August 10, 2004 12:41 PM PDT

IE is evolving, but is it enough?

Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser is in the process of getting its first significant update in two years this week, as part of the company's overhaul of its operating system.

The updates--part of the much broader Windows XP Service Pack 2 release--are largely focused on fixing the succession of security flaws that have surfaced in recent months, along with adding a few new features.

But renewed competition in the browser market, along with recent calls by Microsoft for higher levels of customer feedback, have led to speculation online that a bigger browser update might be on the way. It has been three years since Microsoft released a new, full version of its browser, and a growing chorus inside the Web development community has said the slow pace of updates has held back online innovation.

News.context

What's new:
Internet Explorer is getting its first update in two years, as part of the company's overhaul of its operating system.

Bottom line:
Renewed competition in the browser market has some speculating that a bigger browser update might be on the way. But Microsoft still says no new browser until Longhorn.

More stories on this topic

"Internet Explorer hasn't been updated in three years, whereas every other browser has been updated in the last six months," said Robert Dumas, a freelance Web developer from Long Island, N.Y., and one of many who have pushed Microsoft for new features. "A company like Microsoft shouldn't have the least-capable browser."

However, the company reiterated this week that it does not plan a new version of Internet Explorer until it releases the next version of Windows, code-named Longhorn.

"At this time, there are no plans to release a new, stand-alone version of IE," a Microsoft spokesman said. "The current plan is to make new IE features available with major Windows releases...Aligning IE updates more closely with Windows releases benefits customers by minimizing the number of updates to deploy and service."

Microsoft's Internet Explorer has dominated the digital world since shortly after America Online's purchase of Netscape in early 1999. Critics have said that the resulting lack of competition has resulted in stagnant Web browser technology for the PC, even while other platforms have expanded.

Microsoft has countered its critics by saying the browser is not a stand-alone piece of software any longer and that there are substantial innovations happening across the Windows operating system, including browser functionality that is not immediately obvious to the end user.

The last full release of Internet Explorer was in 2001, with the launch of the 6.0 version. It was updated slightly with the Windows XP Service Pack 1 release in 2002 and with the additional changes this week.

Where's 7.0?
That "only in Windows" message has been consistent for several years. But several recent factors have sparked speculation that Microsoft might be moving toward releasing a 7.0 version before Longhorn hits the market, after all.

The release schedule for the ambitious new version of Windows, which is expected to include powerful new search features, among other additions, has been pushed back several times. Its expected 2006 launch would put a full five years between new versions of Internet Explorer.

The accelerated pace of security flaws in the browser has led some developers--and even high-profile organizations such as the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team--to ask consumers to consider using a different browser.

Those concerns have helped raise the profile of newer browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Apple Computer's Safari. Research firm WebSideStory said it saw IE's market share fall for the first time in years this summer, albeit by an infinitesimal amount.

Meanwhile, Microsoft developers themselves have begun maintaining online Web logs talking about Internet Explorer issues and calling for feedback from users.

At least one of these high-profile bloggers, former Longhorn technical evangelist Dave Massy, who was recently moved to the Internet Explorer team, has tried to quash the notion that a stand-alone version is on the way. The beta of Longhorn is due next year, and there is not time to develop the browser separately from that, he said.

"There are currently no plans to release a new version of Internet Explorer prior to Longhorn, when it will be delivered as part of the new OS," Massy wrote in his blog in late June. "As the team completes Windows XP SP2, we are starting to think about what we will deliver as a great browser in Longhorn, which is why the feedback now is so useful."

Analysts say Microsoft has little incentive to release a new version of a product it gives away for free, in any case.

"Internet Explorer is not a strategic technology for Microsoft," Directions on Microsoft analyst Matt Rosoff said. "They would much rather have corporations use something like Outlook or Office to access information."

What's new now
The new improvements to IE won't change much in terms of looks, but some of the changes will likely be immediately obvious to users. The biggest updates include:

• a new pop-up blocker that will stop most pop-up advertisements from appearing;

• an "information bar" similar to that in Outlook 2003 that will replace traditional pop-up dialog boxes to notify users of active downloads, blocked pop-ups, and other background activities;

• better management and notification of "browser helper objects," small pieces of add-on technology often used by spyware and adware developers; and

• a host of security fixes aimed at blocking identified flaws.

The release that includes the updated browser is available on Microsoft's Web site in a version aimed at administrators updating several computers. Individual releases will be available through Microsoft's online update service over the next few days and weeks.

48 comments

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its about the HTML rendering
Security is one piece of the browser issues w/ IE, but standards compliance in the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript is the real issue. you cannot code once and run everywhere. When MS says that the OS and browser are too integrated, that's in their vision. Most of us are just trying to design web-based apps that are independent of the OS, which is what web-based is supposed to be best at. Application Service Providers, Content Aggregators, E-mail services, etc. can't say "Windows Only" so if they want to design they are STILL designing for "lowest common denominators" between the browsers OR they are doing about 25% mroe lines of code to figure things out. 25% more code means a lot more QA time and thus things cost significantly more than they should.

Even in the future 7.0 I doubt that MS is going to head the call for standards compliance that the developer community is clamoring for.

-- dave
Posted by (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Amen!
I'm sick of "if (document.layers) {"
Posted by lewissalem (167 comments )
Link Flag
its about the HTML rendering
Security is one piece of the browser issues w/ IE, but standards compliance in the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript is the real issue. you cannot code once and run everywhere. When MS says that the OS and browser are too integrated, that's in their vision. Most of us are just trying to design web-based apps that are independent of the OS, which is what web-based is supposed to be best at. Application Service Providers, Content Aggregators, E-mail services, etc. can't say "Windows Only" so if they want to design they are STILL designing for "lowest common denominators" between the browsers OR they are doing about 25% mroe lines of code to figure things out. 25% more code means a lot more QA time and thus things cost significantly more than they should.

Even in the future 7.0 I doubt that MS is going to head the call for standards compliance that the developer community is clamoring for.

-- dave
Posted by (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Amen!
I'm sick of "if (document.layers) {"
Posted by lewissalem (167 comments )
Link Flag
WHEN ARE PEOPLE GOING TO GROW A BRAIN?!?!?
Robert Dumas is a perfect example of people not realizing how MS is bad for this industry and what happens when a company owns a market.

If people want to start making a difference start coding your damn pages to established standards. Stop this Internet Imploder only crap!!

Again grow a brain people. Imploder was and is a means to an end. Everyone who had said brain saw the writing on the wall once MS won the browser war. And now we are seeing the outcome.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Lol
I agree. There are even some jacka**es who still believe there
are no alternatives to Microsoft software, sheep for the fleecing
haha - MS loves these fools - get 'em to believe they are locked
in with no alternative - there is ALWAYS more than one way!!!
people open your eyes.

People do need to wake up, we did, dumped Microsoft at our
Lab in early June and have not looked back. (and have not had
ONE problem!!!)
Posted by dirk128 (31 comments )
Link Flag
Thanks for implying that I have no brain
John Doe are you so embarrassed by your comments that you have to hide behind anonymity?

You, with the brain, ought to realize by now that if a product, like IE, has 80% of the market that it only makes sense to write apps that comply with the requirements of that product. I don not like it any more than you do, but that is just the way it is.

These "standards" that you refer to are a great idea, but it's like the 55 MPH speed limit. A great idea, but hardly practical. The standard that you refer to are in actuality written by those who control the market.
Posted by MythicalMe (51 comments )
Link Flag
WHEN ARE PEOPLE GOING TO GROW A BRAIN?!?!?
Robert Dumas is a perfect example of people not realizing how MS is bad for this industry and what happens when a company owns a market.

If people want to start making a difference start coding your damn pages to established standards. Stop this Internet Imploder only crap!!

Again grow a brain people. Imploder was and is a means to an end. Everyone who had said brain saw the writing on the wall once MS won the browser war. And now we are seeing the outcome.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Lol
I agree. There are even some jacka**es who still believe there
are no alternatives to Microsoft software, sheep for the fleecing
haha - MS loves these fools - get 'em to believe they are locked
in with no alternative - there is ALWAYS more than one way!!!
people open your eyes.

People do need to wake up, we did, dumped Microsoft at our
Lab in early June and have not looked back. (and have not had
ONE problem!!!)
Posted by dirk128 (31 comments )
Link Flag
Thanks for implying that I have no brain
John Doe are you so embarrassed by your comments that you have to hide behind anonymity?

You, with the brain, ought to realize by now that if a product, like IE, has 80% of the market that it only makes sense to write apps that comply with the requirements of that product. I don not like it any more than you do, but that is just the way it is.

These "standards" that you refer to are a great idea, but it's like the 55 MPH speed limit. A great idea, but hardly practical. The standard that you refer to are in actuality written by those who control the market.
Posted by MythicalMe (51 comments )
Link Flag
When will Microsoft Wake Up?
As has already been mentioned here there is more to the browser problem than just security, though that is an issue. Standards are another big issue that Microsoft seems to be ignoring.

What really chokes my chiken is that they expect people to sit back and wait 5 or 6 years for a major update to Windows and now IE. This just blows. Major Windows updates should be coming out more quickly. As it is now what we get are big fixes every two year or so, but little in the way of new features. Longhorns constant delays and Microsoft constantly cutting back what will be done with Longhorn and it is very much looking like PC users are screwed.

Unfortunately, the Mac and Linux aren't viable alternatives. But, then I guess for consumers Microsoft knows this that is why the feel that can get away with this. Frankly, I don't want my browser to be part of the OS I think it is a sucky idea. Also, with this last round of security problems with IE I jumped the flaming rat infested ship and am now sailing quite happily on the luxery cruise ship SS Firefox. Now I can sleep without having to worry about rats chewing on my ears in the middle of the night.

Microsoft needs to wake up. I don't think people are going to wait 2 or 3 more years to get IE fixed. Not that I think Longhorn is going to clear up the security and standards issues with it. So far Microsoft has done very little right.

Robert
Posted by Heebee Jeebies (632 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Self-fulfilling prophecy
&#147;Unfortunately, the Mac and Linux aren&#146;t viable alternatives.&#148; That is what is known as a &#147;self-fulfilling prophecy.&#148; They&#146;re only not viable if you <i>think</i> that they&#146;re not viable. The more people who think that they <i>are</i> viable, the more truly viable they will become.

An Apple XServe Dual G5 can mimic a Window server in file-and-print (SAMBA) right out of the box (a Windows client will see it as a Windows server, with no need for software or special configuration on the client end!), and also comes with what is still the most-used and reliable Web server (Apache), QuickTime Media Server, <i>etc.</i>, and it <i>comes with</i> an <i>unlimited client license</i> version of Mac OS X Server! (<i>How</I> much do Windows 2003 Server Client Access Licenses cost these days?). It includes lots of hardware goodness (dual Gigabit Ethernet, for instance), and takes up only 1U in a 19" rack.

Sounds plenty viable to me.
Posted by COMALite J (16 comments )
Link Flag
When will Microsoft Wake Up?
As has already been mentioned here there is more to the browser problem than just security, though that is an issue. Standards are another big issue that Microsoft seems to be ignoring.

What really chokes my chiken is that they expect people to sit back and wait 5 or 6 years for a major update to Windows and now IE. This just blows. Major Windows updates should be coming out more quickly. As it is now what we get are big fixes every two year or so, but little in the way of new features. Longhorns constant delays and Microsoft constantly cutting back what will be done with Longhorn and it is very much looking like PC users are screwed.

Unfortunately, the Mac and Linux aren't viable alternatives. But, then I guess for consumers Microsoft knows this that is why the feel that can get away with this. Frankly, I don't want my browser to be part of the OS I think it is a sucky idea. Also, with this last round of security problems with IE I jumped the flaming rat infested ship and am now sailing quite happily on the luxery cruise ship SS Firefox. Now I can sleep without having to worry about rats chewing on my ears in the middle of the night.

Microsoft needs to wake up. I don't think people are going to wait 2 or 3 more years to get IE fixed. Not that I think Longhorn is going to clear up the security and standards issues with it. So far Microsoft has done very little right.

Robert
Posted by Heebee Jeebies (632 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Self-fulfilling prophecy
&#147;Unfortunately, the Mac and Linux aren&#146;t viable alternatives.&#148; That is what is known as a &#147;self-fulfilling prophecy.&#148; They&#146;re only not viable if you <i>think</i> that they&#146;re not viable. The more people who think that they <i>are</i> viable, the more truly viable they will become.

An Apple XServe Dual G5 can mimic a Window server in file-and-print (SAMBA) right out of the box (a Windows client will see it as a Windows server, with no need for software or special configuration on the client end!), and also comes with what is still the most-used and reliable Web server (Apache), QuickTime Media Server, <i>etc.</i>, and it <i>comes with</i> an <i>unlimited client license</i> version of Mac OS X Server! (<i>How</I> much do Windows 2003 Server Client Access Licenses cost these days?). It includes lots of hardware goodness (dual Gigabit Ethernet, for instance), and takes up only 1U in a 19" rack.

Sounds plenty viable to me.
Posted by COMALite J (16 comments )
Link Flag
Stop Being A Victom Of MS Monopoly!
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.apple.com/server/macosx/" target="_newWindow">http://www.apple.com/server/macosx/</a>

Internet Age is here &#38; the DOS Age is dead.
The Internet is the Great Democracy, it does not matter what platform you're on the Internat Protocols do not care.

MAC OSX is UNIX based &#38; a combination of Open Source Coding, Mac OS , Apache, BSD Darwin, Java &#38; NeXT. Plus it has Windows Protocols BUILT IN. Automatically connects to Windows network of WIN 2000 or XP. PLUS you can POP THE HOOD to write Unix / Linux / Darwin source code right on the desktop. It's power of open source with the ease of use of a Mac. MS Office for MAC OSX works seemlessly with Windows 2000 &#38; XP. MS Virtual PC is getting better all the time. With MS Office for Mac OSX, YOU DO NOT NEED WINDOWS. Thousands of app run on Mac OS X &#38; more are being ported over every day. Open Source / Linux / Unix / Mac OSX Darwin is the future. DUMP M$ NOW.
-Eyes wide open in Seattle-
Posted by (71 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Stop Being A Victom Of MS Monopoly!
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.apple.com/server/macosx/" target="_newWindow">http://www.apple.com/server/macosx/</a>

Internet Age is here &#38; the DOS Age is dead.
The Internet is the Great Democracy, it does not matter what platform you're on the Internat Protocols do not care.

MAC OSX is UNIX based &#38; a combination of Open Source Coding, Mac OS , Apache, BSD Darwin, Java &#38; NeXT. Plus it has Windows Protocols BUILT IN. Automatically connects to Windows network of WIN 2000 or XP. PLUS you can POP THE HOOD to write Unix / Linux / Darwin source code right on the desktop. It's power of open source with the ease of use of a Mac. MS Office for MAC OSX works seemlessly with Windows 2000 &#38; XP. MS Virtual PC is getting better all the time. With MS Office for Mac OSX, YOU DO NOT NEED WINDOWS. Thousands of app run on Mac OS X &#38; more are being ported over every day. Open Source / Linux / Unix / Mac OSX Darwin is the future. DUMP M$ NOW.
-Eyes wide open in Seattle-
Posted by (71 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Stop crying about Microsoft
I'm a .NET code monkey, so naturally I watch Microsoft closely. The truth is, every site I've built in the last few years works just fine in every major browser, IE included. None of them implement standards 100%, but they're all so close that whatever minor quirks there are require only minor changes. It's a long way from the hell we had circa 2000.

I don't hate on The Bill because he's successful, I hate on them when they do things that create problems for me. In the last couple of years the only real issue for me has been the crappy designer in Visual Studio, but that's fixed in the next version (the beta is beautiful). Read the article kiddies... Microsoft is listening and building better products. That culture grew out of their developer tools and platforms and is spreading to the consumer products.
Posted by Jeff Putz (302 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Your locked-in but don't even realise that
Did you ever just look and TRY other development (web) environments (like php-mysql-apache)??

I did, I still use Visual Studio but not for web development any more. They let you believe it's easy. I know now that in many cases open source stuff precompiled is much easier to install, maintain and from the start much more secure (and faster in many cases).

BTW: I started with Visual Basic 3.x and do still in-depth things with Visual studio. Looking to .NET I realy start wondering where Microsoft has lost me as a develloper.
Posted by rembspam (9 comments )
Link Flag
uh, wrong!
Actually, if you are having that easy a time w/ x-browser functionality it means you aren't innovating inside the browser-base and thus we are not able to richen-up the browser.

the long term MS solution to RIAs (Rich Internet Applications) is XAML which will ONLY run on Windows Longhorn systems. Where's the standards in that? I'm sorry, but MS is not listening to anyone. They are just doing what they have done from the beginning of their entry into the browser market. How can we consume the browser market and then further take advantage of our monopoly.

The justic department failed us in that they have not address the intrinsic and most important issue in terms of the browser wars and other monopoly issues in the software space. Software is a communications medium and just like we don't let any one company own a monopoly in other communications spaces without heavy regulations we need to make the same requirements in the browser and the OS space. Too much is effected by a single platform without regulation. Where in any communications space is there that same type of blatant ownership over a medium without regulation? None!
Posted by (12 comments )
Link Flag
Stop crying about Microsoft
I'm a .NET code monkey, so naturally I watch Microsoft closely. The truth is, every site I've built in the last few years works just fine in every major browser, IE included. None of them implement standards 100%, but they're all so close that whatever minor quirks there are require only minor changes. It's a long way from the hell we had circa 2000.

I don't hate on The Bill because he's successful, I hate on them when they do things that create problems for me. In the last couple of years the only real issue for me has been the crappy designer in Visual Studio, but that's fixed in the next version (the beta is beautiful). Read the article kiddies... Microsoft is listening and building better products. That culture grew out of their developer tools and platforms and is spreading to the consumer products.
Posted by Jeff Putz (302 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Your locked-in but don't even realise that
Did you ever just look and TRY other development (web) environments (like php-mysql-apache)??

I did, I still use Visual Studio but not for web development any more. They let you believe it's easy. I know now that in many cases open source stuff precompiled is much easier to install, maintain and from the start much more secure (and faster in many cases).

BTW: I started with Visual Basic 3.x and do still in-depth things with Visual studio. Looking to .NET I realy start wondering where Microsoft has lost me as a develloper.
Posted by rembspam (9 comments )
Link Flag
uh, wrong!
Actually, if you are having that easy a time w/ x-browser functionality it means you aren't innovating inside the browser-base and thus we are not able to richen-up the browser.

the long term MS solution to RIAs (Rich Internet Applications) is XAML which will ONLY run on Windows Longhorn systems. Where's the standards in that? I'm sorry, but MS is not listening to anyone. They are just doing what they have done from the beginning of their entry into the browser market. How can we consume the browser market and then further take advantage of our monopoly.

The justic department failed us in that they have not address the intrinsic and most important issue in terms of the browser wars and other monopoly issues in the software space. Software is a communications medium and just like we don't let any one company own a monopoly in other communications spaces without heavy regulations we need to make the same requirements in the browser and the OS space. Too much is effected by a single platform without regulation. Where in any communications space is there that same type of blatant ownership over a medium without regulation? None!
Posted by (12 comments )
Link Flag
Thanks anyhow.. Ill just keep using Firefox.
Microsoft won the browser war and soo.. other war's awated. "We can leave IE alone for at least 3 years. .. people wont mind.. they will have Xbox's!!"

What happens when they win the desktop computer war? And then the Server war? "Bahh.. we dont need any new features in Windows.. we are makeing Cell Phones now."

Then they gotta be all like.. oh thats only in the "new" version of XP. So go get XP. ( I'm using 2k and the only difrence I see is XP is slower and has a way ugly skin )

humm.. Well, Thanks for the bone Microsoft but ahh.. I'll just keep using Firefox.. its way better anyhow.
Posted by (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Mac and Linux are totaly viable alternatives.
How do I know?

I have used Linux as my primary desktop for the past 6 years. I do everything you do with my computer. I do the same tasks anyone else does. I write papers, I chat online, I read, filter, and, manage 3 important work related e-mail address. I burn cd's I use my digital camera, and my iPod. Just like anyone, ya know. How did I get there.. I just started using it and wouldent allow myself to quit.

The Mac is the same way.. I bought a apple laptop about a year ago, and I have to say.. Mac OS X is IMHO the best client computer ever made. It is really is the *do anything* computer right now. (if they would only just scrap Aqua for Gnome.. heh)

Well I'm just anti-windows then right? no. I work as a NT4 administrator. I manage a domain with 200+ Win2k systems. I use windows every day.
Posted by (5 comments )
Link Flag
Thanks anyhow.. Ill just keep using Firefox.
Microsoft won the browser war and soo.. other war's awated. "We can leave IE alone for at least 3 years. .. people wont mind.. they will have Xbox's!!"

What happens when they win the desktop computer war? And then the Server war? "Bahh.. we dont need any new features in Windows.. we are makeing Cell Phones now."

Then they gotta be all like.. oh thats only in the "new" version of XP. So go get XP. ( I'm using 2k and the only difrence I see is XP is slower and has a way ugly skin )

humm.. Well, Thanks for the bone Microsoft but ahh.. I'll just keep using Firefox.. its way better anyhow.
Posted by (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Mac and Linux are totaly viable alternatives.
How do I know?

I have used Linux as my primary desktop for the past 6 years. I do everything you do with my computer. I do the same tasks anyone else does. I write papers, I chat online, I read, filter, and, manage 3 important work related e-mail address. I burn cd's I use my digital camera, and my iPod. Just like anyone, ya know. How did I get there.. I just started using it and wouldent allow myself to quit.

The Mac is the same way.. I bought a apple laptop about a year ago, and I have to say.. Mac OS X is IMHO the best client computer ever made. It is really is the *do anything* computer right now. (if they would only just scrap Aqua for Gnome.. heh)

Well I'm just anti-windows then right? no. I work as a NT4 administrator. I manage a domain with 200+ Win2k systems. I use windows every day.
Posted by (5 comments )
Link Flag
Too little too late
BTW: I'm not a Microsoft basher. There are many things I like of their technology and many things I use but I try to use besth of both worlds (Windows/Linux).

Hence&&.

As long as Microsoft does not change the behavior of ActiveX inside its browser AND as long it is tight with DCOM and RCP each related to each other and each dependent on each other, MS will not shake off their problems.

Every ActiveX control loaded (signed or not signed) may be or worse is a real security thread. Safe browsing experience starts with disabling ALL ActiveX stuff. But then the browser experience with the IE becomes a nightmare. Many site visits with ActiveX turned off, results in a bombardment of annoying IE warnings.


So I tried the opensource browser Firefox. It does not only work like the IE but works much safer and on top of that it is easier in terms of downloads and changing skin-looks . By changing skins and all the plugins and extensions it really is fun to browse. It not only works great but LOOKS GREAT too!

I won't come back to IE. I as a developer like the IE BUT due to it's proprietary enhancements (in cascading style sheets and Dynamic HTML combined with their unsafe ActiveX control technology) they really are LOCKING developers to their unsafe technique.

Yes from an development point of view it is tempting. But now mozilla's firefox works even better then before and better then IE (in terms of compliance to standards) I develop in the FIRST PLACE for Firefox and then tweak/tune the websites to IE. NOT the other way around.

Why???? I like the sheer possibilities of the IE (the tempting and LOCK-IN to MS part), but I don't like the technique behind it. It is from a security point of view a SERIOUS DESIGN FLAW by letting ActiveX controls so tight with the OS steer so many things around browsing the Internet.

ActiveX control technique as well as related DCOM/RCP dependencies should not be embedded in the Browser. It must function independent of each other so one can disable those WITHOUT getting warnings all the time.

I've have chosen and I don't regret it at all. It's Firefox browser time.
Posted by rembspam (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Too little too late (correction)
Due to a bug in one of my ActiveX fingers I typed RCP instead of RPC.

Should be RPC but you know that of course.
Posted by rembspam (9 comments )
Link Flag
Too little too late
BTW: I'm not a Microsoft basher. There are many things I like of their technology and many things I use but I try to use besth of both worlds (Windows/Linux).

Hence&&.

As long as Microsoft does not change the behavior of ActiveX inside its browser AND as long it is tight with DCOM and RCP each related to each other and each dependent on each other, MS will not shake off their problems.

Every ActiveX control loaded (signed or not signed) may be or worse is a real security thread. Safe browsing experience starts with disabling ALL ActiveX stuff. But then the browser experience with the IE becomes a nightmare. Many site visits with ActiveX turned off, results in a bombardment of annoying IE warnings.


So I tried the opensource browser Firefox. It does not only work like the IE but works much safer and on top of that it is easier in terms of downloads and changing skin-looks . By changing skins and all the plugins and extensions it really is fun to browse. It not only works great but LOOKS GREAT too!

I won't come back to IE. I as a developer like the IE BUT due to it's proprietary enhancements (in cascading style sheets and Dynamic HTML combined with their unsafe ActiveX control technology) they really are LOCKING developers to their unsafe technique.

Yes from an development point of view it is tempting. But now mozilla's firefox works even better then before and better then IE (in terms of compliance to standards) I develop in the FIRST PLACE for Firefox and then tweak/tune the websites to IE. NOT the other way around.

Why???? I like the sheer possibilities of the IE (the tempting and LOCK-IN to MS part), but I don't like the technique behind it. It is from a security point of view a SERIOUS DESIGN FLAW by letting ActiveX controls so tight with the OS steer so many things around browsing the Internet.

ActiveX control technique as well as related DCOM/RCP dependencies should not be embedded in the Browser. It must function independent of each other so one can disable those WITHOUT getting warnings all the time.

I've have chosen and I don't regret it at all. It's Firefox browser time.
Posted by rembspam (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Too little too late (correction)
Due to a bug in one of my ActiveX fingers I typed RCP instead of RPC.

Should be RPC but you know that of course.
Posted by rembspam (9 comments )
Link Flag
At least fix the bugs!
At the very least, MS should hurry to fix the obvious bugs with CSS and PNG! In any Open Source product these bugs would have been closed within weeks - in Internet Explorer 6 they've been around for 3 years with no end in sight. Or just admit that keeping the source closed serves the company, not the consumer :)
Posted by Frodo42 (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
At least fix the bugs!
At the very least, MS should hurry to fix the obvious bugs with CSS and PNG! In any Open Source product these bugs would have been closed within weeks - in Internet Explorer 6 they've been around for 3 years with no end in sight. Or just admit that keeping the source closed serves the company, not the consumer :)
Posted by Frodo42 (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Internet Explorer serves no purpose for Microsoft monopoly
The subject line says it all.

Why would Microsoft be the least bit concerned about a substandard product that retains more than 90% of market share.

Besides, IE is no longer a key element in the Microsoft business model to acquire and maintain a monopoly position.

They have bigger fish to fry.
Posted by djugan (40 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Internet Explorer serves no purpose for Microsoft monopoly
The subject line says it all.

Why would Microsoft be the least bit concerned about a substandard product that retains more than 90% of market share.

Besides, IE is no longer a key element in the Microsoft business model to acquire and maintain a monopoly position.

They have bigger fish to fry.
Posted by djugan (40 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Update whole OS to get IE features?
I love this:
"The current plan is to make new IE features available with major Windows releases...Aligning IE updates more closely with Windows releases benefits customers by minimizing the number of updates to deploy and service."

Sure it does. Just buy a new OS, install it, reinstall every other frigging app you use, and reinput all the saved passwords, configurations, et al, and you get an IE update.

They're so thoughtful.
Posted by Al Cook (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Updates of a free product: Why?
This is the backlash from the Justice Department and others targeting Microsoft *specifically* over IE, accusing Microsoft of using IE to expand their monopoly *by* giving the product away. Now all of a sudden you want Microsoft to invest major corporate resources in a free product that it has been tarred and feathered for creating in the first place...why the heck should they?

Microsoft *created* IE to hold *Netscape's* feet to the fire, which it did. However, it got no bon mots *at all* from those of you mostly criticizing Microsoft for flaws in IE. If most of you had your way, there would not *be* an IE (or Mozilla for that matter), and the big bloated Netscape Communicator would still be dominant.

Microsoft is understandably reticent on risking getting yelled at for doing what people asked of it.
Posted by PGHammer (6 comments )
Link Flag
Update whole OS to get IE features?
I love this:
"The current plan is to make new IE features available with major Windows releases...Aligning IE updates more closely with Windows releases benefits customers by minimizing the number of updates to deploy and service."

Sure it does. Just buy a new OS, install it, reinstall every other frigging app you use, and reinput all the saved passwords, configurations, et al, and you get an IE update.

They're so thoughtful.
Posted by Al Cook (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Updates of a free product: Why?
This is the backlash from the Justice Department and others targeting Microsoft *specifically* over IE, accusing Microsoft of using IE to expand their monopoly *by* giving the product away. Now all of a sudden you want Microsoft to invest major corporate resources in a free product that it has been tarred and feathered for creating in the first place...why the heck should they?

Microsoft *created* IE to hold *Netscape's* feet to the fire, which it did. However, it got no bon mots *at all* from those of you mostly criticizing Microsoft for flaws in IE. If most of you had your way, there would not *be* an IE (or Mozilla for that matter), and the big bloated Netscape Communicator would still be dominant.

Microsoft is understandably reticent on risking getting yelled at for doing what people asked of it.
Posted by PGHammer (6 comments )
Link Flag
 

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