Stop Using Internet Explorer!

Recent Note (16 February 2014)

The text and opinions expressed in this page, are no longer too accurate, or relevant, as they were when it was written in 2004. It is kept here for historical reasons. You can also read a more detailed explanation about the situation then and today.

You should stop using Microsoft Internet Explorer for surfing the web. This is because:

  1. It is insecure. Many exploits were discovered in it so far, and more are constantly discovered.
  2. It lags behind other browsers in standards-compliance and so prevents web designers from using some very nice tricks in their pages. Some of this is caused by the many bugs it has.
  3. It does not have many of the usability features that more modern browsers like Mozilla, Opera, or Konqueror have. Use a different browser for a while and you wouldn’t want to switch back.
  4. You’ll need to upgrade the OS, in order to update it, as Microsoft announced that it won’t be updated separately any more.

I hereby testify that my pages will remain fully clean and standards compliant, but not necessarily viewable correctly with Explorer. This is in fact, different than writing web-sites that function perfectly in MSIE, but not in other browsers. All of this is because:

  1. Latest versions of MSIE and above are specific to a certain operating system and architecture. Mozilla and similar browsers are truly cross-platform. - as such MSIE may not be available on the development platform of the web designer. I design all my sites on Linux and have tested them on MSIE by using a different Windows computer. Now, I’m not going to bother.
  2. MSIE is not open source. Mozilla is - I cannot fix the bugs there even if I wanted to. If bugs exist in an open source project I can either fix them myself, hire someone else to do it, or blame myself for not doing either. With MSIE, I have every right to blame Microsoft for their incompetence. And I can have them eat their own arrogance.
  3. Users can always switch to Mozilla or whatever - I can always tell them to do so. On the other hand, I cannot switch to Internet Explorer if I’d like to use Linux (which I do).
  4. MSIE is not standards compliant while other browsers are - in fact, a prominent Microsoft engineer said standards-compliance is not a high priority for the MSIE team. Since I design according to web standards, I don’t want the new Netscape Navigator 4 to be in my way.
  5. MSIE is not going to be maintained independently - the only prospect of getting a browser upgrade for MSIE is to buy a new OS. Buy a new OS just to get a new version of the browser? That’s the joke of the month. Other browsers come with periodic upgrades with many improvements - all for free.
  6. Internet Explorer does not have a public, accessible bug tracker, similar to Mozilla’s Bugzilla or what other similar browsers have. This makes bugs harder to report, reproduce, check and track and undermines the users and web developers.

So expect to see more and more non-MSIE-compatible embellishments on my sites, or otherwise pages that were not tested there. Please use a different browser to browse my sites, trust me - you’ll like it. Theoretically, these pages should have looked OK, but if they don’t - blame Microsoft not me.

Other Anti-MSIE Resources

Alternative Browsers

  • Mozilla Firefox - a cross-platform browser, from the Mozilla home, intended to be lightweight , user-friendly, standards-compliant, secure, extensible and customisable.
  • SeaMonkey - formerly known as the Mozilla suite, SeaMonkey is an integrated Internet application suite that includes a browser, and an email application.
  • Safari - a browser by Apple (with all the warnings regarding Apple based on the open-source WebKit engine that was derived from the now under-maintained KHTML engine by the KDE project. Safari itself is not open-source and only runs on Mac OS X and Windows.
  • Opera - a very configurable and fast cross-platform browser. (Not open-source and binary only, though).
  • Google Chromium/Chrome - an open-source browser from Google based on WebKit and many other open-source projects (which some developers complained about Google forking frequently). Has an unusual and non-standard UI, which some people love and some people hate. Also may report a lot of information about one’s browsing habits to Google by default.


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This document is Copyright by Shlomi Fish, 2012, and is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 Unported (or at your option any later version of that licence).

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