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Why use IE?

Following up my anger at IE five point aught, I’ve a question for you. Do you use IE? You don’t? Scroll on to the comments then. You do use IE? Read on…

What? What’s wrong?

Please! Give me one good reason.

No, a good reason. You don’t need spyware or dialers. No, you don’t need its render-engine either. I shall explain why you should switch — and remember, tell me why you prefer IE.

Stop using IE. Use … instead

There are many great alternatives. First of all, I want to make this clear: are you using IE/Mac? If yes, please, please, please use something better (or of course some alternatives). Now, on with normal people ;)

Internet Explorer can do great harm to your computer. It is so buggy that it lets sites plug malware into your system. That’s not what you want, do you? Also, IE is bad for the evolution of web standards, as IE doesn’t interpret them well. As IE has the biggest market share, people tend to design for IE. Ergo, code gets crappy and browser-specific. This site should explain well enough.

The alternatives, however, have a far more advanced render-engine. Sites are usually built now to tentatively work in IE, but to be fully featured in Firefox, or any other browser ;) (Note that this is just about standards-minded developers.) Browse Happy can explain this all a lot better.

Now, your opinion

Of course, you don’t have to switch. But believe me, it will improve your surfing experience. Unfortunately, Hanni made a short post on this, and consequently beating me to the second. But I still want to know. Why do you use IE (if you do, of course)?


  1. Other than testing, I don’t use IE. However, I can’t remove the ‘e’ icon from my desktop or my wife will kill me. I’ve tried my best to convince her to use Firefox, but she says “It’s just not the same.” I know it’s not the same: it’s better, but she (and most IE users I expect) don’t want to get used to different browser, or don’t want their favourite websites looking different due to correct renderring

  2. I made the switch to firefox about a month or two ago with the ff beta, and I must say, and this coming from an ex IE extremist, there is no better browser than firefox. I absolutely love it and all of it’s capabilities (though, like everything else, it does have it’s flaws). I still use IE for testing...because you have to.

    And I agree with you Joseph; it’s really hard, if not impossible, to convince most IE users to make the switch to another browser. :( <~~ me and having to input almost two times the code (css) because IE won’t display things correctly :(

  3. William-

    No browser better than Firefox? That’s pretty bold. have you tried Safari? Camino? Omniweb?

    Maybe what you meant was -- there’s no browser on Windows better than Firefox. :)

  4. Some of the reasons people still use IE:

    • lack of interest (if it works, don’t bother me)
    • not understanding what a browser is, and that there are more than 1
    • IE-only intranets and “corporate policies”
    • favorite sites still work in IE and they never complain about the user’s browser
    • The Google toolbar adds new features that increase IE’s usability (a little)
    • The Win XP SP2 update adds pop-up blocking and tighter security, again, giving users the feeling that things have improved (and they have)

    The fact is that designers that compain about IE are in fact worried about not being able to design beautiful sites based on web standards... I think they should be honest about that and simply tell users, “no standards, no cigar”...

  5. Also... IE doesn’t require installing software. It’s just there! Like Safari :-)

    I sugest someone who does Windows programming to put together a 0-questions instal of Firefox, in other words, you just open an executable, and it installs everything with default values, without modifying file associations and placing a yummy icon on the desktop.

    Some users are scared by the responsability of clicking “next” 3 times. :-)

    Also, most people got burned installing this or that software. We must be sure that people are aware that by installing Firefox they’re not f*cking up their systems or settings, that whatever happens, a reinstall or tech call will not be required.

  6. I’ve been using firefox since 0.6, and have never looked back. Unfortunately, there is the customer thing. So I have 2 IE icons lurking in my taskbar, begging to be called up. I have IE completely nutured; activex/javascript off. I tried Opera as primary browser aswell, it just doesn’t suit me.

  7. I stopped using IE as my primary browser when I discovered tabbed browsing in Opera about 2 years ago. I’ve since moved onto Firefox (via Mozilla).

    Sadly, I still need IE from time to time (mainly for testing the web applications I create) and for the odd site that simply doesn’t work in anything but IE (very rare these days).

  8. Preaching to the choir, Rob...

  9. Casual computer users can’t be assed, frankly. They don’t see the need for a different browser, all they want to do is log onto hotmail.com and check their email, maybe play on yahoo games a bit, if they fancy it. Those things work fine for them. They see no security risk in using Internet Explorer because they don’t really understand what a security risk is, or what malware is, and they are scared that if they start installing new software things might start to fuck up. So they don’t.

    This is why I’m hopeful the Mozilla Foundation will be able to convince some of the OEMS to bundle Firefox. If they do that, the the casual computer user will be far more exposed to its greatness. Even if it’s just on their desktop alongside IE, they will click on it just to see what it is, and take it from there.

  10. I just use IE for testing. Firefox is my browser. In fact I have IE5.0, IE 5.5 and IE 6 installed on this machine just for testing.

    We dont build all our sites to work in all those browsers. IE5.0 gets left behind quite a lot, but it is good to see what other visitors might be seeing before you sent something out the door.

  11. Sounds like 99% of Rob’s visitors are wise enough to use Firefox etc.

  12. I used to use Opera. I didn’t like the caching features that made it “the fastest browser.” After hearing about Firefox via several blogs many months ago, I switched to that.

    I’ve found that besides us, the typical user just doesn’t know any better. In fact, at my job I often have to ask users what kind of internet connection do they have, if any. You would not understand how many times the customer answers:

    “Do you mean that little blue ‘E’ where my icons are”

    - or -

    “Of course I have the internet. That’s what Internet Explorer is, right?”

    Besides people in the blogosphere, I think users generally don’t even know there are alternatives.

  13. Internet Explorer is only here to update my windows machine and for a casual test of layouts. for everything else there is FireFox (or Safari on my Powerbook at home).

  14. I use 3 browsers: IE for work, FireFox for browsing and searching at work; Safari for browsing at home...

  15. Even if I could run IE on my pc (got linux) I would never use such a terrible, ugly, memorie sucking micro$choft program. It’s full of bugs, spam and trojans.
    The only positive about IE it’s free installed with windows.

  16. Even if I could use IE, I wouldn’t. I use Opera on my Linux box, and I’ll use Opera if I ever get a Windows box.

  17. Unfortunately, it will still be a long road before casual users stop equating The Internet with that Microsoft ‘e’ on their desktop... it does seem like we’re slowly on our way. Hu-ray, Firefox.

  18. i use IE on Mac because the Adobe Download utility for Studio only works on IE (thanks Adobe!), and I use the IE for my PC for sites that utilize Siebel/Java apps, and some DirectX controls.

    Firefox is much better, I agree, but they need to do just a little bit of work, some plugins still aren’t completely there, and there is no built-in FTP (??? not sure about this)

  19. FTP support (as in uploading) is a non-issue. Users savvy enough probably don’t use IE for FTP anyway, and if they do, they still can! People who don’t use FTP couldn’t care less if Firefox supported it or not, if they even know what it is.

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