Murphy's Law: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Internet Explorer

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johnm1971

Hi, Murph! Loved the ariticle as I have encountered a similar situation quite a few times. I will be at someone else's house, or helping them work out some PC problem, and notice that they use a certain program, and wonder, "Why?" I guess it does come down to familiarity.  When I think back, I had heard about the "other" browsers out there, but it was a long time before I finally gave Firefox a chance, and to be honest, I hated it at first. I had lost the familiarity factor. I took some good advice, however, and made it my default browser, and ended up using nothing but Firefox (unless it would load a particular page, in which case I'd bust out the old reliable IE). I was also very hesitant to try Chrome out. I had dabbled with Safari and Opera and didn't care much for them (though in all fairness, I didn't overcome the "familiarity curve" with them.)  I finally got tired of hearing all my tech friends insisting that I try Chrome, and reading all the rave reviews online, and gave Chrome a try. I loved it instantly for many reasons. So, I can totally understand the urge to stay with the familiar, but have found that with a little patience, you may very well find that the "newer" product is better. I guess for some people, the inconvenience of that "learning curve" isn't worth the benefits that the superior product offers.  And by the way, Murph, I do consider myself more of a PC fan, but I love all things tech, and Apple products to fall into that category. I prefer Windows to OSX, but would still love to own a Macbook. So I don't hold anything against you for owning an iPhone! Keep up the good work!                                                                                                  

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nadako

Got tired of FireFox crashing on me every time, I tried google chrome and the whole speed thing just didnt show for me. So what happened? I fell back to IE it has never crashed on me and i havent had any problems with it. And i would never use Safarie That thing has a ton of security holes in it. IE may not look that great but it is reliable to me and the chrome interface just doesnt look that great even though you can change it but im lazy.

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pastorbob

It's a matter of balance. At what point does the old familiar become so antiquated and out of date that it is hindering rather than improving productivity. The earlier post using Windows 98 is a good example of such a wituation. As a long time IE user (since version 3) I have tried the competition numerous times but have always gone back to IE because of the very reasons Murph's coworker cited. Familiarity, and the continued ability to accomplish tasks in less time than I can with Firefox, Opera or Chrome. Regardless of the software, if I have to spend countless hours learning how to perform my daily tasks then I won't change until I come to the point that not changing or upgrading is more of a hindrance to my productivity. That is why I held out upgrading from Office 2003 to 2007 until last summer.

But with each version of Firefox I do give it a try hoping that the issues I have with it have been resolved. Alas, not to be. So I continue to use IE - for now. But I don't believe for a minute that doing so makes me a conformist or a technoklutz. There are only so many hours in a day and I choose to spend them getting work done, not relearning how to do it while missing deadlines and due dates.

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michaelh

As someone else's comment states, I expected an article about how IE had gotten better.  I think that has something to do with the image chosen for the header.  Since it states very prominently "we heard you" on the image, I expected to have to think about giving IE another shot. 

It was an interesting column since I find myself in that tech-headed realm of thought quite often. "Why do you still use a first-gen Nintendo DS? The lite is . . ." Why are you still running a single-core machine with 512MB of RAM? 

If it ain't broke, don't fix it - a very common sense aphorism though I wish some people were a little more open to change. I'm constantly asked questions about 'net quirks or settings by my fiancé. She sticks with IE for many of the same reasons as your co-worker. It's infuriating to find that IE's settings are often buried in places I would never think to look while Firefox's I find exactly where I expect (not just familiarity, sometimes looking for settings I've never adjusted before) most of the time.  There are also options in Firefox that IE can't even do - unless it's through an obscure system setting or registry key I've never seen before.

Your co-worker isn't wrong because of her IE use, but she's definitely working at the wrong place if it's MaxPC (versus Future Pub, in general). If one of you at MaxPC states that you haven't tried Opera, Chrome or even a new version of IE because you've always used Firefox and it's familiar - I hope you're holding a pink slip within 24 hours.

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Baer

I have used them all just about over the last 15 or so years and I keep going back to I E. I do use Firefox sometimes and it does have some great features that I like. Safari? Chrome? You can keep them. I never want to go to a web page and have to open a new browser to see all of it and that is why I keep falling back to I E.

IE6 did suck but since then MS seems to have gotten on the ball. If I really had to choose one browser and one only it would be I E. If not I E than Firefox but you can keep the rest.

i7 920 DO @ 3.64, Asus Rampage II, Vertex 2 SSD boot and OS, 2 V-Raptors in RAID-0 programs, 1 Tb RE3 Data, GTX 285 OCE driving 2 24" Samsung 244T's, 12 Gb Dominator GT, 1 KW Corsair GTX, Asus Xonar D2X, Optical drives Etc.

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compguytracy

I am not whay anyone would consider a noob, i am 42, a degree in it networking, have had some version of windows since 3.1, and am way ahead of most tech curves, rocking win 7 64 bit, 1 gb ati video, love games, etc. the problem i have with any other browser is what i like about ie. for instance. in safari, you can not sort the bookmarks, or scroll down using the mouse wheel if you have more than a few bookmarks, which i do. in chrome, you do not have bookmars at all, unless you customize, i dont use firefox, it is almost the same, as far as im concerned, and for all you flamers out there, no, i dont get viruses, as i do know my way around the net, and i explore the dark side, astalavista, rar.bg, etc.

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Mosher

In my experience people that don't upgrade to the newer better software also know much less about computers, and aren't willing to adopt the newer, better, and easier. this may be conveinient in the short term, but in the long term you will find yourself still using your wagon while were all using cars. you say it took you a while to jump from Firefox to Chrome, thats fine, many of us take a second glance before switching our most used programs. the real issue is when someone know's IE is the most despised browser, and has market share due only to its being default with Windows, yet five years on they still insist on the "familiarity" of IE! would you stick to windows 98 today for that reason? theres a point where the convenience of familiarity meets the inconvenience of antiquity.

 On the philosophy side of things, I believe the Computer, by definition is meant to perform tasks for us, and the more tasks you can teak it to do for you, the better. obviously there are those that sit in front of a computer and have no clue how to get it to find a file, this class requires a very sleek intuitive GUI. on the opposite extreme there are those that want to get more out of there computer and keep themselves on the cutting edge. and finally there is the third group, with neither time nor adventure enough to keep up, this category depends on the power user group to update them when software "x" is way outdated, or software "z" is the big trend. take Facebook for example, the first users were were adventurers giving the new network a try, when the power user community felt it was great, and saw it becoming main stream, they began to pass it on to their non-power user acquaintance's, (we all love passing on the knowledge to the less gifted). non-conformists (the fourth group) however should (by definition) not be using computers (thus not conforming!).

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d3v

Familiarity is very important. I use firefox but I recently installed opera to see what it was like. But while I find it faster that FF I still cling to firefox because its what I am used to. So any new technology has to be good enough to make changing over to it worth the effort.

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Mosher

Apple's & Oranges.

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tri8gman

Adblock Plus with a list I've compiled over the years. I also like the modular nature of the AppData folder. Both of these things, along with my other favorite NoScript, are available on Chrome (or equivalent - the AppData bit goes for anything alternative). There may be a way to import these lists into their respective Chrome counterparts, but I'm not particularly interested.

Personally, I prefer the standard toolbars (Home, Refresh, etc.) along with the Bookmarks Toolbar. I do, however, use Chrome on my netbook, as I have limited screen space.

So we have Chrome, Firefox, and Opera (along with all the less popular browsers) as alternatives to IE. Is any particular one better than the other? Not by a whole lot. But the difference between IE and the rest? Big differences - and most of them are TECHNICAL in nature. IE8 has addressed a good bit of the problems IE has had for years (specifically targeted plugins), but I still take issue with the remaining ones.

It's been mentioned that pages don't always work with other browsers - what does that mean? That means the website you're visiting doesn't care about web standards (the website is the suxx0rz). And it isn't as if IE doesn't do the same. IE renders my own page completely different from the other browsers (such that I had to place a script to check the agent). No, I didn't code a different page for IE, I just put a message that told them to use a different browser.

There was also a mention of "IE doesn't have memory leaks" - I'm sorry, but you didn't rule out Opera with that one (for major leaks). The memory leak covered was a particular bug I recall mostly being an issue Firefox *had*. Technically, ALL browsers have leaks because they ALL use a constant stream of content - it's a matter of scale (also, memory leeching vs memory capacity). I'd like to point out, however, that updates for the other browsers come at a faster rate than IE (Patch Tuesday! :D) - so "OMG, MOAR BUGZ!" doesn't have the same impact if they're being addressed more often.

 And... I've spent way too much time on this comment. If you use IE, you don't CARE about anything below the surface of the programs you use.

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PGleo86

"If you know the ins and outs of your particular motherboard setup, would you ever consider scrapping it and jumping to a different processor brand?  Would you ever buy an Apple product? " 

 

Why yes, yes I would buy an Apple product.  

 

Life is like a box of chocolates, except you can't eat life.

My deviantART: http://PGleo86.deviantart.com 

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bjoswald

She's a woman. They're always blissfully ignorant when it comes to technology. 

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essjay22

LMAO.As opposed to your  just ignorant?? Hey when you want some help moving into the mountains just post. I'm sure lots of us 'wimins' would gladly drag you out of harms way and far far away from the intardwebs you so despise. Have you ever posted anything nice??? Try it,you might like it.Some one should turn her onto an IE clone like Avant. I mean if you like familiarity.

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Mark Hanchey

If what you have works for you then no reason to change to something else just because someone wants you to use what works for them . I had an employer with a very old pc . The pc was a 386 , 16MB ram, rgb monitor, no mouse, only a dos app, and a dot matrix printer. This pc ran the customer receipts every day for years. When I suggested he get something newer with lcd monitor, mouse , windows XP , he laughed and then asked me why ?

 why should he spend money , spend time learning something new when what he had worked perfectly well for him and his situation. That pc performed its task for years without an upgrade, new OS or anything being done. I think we as pc hardware geeks want to check out the latest and greatest and we do it not because we have a need for the hardware but because it interest us and we just have to accept that sometimes other people just don't share the same interest.  They want a pc that does what they need and that is where their interest stops. 

 

Same for browsers. If it works for them then all the talking in the world will not make them share your opinion. They will tune out the second you start explaining the differences in browsers.

 

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BobbyPhoenix

+1  Very well said.

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tri8gman

A cash register and a program that communicates with a dynamic network of computers to send and recieve constantly evolving media is VERY VERY DIFFERENT.

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I Jedi

**DOUBLE POST; PLEASE IGNORE**

 My post below!!!

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I Jedi

Murphy, I must admit that when I first came on MxPC today, saw your article's title, I expected some reason why IE was a more secure browser, or how it could handle web pages better than many others browser could, or ANYTHING else, but what you have just stated. This, of course, being how we use technology that is familiar to us.

While I support the notion that we use tech. that is familiar to us because it is what gets the job done the fastest, I must distress that one must also take into account how secure the product is, how well it runs in effieiency, and rather you're truly getting all you can from the product you are using as oppossed to a competitors. For example, you can know the "ins" and "outs" of Firefox, and be able to navigate anywhere around the web with it, but that doesn't make it the most effiecient browser out there, no. With Internet Explorer, it may get more attention from Microsoft now-a-days, but it is certainly a far cry from being the most secure browser out there, and it still is the most frequently targeted browser to this day. With Chrome, you must sacrifice the wide availability of plugins that one would have with Firefox. 

My point being is this that all these web browsers have their advantages and disadvantages, but using a less-secure browser because its familiar is not exactly good safety tech. practice, just like using Firefox for casual browsing, but not banking/billing, is not as great of an idea because of its resource hogging fingers, even if it is more secure.

In the end, I do agree with you that we are creatures of habit. My friend spent a great deal of time getting me to switch from Internet Explorer to Firefox back in the good ol' days, but now he has moved onto Chrome, and wants me to make the jump with him. I, of course, have become familiar to all that Firefox has to offer, and I do not wish to make the jump because I like, know, and trust Firefox. Even though what I have just said defeats what I said earlier in my post, I am just stating that I understand where you are coming from, but it is important for all tech. gurus to know the issues that plague their own software when making an informed choice to use it or not. 

P.S. I like this philisophical/thinking article... I demand MOAR like this.

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Blues22475

I used to follow IE like a religious cultist until a friend showed me Firefox. Then I started following Firefox like a religious cultist until one day I decided to try Chrome. Now I use Chrome, but I still use Firefox (due to the lack of some features that Chrome needs to have implemented).

 

-----------------------------------------

Ignorance is man's greatest enemy.

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Ashton2091

I use all browsers are incompatible with certain pages or for some reason seem to get better bandwidth usage out of youtube. From most used to least used: Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer, Firefox. I don't see any reason to NEVER use any other browser. There are very few products that deserve my loyalty that way and browsers are one of them. I use whatever I feel I need to use at the time. Before that I was glued Internet Explorer. It was my favorite browser for a long time. Simply because (since version 7) there have been some noticable improvements made. With it being the longest running browser, it's also compatible with more web pages than any other browser. R.I.P. Netscape Navigator. (moment of silence) lol

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ProtoJMB

We originally used Netscape back in the day, it was an awesome browser, but then after AOHELL bought it out, we jumped ship and went back to using IE. Why do I keep on using it? BECAUSE IT WORKS! I've been using IE for a long time, and never had an issue with it being hacked, bugged, etc...  Even back with IE 6 I never had issues.

Yeah I've used Fire Fox, Chrome, and even Safari. Heck Safari was pretty decent, and I wanted it to work good but it just didn't have the features IE had. Chrome, the first time I installed it just plain crashed on me. My mom likes it, but it doesn't work for me, doesn't do what I need it to like IE can.

IE 8 is a great browser, does what I need it to do and doesn't give me issues. It has all the features I need, and if it doesn't have something I want right away, I can tweak it out to my liking.

I can't wait for IE 9, looks to be really good!

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Trooper_One

Firefox is my prefered browser but in rare times it doesn't load (or properly load) a particular website (usually poorly constructed small local government websites), I have to use IE - which worked 100%.

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aviaggio

This is why I love IE Tab, both for Firefox and Chrome. If you have a page that doesn't display properly (and I run across one every now and again) hit the IE Tab button and voila!

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gendoikari1

My parents used to use IE on their computer, then I removed the desktop and start menu shortcuts for IE and replaced them with Opera shortcuts. Now, they use Opera. 

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Ashton2091

Opera is an amazing browser. For one, it seems almost completely invulnerable to viruses (i know it's not). I've been using opera for years. It has a ginormous amount of features. Still...it gets no love. lol, great browser. 

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ifailatliving

then what happened?

 

this might have been interesting if the broad did live webcams

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TheMurph

uh...  huh?

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Danielt876

I have all the major browsers intalled on my computer but use IE most of the time because it is the standard, so most webpages are made to work well with it. It dosent have memory leaks, or things like that, and it always seems faster when browsing the internet.

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Glycerin

I've never been a fan of IE. I love Firefox. The Adblock plus add-on rocks!

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BobbyPhoenix

FF was first for me for a while because of the great ad blocking, but with simple-adblock.com, now IE is just as good.  IMO

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DigitalNogi

love the title. :)

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dentaku

When I installed Vista I decided I only needed one browser and now I'm using Win7 and I still only have one browser on my computer.

IE8 works with every site I've ever visited and I see no use in messing with other browsers just because someone seems to think they're better than other people because they have every browser ever made installed and keep making jokes about MS (I'm not talking about David specifically here). In fact, this kind of attitude makes me want to install another browser even LESS.
Google and Apple tricking non-technical people into installing their browsers makes me NOT want to try out Chrome and Safari even more. I mean, how many times have you seen clueless people with Chrome. Google Desktop, iTunes, Safari on their messed up machines and you ask them "why do you have that" and they have no clue what they are or how they got there.

The concept of a Browser War is just ridiculous because you know most of it is just based in the same old MS bashing that's been going on for years and IE8 (at least) is no worse than any other browser.

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Mosher

The "ridiculous browser war" is what brought IE8 where it is today, otherwise you would still have IE6!

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Danthrax66

You bought an Iphone????????????????????????????????

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TheMurph

broke an iPhone too.

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Danthrax66

That still doesn't justify you giving Apple money. Now if you had stolen a truckload and then burned them I would be ok with that.

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JMG760

Indeed! Hopefully he see's "his error of his ways, and accepts his restatement into PC-only
territory" as he mentions in his article 5 Reasons Why I Don't Want Apple's OSX.

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D00dlavy

I find IE8 faster than FireFox, more fully featured than Chrome, and it renders many pages more pleasingly than Opera or Safari (say what you want, but IE6 was the de facto web standard in its day).  I'm a software developer, PC gamer, and a tech aficionado - and I've found very little reason to install an alternative browser.

Yes, the fact that IE is what users know does help, but "stuck in their ways" isn't the only reason we IE users cling to our browser.  Believe it or not, there are others.

This full "IE HAHA WTF?" attitude is contrived, misled and exaggerated... and it has overstayed its welcome.

Oh, and can anyone shed some light on this:  Is FireFox missing out by NOT running in Protected Mode in Windows 7 / Vista?

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BobbyPhoenix

I've tried them all.  FF, Chrome, Opera, Advent, Safari, etc.  I keep going back to good ol' IE.  Color me silly, but I use it for the simple reason as the person in the article said.  I'm used to it.  I like how there is not a lot of extentions or add-ons to keep trying to see if it's the next best thing.  I like simple, and IE does the job for me.  The only thing that was missing for me in IE was a good ad blocker, but with simple-adblock I now have everything I need.  Peace out.

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BigC

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dracx619

reminds me of a certain video posted a few days ago

"i dont care....i dont care....i dont care" lol. whatever float sher boat i guess. i respect a person who at least knows whats up but still sticks to what they know and like... unlike the people as in the posted video..."what that? is that in iphone 4? give me the one with the bigger geebees."   lol

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