Blog Post

HillarIEous

Just come across this link on IRC (thanks patriconway). I could do nothing but chuckle. My buddy who is an avid web developer and avid anti-Linux and Microsoft guy, wet his pants from laughing so hard. Here is the breakdown of how IE is better than Firefox and Chrome, per Microsoft of course:

Security

Internet Explorer 8 takes the cake with better phishing and malware protection, as well as protection from emerging threats.

If this were true, then I guess all of those manufacturers out there creating Anti this and that software are going under. Thanks Microsoft for contributing to the destabilization of the economy. Maybe this is true, but only so because IE really has to worry about these sort of things far more than either Firefox and Chrome does.

Privacy

InPrivate Browsing and InPrivate Filtering help Internet Explorer 8 claim privacy victory.

Prove it! Put up or shut up, let us see your code! Until then, this is nothing more than a marketing gimmick which the FCC should attack with their whole Truth-in-Marketing bull hockey.

Ease of Use

Features like Accelerators, Web Slices and Visual Search Suggestions make Internet Explorer 8 easiest to use.

Oh my, just asked my mom how she likes the Accelerators, Web Slices, and Visual Search Suggestions in Internet Explorer 8. Her response? “I use Firefox now because I couldn’t play Yahoo Games with IE 8 and it kept crashing.” I guess if all you have to do is click that funky ‘e’ on the desktop over and over, then that is pretty easy.

Web Standards
No need to quote it, they pretty much say, “Hey, who cares about CSS 3, we are making IE8 world-class with CSS 2.1” Though they admit that Firefox and Chrome have more support for emerging standards such as HTML5 and CSS3. You know, the future of the web, that’s what Firefox and Chrome care about now. So when HTML5 and CSS3 become mainstream, you IE8 users will be stuck utilizing, yet again, a useless browser.

Developer Tools
No quoting, but IE8 has the advantage with tools like HTML, CSS and Javascript debugging right in the box. Ya, they got Firefox beat out of the box, but Firebug is far superior to their tools, my opinion of course, and it seems like the opinions of others as well. Oh, and I am sure Chrome will have these features in the future, you know, like when it is READY TO BE USED BY THE MASSES!

Reliability

Only Internet Explorer 8 has both tab isolation and crash recovery features; Firefox and Chrome have one or the other.

I guess this is kind of true, as Firefox only has the recovery portion, and Chrome has the tab isolation (does Chrome have crash recovery?). But! Of course there is a but. Using these 2 features as your reliability foundation isn’t saying much. “What mom? You had to click on the ‘e’ again because it just closed?” I really wish she would use Ubuntu!

Customizability

Sure, Firefox may win in sheer number of add-ons, but manyy of the customizations you’d want to download for Firefox are already a part of Internet Explorer 8 – right out of the box.

Weather alerts? User Scripts? OK, it isn’t customizable enough for me, but I guess it is for dear ol’ mum.

Compatibility

Internet Explorer 8 is more compatible with more sites on the Internet than any other browser.

Well, IE 8 is of course 2 browsers in 1. When it doesn’t work in IE8, which is most of the time, you go to “Compatibility Mode” which is IE7 and hope that it works there. When it doesn’t, fire up Firefox, it will work then. This really is a lie of course, and if it were true, it isn’t saying much. What you just said is, “Hey, we have a bunch of uneducated code monkeys writing IE only websites.” I would really love to see the proof in this one.

Manageability

Neither Firefox nor Chrome provide guidance or enterprise tools.

Umm, OK. Have no idea what they are really referring to, but the suits up at AIG just said, “OH WOW! We gotta get IE8, they said enterprise.” Oh wait, sorry about that, the suits in AIG are all gone, my bad.

Performance

Knowing the top speed of a car doesn’t tell you how fast you can drive in rush hour. To actually see the difference in page loads between all three browsers, you need slow-motion video. This one’s also a tie.

Yay, you just proved that the other 2 browsers are bloated, slow as all hell, garbage. Oh ya, consumers who are out to buy a fast car don’t worry about top speed, they worry about how fast they can get through rush hour. Come to Chicago, your browser will be just like the parking lots we call highways. And here in Chicago, fast automobiles are useless if they don’t get 30+ miles per gallon. We like a bit of efficiency with our speed, and we want to make sure that it will last us a few years too. To bad you can’t say speed, efficiency, and last a few years when it comes to IE 8, or Firefox or Chrome really.

<end satire>

Yes, I just wanted to have a little writing fun right now and maybe put some humor out there as my day in Chicago thus far has been nothing but severe weather ๐Ÿ™ I am scared, somebody hold me! What I find interesting is the fact they compared themselves to just Firefox and Chrome. Of course Firefox is #2 in browser land, but what about #3? Isn’t that Safari?

I say we all do our own comparison, really dig into the code and find out who is really the better browser. Uh oh, I just disqualified IE from this comparison, can’t dig into the code and see if they are really telling the truth, or just spewing buzz word here or there. I really wish that consumers were a bit educated and realized that 99.9% of the time, they are being lied to. So, if you just happen to run across this post trying to figure out Accelerators, Web Slices, and Visual Search Suggestions, then let me teach you about alternative choices. There is:

  • Firefox (duh, we know that already)
  • Chrome
  • Konqueror
  • and others…
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  • will_in_wi

    All true. The only bit that I think IE8 has Firefox totally beat is in the Manageability section. From my reading, few people have any clue what this means. I manage a network of about 45 systems . They all run Windows and use Active Directory, so besides the fact that we are smaller than most, this is pretty typical. When I want to install a piece of software across all of these systems, I use group policy to tell windows on bootup to install. The issue is that you must distribute your software in MSI form for this to work. Note that this method of deployment works great with Java, Flash, and Adobe Reader because these use MSI. Firefox uses a custom installer that cannot be automatically rolled out. So I have to go to each of the 45+ systems individually to update it. The ideal here is adobe flash which allows me to simply add a group policy on one server and all of the systems get updated on reboot. Simple. So much for deployment.

    Part two is manageability. I am able to enforce a configuration across all windows systems on active directory for IE. I simply open the group policy editor and change some settings and presto, all the systems have these settings. The users can’t change them either. The usage at my organisation (a nonprofit school) is to force the student accounts to go through a proxy. Firefox has no such capability. There is a hack to set firefox settings on login, but users can change them.

    These two features are critical for enterprise usage of Firefox, which is what MS references here. The bug reports to add this to Firefox are: 231062 and 267888. Please vote on these reports to improve firefox so that yet another point falls of MS’s list. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ahh, thanks for that break down, I understand now. I shall do some voting now ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Christoph Shipley

    Unfortunately, we have a similar problem where I work. We have close to 5,000 users and at least 9,000 desktop machines. We’re a mixed environment with mostly Windows, but also Mac and Linux. Since we’re been having so many issues with browser support and cross-platform compatibility, we’re planning on moving to Firefox for our officially supported browser. But keeping the enterprise on the same version is nearly impossible with Windows, doable with Mac, and manageable with Linux. A complicated problem, especially when we use Sharepoint.

  • I don’t know about IE8, but Chrome is *MUCH* faster than IE7. And that’s loading my group’s intranet website that was designed specifically to be loaded on IE (to the point that it’s only about 90% functional in FF). Where an ajax page load takes up to (no shit) 30 seconds in IE7, it’s done in the blink of an eye on Chrome.

  • PS: Dude, wtf? I’m using Chrome on WinXP, and your blog says I’m using Safari 525.19 on Mac OS X? Is Google pulling a fast one on me? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • @Wolfger : Chrome identifies as webkit I guess, hence the Safari identification.

    @nixternal : I read this page some days ago, and found it very funny, too. Great example of FUD. I especially liked the last part, which shows their great understanding of physics. From what I got, Microsoft believes that in order to better measure speed, you need slow-motion. Wait a minute… to measure how fast it is, you need to see it slow ?! The ‘_more_ compatible with _more_ sites’ is also worth a literacy prize ๐Ÿ™‚

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