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8/16/2014
09:06 AM
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IE's Bad Reputation: Will Microsoft Rebrand?

Internet Explorer hasn't been able to shake its reputation as a buggy browser because users refuse to upgrade to cleaner versions -- despite their complaints. Microsoft says rebranding is on the table.

Internet Explorer pinata (image: Javier Aroche/Flickr).
Internet Explorer pinata (image: Javier Aroche/Flickr).

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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.  
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. 
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 | 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. 
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Strategist
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?
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.
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. 
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. 

 
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