From a web developer’s perspective it is generally an accepted opinion to have a strong dislike for Internet Explorer. The reasons are simple, to many people are still using Internet Explorer 6 and if you are creating a website using today’s standards then you will likely run into compatibility problems with IE 6. Leaving you to spend extra time exploring the reasons and work-around options in order to support this outdated browser. Now understanding that there will always be some people who are resistant to change and won’t update so there will always be that concern about outdated browsers but IE 6 is not the only negative point for the Internet Explorer family.
Another thing you may find if you develop and design web pages in Internet Explorer is that when you view them in other browsers they may not look the same. This is due to the fact that Internet Explorer follows a slightly different set of web standards than other browsers. The reasoning behind this is hard to explain but the way I see it is that Microsoft prefers to follow their own set of standards rather than conform to others defined standards. This is somewhat understandable as in many different areas it’s been what they’ve done for a long time. However, now as other browsers come out the standards for web design and development have been greatly improved upon and expanded and Microsoft is slower to adapt to the ever changing standards of web development.
While the rest of the issues could be argued in many different ways as still being acceptable from your web browser I think that this final point of mine is something that should make you consider if possibly using another browser other than Internet Explorer is the right choice for you. Internet Explorer is full of holes and security flaws. I can’t count on one hand the number of times that I’ve personally crashed Internet Explorer during development and then gone and tested the same scenario in other browsers and not had any problem. This really can only be blamed on one simple thing, Internet Explorer does not receive the amount of development support that it’s competitors do. The number of IT Professionals that support Firefox, Chrome and Safari by testing and debugging issues is no doubt staggering in comparison to the number that Microsoft has support Internet Explorer simply because of the application model that Microsoft uses versus it’s competitors.
It was music to my ear to hear that Internet Explorer is continuing to loose market share month by month, slowly being taken over by Firefox and Chrome. Sitting at 80% of all internet users 2 years ago it is now below 65%. Internet Explorer deserves to no longer be the most popular browser in the world if it can’t keep up with the security and stability of the other browsers on the market place, I just wish people would adapt to using a new browser faster.
I was personally excited to see on my Google Analytics that Firefox is actually the most popular browser amongst people who have visited my website. It’s by a very slim margin but it still is a positive sign that people in the IT community (my target audience) use Firefox more than they use Internet Explorer.
Below is a screenshot from my Analytics information showing the browser breakdown for the last 30 days worth of visits to my website.
Another reason why Firefox seems to be doing so well can be seen by the browser/operating system breakdown below.
You can see that Firefox, Chrome and Safari are all prevalent on multiple operating systems while Internet Explorer is only shown to be used on the Windows operating system where it is installed by default.
Finally i’ll leave you with a quote that was passed along to me by a coworker.
“I don’t know who told you the the “e” meant internet, but they sent you through the wrong door.” – Unknown