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Why Do So Many Geeks Hate Internet Explorer?
How-To-Geek ^ | 18 October 2010 | HTG

Posted on 10/20/2010 8:28:50 AM PDT by ShadowAce

sshot-2010-10-18-1-04-07-47

It’s common knowledge that almost every single geek hates Internet Explorer with a passion, but have you ever wondered why? Let’s take a fair look at the history and where it all began… for posterity, if nothing else.

Contrary to what you might think, this article is not meant to be a hate-fest on Internet Explorer—in fact, we’re pretty impressed with the hardware acceleration and new features in Internet Explorer 9—but keep reading for the whole story.

In the Beginning There Was IE, and It Was Good?

We’ve all been so used to thinking of Internet Explorer as that slow, buggy browser that is behind the times, but it wasn’t always that way—in fact, way back when, Internet Explorer pioneered many innovations that made the web what it is today.

image

Here’s a quick tour through the easily forgotten history of the infamous browser:

1996: Internet Explorer 3
This version of the browser, introduced in 1997, was the first browser to implement CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). Yes, you’re reading that correctly—in fact, it introduced many new features like Java applets and sadly, ActiveX controls.

1997: Internet Explorer 4
IE4 introduced a blazing fast (at the time) rendering engine as an embeddable component that could be used in other applications—this was a lot more important than people realize. This version also introduced Dynamic HTML, which allows web pages to dynamically change the page using JavaScript, and added Active Desktop integration.

Even more weird? Seems like nobody remembers this anymore, but IE4 was actually cross-platform—you could install it on Mac OS, Solaris, and HP-UX—and by the time IE5 was released, IE4 had reached a 60% market share.

1999: Internet Explorer 5.x
Microsoft invented Ajax. Wait… what? That’s right, it was this version of IE that introduced the XMLHttpRequest feature in JavaScript, which forms the underlying technology behind every web application you’re using today—you know, like Gmail. Of course, the term “Ajax” wasn’t actually coined until years later by somebody other than Microsoft, but this release supported everything required to make it work.

So Yes, Microsoft Innovated
From IE3 until IE6, Microsoft used all their resources to simply out-innovate the competition, releasing new features and better browsers faster than Netscape. In fact, Netscape 3 Gold was a buggy piece of junk that crashed all the time, and Netscape 4 was extremely slow and could barely render tables—much less CSS, which would often cause the browser to crash.

To put it in context: web developers used to complain about Netscape the same way they complain about IE6 now.

What Made It Go So Very Wrong?

image

The trouble all started when Microsoft integrated IE into Windows as a required component, and made it difficult to uninstall and use an alternate browser. Then there was the whole business with them exploiting their monopoly to try and push Netscape out of the market, and a lot of people started to view Microsoft as the evil empire.

Microsoft Stopped Trying
By the time Microsoft released Internet Explorer 6 in 2001, complete with lots of new features for web developers, since there was no competition and they had a 95% market share, Microsoft just stopped trying—seriously, they did nothing for 5 years even after Firefox was released and geeks started migrating left and right.

Microsoft-Specific Features
The whole problem with Microsoft’s innovation is that much of it was done in ways that didn’t follow the web standards—this wasn’t as big of a problem when Internet Explorer was the only game in town, but once Firefox and Webkit came around and started following the standards correctly, suddenly it became a huge problem for web developers.

Security Holes and Crashing
Since Microsoft decided they didn’t need to try anymore, and they didn’t keep up with the competition from Firefox and other browsers, bugs and security holes just cropped up left and right—really terrible ones, too. For instance, this code is all that is required to crash IE6:

<script>for(x in document.write){document.write(x);}</script>

In fact, the screenshot at the beginning of this section was a live example of testing out this particular bug.

IE7 and IE8 Were Too Little, Too Late
It took 5 years after IE6 for Microsoft to finally get around to releasing IE7, which added tabs and made the browser slightly more tolerable, but for web designers it was still a nightmare to deal with, and only complicated the issue since now you had to make pages render correctly in two lousy browsers instead of just one.

It took another 2.5 years for Microsoft to finally release Internet Explorer 8, which greatly improved CSS support for web developers, and added new features like Private browsing, tab isolation to prevent one bad page from taking down the whole browser, and phishing protection. By this point, most geeks had already moved on to Firefox, and then some of us to Google Chrome.

Here’s the Real Reason Geeks Hate IE

image[21]

Just because we’re geeks doesn’t mean we hate everything that’s inferior and outdated—in fact, we often love retro computing—that’s why we love Atari, NES, Commodore 64, etc. We take pride in our geek knowledge. So why’s Internet Explorer a different story?

Here’s a couple of reasons that fueled our hatred of the buggy browser, and finally put us all over the edge:

Supporting IE is Like a Fork in the Eye for Web Devs
Here’s a sample of a day in the life of a web designer: You spend hours making sure that your page looks great, and you test it out in Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and even Opera. It looks great, awesome!

Now you open up IE and the page looks like somebody put it into a blender and hit the Whip button. Then you spend double the amount of time trying to fix it to look tolerable in IE6 and IE7, cursing loudly the entire time.

Geeks Forced to Use Internet Explorerimage
And here’s where we come to the real issue—the whole reason that geeks can’t stand Internet Explorer:

Geeks everywhere were forced to use Internet Explorer at work even when there are better browsers, forced to support it for corporate applications, forced to make sure web sites still work in IE, and we couldn’t convince everybody to switch to a better browser.

Geeks don’t hate something that’s inferior—but they do hate it when it’s forced on them.

The Good News: The Future Might Be Brighter

Thankfully it seems like Microsoft has finally learned from their many, many mistakes in the browser world. They are below 50% in the market share wars, and they’ve finally learned to focus on using web standards.

Internet Explorer 9 is about to be released, it’s got a shiny new interface that looks a lot like Google Chrome, blazing fast hardware acceleration, and supports HTML5 surprisingly well—in fact, it’s so much better that 34% of our readers said they will switch to IE9.

Microsoft is billing Internet Explorer 9 as the browser that’s going to change the world, and they aren’t wrong—they just aren’t mentioning that they were the only ones holding the web back with their anemic browsers. And now that mess is finally over.


TOPICS: Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: browser; ie; ilovebillgates; iwanthim; iwanthimbad; microsoft; microsoftfanboys
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1 posted on 10/20/2010 8:28:53 AM PDT by ShadowAce
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To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; GodGunsandGuts; CyberCowboy777; Salo; Bobsat; JosephW; ...

2 posted on 10/20/2010 8:29:36 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce

IMHO, Geeks don’t cotton to thinking of themselves as borg pawns.


3 posted on 10/20/2010 8:31:24 AM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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To: ShadowAce

geeks think?


4 posted on 10/20/2010 8:32:24 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (defeat islam.)
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To: the invisib1e hand
geeks think?
5 posted on 10/20/2010 8:33:24 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce

Now that FireFox has become such a bloated hog (currently running 201,000k for me right now), I’m more than willing to go to IE9 if they make it good.

Chrome is simple too sparse, but I use it as the default. Opera is too “busy”.


6 posted on 10/20/2010 8:34:21 AM PDT by VanDeKoik (1 million in stimulus dollars paid for this tagline!)
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To: the invisib1e hand

I am using Chrome 7, with IE 9 as back up.

FireFox is distant third.


7 posted on 10/20/2010 8:34:47 AM PDT by FloridaSunrise
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To: ShadowAce

This article misses the big reason geeks hate IE - the “ActiveX” framework that lets someone fritz with your system files via the browser.


8 posted on 10/20/2010 8:34:53 AM PDT by Notary Sojac ("Goldman Sachs" is to "US economy" as "lamprey" is to "lake trout")
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To: the invisib1e hand

>>>geeks think?

Where others emote. :)


9 posted on 10/20/2010 8:35:02 AM PDT by Keith in Iowa (FR Class of 1998 | TV News is an oxymoron. | MSNBC = Moonbats Spouting Nothing But Crap.)
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To: ShadowAce

Firefox is what I have used for several years now. The two reasons: Tabs, which I use CONSTANTLY, and security. Because Firefox is not integrated with windows, even if you fully exploit it there are only so many places a hacker can go. It is like IE has the keys to the building, so once you get him, you have it all. Firefox just doesn’t have as much power. Even if it gives you it’s keys to it’s parts of the building, there is only so much malicious stuff you can do.


10 posted on 10/20/2010 8:36:45 AM PDT by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: ShadowAce; neverdem; SunkenCiv

No spell check in IE. Mozzile/FireFox hights errors automatically in any entry form, the correction is a simple right-click on the underlined word.


11 posted on 10/20/2010 8:38:41 AM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: ShadowAce

i’m afraid to click that.


12 posted on 10/20/2010 8:38:51 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (defeat islam.)
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To: ShadowAce

I still stick with Firefox because with the right combo of addons (Adblock, Greasemonkey and NoScript in my case) I can strip down every webpage to just what I want to see, and never have to look at a distracting and bandwidth hogging graphic, ad, or animation unless I -want- to.


13 posted on 10/20/2010 8:39:17 AM PDT by Notary Sojac ("Goldman Sachs" is to "US economy" as "lamprey" is to "lake trout")
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To: combat_boots

I think that is the main thing. It reminds me of the dumb joke in a Firesign Theater album:

Why did the short-hair cross the street? Because someone told him to.

Why did the long-hair cross the street? Because someone told him NOT to.

Actually, you could replace short-hair with Asian or European and replace long-hair with American. It’s why we had a revolution.

It is a long heritage and what makes us uniquely dangerous to despots - eventually.


14 posted on 10/20/2010 8:39:30 AM PDT by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: FloridaSunrise

My big annoyance with firefox is that it just keeps using more and more memory. The good news is that it is no big deal to just close and re-open every couple of days. It saves all your tabs if you want.


15 posted on 10/20/2010 8:41:52 AM PDT by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: RobRoy

Firefox for me, tabs reasons included....the add-ons alone are beyond what IE has to offer. The IDM/video downloader add-on alone, as an example is the best I’ve used.

Will never use any Google product/Chrome. I dont like my IP search queries being recorded.


16 posted on 10/20/2010 8:42:50 AM PDT by max americana (Hoax and Chains, Dopeychangey)
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To: VanDeKoik

FireFox with NoScript and Adblock are the ideal browser. No blinking ads or popups, I love it.


17 posted on 10/20/2010 8:42:52 AM PDT by B4Ranch (Conflict is inevitable; Combat is an option. Train for the fight.)
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To: ShadowAce
I gave up Netscape when it became bloatware with Netscape Navigator and moved to the lean Internet Explorer. I gave up Internet Explorer when it became bloatware and moved to Firefox. So far, Firefox has resisted the temptation to become bloatware.
18 posted on 10/20/2010 8:44:41 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The only stable state is one in which all men are equal before the law." -- Aristotle)
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To: ShadowAce

I don’t have time to read the whole article right now but I just want to chime in with a new reason to hate IE:

IE 8 has some pop-up when you start it (I don’t have it now and I don’t remember exactly what it says) that implies that you should get IE 8 now (even though you already have it!!!) and the only choices are DO IT NOW and REMIND ME LATER.

I mostly use Chrome and Firefox so I run into this infrequently (on other people’s computers) but it is highly, highly, highly irritating, as so much of MS can be.


19 posted on 10/20/2010 8:44:46 AM PDT by samtheman
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To: ShadowAce
I like exploring as long as you keep the sun outta your eyes!

My helper is a handful!

20 posted on 10/20/2010 8:44:47 AM PDT by Young Werther ("Quae cum ita sunt" Since these things are so!)
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To: ShadowAce

This is a hoot, thanks!

I’d only add that many of us were FORCED to use IE and only IE by corporate “preventers of information technology” who had bought into the Microsoft mythology hook line and sinker, and were more than anxious to express our defiance in whatever ways we could, including running other browsers at home, and I daresay, even installing them on our work computers - what audacity!


21 posted on 10/20/2010 8:45:32 AM PDT by bigbob
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To: ShadowAce

IE7 had the same problems Office 2007 and Windows Vista has,

They took a simple and easy to use interface and moved/hid everything leaving you to spend hours trying to hunt down simple functions that were easily found in previous versions.


22 posted on 10/20/2010 8:47:51 AM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: Notary Sojac

The Flashblock add-on makes Firefox worth using over everything else. Sure, I have to click one extra time to get a Youtube video to start, but it also keeps the 95% of Flash that is utter crap from ever running.


23 posted on 10/20/2010 8:47:59 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Grblb blabt unt mipt speeb!! Oot piffoo blaboo...)
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To: B4Ranch

I’ve totally forgot about NoScript.

Hopefully it will do the trick.


24 posted on 10/20/2010 8:48:24 AM PDT by VanDeKoik (1 million in stimulus dollars paid for this tagline!)
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To: the invisib1e hand
geeks think?

Indeed we do.



Runaway Slave

Apostle Claver tells the world how the real party of racism is the Democrats

25 posted on 10/20/2010 8:50:01 AM PDT by rdb3 (The mouth is the exhaust pipe of the heart.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
So far, Firefox has resisted the temptation to become bloatware.

Check the newer versions and then open the task manager and whoa!!

26 posted on 10/20/2010 8:50:11 AM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: ShadowAce

FireFox with the NoScript plugin is the way to go. It keeps you from experiencing the internet version of “grab your ankles, hold my beer, and watch this.”


27 posted on 10/20/2010 8:50:52 AM PDT by RingerSIX
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Isn’t Firefox a new version of Netscrape?


28 posted on 10/20/2010 8:51:16 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (We conservatives will always lose elections as long as we allow the MSM to choose our candidates.)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE; neverdem; SunkenCiv

Plus....the Extensionssss....Nothing like them in I.E.


29 posted on 10/20/2010 8:51:20 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts ("Give me your secrets, Bring me a sign, Give me a reason to walk the fire.")
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To: ShadowAce

I always say nothing makes the current version of IE look good quite like the next 2 versions. Every version of IE has been a pain, ugly, slow, piggish, tons of annoying “security” features that mostly stop you from browsing but never seem to slow down the malware. And MS has maintained the remarkable streak of always making the next version worse in every category. So the IE6 you fought hard to avoid when it came out becomes the IE6 you’re desperately protecting from automatic updates now that 8 is out. And in a few years you’ll be guarding against the evils of 10.


30 posted on 10/20/2010 8:53:00 AM PDT by discostu (Keyser Soze lives)
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To: ShadowAce

I started out with Netscape [dial up days]. It was ok, until around version 4.7. Then it became a nightmare and crashed on many websites.

IE4 and 5 were just getting started.

About the time I found FR, I also found a web browser [Fastbrowser Pro] that was IE6 based and had tabs. I still use it for FR, because it has some add-on features that later IE versions do not support.

I also found Firefox and stated using it around version 0.7. It was okay and the extensions/add-ons were nice, but it sucked up memory.

I tried IE7 and immediately deleted it, because it lacked many features. I also tried Google Chrome and deleted it for the same reason.

I am still on XP sp2. I still use Fastbrowser Pro for FR and Firefox 3.6.3. Some versions/upgrades of Firefox have been monsters, destroying profiles and files. When I use Fastbrowser Pro to look at Youtube videos, Youtube gives me a warning that the browser is out of date — but the videos still load, so I keep using Fastbrowser Pro.

I tried a later version of Chrome. It was faster than Firefox, but doesn’t have comparable extensions/add-ons that Firefox has.

One program that I use has already warned me not to use it with IE9, as IE9 will corrupt its files.

==

I keep thinking about a new computer with Win7, but so far, for home use, I haven’t been able to justify the cost vs home use.


31 posted on 10/20/2010 8:54:16 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: qam1
IE7 had the same problems Office 2007 and Windows Vista has,

They took a simple and easy to use interface and moved/hid everything leaving you to spend hours trying to hunt down simple functions that were easily found in previous versions.

It wasn't so bad with IE7, or with Vista, but Office 2007 is absolutely horrible. Even my shortcut keys don't work the same any more ( e.g. [alt][E}{C] for 'copy'). The still work (sometimes) in IE8, but not in Office. What were they thinking when they changed the interface? All it did was create a situation where anybody that had been using Office for the last 2 decades required training, either through a classroom or 'trial-and-error'. And, training costs companies money.

Had I known, back in 2007 when I got Office 2007, that it was going to be different, I'd have gotten 2003 instead.

32 posted on 10/20/2010 8:54:29 AM PDT by meyer (Tax the productive to carry the freeloaders - What is it with democrats and slavery?)
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To: ShadowAce
Why Do So Many Geeks Hate Internet Explorer?

Cause it sucks? Because in an attempt to stave off monopoly accusations, MicroShaft knitted it so closely into Windows that it probably has the access to do more damage than a third party browser? Cause it's sort of the AOL of browsers?

33 posted on 10/20/2010 8:55:21 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: ShadowAce

I tried going back to IE, because I am running a 64 bit OS, and thought I’d like a complete 64 bit brower.

Yuck.

Ditto to a number of the points people raised. Iam going to raise one more small but important (for me point).

I go to NUMEROUS websites that have usernames and passwords. Sometimes I have to guess at one or the other (was the user name an e-mail address or not? Did I have to capitalize the password?)

Anyway, when I make my best guess, Firefox submits the entry, while asking if I want it to remember. If it loads properly, I say YES. IE will not submit the entry UNTIL I tell it if I want it to remember. If I say YES and I’m wrong, I have to go through it again, with IE auto-entering the wrong info. I hate that.


34 posted on 10/20/2010 8:56:17 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics)
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To: VanDeKoik
Chrome is simple too sparse, but I use it as the default.

I agree with that.

For quick use, I found a browser called QTWeb that loads quickly and runs most video formats.
35 posted on 10/20/2010 8:57:18 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: ShadowAce

Opera, busy or not works very well.

By the way, I can see November from my house.
On Nov 2, Pelosi’s house will be foreclosed on by we the people.

caddis the elder


36 posted on 10/20/2010 8:57:26 AM PDT by palmerizedCaddis
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To: ShadowAce

I’ve never used IE as my regular browser. I went from Mosaic straight to Netscape Navigator.


37 posted on 10/20/2010 8:58:58 AM PDT by shorty_harris
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To: VanDeKoik

Jesus! How many add-ons do you have? Ever think about turning some of them off? I use NoScript, AdBlockPlus, and Ghostery, and I’m running around 80 Mb (80,000 Kb). I agree that a browser should be agile, but lightweight has gone the way of the dodo!

With newer machines coming in with more than 4 GB RAM and hard drives reaching 3 TB, sure we want fast, but memory and hard disk footprints don’t much matter anymore.


38 posted on 10/20/2010 8:59:54 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: KarlInOhio
You need to try the PrefBar addon if you don't already have it.

Lets you toggle colors (I HATE sites with dark backgrounds and grey text!), images, Flash, and Java off and on with a check box for each, right up top in the menu bar for instant access.

I am so used to browsing sites like FR in "plain text only" mode that when I login from an IE-using computer I sometimes don't recognize where I am....

39 posted on 10/20/2010 9:05:22 AM PDT by Notary Sojac ("Goldman Sachs" is to "US economy" as "lamprey" is to "lake trout")
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To: rarestia

Well I only have 5, most are for stopping stuff from loading like FlashBlock and Ad Blocker.

I do have a habit of never closing the program down completely, so it just keeps using more resources until it is crawling.


40 posted on 10/20/2010 9:06:02 AM PDT by VanDeKoik (1 million in stimulus dollars paid for this tagline!)
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To: samtheman
IE 8 has some pop-up when you start it (I don’t have it now and I don’t remember exactly what it says) that implies that you should get IE 8 now (even though you already have it!!!) and the only choices are DO IT NOW and REMIND ME LATER.

Yes, I love how many MS multiple choice dialogs are like:

Do the wrong thing

Do the right thing

Always do the wrong thing

If the wrong option gets an "always" why doesn't the good one? It's like someone at MS said "If those rubes are going to defy us, we'll make sure they have to go to the trouble to do it EVERY SINGLE TIME!" You'd think they were Democrats or something.

41 posted on 10/20/2010 9:07:56 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: ShadowAce

Geeks are logical. Being asked to support inferior crap is illogical.

As stated above, American geeks in particular; are a recalcitrant lot, and we won’t stand for illogical direction for very long.

We’ll always find another way.


42 posted on 10/20/2010 9:08:20 AM PDT by cicero2k
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To: samtheman

MS popups were of course brought to their ultimate in Windows Vista, where what was missing was a radio button that said “NEVER BOTHER ME ABOUT THIS F*****G THING AGAIN, OK????”


43 posted on 10/20/2010 9:10:29 AM PDT by Notary Sojac ("Goldman Sachs" is to "US economy" as "lamprey" is to "lake trout")
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To: ShadowAce

“It’s common knowledge that almost every single geek hates Internet Explorer with a passion”

Maybe geeks do, but professionals don’t.


44 posted on 10/20/2010 9:13:02 AM PDT by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: ShadowAce

IE is a bloated piece of crap and it loads way to slow with all the overhead it uses.

I quit using Bill’s POS years ago and ain’t looked back.


45 posted on 10/20/2010 9:15:33 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: B4Ranch
FireFox with NoScript and Adblock are the ideal browser. No blinking ads or popups, I love it.

There are ads on the internet? 

Been using firefox for so long I forgot.

46 posted on 10/20/2010 9:24:46 AM PDT by zeugma (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam)
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To: max americana

Interestingly, I’ve never, EVER installed an ad-on for any brouser, other than the Flash player. But then I pretty much only use the internet to read news stories and connect via email.

What do you use a video downloader for, other than what the name implies? Why do people have a need to do that. Is it a niche thing?


47 posted on 10/20/2010 9:26:56 AM PDT by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: max americana

I just remember the main reason I loved Firefox: Before using it I had to run Adaware constantly. Six months after switching to Firefox, I removed Adaware from my computer and haven’t had to worry since.


48 posted on 10/20/2010 9:28:26 AM PDT by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: VanDeKoik

I was using Vista for a long time and had problems with Firefox going RAM-ivore, but since I’ve gone to Win7, I’ve been very happy with FF’s performance. Of course, 12 GB of RAM might be part of the reason.


49 posted on 10/20/2010 9:29:12 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: Notary Sojac
I still stick with Firefox because with the right combo of addons (Adblock, Greasemonkey and NoScript in my case) I can strip down every webpage to just what I want to see, and never have to look at a distracting and bandwidth hogging graphic, ad, or animation unless I -want- to.

Good combination!

50 posted on 10/20/2010 9:31:52 AM PDT by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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