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Doug's Mailbag: All Things Internet Explorer

With the news that IE has carved out a larger share in the Internet browser market, here's some of your thoughts on Microsoft's Web offering:

I'm surprised to hear that IE 8 made a comeback. We have several customers who can't use it because of compatibility issues with older applications (most seem to be banking applications for our bank customers) and the compatibility mode doesn't help with this.

I can't get it to work reliably on my personal Win 7 computer. There's something off and I've tried several fixes, but nothing works. The main issue is that links on Web pages just won't work and give an error at the bottom of IE. I've checked the links and they aren't anything special and don't use Javascript -- just basic HTML text links. Quite frustrating, especially because  I can't switch back to IE7 on Win7. I almost exclusively use Firefox now and love it.

I'm glad that Microsoft finally rebooted their ability to innovate, or more correctly, compete in the browser market. Microsoft sat for waaaaay too long on the -- for lack of a better term -- crappy IE 6. IE 8 is an iterative step in the right direction and I'm glad that IE 9 is showing lots of early promising results. Once again, it shows that competition drives innovation. Microsoft has made major strides in making IE compatible, but until IE 6 and IE 7 are finally wiped away, there will be lots of compatibility issues across browsers. I just hope that HTML 5 standards do continue to move towards a final standard versus a sliding compliance standard we have today.

As an old software developer (30 years and counting), I try to keep an open mind about software technologies. I use IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari (pretty much in that order).

Now that you mention it, I find myself lately just automatically using IE 8. I haven't really thought about why -- I'm not much of a fanboy of anything. Maybe somebody can tell ME why I do that.

We still have a few issues with browsers other than IE 6. One of them is with our Siebel platform. It will not function on IE 7 or IE 8. To get around this I'm now having Siebel run as a published app in Citrix so that the workstation can run a newer version of IE while Citrix publishes IE 6.

We have one other application from AT&T called Route-It which is a client install going out via port 443 that seems to be having issues with the new browser and is not supported on anything other than IE 6. Fortunately, it is only installed on one machine. It's possible a browser setting needs to be changed. We're just now starting to look into it. Also, Route-It has a Web version, but it is very inefficient. The user is requesting the fat client instead.

Aside from that, most of our other apps seem to be doing fine on a beta of about 20 people running IE 8 at my site. We're planning on rolling out to another 20 this week, and then to another 500 or so computers next week due to the success in beta testing.

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Posted by Doug Barney on 06/09/2010 at 1:17 PM


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