When Microsoft launched Internet Explorer
version 4, it was a pretty major cock-up and version 4.1 was
hurried along to try and fix the numerous problemettes; but now
Microsoft has foist IE6 on the world (along with Windows XP
lurking in the wings), they’ve gone and done it again.
IE 5.5 was a pretty well refined and
functional piece of work, after numerous fixes and patches.
It wouldn’t be so bad if after 25 years of
taking the proverbial from its users and developers, Microsoft
displayed an ounce of contrition, but in its own inimitable but
predictable way, the MS IE website tells us smugly that one of the
key reasons to upgrade to IE6 is because…
“You want to know that you are
using a stable and error-free browser when you visit and perform
tasks on the Web.”
The response to that begins with “b” and
ends with “s”. (With “ollock” in the middle).
Excuse me, but people who developed web sites
using the “exciting new features” of IE5.5 are universally
stunned to discover that IE6 is simply not providing a compatible
upgrade. Having “won” this game and seen off browser
competition to the extent that the IETF and any other standards
have been subjugated by the Beast of Redmond, the first thing
Microsoft should understand is that it owes a duty of particular
care to the those who are now victims of this effective monopoly.
Some of the bugs are subtle:-
“Did anyone else notice that private variables in
pages that host behaviours are no longer visible to the behaviour?
Can anyone from MS explain why fundamental changes in the
way the application functions are not clearly documented????”
But many are not, and here one newsgroup
posting pretty much says it all:-
“After my most recent fob off from
Microsoft telling me it's my graphics card drivers not working
(and I have even tried MS universal drivers) being the cause for
red crosses where a picture should appear, I now feel that IE6 is
THE WORST VERSION OF IE *EVER* “
Pages do a 404 before even giving them a
chance to load, security isn't always what it should be, it is
buggy as hell, and I'm going over to Netscape.
The worst thing you can do is release a naff
release because of pressure just to release, especially when it is
as buggy as IE6.
Next time, Microsoft, wait until it's less
buggy - I'm not asking for a bug free version as that's almost
impossible, but the problems with IE6 are FUNDAMENTAL problems,
like graphics not loading and errors on basic web sites.
DON'T JUST RELEASE FOR THE SAKE OF
“Hey there, I just downloaded MSIE6
tonight, and my GOD, what a mistake!!!
I've found a few glitches already, in less than two hours.. but
the biggest one that I'm having the most trouble with is the style
sheets. MSIE6 doesn't seem to recognize the collapsible
table borders, though MSIE5.5 had absolutely no problem with it -
and it really screws up the entire look of many of my websites
To avoid treading in any of the nastier bits
of do-do being shed by this piece of software, go along to the
Google news groups at:
But like me, you will want to know how to
uninstall IE6. Well, good news at last:-
“Having had my fill of IE6 I decided to go ahead
and try to go back to IE5.5 using the Add/Remove Programs option
despite all of the bad things I have read in this newsgroup. Well
it worked without a hitch and I am now running IE5.5SP2 and have
all of my speed back with no hanging or pausing. I'm a happy
As usual if you want to know what’s really
going on, don’t read the Microsoft blather (or any web site spun
by a corporate PR department!), read the nasty newsgroups. Maybe
the new judge recent assigned to the anti trust case – the
unlikely Colleen Kollar-Kotelly (just
where do Americans get these names from..?)
will take the trouble to read the news groups to get a
handle on just what sort of challenge she faces when trying to
tame this unruly monopolist.
It’s easy to take
a poke at Microsoft – as a trip through any newsgroup discussing
MS software will show you. It’s fascinating to see how many
people (who generally post a viable contact address) will spring
up and defend Microsoft. Why does my nasty suspicious mind cause
me to suspect that there are people paid to watch the newsgroups
and take a swing back at those who criticise Microsoft..? I know
if I was MS I would do it.
All manner of remedies have been being talked about now that the break up
has been ruled out (let’s face it, Microsoft’s 95%
stranglehold on desktops is fundamentally very good for the US,
and these folks don’t usually do things for the benefit of
mankind and the detriment of their own financial interests), but
the IE6 fiasco is a perfect reminder that it’s all to late to
have competition in core software, and that the standards
subjected to the marketplace are ultimately a matter of the
survival of the one with the most money and marketing, not
necessarily the best technology.