posted by Thom Holwerda on Thu 18th Jun 2009 20:36 UTC
IconWith Internet Explorer 8 out the door, Microsoft is trying to capitalise on its latest browser release with a marketing campaign outlining several benefits Internet Explorer 8 supposedly has over Chrome and Firefox. The campaign is titled "Get the facts", so I guess most of you will know what will come.

The campaign is divided into three sections: reasons to install, browser comparison, and mythbusting. The reasons to install aren't that crazy, it's just that the features and benefits listed are offset against previous versions of Internet Explorer - and let's face it, it's not hard to best Internet Explorer 6 and 7. Still, it does have some features in there that are not common in every browser, such as isolated tabs, which Firefox, Safari, and Opera can't offer you.

The comparison is more interesting. It takes Internet Explorer 8 and compares it to Firefox and Chrome (disregarding Opera and Safari), and claims that Internet Explorer beats both of them in 7 out of 10 areas.

It claims IE8 is more secure, because it has better phishing and malware protection. I'm not particularly versed in those two areas, but what I do see is that they ignore the fact that there are also security threats that do not come from phishing and malware. They also claim that IE8 has the better privacy features, which seems a bit weird to me as every browser has a "porn button" these days.

Web standards is an interesting one. Microsoft claims it's a tie, stating that Internet Explorer 8 has the best CSS 2.1 compliance (which is true), but that Firefox has more support for "some evolving standards". They don't even mention Chrome in this regard. While IE8 may indeed be ahead when it comes to CSS 2.1, overall they're still lacking behind the competition. Claiming this is a tie is pretty far-fetched. Related to this is the claim that IE8 is more compatible with more sites out there - they may even have a point on this one because IE-specific sites... Work in IE8.

According to Microsoft, Internet Explore 8 also wins when it comes to developer tools and manageability. They also claim IE8 is ahead in reliability because it has both tab isolation and recovery features, adding that Firefox and Chrome have one or the other. Customisability and performance are also ties, they claim, stating that while Firefox has a lot of extensions, IE8 comes with many of those already built-in.

The last section deals with myths around IE:

  • Myth #1: Internet Explorer is much slower than Firefox and Chrome.
  • Myth #2: Internet Explorer is less secure than Firefox.
  • Myth #3: Firefox is a richer, more adaptable browser than Internet Explorer.
  • Myth #4: Internet Explorer doesn't play well with Web standards.

It's an interesting campaign, but I'm sure it won't nudge any of us into the direction of IE8. However, less knowledgeable people on this subject could still see it as a very valid marketing campaign.

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