open source, WebKitt is too, and Safari for Leopard will be within Q1-Q2 this year and Opera inform by blogging. All the competitors are easy to follow and reliable for release information.

Microsoft However? "Disband, Unite, Repeat". They react only 'just enough', and only when suitably pressured.

Reply Score: 4

OddFox Member since:
2005-10-05

"Also, for us x64 users, IE is the only (real) choice we have for a native 64bit browser...IE7 x64 blows all the other browsers away when it comes to performance on my machine."

64-bit browsers don't give you any sort of performance boost... They're mainly there for when 64-bit plugins start being released. There's no real point to using a 64-bit browser over a 32-bit one at this time, aside from being able to say yeah, it's 64-bit.

Reply Score: 4

Drune Member since:
2005-12-04

I'm sorry but you dont really know you're talking about. I guess you think that a 64bits-compiled browser results in a better performance! You wrong. Please read about 64 bits architecture and how 64b is efficient is some apps..but not in web-browsing.

Reply Score: 3

jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

Apparently neither of you guys know what you're talking about. A native 64bit application on x64 doesn't have to go through the WoW thunking subsystem, and thus performs better...starts up faster, etc.

The 32bit version of IE on my x64 system takes over twice as long to start up, and let's not even talk about how much time Firefox takes. WoW is effecient, but not as effecient as native 64bit code.

Reply Score: 4

elektrik Member since:
2006-04-18

"IE7 is leaps and bounds beyond IE6, and IE8 is slated for release in 18 months or so. I am by no means an IE type of guy, but I have a feeling IE8 will be a great release. "

Gotta disagree with you on this one. I installed IE 7 on my laptop. Besides the fact that I loathed the new layout, I found that it broke more things on my computer that worked previous, thus negating any benefit I had...

...It was uninstalled and replaced with Firefox 2 days later. I could not be happier

Reply Score: 1

systyrant Member since:
2007-01-18

In response to CrazyDude

I love this argument. The core of IE is built into Windows so how can you possibly know how much actual memory IE is using? Simply looking at the iexplorer.exe won't show you an actual amount of memory that IE is using.

However, I do agree that Firefox uses a lot of memory and even more so when you start opening a bunch of tabs. It's also slow to start. Although IE7 is better than IE6 I still find Firefox to be a much better browser.

Edited 2007-01-20 00:03

Reply Score: 5

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

The core of IE is not built into windows. This is a false lie spread by so called OSS zealots.

IIRC, it was Microsoft who claimed they couldn't remove IE from Windows, not "OSS zealots".

Reply Score: 5

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

In the United States vs. Microsoft case, MS showed up with a video that was supposed to show that removing IE from Windows would slow down the OS and make it unstable. This was a complete flop when it became clear that the video had been doctored.

How about this from Wikipedia:

"Removing Internet Explorer does have a number of consequences. Some applications that depend on libraries installed by IE may fail to function, or have unexpected behaviors. Intuit's Quicken is a typical example, which depends heavily upon the HTML rendering components installed by the browser. The Windows help and support system will also not function due to the heavy reliance on HTML help files and components of IE. It is also not possible to run Microsoft's Windows Update with any other browser due to the service's implementation of an ActiveX control, which no other browser supports."

Oh, and before you launch into an ad hominem logical fallacy and claim that Wikipedia is not a credible source: show us the proof that these claims are false. Thanks.

Edited 2007-01-20 01:48

Reply Score: 5

hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//The core of IE is not built into windows. //

Actually, it is. This is very easy to demonstrate.

(1) Open up IE. In the address bar, type C: then press enter.

(2) Open up "My Computer". Double click on the C: drive icon.

Your challenge is to spot the difference between (1) and (2).

OK, now try this:

(3) Open up "My Computer". In the location bar, type www.google.com then press enter.

(4) Open up IE. In the address bar, type www.google.com then press enter.

Your challenge is to spot the difference between (3) and (4).

Good luck with that.

If you want an advanced challenge, try typing a valid ftp:// URL into a 'file open' dialog box.

Edited 2007-01-20 04:51

Reply Score: 2

AlexandreAM Member since:
2006-02-06

WOW! Konqueror is integrated with the "Core Linux" and I didn't even noticed!! Someone should warn Linus.

Come on, While I do believe that IE has advantages in size and speed-to-load because its heavy tied into the OS (Microsoft itself said it was some months ago), tis "Proof" of yours is nonsense.

That said, I don't know why I should care for IE... I would just like if someone made a good port of WebKit-Gtk and a browser over it and we could all start from there. Firefox is fine, but it just has some twitches when it comes to integrating visually with my 100% Gtk+ desktop.

Reply Score: 1

hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//Konqueror is integrated with the "Core Linux" and I didn't even noticed!! Someone should warn Linus. //

You can of course remove Konqueror. You can even set another program (say Krusader) for the mime-type "directory" and yet another (say Firefox) for the mime-type "html" and Konqueror won't start.

You can't do any of that with IE.

//tis "Proof" of yours is nonsense.//

That post wasn't "proof", it was just an indication.

This post of mine is the "proof":
http://www.osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=17006&comment_id=203730

//because its heavy tied into the OS (Microsoft itself said it was some months ago)//

Indeed, they did. Not only do they say "heavily tied", but they also say "cannot be removed". See link above, and the quoted text from Microsoft itself. "From the horses mouth", as it were.

Precisely the point.

Edited 2007-01-20 12:03

Reply Score: 4

AlexandreAM Member since:
2006-02-06

I'm not saying I don't agree with the problem of it having an unfair advantage over competition, it should be solved.

But I was just trying to say that the "demonstration" you posted, could be applied to Konqueror.

All in all, I don't think IE is integrated with the "Core Windows".

Is it tied with explorer ? Sure, but explorer is just a shell. Can't they remove the software ? I know they can't ! But that is simply because:

A) It would make them lose the unfair advantage they already have (and they'll try to keep it as long as its possible)

B) It would cost them money to rewrite stuff in explorer so it would work without IE

C) It would break the so called "backwards compatibility" with all those nasty applications which use the HTML rendering capabilities that is given by the pair explorer/iexplore

Hope I clarified my point, don't know if you'll agree though.

Reply Score: 2

Rugmonster Member since:
2005-11-18

WOW! Konqueror is integrated with the "Core Linux" and I didn't even noticed!! Someone should warn Linus.

No, it's integrated into KDE. Linux is a kernel.

Reply Score: 1

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"Seriously, I think MS should have just thrown in the towel and moved to include Firefox as its default browser. "

It would be interesting to see because overnight Firefox would become the number 1 target for the baddies. And they already have frequent security updates, so we know that FF has holes aplenty that would be quickly exploited were MS to adopt FF.

Not saying that FF is bad, but I don't know how it would fare if it were the number 1 target.

Edit: Wilcox is well known for MS bashing, so consider the source when reading his articles.

Edited 2007-01-20 00:04

Reply Score: 4

mallard Member since:
2006-01-06

"It would be interesting to see because overnight Firefox would become the number 1 target for the baddies. And they already have frequent security updates, so we know that FF has holes aplenty that would be quickly exploited were MS to adopt FF. "

But then MS would be responsible for security updates for the MS version of FF (even if they just included the official version, it would still have to be integrated with Windows Update).

Reply Score: 1

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

That actually doesn't sound like a horrible idea to me. They should still support IE6 for a while for in-house applications though.

Reply Score: 3

Robocoastie Member since:
2005-09-15

No they won't migrate my friend because Windows servers and MSFT programming filled with active-x controls (particularly on college computers) dominate the 'net and require the use of IE. Personally I like Firefox better but one uses whatever tool they need for the task at hand which is also why although I love Linux it's still nothing more than a tinker-toy.

Reply Score: 1

IE7
by vermaden on Fri 19th Jan 2007 23:25 UTC
vermaden
Member since:
2006-11-18

Do IE7 now include a counter of how mamy people are browsing Your computer?

Reply Score: 5

Turn Off Anti-Phishing
by jayson.knight on Fri 19th Jan 2007 23:26 UTC
jayson.knight
Member since:
2005-07-06

Most of the performance issues I've read about can be solved by disabling the anti-phishing filter.

I do think it's funny that people can find anything to bitch about, even when MS is doing the right thing by locking down IE. Of course if IE is unusable for some, that's definitely a problem, but 9/10 times I bet it's some 3rd party app causing the issue.

Reply Score: 5

ie7 and toolbar mayhem
by anyweb on Sat 20th Jan 2007 00:04 UTC
anyweb
Member since:
2005-07-06

you've seen it before, but heck

http://www.windows-noob.com/review/ie7/

i'll stick with firefox.

not because i feel it's safer, but because it's (firefox) much more user friendly.

for example, the REFRESH button .. where is it in IE7 ?

way over to the right

so you want to refresh, well for people like me that get RSI (repetitive strain injury) that MOVE to the right is too much, and pointless.

Firefox got it right, I hope IE8 will.

cheers
anyweb

Reply Score: 2

RE: ie7 and toolbar mayhem
by Doc Pain on Sat 20th Jan 2007 01:06 UTC in reply to "ie7 and toolbar mayhem"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"for example, the REFRESH button .. where is it in IE7 ?

way over to the right

so you want to refresh, well for people like me that get RSI (repetitive strain injury) that MOVE to the right is too much, and pointless. "


Doesn't the "Internet Explorer" support Ctrl-R or PF5 anymore?

Reply Score: 2

RE: ie7 and toolbar mayhem
by mcduck on Sun 21st Jan 2007 06:35 UTC in reply to "ie7 and toolbar mayhem"
mcduck Member since:
2005-11-23

for example, the REFRESH button .. where is it in IE7 ?

First button to the right of the address bar.

Reply Score: 1

Personally, I don't mind IE7
by hal2k1 on Sat 20th Jan 2007 00:06 UTC
hal2k1
Member since:
2005-11-11

At least IE7 is a move in the right direction. Website designers will be forced to make websites that are closer to standards compliance. With IE8, this will (apparently) become even more the case.

Now, if only it would fully support web standards such as CSS, SVG etc, and fully eschew non-standards such as ActiveX. If that happened there would be no issue with it at all. If people used it then and still got burned ... well at least it wouldn't adversely affect users of other standards-compliant browsers.

Edited 2007-01-20 00:07

Reply Score: 4

IE 7 is a solid upgrade...
by jtrapp on Sat 20th Jan 2007 00:06 UTC
jtrapp
Member since:
2005-07-06

to IE 6.

But if you are already using Opera or Firefox, then there really is no reason to switch. One reason I use Firefox for my day to day browsing is that IE 7 kept blocking my bookmarklets from running. So, "yes, it is too locked down for my taste."

I like IE 7's UI changes and hope some of these seep out to the "alternative" browsers.

Firefox developers have done a phenomenal job in putting together a solid competitor to IE. Just a few years ago who would have believed that IE could loose so much market so quickly? It is pleasing to see that IE 7 has not turned that around.

Reply Score: 2

RE: IE 7 is a solid upgrade...
by hal2k1 on Sat 20th Jan 2007 00:11 UTC in reply to "IE 7 is a solid upgrade..."
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//I like IE 7's UI changes and hope some of these seep out to the "alternative" browsers. //

With Firefox, the interface is driven by XUL. You can make the interface look like & work like however you want.

https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/4129/

There you go!

Enjoy!

Edited 2007-01-20 00:13

Reply Score: 4

RE: IE 7 is a solid upgrade...
by abraxas on Sat 20th Jan 2007 21:36 UTC in reply to "IE 7 is a solid upgrade..."
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

I like IE 7's UI changes and hope some of these seep out to the "alternative" browsers.

What UI changes do you like? Personally I think all the UI changes were for the worse except the inclusion of tabs. IE7 no longer works like any other application on XP, making it yet another inconsistent application on Windows. The menu bar is off by default, which is stupid in my opinion as I don't really see how that is an improvement and when you turn it on it is in the "wrong" place. Also not having all the browser buttons next to each other makes browsing a hassle.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: IE 7 is a solid upgrade...
by jtrapp on Sat 20th Jan 2007 22:17 UTC in reply to "RE: IE 7 is a solid upgrade..."
jtrapp Member since:
2005-07-06

What UI changes do you like?

I find (for me personally) the button layout to be an improvement. Separating the back and forward buttons from the home and refresh does not cause problems for me, as rarely do I use them one after another. To reach for either/or is the same distance, so it doesn't create a problem for me. The new UI seems to use less space, which is at a premium for me as I as still using the same 17" CRT that I've been using for the past 5 years.

I think the integrated back/forward recent pages dropdown is an improvement over the (hard to hit) arrows that previous versions used. This same dropdown also gives you access to your history, which I use frequently.

I think the tabs implementation is pretty good for a first try. I think MS learned alot from those who implemented this feature elsewhere first. I like that you can not accidently close the wrong tab. This has caused me grief in the past on other browsers.

I do not miss the menu bar. Simply tap on the alt key and it appears. Use it, and it is gone. What could be simpler?

I am not convinced that every application needs the same UI. I use applications for different purposes, the best UI for editing a photo may not be the best UI for playing a media file or browsing the internet. This is not to say that I do not want some consistency between apps, and I agree with you that MS falls short of the ideal.

All of this is subjective, I am not trying to convince you that I am right. I am simply answering your question.

With that said, as stated above, it was still not enough to get me to give up Firefox as my primary browser on Windows.

Reply Score: 2

Sort of agree. Maybe.
by elsewhere on Sat 20th Jan 2007 00:46 UTC
elsewhere
Member since:
2005-07-13

IE7 is an improvement over IE6, but still leaves a bit to be desired. I do find performance to be a bit of an issue, page rendering seems to be on par, maybe even a bit better than IE6, but opening new tabs or switching between them seems ponderous at best.

I did run into a compatibility issue with our reporting software; there's a glitch where it prevents generating reports as external files (xls or pdf) because IE erroneously interprets that as an attempt to force download a file. I've played with the security settings, going so far as to pretty much leave everything open (I keep our application servers in a trusted zone), and still won't work.

The decision was made (obviously) to hold off on pushed upgrades until the issue is resolved with the software vendor, those of us with admin privileges who took it upon ourselves to upgrade are receiving no sympathy from the IS Overlords. Fair enough.

I hardly think it was revolutionary, but I do still think MS is taking a step in the right direction. Though I'll be much happier when I can run Konq natively in Windows... ;)

Reply Score: 2

Extensions
by archiesteel on Sat 20th Jan 2007 01:14 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

That for me is the real clincher for Firefox. IE7 doesn't even come close when it comes to expandability and customization.

Oh, and RAM usage? Since when has this been an issue for those championing 2GB-recommended-Vista?

Crazydude0, stop calling anyone who dares to criticize MS as "OSS zealots", it only undermines your own credibility (which, if one is to believe your trust rating, is already pretty low).

Reply Score: 5

RE: Extensions
by jayson.knight on Sat 20th Jan 2007 02:26 UTC in reply to "Extensions"
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"That for me is the real clincher for Firefox. IE7 doesn't even come close when it comes to expandability and customization."

Ironically, it's Firefox's openness that is it's hobbling point (compared to IE7's locked downness per the article)...anyone with a "learn to program in 21 days" book can write an extension that will A) cause FF to randomly crash or B) make memory requirements soar through the roof.

Don't get me wrong, FF is a fantastic browser (my browser of choice for years now), however they really need to enforce some sort of coding guidelines for extension authors. I have ~10 extensions installed...after an hour or so of solid surfing I'm at well over 200 megs and have to start closing tabs to avoid massive paging.

Any trivial app like a web browser that consumes more than 100 megs of RAM has a fundamental design flaw, it doesn't matter how much memory you have on your machine, it's just annoying and reaks of poor programming. FF has become the lesser of 3 evils (the other being Opera).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Extensions
by archiesteel on Sat 20th Jan 2007 03:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Extensions"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

I agree with you in part - Firefox's strength is also it's weakness. I find that I sometimes uninstall some extensions - however, there are some which I use heavily, and which just make browsing more efficient.

I rarely get as high a memory usage as you do, and personally Firefox's memory consumption is never an issue on my machines (768MB and 1GB for laptop and desktop, respectively). Of course, when you have dozens of tabs open, and go through a lot of pages, memory usage will increase - there's a price to pay for the increased usability of not having to reload all that data!

So I agree that extension coders need to remained disciplined and not write shoddy code, but I can't say that the memory usage is such a dramatic issue. Of course, if you're running Vista, you'll have a lot less RAM free, so... :-)

Reply Score: 2

Firefox user tried IE7
by buff on Sat 20th Jan 2007 01:41 UTC
buff
Member since:
2005-11-12

I installed IE7 on several of our computers at work and in general people liked it. I set it up with Google as the default search engine and people didn't even realize it was IE instead of Firefox. I have been running it for several weeks and I haven't really had a problem with it at all. It is actually a pretty good product. One issue I did notice is that some users were confused with the Menu toolbar hidden. They couldn't find the Menus easily. Once I showed them they were okay with it.

Edited 2007-01-20 01:44

Reply Score: 3

Chreo
Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes and you know it's making the net better for us all. People who doesn't know or wanna know better are better off and thus so are we all (as we still get to suffer from their mistakes)

Reply Score: 1

Web developers did it to themselves
by DHofmann on Sat 20th Jan 2007 02:01 UTC
DHofmann
Member since:
2005-08-19

I would bet that most of the incompatibilities were due to web developers coding against nonstandard Microsoft extensions (like ActiveX and VBScript) and bugs, and could have been avoided if they had tested against non-Microsoft web browsers.

Others potential issues would have been detected by disabling JavaScript and VBScript.

I have no patience for developers who ignore best practices and take the quickest route.

Reply Score: 4

buff Member since:
2005-11-12

I have no patience for developers who ignore best practices and take the quickest route.

I agree completely man. They hung out their own rope. Let them swing where they stand. Perhaps they will learn from their mistakes. If they must scurry around night and day to fix their broken web sites so be it.

Edited 2007-01-20 02:09

Reply Score: 2

deadmeat Member since:
2006-08-04

I have no patience for developers who ignore best practices and take the quickest route.

This is BS. Why should web developers be held to a higher standard than any other developer. You develop code to match your development environment. If the provider doesn't provide backwards compatibility, it's not the developers fault.

All programmers use extensions. It's part of development process. There is a reason some things compile only with gcc, icc, or forte or any other c compiler.

As for standards, don't make me laugh. Standards in web development have been pretty useless. It's only in the last few years with the Mozilla, Opera and Konqueror that we have anything approaching an implementation of web standards. Many are still unimplemented fully in any browser.

And we still have a bunch of non-standard IE derived extensions. AJAX, rich html editing etc.

That said ActiveX developers deserve every level hell they are subjected to. ActiveX stank from day one.

Reply Score: 1

Using it since it was released
by jo42 on Mon 22nd Jan 2007 16:17 UTC
jo42
Member since:
2006-02-20

I've been using IE7 since it was released.

So far, the negatives:

1) It has crashed more often than IE6.

2) It is slower than IE6 on really long pages (300+ post article on /. for example).

3) Some web sites don't render properly.

Otherwise I like it and use it.

I'll consider FireFox the day they replace all that JavaScript in it with code written in C/C++.

Reply Score: 1