In the web design world, web design professionals HATE HATE HATE Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser. Its the one topic that even feuding web designers agree on. Typically, our customers look at us funny when we suggest that they stop using Internet Explorer. It feels to me as though the customers think we are being tech snobs because we use web browsers that might have a few more toolbars and tools than Internet Explorer. Or they might think that we use the other browsers because they are open-source.
These are not the reasons we want you to stop using Internet Explorer!
Last week, vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer Versions 6, 7 and 8 were exploited by the Chinese government in an attempt to hack into Google’s Servers. This is now very well documented all over the web. Last week, Google made headlines because they traced massive hacking attempts on their GMail mailboxes that originated in China. Google responded by threatening to block China entirely and shut down their operations in China. Why would China try to hack Google? Because certain human rights activists use GMail. The security holes that allowed these attacks are only part of the problems with IE.
The only reason that we don’t push the IE issue too much with customers, is because there are still archaic companies that are stuck in 1999 by forcing their employees or customers to use outdated technology that is just plain not safe. Probably the worst offender I have ever seen is TrendMLS.com, the company that currently has the contract for Delaware area real estate multi list services. This practice of standardizing on one browser needs to stop. Now.
Most people don’t realize that Microsoft creates their own standards for how they render web pages. This is changing slowly over time, and Microsoft has stated that their next generation browser (version 9), will pass most of the standards tests to render web pages properly. This literally can’t happen soon enough. The problem is that many, many, many people use old versions of Internet Explorer. IE6 is an incredible pain in the ass for web designers. As recently as 6 months ago, we had to spend days making a standards-based website work in IE6 with stupid coding tricks because a customer’s wife works for the State of Delaware and she states that the State of Delaware won’t let her upgrade her web browser. This is incredibly shortsighted and dangerous.
You have many options for a much faster, safer, and more fun web experience. What is the best web browser out there? That depends who you ask. Google Chrome is very fast, and Safari is very fast on the Mac. My main web browser is still Firefox. Firefox has regular updates, is very fast, and it has an amazing number of plugins that make it a joy to use.
Take a moment, and get a better browser now. Please?
Google Chrome: http://www.google.com/chrome/