Would You Switch To IE8?

By Matthew Magain
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Pretty much every web developer I know uses Firefox as their browser of choice (apart from a handful of vocal Opera fanboys — you know who you are). Plugins like Firebug, Greasemonkey and the Web Developer Toolbar take a good browser and turn it into an indispensable development tool.

But what about for just browsing? Given the recent inroads Microsoft have made in terms of CSS support, development tools, security and privacy, would you ever consider switching (back) to IE?

Today Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 (download from microsoft.com). While I haven’t had long to play with it, early indications are that Microsoft are making good on their promise to fully support CSS2.1 and pass the Acid2 test (without including non-standard markup) by the time it is out of beta.

The one new feature that seems to be most talked about, however, is the InPrivate browsing mode, which allows users to browse web sites undetected. When InPrivate browsing mode is enabled, the user’s browsing history, temporary Internet files, form data, cookies, usernames and passwords are not recorded.

Of course, this is functionality that has been available via one of a number of Firefox plugins for some time. However it’s interesting that Microsoft have chosen to incorporate it as core functionality (perhaps an attempt to tap into new markets?).

Also interesting is IE8’s InPrivateBlocking mode, which blocks the display of content that a web site pulls in from a third party, thus preventing those third party sites from tracking user browsing behaviour. Given that some of the ads blocked by this feature could theoretically include those served up by their own advertising platform, IE8 could impact negatively on Microsoft’s slice of the lucrative online advertising pie.

How do you think IE8 is shaping up? Based on the beta release, would you consider switching from your current browser to IE8? Let us know in the comments.

[poll id=5]

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  • neron-fx

    Not on your nelly!!!

    I will code for it and make all my sites accessible in it, but I will never again use a Microsoft browser for personal web viewing. Plus Im so happy with Firefox 2+, the new Safari and new Opera browsers that I have no need to!

  • randywehrs

    Viva la Firefox! Open source, plugins that can do just about anything, skins, a lively online community, etc… No need for any other browser. IE wishes it had the panash that Firefox has! Can I use that word?

  • It’d be tough to get me to go back. But I am excited for those that are already using IE that will upgrade IE 8 as their main browser.

    I kinda burned my Microsoft bridge after finding Firefox, but we’ll see… might need to rebuild my bridge but it’s not likely. I doubt I’d ever completely abandon Firefox for a Microsoft browser.

  • dougoftheabaci

    I downloaded it and gave it a whirl. It may pass Acid2 but it barely hits the teens in Acid3. More, while every other major browser either has full CSS3 support or is rather close, IE8 is bragging about finally having CSS2.1 and how it’s going to now add some of CSS3! Bonus point that every other browser is working very hard to add full support for HTML5. Safari I know to be doing extremely well on that department with the latest developer seed of Safari 4. IE8 is saying it’ll have some support for the more requested features by the time it goes live.

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. I refuse to get excited about another bad and already out of date browser being released by Microsoft. If they were really serious about web standards they’d have full CSS2.1 and 3 support and quickly move on to add HTML5. But instead they’ll brag about how they support some of these widely accepted standards.

    Forgive me if I sound annoyed but I’m getting tired of seeing articles that talk about how great IE8 is doing. IE8 is doing great in the same way as a man running a marathon who finishes dead last by a few hours. He still finishes but it’s so very, very far behind any of the other competitors that no one really cares.

  • Jack Matier

    Not even if IE8 ended up being the best browser.

    Where would we be if we gave market share back to Microsoft?

  • Maybe, but largely because the admin interface of the CMS I use at work is skewed heavily towards the Internet Explorer user. Bad styling, script errors, and so on abound in alternative browsers.

    With that said, if they can make it work properly in IE8 Standards Mode, it’ll probably work perfectly in Firefox/Opera/Safari too…

    The main reasons I stick with Firefox are 1) firebug and 2) it’s effing fast. If IE8 can’t offer equivalents to both of those things, I won’t touch it with a barge pole for general use.

  • I think that with all the changes Microsoft is making, IE8 is worth a look. When it goes gold, I will try it out for a week or so and see what I think before relegating it to my “testing suite” as I have with IE7.

  • TheBuzzSaw

    I voted no for a number of reasons. The first big reason is that I run Linux; I really do not want any Microsoft products muckin’ up my system. If IEs4Linux expands to support IE8, sure, I’ll install it for web dev projects, but I’ll still use Firefox for all my primary browsing. From there, the lack of CSS3 support and overall inability to be as cool as other browsers makes IE8 take a back seat in my car.

    I’m at least grateful that it will support CSS better than IE7 did. Nothing hurt me more than learning that IE7 doesn’t support :before and :after pseudo elements. T_T

  • Tarh

    As a web developer, I’m glad that IE8 is going to increase its support for web standards, but I doubt that many web developers will switch back to it as a development platform.

    Due to their past issues, “Internet Explorer” has become a phrase slightly more attractive than “death” or “flesh-eating disease” in parts of the web development community, and I doubt that Microsoft will ever be able to produce any browser with those words in the title with expectations of bringing developers back, regardless of what features they include.

  • Gerard

    For what my opinion is worth, i’m not happy with Firefox 3, not in the slightest. Sadly Internet Explorer lacks as you said, some great plugins that “take a good browser and turn it into an indispensable development tool.”.

    That said, i think Firefox will die a horrible death if the IE developers facilitate web developers with not just similar plugins to that of firebug, web developer toolbar, etc… but superior ones.

    Seems me that slow and steady might just win the race.

  • Fredd

    As a Web Developer for an Internet Banking solution, I test in IE6, IE7, Firefox, Opera and Safari. Keeping a site good looking in those browser with no specific code have been difficult. I hope IE8 probe good enough to most IE user that they switch and so I can reduce my testing.
    I’m sure I’ll use IE8 for test platform, but I doubt I would used IE8 for development platform.

  • I use opera for browsing, and have been for several years since version 5 came out. I only ever run into problems when there’s IE-specific stuff going on, or with very poorly coded sites. But, it’s secure, fast, and was one of the first browsers to actually support tabbed browsing.

    I will never use a browser that is tied into the operating system. That’s just begging for trouble.

    It’s great that IE8 sounds like an improvement in terms of web standards. At the very least, hopefully it will eliminate the need for (some) browser hacks, which was what IE7 was intended to do.

  • The tracking cookie blocking worries me. No more Google Analytics for webmasters, huh.

  • The BETA is buggy enough on Vista, I’m staying with FF! ^^

  • cgustaveson

    I upgraded to IE 8 but I am not sure I would use it for anything viable.

    I did notice it had a developer tools area (and using it showed me a design flaw I had missed).

    My major problem with IE is their pixel size, when they can get on the bandwagon and make their pixel equal a pixel I may browse a little more often.

  • madr

    The private surf has been part of Safari for quite some time as a core feature. Not sure about Opera, though.

    I will leave development concerns (man, is there anything which has NOT been said about that?) out of my answer.

    IE has some serious usability concerns to fix before I could even think of switching back. The interface in IE7 is horrible. The address field does not auto complete with simple enter key, but forcing ctrl+enter. Another port than 80 forces me to write “http://” in front of the url. The search function is not as good as other browsers (although Safari’s is quite bad too IMHO).

    The error and varning messages are not user friendly, telling me things like THIS CAN HARM YOUR COMPUTER when cookies or scripts have suspect behaviour. The tabs tells me “You have opened a tab” when I create new tabs and similar bleeding obvious alerts, which annoys me and makes me feel humiliated. The download manager is a joke.

    The performance in rendering html, css and js is the worst available at the market. Opera, Safari and Firefox are ahead of IE big time here, making IE look foolish.

    On top of this, I haven’t used ms win at home since 2005. I stick to gentoo linux and mac os x. IE has never been available for *nix, and last version for mac was 5.2. I don’t see why they ever would make the browser multiplatform, in case they don’t buy/build upon an already existing browser.

  • Anonymous

    You guys who pride yourself on being rational, technically-proficient and astute users who still tout Firefox simply because it’s not Microsoft are being, well, stupidly irrational.

    Why would you reward Firefox if it turns out to be inferior to what Microsoft does? Give it up and get truly rational.

  • I personally will still stick with FireFox, but perhaps more importantly to Microsoft, I will consider recommending IE to my friends and others again just because it is so much more familiar to them and they do not care much about web developer, firebug, etc.

  • I already use Firefox and Opera for web browsing – don’t think I’ve got room for any more.

  • Sigh … we shot ourselves in the foot with the fuss we made over the stagnation of IE6. We should have just left it alone, because now we’re going to have THREE broken versions of IE to deal with, instead of just one :(

    I wouldn’t switch to IE8 if they paid me by the hour.

  • I’m a web developer and have been working and browsing the web with IE as my primary browser for many years now. Sure, I have other browsers installed, but it only makes rational sense for me to use the most commonly used browser that my visitors are going to use. Let’s face it, it can be overwhelming to check every single programming change on several different browsers. At least my websites should look great for the majority of visitors (IE users). Every now and then I come across broken websites, so I have to whip out Firefox to do what I wanted to do on the websites. I figure that they were made by some web developer who clings to Firefox. How smart is that, to put out websites that work properly for the minority and improperly for the majority? If Firefox becomes used by 51% or more of my visitors, then it will be time for me to switch to Firefox. In the meantime, my visitors determine which browser I get to use.

  • Jack Matier


    I’m a web developer and have been working and browsing the web with IE as my primary browser for many years now. Sure, I have other browsers installed, but it only makes rational sense for me to use the most commonly used browser that my visitors are going to use. Let’s face it, it can be overwhelming to check every single programming change on several different browsers. At least my websites should look great for the majority of visitors (IE users). Every now and then I come across broken websites, so I have to whip out Firefox to do what I wanted to do on the websites. I figure that they were made by some web developer who clings to Firefox. How smart is that, to put out websites that work properly for the minority and improperly for the majority? If Firefox becomes used by 51% or more of my visitors, then it will be time for me to switch to Firefox. In the meantime, my visitors determine which browser I get to use.

    So basically, all you care about are industry standards. Very Smart.

  • pavelmaha

    @generalbill That’s the lamest reasoning I have heard in a long time. People like you are part of the problem with IE; because you continue to support a broken system; which doesn’t follow web standard. So basically you have to learn two different kinds of web designing; the standard compliant “right” way, and the non-standard complaint microsoft_says_so way.

    Yeah, good luck with that, when IE browser finally catches up with everyone; all your sites you have developed so far, will live on the stone age.

  • @GeneralBill – try this in IE6: z-index a div above a element and see just how “wonderful” your IE is.

  • Yankee

    Actually I am on IE since 6, but 8 is really great! Specially for development!

  • If it was faster, more secure, and could block ads than i’d switch from firefox.

  • VistaSucks

    IE8 is a lost time … i have had problems with it.. closes all the time without me doing anything…

    I am a torrentfreak…http://deano-baby-g13.co.uk

  • When the Mac version comes out I’ll consider it. Ha ha ha.

  • Since it’s unlikely that Microsoft will release IE8 for GNU/Linux the question is rather hypothetical for me, but even if they did I wouldn’t consider switching. The ‘porn mode’ doesn’t interest me, and I can’t imagine surfing without some of the Opera features I’ve become addicted to (mainly spatial navigation and a page zoom that actually works).

    Firefox is a fine browser, but requires too many extensions to be useful as a developer tool.

  • Dimitris

    To be honest I haven’t tried Beta2 yet (Beta1 had many problems), but I don’t think that I’ ll go away from Firefox.
    However, for “just web-browsing” I, sometimes, use Safari (on Windows platform) because it’s lightning fast!

  • For me the IE is from the past , ie8, ie9, ieX.X, since the first days of FF & some times Safari I send ie to the moon (and still their) :)

  • B A

    Why would I use a browser that will be obsolete before it is launched?

    If it has FULL HTML 5 support AND CSS 3 support, i will use it for testing purposes. If not, I will put a note informing visitors using IE that they are only seeing one-half of the Internet, and they need to get or demand from their IT department Firefox, Safari or Opera.

    Microsoft cannot set standards by releasing mediocre products.

  • Stevie D

    As an unashamed Opera fanboy, there is no way I would consider switching to IE8.

    Aside from the security holes that are so common in IE, and the fact that I may be switching away from MS Windows in the near future anyway, the reason I use Opera is because of its superb browsing experience. It’s fast, and it’s packed full of features that make it a very satisfying piece of software for a ‘power user’. There are loads of features that Opera introduced years ago and I know consider absolutely essential, and Microsoft is introducing some of them in IE8 but not by any means all of them.

    Yes, credit to MS for making improvements, but the competition is moving further ahead and MS are showing no signs of catching up.

  • GonZo191

    of course not no matter what Microsoft does IE will always be last in the browser race to if i want a newupgraded browser i’ll install FireFox3 already have Opera 9.5+

    Firefox 4ever and Opera is d second choice

  • asbjornu

    Over my dead body. The hate I’ve nurtured for Internet Explorer during the last year doesn’t wear off that easilly. I’ll continue to nurture it until Internet Explorer 6 market share drops below 1%. I’m guessing I’ll have to continue hating it for at least another 5 years and not any number of new releases of the browser can change that (unless Microsoft suddenly decides to back-port it to operating systems they’ve stopped supporting, like Windows 98 and 2000).

  • asbjornu

    Hmph. That should read “years” with an s at the end, as in plural “year”. Yea, I’ve hated IE more than just during 2008.

  • In webdev circles Microsoft’s name is dirt, so I don’t see how a migration from FF to IE8 is going to happen.
    My only hope is that once they release IE8 they finally pull the plug on IE6…

  • basicxman

    oh my gosh, BLASPHEMY!! never IE is still a piece of (insert lots of bad words here)

  • gtsiamalos

    Even if it was the one and only browser on earth i’d quite browsing.

  • pavelmaha said:

    That’s the lamest reasoning I have heard in a long time…

    …So basically you have to learn two different kinds of web designing…

    …when IE browser finally catches up with everyone; all your sites you have developed so far, will live on the stone age.

    My comment:

    I’m sorry that you consider my reasoning lame.

    We both want the same thing: one piece of code that runs on multiple browsers and yields the same results. It is possible to build web standards compliant websites and still use IE as my primary browser; those are not two mutually exclusive activities.

    If 70% of people are going to see a website through IE, it makes good business sense to see it through IE yourself when developing it. It is a risky strategy to design a site which might not work well for 70% of the users today, with the expectation that it will work well with 99% of the users in the future. That may be a good business decision in some circumstances, but it’s risky nonetheless. I find Firefox a useful tool and I’m grateful for it.

  • Skaurus (dimaniac83 at mail dot ru)

    As developer, at work i use four browsers – Opera (my favourite mostly because i like its tabbing), FF (because of FireBug), IE and rarely Safari.
    As pro user, at home, i use three browsers. Cant tell exactly why, but its just convenient for me.
    So, i change IE7 to IE8 because it obviously better, but that dont mean i switch to it solely.

    Question is, how to keep three versions of IE on one machine for no cost.. (for IE6 MS have free virtual machine).

  • Anonymous

    As developer, at work i use four browsers – Opera (my favourite mostly because i like its tabbing), FF (because of FireBug), IE and rarely Safari.
    As pro user, at home, i use three browsers. Cant tell exactly why, but its just convenient for me.
    So, i change IE7 to IE8 because it obviously better, but that dont mean i switch to it solely.

    Question is, how to keep three versions of IE on one machine for no cost.. (for IE6 MS have free virtual machine).

  • Killerqueen

    NEVER again! I’ll still work hard and give my best for my web sites to work propely in IE, but I’ll never use it as my default browser. Thanks but no thanks! Everyone should already know that Internet Explorer (however 6, 7 or 8) is not a real browser!

  • pavelmaha

    @GeneralBill there is a plugin for firefox, that lets you see website as it would look like under IE, the name of the plugin is “IEtab”. it takes .05 seconds to switch between IE mode and FF mode.

    The last straw you had for using IE, is not there.

    The best way to fix this practice of insisting on making broken browsers by Microsoft is to make them realize that you are not satisfied with this, and you want a change. The best way to do this is to stop using their product; when enough people will do this they will start noticing.

    By insisting on using a broken browser on the reasoning that “everyone else uses it”, is just encouraging them to keep doing what they are doing. Which is part of the problem with IE and it’s developing team.

    Why do you think they all of a sudden started opening blogs for IE8 and windows7? Because they realize a lot of people are stop using their product, while the margin is small compare to their whole market share, it’s significant enough for them to be worried about it and now they are trying to connect to the users by blog so that they can improve themselves.

    Don’t fuel the fire, force them to improve.

  • div^

    I wouldn´t ever switch to Internet-Explorer. Opera gives me everything I need. High score on Acid3 Test, E-Mail client, RSS features, IRC features … I don´t need more !

  • Adam

    Not until they catch up. Translation: never.

    Like every other major Microsoft release, IE8 is just a broken program that will limp on until the next release, which will claim once again to “fix everything.” There is no excuse for its blatant disregard of web standards and the overall user experience.

    I will make my sites work in IE, but I won’t ever use it to browse again. I have better things to do than to re-acclimate myself with a broken browser.

  • dippingtoe

    GeneralBill is absolutely spot on – you build your site for visitors, or should do, and if most of them are using IE it’s plain moronic to ignore that.

    In fact its a major reason I don’t use FF except for testing, as so often I visit smaller independent sites and find FF screws the site up completely. Sure, you can argue it’s the “fault” of the site but frankly who cares, virtually any site works fine in IE but a lot of them are “broken” in FF. Sometimes it’s the other way around, FF works better but rarely do I see a site in IE with text and images all over the freaking place like FF tends to render them.

    IE (7, I haven’t tried 8 yet) may not be “correct” but it just plain works, without throwing a hissy fit (and most of the html) just because some site isn’t equally “correct”. To me it seems IE is smarter, it seems to figure out what the webmaster intended and shows it. FF just goes:

    “WAAAAAAH! STANDARDS! standard! s fff ,,,,,,,,s ssssi trandds atst s ards…”

    and fecks the site as though in spite?

    Not to mention firefox died on me TWICE, I had to reinstall the thing – except it wouldn’t uninstall properly. I never got round to using it again until I bought a new PC. Strangely, I’ve never had to reinstall Explorer?


  • @GeneralBill and DippingToe

    Clearly you two have been living in the past then? It is far easier to develop on standards-based browsers FIRST, then use conditional statements to adjust the site for IE. It doesn’t take long.

    While I agree that you should cater to a large percentage of users, there are two factors you may not have taken into account:

    1) IE6 does not behave like IE7. You can develop a site on IE7, and it will break on IE6. That is a fact. You will still have to make hacks anyway, so why not do it properly FIRST so that your website does not break when IE8 is released (because IE8 will be closer to Firefox 2, and again, it will not behave like IE6 or IE7).

    2) IE7 “tries” to be more like FF and Opera. In fact, if your website is fairly simple (no z-index layers and css sprites), when you code for FF and Opera, your site should appear the same on IE7 and Safari. I should know, I’ve done it several times before.

    3) The more net/web-savvy people DO NOT use IE as a browser. In fact, the majority of the youth today (from aged 35 below) DO NOT use IE as their browser. I wish I could show you links to the stats, but there are too many (mostly polls on different websites asking which browser they use – Firefox is what the majority in that age group are using).

    4) IE is usually used by companies and institutions such as schools that have had it locked into their IT system (Windows), and their IT department ban installations of any other kind of software. Basically people who are in those places browse on them, but use a different browser when they return home – unless they are not web/net-savvy.

    5) Firefox’s market share is the equivalent of hundreds of millions of users. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was closer to a billion. Not supporting Firefox is basically making your website (and you) look like a piece of amateur work.

    6) Firefox isn’t screwing up the site. Poor coding does. If a site looks like rubbish on FF now, you can pretty much bet the house that it will look rubbish when IE8 rolls around.

  • Hmmm, I couldn’t edit what I said above – by “two” factors I meant “few” factors.

    Note to Sitepoint: we really should have an edit button for registered members. Rly.

  • dougoftheabaci

    I’d like to point out sometihng to the various people here that seems to have gone unnoticed:

    Depending on your demographic IE6 is anywhere from 40% to 5%. And that can vary as much from country to country! Most of the statistics being cited here are US statistics. In Europe Firefox is the major browser and IE6 isn’t big at all, most people having upgraded to IE7. In Asia I think it’s even more in Firefox’s favour. Sweden specifically (the most progressive country in the world in terms of the internet) is a heavy Firefox nation with IE being a minor browser.

    So all of you who wish they could drop IE6, move out of the states. I chose London, myself. It’s also quite nice this time of year.

  • So all of you who wish they could drop IE6, move out of the states. I chose London, myself. It’s also quite nice this time of year.

    How does where you live affect who visits your website? The internet is global :)

  • dippingtoe

    “you can pretty much bet the house that it will look rubbish when IE8 rolls around.”

    That’s what they said about IE5, IE6 and IE7…

    For fun I am right now looking at this page in both FF3 and IE7

    In IE, at 1024×768 or whatever, I can easily see most of the sponsered links about, whilst FF blocks so much of the screen I cannot.

    In IE the text is crisp, clear and readable. In FF it’s tiny.

    But do tell, which browser should we cater to? Firefox? Why? It is certainly not the most popular browser overall, hype or no hype my site stats have always shown FF a distant 3rd or 4th after the variations of IE. Perhaps we should all use Dillo? No, K-Meleon? or perhaps Opera 9.27? Sea Monkey? How about Iceweasel? But no, let’s build our sites for Konqueror? Or do I mean Iceape? Perhaps we should stick to WM305? But Camino’s nice? Did I mention Safari?

    Those are all currently used browsers, and there’s more – and every damn one of them shows a site slightly differently, standards or no standards.

    Take a look at your site in Dillo, tell me how it looks?

    Because you DO really CARE about this stuff, right? Your site IS totally compatible with DIFFERENT BROWSERS, yes?

    Or you could quit being silly and build your site for what the vast majority of web visitors actually use, you know, Microsoft, the Great Satan or whatever.



  • dougoftheabaci

    How does where you live affect who visits your website? The internet is global :)

    Yes, but do you really have international clients? I sure don’t. Remember, demographics. My clients tend to be from England. If someone from Brazil contacted me and asked if I was taking on work I’d turn it down because I prefer to be able to meet my clients.

  • @DippingToe

    Most of the other browsers you mentioned run on either:

    1) Trident (IE’s engine)
    2) Gecko (Firefox’s engine)
    3) WebKit (Safari’s engine)
    4) a variation of Opera’s engine.

    That is why testing it on those browsers are generally enough.

    If you wish to be thorough, there are services online that take screenshots of your website on the different platforms and browsers. Some are even free, such as browsershots.

    You may also want to take note of the fact that IE is only dominant in the US, but not everywhere else. Do you want your site to look like rubbish to your international customers? Or do you just don’t care?

    If it’s either of the two – you’re definitely not a professional, nor do you actually give a damn about where the industry is headed. You really do come off as just a lazy guy who knows how to build sites. I pity your clients (if you even have any).

  • Hitler

    I heart firefox with passion. Would never even consider switching from IE no matter what. The only real browser – always is and always has been.

  • Aaron

    “…InPrivate browsing mode, which allows users to browse web sites undetected” – that’s a bit misleading, to say the least. Web sites can still log your visits all the same, it’s just that your other half can’t see all the naughty sites you’ve been visiting by checking your browser history. Though, don’t forget to disable your personal firewall from keeping logs (Agnitum Outpost Firewall anyone?)…

    I don’t think I’ll ever move away from Opera – the speed dial is brilliant and pressing the back button doesn’t reload the page meaning all your form data (that you just spent ten minutes filling in) is still there to submit again (eg when the site is less busy and can handle your request). Compare to IE 7 which is slow and clunky. Give Opera a try for a month and I’ll be surprised if you change back to Firefox or IE.

  • Jack Matier

    It’s nice to have a variation of devices (browsers) to access the internet with and the fact remains that the internet can’t rely on one corporation to make the standards.

    I invite you to imagine if Microsoft made all these standards that others had to follow. Say the IE team inserts a nice feature to play wmv files through a special tag. And when you get on any other computer or device *but* windows to access the site, and either there needs to be Internet Explorer on linux or mac (yeah right) or your browser Safari/Firefox would *have* to include wmv support AND the tag suggested for its users to have a decent experience. But we don’t like this so lets make another browser called NewScape and start writing different standards.

    Well that’s what we call a D I S A S T E R

    We agree upon standards so people, devices, etc, know how to talk to eachother and users get a consistent experience. W3C is that group to agree on web standards.

    So, generalbill, dippingtoe, anyone else that’s listening, it’s simple:
    1. Build your site to these agreed upon standards.
    2. Have your site work on everything under the sun except for a microsoft product. (Some build to W3C standards with the Gecko engine because firefox has some nice plugins, then they do a very quick test in Opera, Safari etc.)
    3. Adjust for IE’s misunderstandings of standards.

    It’s a build once scenario. When IE8 comes out so long as we stay in CSS 2.1 HTML4/XHTML 1.1 area of things everything on every browser on every device should work fluently with eachother. Except for IE7 and IE6 of course.

    Now this is in no way saying that any rendering engine is fully compliant or renders things incorrectly.. Firefox and Opera included, it’s just it’s very rare.

    So no, I won’t use IE8 or suggest people use IE8 because if IE achieves 95% marketshare again Microsoft will just let the browser stagnate and we’ll be in the same position. I wish I could question my absolute negative view of this situation but it’s how Microsoft has taught me to think about them.

  • I like to browse fast. So yes I would.

    BTW – why do people insist Firefox 2 is CSS2 compatible, just read the specs at W3C then do some simple tables and paragraphs under them and you’ll see some basic margin stuff ups…

  • Here’s the thing about privacy features in IE8: even if you want that feature, you have to trust Microsoft to believe they protect your privacy. How much do you really trust Microsoft?

    As for what I use to browse… it’ll remain Opera. It’s fast, secure and has the features I use built right in to the native app. Sure, it means I have to put up with snide remarks from Firefox zealots, but hey, them’s the breaks ;)

    But at the end of the day what this group uses doesn’t really matter much. It’s the punters that will keep IE alive, whether it’s a good browser or not.

  • 200ok – I think you’ll notice that the Opera zealots are more vocal. The FF populace are just “comfy and quiet” about their FF use. :)

  • John

    IE is the worst software made in all the history of Human’s and Computers.

    No way, I will continue to use Firefox or Opera.

  • dippingtoe

    Yep, the punters, ie the market, will ultimately decide. Hopefully.

    Central planning or imposing “standards” never really works too well, as history has shown repeatedly.

    You say Microsoft would let things stagnate but what of standards? Do we WANT ever-changing standards? Isn’t the entire idea of a standard that we all know what we’re supposed to do, ie what is “standard”? Suppose every site everywhere and every browser everywhere were indeed meeting this arbitary standard? Then some bunch of pointy heads decides to CHANGE that standard?

    What just happened? Yep, they just broke every browser and every website on the entire freaking internet!!

    So now I, you and everyone else has to change the browser and fiddle around with every website we have or run, to make the small bunch of pointy heads happy?

    To that I say bollox, I’d rather the pointy heads shut the heck up and in the meantime, if it’s OK with you, I’ll concentrate on giving my actual VISITORS, ie the IE crowd, to coin a phrase, a website that works on their browser.

    As for trusting Microsoft, well I certainly trust them a great deal more than any government department, bunch of pointy head power mongers or indeed Google. Microsoft tries to sell me stuff or help others produce stuff for me to buy, whilst Google sells my behavior, habits and privacy to advertisers.

    With FF I actually feel the presence of Google everywhere I go. Here’s your list of frequently visited sites, oh on this site your user name and password is.. and here’s our liftime cookie of what you searched for… but you trust Google, right? Why? Are they a charity? Some gift from some deity? No, they are a money-grubbing corporation like any other, they just specialise in gathering information, including about YOU.

    Let me tell you the other thing about “standards” that makes my hair stand up.

    Sooner or later, and it is ALREADY HAPPENING, when you have “standards” it is all to easy to start imposing PENALTIES for breaking them.

    You know what that means? Yes, it means POWER.

    Freedom of Speech? Sure, no problem.

    We didn’t close your site down because of what you said, nooo. It’s because your site didn’t meet “legal requirements” and your “license” had expired…

    THAT is the logical conclusion of centrally-planned “standards”.

    Standards = Enforcement of compliance = Power.

    Again history shows that whenever you give a bunch of people power they ALWAYS abuse it. Every. single. time.

    But hey, let’s be rebellious, let’s stick it to the man! Let’s all use Firefox/Google and root for imposing WC3 upon people. You know, freedom!


    If you want freedom you don’t give ultimate deciding power to a bunch of pointy heads and then cross your eyes and hope they’ll use it nicely. I mean, has that EVER worked?


  • Jack Matier

    @dippingtoe on standards

    Standards are everywhere, variable, and discussed so that technology (and people) can interoperate effectively. Standards come in different sizes and are agreed upon in different ways.

    It’s very common to agree on a certain way to operate in a company. Sometimes these standards are written down, other times they are vocalized. When this company engages with another company, or a client, standards are often established so that there can be harmony in the workflow.

    Because the computing world includes not just Microsoft, but many many companies and many many people, these things need to be discussed so that no one is left powerless or over-empowered. Such things discussed include compatibility issues, though admittedly, infinity is hard to fully understand. Then, when these standards are agreed upon, drafted, and casted it is expected that the vendors which were involved in the discussion and agreement implement everything to the best of their ability. It’s a freaking long process sometimes.

    Lastly, penalties aren’t imposed for breaking standards, they are a given and it’s unfortunate and sometimes hard for the layman to realize how much the user suffers when it happens.

    So the equation really is closer to:
    Standards = Harmony = Power to everybody.

    But considering that open nature of the application and development of W3C. Well, you mention this sort of thing gives people power but I haven’t yet seen it abused so I’m a bit curious now. Do you have some information you can provide me? If you have links to give or books to give I’d be happy to read through them.

  • tyler

    seems inprivate is for people who want to look at porn

  • @DippingToe

    I do pray that you are aware that a core/critical member of the HTML5 STANDARDS group is in fact also a top-level member of Microsoft.

    I also do pray that you are aware that Microsoft themselves are also trying to make haste and make their browsers line up to standards.

    The point everyone is pretty much trying to make here is that EVERYONE, including Google, Mozilla, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Opera, and countless others are ALL trying to set, create, agree, and follow a standard.

    By ignoring this, you are effectively building websites that are not future proof. What you are building are, in fact, time bombs. If your sites are designed for IE6 and 7 ONLY, that means when IE8 and eventually IE9 rolls around, your sites will break. Which means you would have to rewrite pretty much everything – something you would have avoided if you simply coded your sites by using Firefox or Opera, and then placing conditional comments to make them legacy-friendly for IE5, IE6, and IE7.

    That way, when IE8 and 9, and the rest of the new FF’s, Safari’s, and Opera’s roll out, you don’t have to rewrite your code to fix your broken site.

    Honestly, while a number of people understand your opinion, your approach to web development is both careless and impractical. MS themselves admit that IE6 and 7 (to an extent) are broken, and are sorting their browsers out. You would be doing yourself a favor by heeding the advice of everyone here.

    We’re not FF zealots – we really are just being practical. If everyone is heading towards standards (and yes, I wouldn’t be surprised if standards become a legal requirement – accessibility standards are quickly becoming one already), you should prepare yourself for it as well.

    Honestly, even MS would say that you’re the only “rebel” on this post, since even they(MS) are shooting for standards-compliance.

  • Would you switch to IE8?

    Will it be available for Mac (my own comp), and Linux (my work machine)??

    That would be a ‘no’ then…

  • designtac

    If a software company is selling their products for good price like Microsoft, I would expect better quality. Since XP and it’s products showed up on the market they are testing their products after we paid for it. How long it took to make sure that XP works smoothly as an operating system???. No I did not try vista and I don’t want to. I’m not a test monkey with lot’s of extra money. They can release their software on beta for free. People will test it. When they think it’s good enough we might buy it. On the other hand Linux and Fire Fox is free and open source. Besides developing needs I would never use Microsoft products.

    Information should be free…

  • dmwalk

    Just downloaded IE8beta2. My suckerfish dropdowns work flawlessly in IE6, IE7, Safari and FF3, but they’re broken in IE8 beta2. Some problem with hovers. I had hoped if things worked in FF3, they would work in IE8. Hope it’s a bug they will fix.

  • ionix5891

    I use IE7 now for normal browsing because Firefox is too unstable, crashes and uses up gobs of ram, so I will give IE8 a shot

  • @dippingtoe:
    If you hugged Microsoft’s nuts any tighter, you’d get cream all over your face.

    I have had quite the opposite experience. In ten years of using Mozilla-based products, I have only had maybe two crashes where as I have had more than 5 with IE in the same amount of time.

    As I mentioned to Ionix, I have been using Mozilla-based products for nearly ten years. My use started out of necessity when I started to use Linux/BSD. The only other alternative was Opera and at that time it was ad-supported unless you paid for it (now completely free without adds). That fact alone has lost me on Opera forever even though I still test with it. If a company is willing to put ads in a browser to make you pay for it, why should you ever trust them again? I digress. Anyhow, I switched back to Windows when my dad started using my machine and he hated Linux because he barely knew Windows. I tried to use IE again (5 or 5.5 on ME *shudders*) but I absolutely despised all of the bugs and interface issues so I put Firebird on ASAP.

    To make a long story short, after all of the issues with Opera and IE over the years I will never use anything but Firefox. The only use I have for IE, Opera, and Safari (the ugly duckling) is during the testing phase.

    I am not a fanboy nor I am I paid for my opinion, I just like to use what works the best.

  • @bludragon: I think you’re being a bit OTT writing off Opera because they went through an ad supported phase. They’re a small software company that couldn’t always afford to give a product away. Many products at that time used a “sponsored” mode as an alternative to charging (I recall FTP and email clients commonly used the same strategy). It’s not like it was an evil invention. They gave their product away for free to educational institutions; they switched to text ads as soon as they were viable; then went free as soon as that was viable. Why trust them? Because they’re very open and genuinely committed to things like security. Seriously, you’re comparing them with Microsoft? That’s quite a stretch in the trust stakes, for mine.

    You’re not basing your thoughts on “what works the best”, you’re including moral objections. Which is fine, just don’t confuse the two! :)

  • sohdubom

    I’d like to add another very important thing regarding MS … MS is not just doing wrong things related to IE, but also regarding to their major framework, eg: .Net Framework and more specific Asp.Net development. To make things short, since 2001 I’m involved with Asp.Net dev and dreaming of having the Asp.Net to procuce proper html tags (by the way very basic ones) … they never fixed that … until now if you want proper html you must rely in including 3rd party .dlls to make it to produce good html, thus bloating your final software … it’s 2008 almos 2009 and I finally gave up from MS … quit my job, switch to Mac OS and unless MS change their attitude … I’m not going back!

  • Can Masagi

    no way man!

  • Paul

    Do not forget the lessons we learned through Internet Explorer before Firefox. Embrace, Extend, Exterminate…

    This Microsoft Corporate Mantra has not died. Nor will it.

    The browser, at this time, is still the primary interface through which most internet transactions and experiences take place. Microsoft and it’s unilateral profit motive philosophy should never be allowed to dominate this key portal software again.

    Do not be fooled by Microsoft’s attempts at ’embracing’ Standards. Standards are the path by which Microsoft perpetuates this continuous pattern of domination.

  • Brian Gottier

    Death to IE! (and M$ for that matter) Would you join the dark side just because Darth Vader said he was your father? Heck no!

  • Enterit

    I already had to go back to IE7 since Firefox3 slowed my computer down to a turtle’s pace if I opened more than a handful of complex websites at once while having other software running. I used to like FF2, but I did realize that over 50% of the websites I visited were missing functionality unless I opened them in IE, so I was already bouncing. Even Google Picasa Photos looses entire menus in FF. FF3 just encouraged me to use IE7 more.

    If IE8 is better, than kudos to them. The one thing that urks me is that so many websites can be made to look so much more amazing using IE rules instead of the standards. I wish Microsoft would play better with the standards committees, because they do occasionally come up with stuff that “works really well” and could be a useful standard with some tweaking, but rarely do they listen to others.

  • adil

    No never, it still sucks

  • Domain Linkz

    Open Source FTW
    I am not going back to IE never again. Firefox is just too good to let go off, there is no incentive for me in IE anymore.

  • Kabatology

    You can’t undervalue the community aspect of Firefox .. that has two major follower communities;the Open source comm and the self-made Firefox community.
    These are the driving force behind Firefox. IE builders would have to work hard to stay ahead.

  • Stevie D


    If IE8 is better, than kudos to them. The one thing that urks me is that so many websites can be made to look so much more amazing using IE rules instead of the standards.

    Not true. It is easy to make websites using standards that look fantastic in Firefox, Opera, Safari, Camino etc. And, to those who are experienced in hacks and tricks, it is pretty easy to make websites that look fantastic in IE. What is not so easy is to make standards-based sites that look amazing in IE.

  • Since I have had nothing but trouble with FF crashing since upgrading to FF3 I would switch. I have already started browsing with IE7 since it is more stable. My only hope is that somehow when IE8 is officially released that IE6 will completely go away!

  • we have a new browser, Google Ghrome

  • Steve

    After desiging several websites and looking and the hopelessness in regards to industry specific standards I would say a big bye bye to ie8…..100.

    With Firefox3+ who needs to venture backwards into the dark space of, ahem, this platform.

  • Dumb Consumer

    While looking for info on IE8 I fell into this forum. I am neither a developer nor a programmer. Luckily I do not even know the difference between HTML and HTML5. I am not web savvy. I am at the other side of your counter. I am a plain and simple Internet user.

    Some time ago, upon reading opinions similar to some of those above I decided to install Firefox in my PC. After some months using it, I was tired of being asked to install an additional plug-in when visiting a new website with a new feature. Moreover, many websites did not had their lay-out shown properly in Firefox nor some of their functionalities would work. I remember that in one website, I was unable to subscribe a newsletter. I immediately switched back to IE6.0. Some time after, I heard about Safari. I installed it just o have problems with my internet bank access. Not compatible. Guess what…let’s go back to ole IE shit.

    Maybe someone would say IE is a shit. But you know what…I never felt the need to go back to Firefox again.

    If most of us Internet users prefer to ‘downgrade’ from top quality products like Firefox, Opera, Safari to this shit of IE, this is not to squeeze the balls of Microsoft. This is called market trend. If this market trend is imposed by Microsoft or by the technical, funding or marketing incapacities of other Internet browser companies, this is not our problem.

    Me and the vast majority of Internet users do not care about this fight between some Don Quijotes and the evil Gates Corporation. We just want to click and see things working and receive quickly in our homes the services or products we paid for.

    Moreover, using IE at work turns annoying to adapt using other browser with a different UI lay-out back home. That’s why, me and the majority of Internet users prefer the IE.

    Remember, we do not know quite well the difference between CSS and CIA. We plain Internet users are so dumb that if the button ‘log in’ in a website is moved from the top right corner to the lower left one, we get lost and our brains start fuming. We stop buying if this takes more than three clicks. We get confused if the website lay-out or color is changed. We are lazy and dumb.

    That’s why so many Internet knowledgeable persons write tons of books about ‘Web site Lay-out Consistency” or navigability or how to conduct us to pay quickly without us even noticing it.

    We are dumb but me and all other Internet users are the ones that pay the fat salaries of most of the Internet based industry and professionals. We are the ones that click, subscribe, pay, buy and originate the revenues to payback investors, companies, freelancers that put their money and competencies into the Internet business. Then I thought I had the right, if you allow me to do so, to share my humble non-specialist dumb opinion with you.

    If IE8 is worst than Firefox, Opera, Safari, Zebra and other at some what’s-the-name Cyrion-X150-Tríon developer test or if IE8 is not compliant with CSS version 100.1 AN-ALFA-BETA because the HTML5 is blue and not red, not my problem.

    As long as I can continue to quickly work, sign-up, sign-in, subscribe, unsubscrive, pay, transfer, buy, make my banking transacions, write shits in my blog and upload my bad quality pictures to Facebook with IE, that’s fine.

    Ah, yes, my vote. I will gladly update to IE8.

    This is a very interesting forum dedicated to specialists. But I am not a specialist, I read it by chance. Then if by chance I pass by again at this forum, I will be glad to read your comments to my post.

    Thanks for allowing me to cast my vote in this poll.

    Dumb Consumer

  • dougoftheabaci

    Indeed! Even though it’s only for PC right now, I’m highly anticipating the Mac version. I checked it out for Windows, it seems pretty fast. It also gets 78/100 on Acid3 which is much better than IE8.

    Only issue is no font-smoothing as far as I can tell in XP.

  • tlhallums

    Honestly, I wouldn’t. Firefox has sufficed my web browsing needs and Safari & Opera have been perfect standards-compliant backups.

    I just hope that IE8 (and even IE7) completely overtake the IE6 that is still being used.

  • Anonymous

    Frankly, I’ve been using Firefox since it was called Firebird and I’ve yet to find a decent reason to ditch it.

  • RealUser

    Wow! IE8 outperformed FF and Google Chrome! Shocking!

    quoting the review:

    “So which one comes out smelling like roses? The beta of Internet Explorer 8, released just last week.

    When playing a YouTube video, Firefox 3 took up 95 percent of the CPU time on a three-year old laptop running Windows XP.

    Chrome came in at 60 percent — still too much. Especially since Google owns YouTube! You’d think it could make its browser work well with that site in particular.

    Internet Explorer barely broke a sweat, taking up just a few percent.

    When I told each browser to load eight pages, some of which were heavy with Flash and graphics, Firefox took 17 seconds and ended with a continuous CPU load of 50 percent. That means it took up half of my available processing power, even if I wasn’t looking at any of the pages.

    Chrome loaded them the fastest, at 12 seconds, and ended with a CPU load of about 40 percent.

    Internet Explorer 8 took 13 seconds to load, but ended with no CPU load at all.

    … I’d recommend giving the new Internet Explorer a spin.”

    “Review: Google Chrome lacks polish under the hood”

  • dougoftheabaci

    Now, see that I would find very surprising. Chrome is based on WebKit, which blows IE out of the water. It uses Squirrel Fish as it’s JavaScript render engine which is a great deal faster than Firefox. WebKit, as many of you likely know, is the open source engine that powers Safari and a few other lesser-known browsers like Shiira.

    I wonder if Google is using the latest version? I don’t see why not. Though, after reading the article I get the feeling they’re a bit pro-IE from the start.

  • Rakesh Sivan

    I am pretty very much okay with my Firefox 2+ and its bunch of extensions. Then why should I think of a shift :-)

    No chance of selecting IE8

  • tehgamecat

    Just so you lot understand, the standard in web browsing is IE. Get this through your heads please. Why do you think the majority of corporate web based applications are coded for IE? GEE it’s because it the STANDARD. IE8 should be a good leap and thankfully they’ve taken a good lead from the trailblazing done by module devs on FF and others.

    It is just so funny to see the “I am a web dev” and “I’ll never us IE”. Typical geeks, no business sense AT ALL. Know your market, it is IE.

  • dougoftheabaci


    First, IE is not the standard. Standards aren’t based on the majority, they are based on best practice. By that IE isn’t even on the ballot.

    Second, IE isn’t the majority in every demographic, nor is it the majority in general for some nations or regions.

    Third, enterprise applications run on IE because it integrates the most with other Microsoft products and thus of a benefit for them to use. Also, at the time of many of their developments, IE was a was not only the vast majority in all respects but also wasn’t so pathetically far behind.

    Fourth, IE8 is not a leap in many respects at all. While it may fix some of the wrongs of IE7 it doesn’t go too far towards righting many other wrongs. It’s JavaScript support is still horrible and it’s barely got any CSS3 or HTML5 support where other browsers are quickly approaching full support.

    And fifth, business sense has almost nothing to do with development. They are two separate parts of the creation of anything, be it an application or website. What you’re talking about is demographics and usability. But thank you for trying all the same.

  • tehgamecat

    What’s the standard layout of a car? 2 seats front 3 back? Yep. Why? Because that’s the majority of cars and the standard layout. If a “standards authority” told me 5 seats up front was better and I built a car with 5 seats up front my car would be described as using a non-standard layout.

    Go ahead and post the stats for those demographics. Go look up the standard browser for businesses as well, I’d love to see that.

    IE is not chosen for enterprise apps because it integrates with other Microsoft products. IE is chosen because it is stable, and viewed as the STANDARD browser used by most people and companies. When building commercial web apps the question asked is: which browser is used by most people? Answer: IE, ok we’ll build this for IE. Know the market.

    Onto point 4. It’s true what you say. But again, css3 and html5 are standards created by a 3rd party body. IE is STILL the actual standard.

    Regarding point 5, go build your corporate web app to run only on firefox then and see if you get paid. Business decisions drive the usage of IE or FireFox for a large area of paid web development, that is the market of relevance and that is why IE is the standard. Am I talking about usability? Nope. Am I talking about demographics? Maybe, in the sense that IE is used by more people globally and is the standard for the corporate world in terms of numbers, but then that’s the whole point isnt it.

    As a further point Firefox has become a realistic contender outside of businesses but should be given the same level of possible integration with Windows – that would definitely take it up a notch and make it viable across the board. That is where MS have been closely protecting IE, and wrongly so in my opinion.

  • Barry34785

    No. Hell No! IE8 is from Microsoft and for that reason alone is why you should use it. FireFox will always kick IE A$$ no matter how many security patches Microsoft comes out with.

  • I test IE8 for a few day in many web site, I think it faster than older all IE. But many web have some missing appearance(shift some pixel out screen) Also included my web too.
    I’m youngster for web blog development and find the hack of CSS for IE8 for fix this problem but still not found it.
    For example hack CSS of some IE7-

    IE6+ quirks and IE5 (= all IE/Win quirks)
    * html selector { property /**/: value; }

    IE7 only
    *+html selector { property: value; }

    IE8 only —-> how to used it
    Who know this please help me?
    Thank you