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IE's Bad Reputation: Will Microsoft Rebrand?
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catrachotech
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catrachotech,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/16/2014 | 11:43:01 AM
Who thought that excuse up?
So, Microsoft says their software is buggy because people won't upgrade to the better versions? 

Tjhat excuse didn't work the first version, and it should never work again! 

If we put up with this abuse, then when they come out with another new version tomorrow, of course they'll blame the bugginess of IE on the users again. 

 
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
8/16/2014 | 12:36:32 PM
Re: Who thought that excuse up?
I haven't been an IE user since Firefox became popular in the early 2000s. And I think around 2009 I became a Google Chrome user. Since I use a Mac for my PC, I have very little exposure to IE.

I think its important for there to be browser choice for users. But Microsoft is going to have to get creative. Businesses do rely on IE and it's hard for them to upgrade with legacy applications depending on older versions of IE. 
stotheco
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stotheco,
User Rank: Ninja
8/17/2014 | 2:54:19 PM
Re: Who thought that excuse up?
I agree with you. It seems like a weak excuse. Personally, I have used Internet Explorer before and gave up because it was simply such a pain to use. So much of a pain, in fact, that it has turned me off from ever using it again in the future.
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
8/17/2014 | 10:54:16 PM
Re: Who thought that excuse up?
@stotheco, I am with you. I left IE completely years ago and never plan to go back. I am not quite sure what Microsoft would need to do to get me ever to come back. Bundle it on my next laptop and lock it so I can't download any other browser?
cafzali
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cafzali,
User Rank: Moderator
8/18/2014 | 10:41:28 AM
IE "the afterthought"
I think many of IE's problems can be traced back to the decision to tightly integrate the browser and the OS. By doing that, Microsoft knew that it would obtain a dominant position simply because of Windows' dominant position and decided that meant it didn't really have to work hard to keep it relevant. 

While that's still true to some extent, given the fact that many corporate users are forced to use it, few consumers are willingly opting for it. I find it baffling beyond belief that it has been slower to load and render pages than its major competitors for a long time. 

Lastly, Microsoft also suffers from the poor performance of Windows Mobile. Chrome is an environment that can extend to the mobile space for anyone who uses any mobile platform except for Windows Mobile. I haven't kept up with the latest news, but as recently as February, Google would only say it was "investigating" creating a version for Windows Mobile. Firefox is available for Windows Mobile and reviews I've seen are positive. But with fewer overall users for Windows Mobile, it's not a platform that's going to inspire innovation. 
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
8/18/2014 | 12:31:31 PM
Re: IE "the afterthought"
I think Cafzali has hit the nail on the head. Tying the browser with the operating system might have given Microsoft a dominant position back when its OS' were considered the pinacle of desktop and laptop computing (and computing in general to some extent, since mobiles were hardly smart back in Xp's hayday), but the problem is that we see so many businesses and individuals not upgrading their operating systems now, so chances are, they don't upgrade anything, especially when the browser is so intrinsically linked.

Other browsers however, have a much more continual update feel to them. I'm not sure I've ever noticed updates to my Chrome or Firefox installations. Perhaps it's the more cumbersome update procedures with much more defined versions for IE, that has caused it to lag? 
cafzali
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cafzali,
User Rank: Moderator
8/18/2014 | 12:37:04 PM
Re: IE "the afterthought"
@Whoopty In fairness, there have been periods where Firefox updates just simply didn't work reliably for me on Windows 7, forcing me to go to Chrome for regular browsing. So I think it's an issue that plagues all of them, at one time or another, depending on how quickly they're updating and how well the testing goes. 
MemphisITDude
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MemphisITDude,
User Rank: Strategist
8/18/2014 | 1:41:24 PM
Re: IE "the afterthought"
The reason you may not have noticed updates is they are happening secretly in the background. Open task scheduler or services and you'll find Chrome has installed "Google Update Service" and some scheduled tasks. Assuming the OS is supported, being tied to the OS should really be an advantage from an end user's point of view, because there is just one update process to contend with. Separate updates for Windows, Java, Flash, Adobe are annoying interruptions and end users want to get by with as little delay as possible. What does the Firefox (option) say... "No thanks I'll risk it"?

I was in an airport a couple of years ago and watched a woman's reaction to the Adobe Flash update panel that appears after a reboot - she was utterly confused as to what it even meant. I can't fathom why Oracle tries to slip in the Ask Toolbar everytime you update Java. Not to mention all the Web pop-ups that pretend to be system updates.... IMHO, one good thing about an update that is tied to an OS (or App Store) is the user doesn't have to trust so many different companies and people messing with their PC.

 
Mark532010
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Mark532010,
User Rank: Strategist
8/19/2014 | 11:32:53 AM
Re: IE "the afterthought"
IE is a total nightmare and changing its name is not going to help. On XP I can't move past IE8. On Windows 7, I am at IE11 which has less compatibility than 10 did - we actually had to change to Chrome because our primary SIS website worked great in IE10 with compatibility mode but not in IE11.

Plus half of the sites that do work, work slowly. Microsoft blames the website authors.. (paraphrasing) "if they would just write HTML5-only code our browser would be really fast"  well, gee, perhaps you should work on a browser that runs fast in the real world, not some future perfect world. 

I hate that IE makes everything so difficult. It seems I am always having to change to to compatibility mode manually (which is not a one-click operation - the torn-paper icon was removed in IE11). I don't seem to ever hit sites that are on their automatic list and with all the status info now gone I can't even easily tell if I am on comaptibility mode or not.

The status bar now no longer shows any status except scaling. Did you know with IE11 you have to right-click on the page and select properties just to find out what zone you are in?

We are switching to Chrome simply because it works in most situations automatically - not all situations though.. I really do wish website authors would get their stuff together. My Firewall website requires both IE and Chrome running simultaneously, because different portions of it only work in one but not the other.
cafzali
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cafzali,
User Rank: Moderator
8/19/2014 | 12:13:48 PM
Re: IE "the afterthought"
@Mark Not to mention the fact that widespread adoption of Microsoft products like SharePoint often force people to go to IE, at least temporarily. If there's one thing I hate, it's being forced to use a substandard browser just because they've adopted another service or technology from the same company. 
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
8/19/2014 | 1:42:21 PM
Re: IE "the afterthought"
Fair point. Many people have had to use IE because it gets along better with some corporate-mandated program or another. I know I have.
Mathew25
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Mathew25,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/18/2014 | 12:44:58 PM
IE's buggy reputation was earned
I had to smile when I read that IE's reputation suffers "because users refuse to upgrade to cleaner versions...."   We're now at version 11; it's taken that many attempts to create an IE browser that is as stable/reliable as Chrome or Firefox?   It's the USERS who are responsible?  :-)  heh

Over the years web developers such as myself have spent endless hours writing work-arounds for the IE browser.   It's no surprise it has lost market share, despite its position as the default install on every windows box.  
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
8/18/2014 | 2:29:11 PM
Re: IE's buggy reputation was earned
Chrome is on version 36.

Firefox is on version 31.

 

I'm surprised there are so few version of IE.

 
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
8/18/2014 | 12:56:40 PM
Compatibility Mode forever?
When almost all the websites I visit require that they need to be viewed using IE's compatibility mode, way not just switch to a different browser where the site works just fine?  I'm sure many have just done this such as myself and never went back to IE.
jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
8/18/2014 | 1:16:07 PM
Rebranding won't work
It might confuse people, but most likely, the change will be so widely publicized that most everyone will know that Brand X is just the new name for IE and things will continue as before.


It seems to me that the real problem is that MS keeps trying to tie new versions of IE to new versions of Windows as an upgrade incentive.  Those who choose not to upgrade, or not to upgrade right away, thus have the choice of either continuing to use an obsolete version of IE or switching to a browser that doesn't care so much what version of Windows (or Linux, or OSX, etc) it runs on.

 
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
8/18/2014 | 1:57:20 PM
Not that easy
Many of you are way oversimplifying this issue for business. If you are consumer, then yeah, use whatever browser blows your dress up.

At our company, it is an application hell for browsers. I'm writing Ext JS apps which don't work worth a darn unless you get to IE 9. I test them in Chrome also because debugger is superior. One of my apps is a dashboard which runs in a continuous loop, making server calls every 30 seconds. No version of IE will work for more than a couple hours before IE crashes. I actually had to put Chrome on an Win 7 embedded thin client, which is not a desirable thing to do. But Chrome will run it for a day at least, allowing me to reboot brick once a night to clean things up.

So just go to Chrome across the board, you say. Well, we also use Sharepoint, the WSS 3.0 variety. That runs in IE Quirks mode, good luck getting Chrome or Firefox to render that stuff correctly. I'm hoping upgrade to SP 2013 foundation services makes it play better in modern browsers.

Then you have some of SaaS apps that Corp uses. Upgrading to newer version of IE seems to trip some of them up. And they don't work in Quirks mode either. You've got to go into IE Developer tools and change emulation back to IE9/10, not something easily explained to users.

It is a nightmare but solution not to always run latest version of IE or go to Chrome/Firefox. You'll fix some stuff and break some stuff, I don't see a way around it. At least right now.
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
8/18/2014 | 2:26:12 PM
IE and Microsoft's Mistake
Microsoft's biggest mistake was not allowing multiple versions of IE to be installed at the same time.  I know they made a lot of claims that it was part of the OS but now that it's Monday morning, this play was a huge mistake.

If XP customers had been able to keep their old, incompatible, bug-ridden and security nightmare version of IE AND install the latest and greatest version of IE, web-developers would have a lot more pleasant feelings toward Microsoft and IE.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/18/2014 | 7:37:15 PM
there's your problem
>IE 11 includes an Enterprise Mode that allows businesses to use a sandboxed environment to safely run old line-of-business apps built for IE 8.

Too bad you can't sandbox IT people who refuse to modernize line-of-business apps.


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