Not all browsers are equal and some are less equal than others

The title is a misquote of George Orwell’s quote from Animal Farm

All animals are equal – but some animals are more equal than others

We tend to think of browsers as a utility and don’t really care what version it is when viewing a web page

Unfortunately, the most common browser (and probably the one you are using right now) Internet Explorer 6 is also the least secure as well has a number of bugs whilst rendering web pages that it degrades the user experience. IE6 was launched in 2001 and due to its default install on Windows based computer pretty much dominant status till recently. Microsoft for various reasons had disbanded the IE development till recently and this led to the browser being very susceptible to security flaws which were actively exploited to install malware.

Over the last few years, there has been growing interest in alternatives for IE6 as individuals and corporations have realised that that its not worth putting all your eggs in one basket. This has led to innovation in terms of web standards and an improved user experience.

Microsoft has also responded to market pressure and customer demand and restarted IE development. They have launched Internet Explorer 7 which fixes a number of bugs in the IE6 engine as well as provides improved security. Security improvments come in the form of a built in phishing filter, opt-in ActiveX, an always available address bar so you know where the window is being launched form.

User experience improvements are provided in the form of tabbed window support, easy auto discovery of RSS feeds (we @ mumineen.org use RSS feeds extensively), integrated web search in the default toolbar , bug fixes to many rendering issues which make life for a web developer much simpler because they no longer have to spend time working around IE6 defeciencies but instead can focus on developing a better product

IE7 has been out for nearly 2 years and there have also been alternative browsers such as Firefox, Opera and Safari available which have similar features. Unfortunately our statistics show that nearly 40% of visits to our website come from IE6 so users haven’t upgraded either to IE7 or any alternative browsers

The advantage of Firefox and Opera is that they are cross platform so if you are using Mac OSX or Linux then you have that browser available to you.

We want to take this opportunity to encourage our userbase to switch away from IE6 to any of the better alternatives namely IE7, Firefox, Opera, Safari for a more secure and better browsing experience and as such we have coded a subtle message on our website specific to IE6 users encouraging them to take the plunge

If you have switched away from IE6, we applaud your judgement and hope that you will assist other mumineen in making that switch. Let’s use the mantra

Friends don’t let friends use IE6

Comments are closed.