Five Reasons You Should Quit Using Internet Explorer

Categories: Tech

ie-sucks.jpg
For more than ten years, I've been assisting companies in building and maintaining their Web sites and Web applications. There are lots of things that can be frustrating about this process, most of which have to do with a lack of knowledge on the part of my clients, which is not entirely their fault. If I didn't have to know about such things, I wouldn't want to either.

But one thing that drives me nuts and is often a problem perpetuated not by my clients but by nerds and engineers is the idea that Internet Explorer is a good browser. Too often, my clients are required to use IE for intranets because lazy developers have built them to work only with that browser or, worse yet, with an old version of it.

IE creates all sorts of problems for developers because Microsoft doesn't deal with the nuts and bolts of the Internet in the same way as other companies. As a result, Web sites that look great and work perfectly in Chrome or Firefox or Safari look like crap and cease to function when you open them in Explorer. Fortunately, people are turning away from IE in huge numbers. In 2002, more than 80 percent of Internet users surfed the Web using IE. Today, it's less than 20 percent, making it even more ridiculous to develop something that only works with that browser.

So, if you are in that 20 percent still wasting your time and making Web site developers hate you, here are five reasons to switch to something else.

5. Speed
IE 9 has certainly improved in this arena, but Google Chrome is still substantially faster and if rumors are to be believed, Mozilla is working to improve the speed of Firefox in future upgrades. Even Safari performs better than IE, and Safari is a remarkably lackluster browser considering Apple is normally pretty good at delivering Mac-only software products -- a good reason to use iCab on your iPhone instead of Safari.

4. Security
Clients have often told me their IT departments claim IE is significantly more secure than other browsers. This is simply not true. A recent comprehensive security study concluded that Chrome is substantially more secure than other browsers, IE in particular.

3. Compatibility
There hasn't been a version of IE for Mac since Safari was developed in 2003 despite the fact that there is a Windows version of Safari. Frankly, what Mac user would want it? The lack of compatibility, particularly with mobile devices and the iPad, makes IE nearly obsolete.

2. Memory Suck
When you spend a lot of time on your computer, the one thing you don't want is software that hogs your active memory. When one piece of software requires a lot of your computer's attention, it slows the machine's performance and makes using it really annoying. While it isn't quite as memory-intensive as Firefox (get on that, Mozilla), it still takes a ton of your computing power.

1. Code Problems
When programming code for the Web, the goal is always to make it simple and fast-loading. Unfortunately, IE makes that difficult because it doesn't like to play by the same rules as everyone else. Most browsers operate using a set of generally agreed-upon standards to make browsing easier and help coders. Microsoft, as usual, has decided to write its own playbook and it creates a mess for developers. It also means the Internet you view while using IE can be radically different from the experience of Firefox and Chrome users and not for the better.


Follow Hair Balls News on Facebook and on Twitter @HairBallsNews.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
51 comments
Squarerokk
Squarerokk

My company just unveiled our new VPN, and guess what? IE is required to run! smdh! Every programmer began looking @ eachother, and began Skyping, "WTF." Anyone whose worked on frontend knows the implications of using IE for anything. Opera and Netscape get more respect, and I'm a .NET developer.

Allen
Allen

Re:"Apple is normally pretty good at delivering Mac-only software."

It should be noted that Apple launched Webkit,  which is open source browser used by most mobile devices.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebKit

goo le
goo le

My avant browser is trident core and it is better than ie.

I love watching and downloading video Most of browsers can be Satisfied with these requirements

 

squinney
squinney

"Internet Explorer has stopped working"

Terrycart
Terrycart

I quit using IE for its speed and compatibility issue, it really sucks. FireFox is much better though.

illegaloperation
illegaloperation

The author of this article is very ill informed.

IE9 performs much better in SunSpider than some other browsers.

IE9: 218.2ms  Chrome 18: 238.2ms  Opera 11.62: 254.2ms  Safari 5.1.2: 244.9ms   Firefox 10: 274.2ms   Firefox 10: 274.2ms

Of the browsers above, Opera and Safari don't have hardware acceleration enabled.

In addition, Chrome in quite memory intensive when many tabs are open.

illegaloperation
illegaloperation

IE9 performs much better in SunSpider than some other browsers.

IE9: 218.2ms Chrome 18: 238.2ms Opera 11.62: 254.2ms Safari 5.1.2: 244.9ms Firefox 10: 274.2ms Firefox 10: 274.2ms

Of the browsers above, Opera and Safari don't have hardware acceleration enabled.

According to another group, NSS Labs , IE9 top security test: http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/se...

illegaloperation
illegaloperation

This article show some of the most bullshit I've ever seen.

Sunspider: IE9: 218.2ms; Chrome 18: 238.2ms; Opera 11.6: 254.2ms; Firefox 10: 218.2ms

Of the browsers listed above, Opera and Safari don't have hardware acceleration enabled.

NSS Labs said that Internet Explorer 9 has the best security of any browser during that time: http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/se...

David Houston
David Houston

IE 9, has been particularly bad on all platforms I've had it on.  I rolled back to IE 8 and the problems went away.  More often than not I'm using Firefox these days, resisted changing until IE 9 and then got used to using Firefox instead.  The ad-block add-on for FF also makes life a lot easier.  Chrome has never appealed to me at all.  Just plain don't like it.

KidBoom84
KidBoom84

IE9 is pretty good, big upgrade over any previous versions. People need to quit using IE8 and below, nothing wrong with the latest version.

rommels
rommels

I'll play devil's advocate here.

1. Fraction of a second, even seconds doesn't determine which browser is better.

2. This all depends on on which companies are conducting the test. There have been reports that Internet Explorer is the most secured browser out there, even with malware. Sophos, even indicated that Internet Explorer is still the most secure browser. So, it just depends on who is doing the test.

3. Microsoft got rid of other versions of IE citing low downloads, namely UNIX, in 2002. Then again, who has a UNIX workstation running at home? So author's argument is mute, and it shouldn't be even part of his justification not to use IE.

4. Microsoft has address this with Internet Explorer 9, and in fact, each tab now has its own processes. If one tab freezes, it doesn't take the entire browser down - unlike version 7 & 8.

5. I'll even put an excerpt from the article:  "IE creates all sorts of problems for developers because Microsoft doesn't deal with the nuts and bolts of the Internet in the same way as other companies."

I most would certainly believe that the above is true if we are still in 2001, the year Internet Explorer 6 was introduce and dominated the Internet. In the last 5 years or so, Microsoft has changed their ways and has embraced Internet standard....so basically it is preference, and usually IT Implementer tends to think what is right for them, or their preference or beliefs, should be the one that is right for the company that they are working for. I've seen too many of them already. =D

Marspyke
Marspyke

How much did google pay for this article?

Brent Jatko
Brent Jatko

Internet Explorer - the Internet browser you use once to download a better Internet browser.

Rick
Rick

There is an add in option in Chrome to display web pages in an IE mode if you are so inclined. Chrome is far better than IE 8...

mollusk
mollusk

Yet there are still some websites that seem to only work properly on IE.

WestSideBob
WestSideBob

I'm starting to be wary of the amount of info Google's collecting on me.

illegaloperation
illegaloperation

I've been comparing Internet Explorer 9 with Firefox 10.

Pages look pretty much the same and performance on IE9 is quite fast.

David Houston
David Houston

Page loading can be pretty slow.  IE9 is just not very compatible with too many pages, and I found it to be almost useless on Facebook.

rommels
rommels

illegaloperation, I think this is all about preference. As you will see in the begining of the second paragraph, other than being uninformed, author is still holding on to some old knowledge.

scodal
scodal

You have a crush on Internet Explorer. Invite me to the wedding?

David Houston
David Houston

Facebook (and some other sites) just don't work right with IE9.  This is a common issue.  It becomes hard to type in the box with missing characters.  This seems to be a common problem, if you Google it.  Possibly a bad MS update, but it's a long-term issue now and a widespread problem.  I won't be using IE9 again.  After much googling on the issue and reading many accounts of the issue, I still couldn't find a solution for it.  Firefox works perfectly fine.

Jeff
Jeff

All good points.

illegaloperation
illegaloperation

Internet Explorer 9 works just fine and has additional goodies such as Tracking Protection.

David Houston
David Houston

True but this is definitely not the case with Facebook.  IE9 does not work well with FB, which is interesting because FB keep trying to have people upgrade to the latest versions of IE.

Chiknkitchn
Chiknkitchn

I think that point was made in the article.  Those are the backward websites.

Jeff
Jeff

Fortunately, you can turn off that option entirely so they are unable to track anything. I don't like it either, but at least there's an off button.

Chiknkitchn
Chiknkitchn

What do you think they intend to do with your info?  Just curious, since I see this fear stated frequently, without further explanation.  They are not the government.  Outside of targeted advertising, what nefarious uses will they put your surfing history to?

Jeff
Jeff

That's been my biggest issue. I am constantly having to find CSS workarounds for clients. Recently -- what spurred this post -- a client was unable to view a Wordpress implementation properly in IE9 despite the fact that it looked fine in every other browser. It was even passable in IE8 though not perfect.

Virtually every person I know who builds websites despises IE because of the myriad of compatibility issues that come up when coding for the web.

David Houston
David Houston

Typing lag, missing letters in fill boxes on particular websites, it's just too much bother.  As I said I read many instances of this problem even some on the MS site and no fix for it.  The best solution seems to be just not to use IE9 at all.  Rolled back to IE8 which works fine.  The problem exists both on XP Pro, and Vista.  MS updates of course keep wanting to reinstall this update, so a pain in the derriere altogether.  Firefox gives me a lot less bother.  Having wasted too much time already on this problem and others, I've lost faith and interest in all Microsoft products, so not really bothered if they never fix it. And by the way my PC is spotlessly clean so absolutely no malware or virus acting, which is the usual MS cop-out when their software doesn't work right. I work in IT!

illegaloperation
illegaloperation

I am using Facebook on IE9. It looks exactly like it does on Firefox 10.

rommels
rommels

Works for me on FB, and other sites. In fact, even on Internet Explorer 10 on both 32-bit and 64-bit running in Windows 8.

illegaloperation
illegaloperation

I am using IE9 to view Facebook. The page looks exactly like it does on Firefox 10.

David Houston
David Houston

Can you? I'm not sure you can.  They have gone to great lengths lately to remind us all of their change of policy.  I'll look into that.

David Houston
David Houston

Personal Privacy is a big issue.  I am also very wary of Google's change of policy.

illegaloperation
illegaloperation

The most likely issues are buggy add-ons. Press Alt > Internet Options. Go to Advanced tab. Under Reset Internet Explorer settings, click "Reset..."

If that doesn't help, update your video card driver. Internet Explorer 9 uses Direct2D and if your driver doesn't support that feature (correctly), IE9 performance will suffer greatly.

scodal
scodal

You could waste lots of hours trying to make IE do what you want, or you could just use Firefox or Chrome. Hmmmmmmmm what to do

David Houston
David Houston

Done all of that, and as I said wasted too much time on it already.  Firefox is an easy solution.  As is Chrome.  The problem with Microsoft, is that they are/have become the McDonald's of Operating Systems and Tools, everyone uses them, they are everywhere, but in no way are they the best examples of what is available.

illegaloperation
illegaloperation

The most likely issues are buggy add-ons. Press Alt > Internet Options. Go to Advanced tab. Under Reset Internet Explorer settings, click "Reset..."

If that doesn't help, update your video card driver. Internet Explorer 9 uses Direct2D and if your driver doesn't support that feature (correctly), IE9 performance will suffer greatly.

David Houston
David Houston

It's not what it looks like, it's the fact that it doesn't work well with the page for many users.  Typing in the boxes is near to impossible with a dreadful drag and missing keystrokes.  I've saw this on several machines running XP, Vista, and 7.  Conclusion is that there is/was a bad MS update somewhere.  If you have it working then fine.  As did I for a while, even when others were experiencing this issue, then suddenly I had it too which makes me think it was a bad update.  Lost interest in trying to fix it, since IE is an inferior browser.  Some people cling to it for 'comfort' and not much else.

rommels
rommels

"Nah, they don't.  Too many people have these same problems.  As for Operating Systems, no one should upgrade their operating system.  Keep the one that came with your machine, until such time the machine is no longer fit for its purpose."

Then maybe it is time for you to update your own machine. For your information, Windows Vista, 7, 8 will almost run the same hardware specifications.

"Industry cannot just upgrade every year or two"

Just because a new OS comes out, it doesn't mean that the every industry has to upgrade right away. It takes planning and ton of testing before companies will upgrade . In addition, MS can only ask for businesses to upgrade, but they cannot force them to upgrade, and they are finally back on track to a three year cycle (Windows Vista - 8)

"Microsoft continue to fail to impress, consumer confidence in them walked away a long time ago.  Which is basically why a large chunk of Industry is still using XP after 10 years!"

Microsoft's bread and butter is in the enterprise and small business level. In fact, the majority of their products are for businesses. It is in just in recent years that Microsoft has tackled the consumer level (other than the OS), and their entertainment department is thriving thanks to the success of Xbox 360, Kinect for Xbox, Xbox Live.

Check your numbers again or do more research. More and more companies are now moving to Windows 7. And yes, 10 years because Windows XP reign for 5 years before Vista came out, and an additional 3 years with Windows 7.

"As for Windows 8 the beta version has only been released a few days, I wouldn't sing its praises just yet, and no company in its right mind would use a beta version of anything"

I'm writing my reply to in Windows 8, and the OS has not given me any issues since it came out. Is it perfect? Not at all, and if you have not tried it, then your opinion doesn't matter.

Yes, no company in their right mind will use a beta version of the OS, but I'm not a bit surprised that you used that excuse to backup your claim.

However, MS has shown Windows 8 to their customers and partners - asked their IT department to debug them and provide feedback. It always happen when a new OS comes out, and even before it hits consumer preview.

David Houston
David Houston

Nah, they don't.  Too many people have these same problems.  As for Operating Systems, no one should upgrade their operating system.  Keep the one that came with your machine, until such time the machine is no longer fit for its purpose.  Industry cannot just upgrade every year or two.  Microsoft continue to fail to impress, consumer confidence in them walked away a long time ago.  Which is basically why a large chunk of Industry is still using XP after 10 years!  As for Windows 8 the beta version has only been released a few days, I wouldn't sing its praises just yet, and no company in its right mind would use a beta version of anything.

rommels
rommels

No I don't work for Microsoft, but I do work in the IT industry, and both Windows 8 O/S and server came out at the same time as Consumer Preview.

Microsoft doesn't release new OS every year. In fact, between XP and Vista, it took 6 years in between, and about 3 years between Vista and 7.In addition, you don't have to buy Windows 8 just for IE 10 because there will be an IE 10 version for Windows 7, and I am just informing everyone here that FB (and yes, other sites) works fine with IE 8,9, and yes, even Internet Explorer 10 in both 32 and 64 bit versions in Windows 8 - considering that it is still in beta.

David Houston
David Houston

That's lovely, but the rest of us don't want to play Microsoft's game of buying a brand new operating system every year.  Industry just cannot function that way.  Many of us will not be rushing out to buy Windows 8, just to get Internet Explorer to work.  Windows 8 has to my knowledge not been released yet, Windows Server 8 is on a consumer preview/beta version release.  Do you work for MS, because it sure sounds like it?

scodal
scodal

When is the wedding? I'm excited for you and Internet Explorer to finally get married

illegaloperation
illegaloperation

And lets not forget Google's exploiting a bug in Safari.

scodal
scodal

In chrome do Ctrl + Shirt + N when you're looking up your porn. That turns on extreme anonymous and private browsing.

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...