Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Internet Explorer - Scurge of the Web

It will achieve absolutely nothing but making me feel a little better, but I have a strong need to rant about Microsoft Internet Explorer.

I'm sure anyone who runs at the sound of 'HTML' doesn't even have the slightest idea but Internet Explorer is the most aweful and useless piece of software in existence. It would be like making a car which runs on a mythical non-existant type of petrol. Imagine - you stop at the petrol station and you ask for your mythical petrol. They should say no. But actually what they do is they take normal petrol, they spend days 'tweaking' it until it works in your car then they sell it to you at half the price.

I mean that would be crazy right? Why would they bother?

No - really - that is what is happening. Every website you visit has been made out of normal 'stuff' (let's not use techy acronyms). It's made beautifully and artfully so that you can have a pleasant dreamy experience. But then it's hacked to pieces, it's re-built with struts and supports like a tree that is far too old (the one in Sherwood Forest springs to mind!) just so that Internet Explorer can (sort of) display it as intended. The lengths that the poor people who put their hearts into these websites go to just so that Internet Explorer can continue to get away with 'running on mythical petrol'.

Let's have a guess at how we would estimate the economic cost to the world of Internet Explorer (it's gonna be high!).

The core impact of it's uselessness is web developers' time. It probably takes at least 1.5x the time it would otherwise take if everyone used Opera (for example). Well they have a living to make and so they charge this in full to the people who pay them - the companies hosting websites. So every website ever developed has cost 50% more than necessary. I think when you consider that even tiny websites can cost £200 while most commercial ones cost over £5000, you begin to see the scale of things.

Oh then let's add in the lost revenue of companies whose websites haven't worked in Internet Explorer - that's gotta count for a few billion.

Then we can add in the cost of security leaks - all those hackers shutting down government computers.

If it doesn't exceed all the money Bill Gates has ever made (oh Internet Explorer is made by Microsoft if you didn't know), then I'd be surprised. Maybe the world should sue Bill for all the money his company has cost us, let alone the psychological damage.


This rant has a simple solution. Download Opera. Three reasons. First, you can zoom into pages - click the "+" key on your keyboard and the site gets bigger - trust me - this is amazing! Second - widgets - read this blog in a cool modern looking thing which pops up and down, rather than in this quite boring website. Third - mouse gestures - open a link in a new tab by right clicking and moving the mouse up then down - it's sooooo easy.

My God - I'm using the porsche of browsers for free while everyone else uses the run down ford fiesta that needs mythical petrol. Are you all crazy? Absolutely off your heads? It's like someone is handing money to you - not wanting anything in return. It is simply better - there is absolutely no (yes absolutely no!) drawbacks to it. Nothing zilch!

Opera with Widgets

Here is a screen shot of my computer running opera (zoomed out a bit on BBC page) with my photo widget displaying a shot of Shanghai and my Blog widget displaying a post from a few days ago.

Ahhh...rant over! Please boycott Internet Explorer - it's rubbish and it causes mental anguish all over the world. (for the brave or tech-savy: IE Bugs Galore)

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