Why I'll Never Use IE8

Recently Microsoft began urging IE6 and IE7 users to update to IE8, even to the point of posting a notification through Automatic Updates as High Priority.  While Windows 7 may be seen as Microsoft’s saving grace, IE8 is still the ripe spot on the fruit that no one really wants to eat.  Anyone buying Windows 7 will be forced to use it, and if past browser usage patterns are any hint, IE8 will supplant previous Microsoft browsers within 18 months of its release.  Luckily, this update will be opt-in at this time.  However, with its inclusion in their operating systems, it is essentially a forced upgrade over time.  While Microsoft may force IE8 upon me in the future, I will never use it for my web browsing needs.

The history of Microsoft’s browsers is pretty muddied, with each being touted as more secure than the last.  In reality, IE8 is easily hacked and only offers more vulnerabilities to the web community.  While it is true that Microsoft’s browser problems come from being such a big corporate target, pouring millions into IE development has not changed their situation for the better.  It has, in fact, only resulted in reduced browser popularity due to lack of public trust in the product.

The introduction of Google’s Chrome browser along with Apple’s release of webkit based Safari kicked off a browser speed war.  All this will be getting a run for its money with Firefox 3.5’s upcoming new rendering engine.  There are plenty of alternate browsers available, so it is imperative that developers stop taking the lazy way out by coding to platform dependent architectures like ActiveX.  In order to serve a wider audience, web based services need to support all the choices.  Microsoft’s rumored Gazelle browser is a step in the right direction, but it’s a song we’ve heard from them before.  In the meantime, there are a lot of little browsers eating away at Microsoft’s share.  I made my choice to use Firefox a long time ago because of its flexibility.  What’s your choice?

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9 thoughts on “Why I'll Never Use IE8

  1. It's really hard to believe that anyone uses IE these days, at least by choice. There are at least 4 or 5 alternatives that are so clearly superior. But while the market share of IE may decline a bit over time, it's not likely to shift that much as most people never look elsewhere and I'd imagine a substantial portion of IE users are unaware options even exist.

  2. As much as I abhor Internet Explorer, the javascript debugging capabilities built into IE8 are pretty awesome – enough that I reach for IE8 before I go for Firebug, when it comes to working with Javascript. For day to day browsing, though, I'm still all about Firefox & a small variety of add-ons.

  3. I use Firefox on Windows, Linux, and Mac on a daily basis. The key is keeping the number of add-ons light.

  4. Default browser is Chrome for speed. Firefox next for Chrome challenged sites and for feedly – my new favorite add-on. IE anything is last, and has been since the day I learned of alternatives 7+ years ago

  5. We encorage all of our clients to use firefox. It has cut down a great deal on spyware, malware, and popups our users have recieved. The hundreds of plugins for Firefox really makes it one of the best browsers out there… windows just doesnt cut it sometimes 😦

  6. I don't feel right using IE anymore, FF (default), Opera, Safari, & Chrome are my favs. Having said that I do wish the IE8 could be forced on IE6 users (never happen of course) if only for it's improved support of web standards etc.

  7. I just loaded Chrome for Mac. While only a dev version, it all seems to be there. The speed is really good on heavy javascript pages.My standby is still FF, although I keep Safari up to date now on the Mac for when I'm debugging some code or the rare cookie conflict.As for IE being forced, in Windows dominated entreprises, where Group Policies are often set, requiring a uniform version across the company is not a hard thing. If IE8 deserves mainstream use, then it will propagate appropriately. The enterprise is always last to join this trend since they need to be careful that whatever theyre installing doesn't “Vista” their business.

  8. I agree, I find Microsoft to definitely being going downhill in their applications lately.

  9. While I only run XP in bootcamp, I still prefer Firefox although it can be a bit slow and hang at times (ususally with too many add-ons running as mentioned). Safari is fast, but the limited add-ons are keeping me from adopting it as my primary browser of choice. But hopefully more people will start developing for it.

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