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Monday, November 13, 2006

Why Internet Explorer 7 Sucks

As someone who works in a technology-based field, I can make this pronouncement with some authority. Internet Explorer 7 truly does suck like a Hoover. Avoid it like the plague and if Microsoft tries to force it onto your PC, move your favourites, download a version of IE 6 or even that bloated bugger Netscape, and delete version 7 as quickly as you can.

I was going to entitle this post the beginning of the end of Microsoft, but I think I'm a bit late on the "beginning" part.

Here are just a few reasons why IE 7 is crap. Use it for just a short amount of time and you will see what I mean.

  1. The menubar is not at the top of the screen. Think about this for a second. Microsoft and pretty much every other computer applications manufacturer have based their software on this simple design feature: The menu of selections can be found at the top of the screen. Apparently, the collection of weasels that Microsoft pulled together to design IE 7 thought it would be a great idea to break people out of over a decade and a half of computer practise, just because. Why they are allowed to design software at all is one of the great mysteries of the age. Apparently, Bill Gates must too busy off counting his massive piles of money somewhere in his gargantuan home to put a halt to people making a mockery of his company.
  2. The menubar isn't even visible by default. See #1. Everyone uses a menubar at some time or another. It's inevitable. However, IE 7 users will have to turn theirs on first - if they can find them. (FYI - It's in the Tools drop down selection by the icon, which for some strange reason they felt the need to put a text label on. I wonder why?)
  3. The toolbars cannot be moved. This means that the address bar is stuck over the toolbars and the menubar, which again, most every human being on the planet is used to finding at the top of the window, you stupid Microsoft bastards.
  4. Tabs suck. IE 7 uses them. Tabs are of course an idea borrowed from the Mosilla Firefox browser, a browser that many people love for no good reason. Microsoft "borrowed" the idea (read "stole") simply because that's what they're good at. They needn't have bothered though. Tabs create an unnecessary extra level of clicking that users have to do. It's simple really, if the tab you want is not at the top when you click on the IE button in the Taskbar, you have to mouse your way to the top of the menu to get to the right tab. With seperate windows, you simply select the Taskbar button with the window you want, or CTRL-TAB until you get there. I know some people like tabs because they think they are "cool" or somehow help organise the pages better, but it's based on silly reasoning. Microsoft already has a windows based OS.
  5. The CTRL button no longer allows non-contiguous selections in IE 7. This feature of windows, the ability to select different items that are not directly linked, including text, was one of the most useful shortcuts in Windows. In IE 7 it doesn't seem to work. What baboon decided that was a good idea?
  6. Too many "helpful" messages. When you first start up IE 7, it asks you how you want to configure your browser and chides you if your security settings are the "recommended" ones (I suspect the ones that give Microsoft unlimited access to your machine, but I have no hard evidence on that one). In other words, Microsoft doesn't think you're very smart. I happen to disagree. I think the average computer user would never have built a browser this pathetic.
  7. Clear text. Microsoft has built in an anti-alias feature to IE 7 that, when turned on, smooths out the text on the screen. In theory, this is actually an interesting idea, except that it's been available since Apple started doing it on the McIntosh back in the mid-nineties. Also, the time and energy IE spends smoothing out your browser text, is time and energy and system resources taken away from other, actually useful things your computer could be doing. Also, the Help menu in IE 7 has a section asking what to do about blurred text. Gee, I wonder what could possibly cause that?

That's just a sample of the most obvious things. In short, IE 7 is a royal pain in the derriere, despite some honestly good ideas, like an anti-phishing filter.

Unfortunately, Microsoft is trying to force it on everyone, and as a result I suspect Netscape and Firefox are about to make inroads into the browser market. If those two browser makers would trim down their own software, they could do it. As it is though, all the browser makers seem determined to make our online experiences as hellish as possible, a little bit at a time. If this keeps up, I expect IE 8 to come with an electroshock generator, one that gives the user a jolt anytime they don't go to Microsoft-approved sites.

Hmmm... I probably shouldn't be giving the stupid gits any more ideas.


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