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Internet Explorer The Internet Bug

Microsoft Responds to IE Criticism 1244

Posted by michael
from the bugs-marked-will-not-fix dept.
darthcamaro writes "Looks like there was an online free-for-all on Microsoft's chat servers yesterday with Internet Explorer engineers. Several interesting things come out in the story including the fact that the IE big wig thinks that all of his engineers should have other browsers installed to see what they can do and, catch this...he thinks they're the underdog. 'I've worked at Microsoft for 14 years and I have always felt like the underdog,' said Hachamovitch. 'Maybe the road behind us looks easy, but at the time going it wasn't. I welcome the feedback today. Getting informed is the only way I know to get better. The day we don't get heated feedback I'll be concerned.'" Reader nkodengar notes that "Microsoft has posted an article on MSDN listing everything that will be affected by the the updates to Internet Explorer in Service Pack 2. This will be particularly important to developers who use ActiveX controls, pop-up windows and file download counters in their websites..."
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Microsoft Responds to IE Criticism

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  • by Real Troll Talk (793436) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:17AM (#9652293) Journal
    "People choose," replied Hachamovitch (IE lead engineer). "Hundreds of millions of people actively use Windows and they get to choose. Nothing in Windows as it ships keeps them from downloading other software that extends their browsing experience (e.g. the Google or Ebay toolbars) or changes it (e.g. an alternative browser)."

    No they don't. Maybe I do, but I'm a computer expert.

    My mom certainly has no clue that there even IS anything other than IE to use. Most of our mothers probably don't even realize that IE is not "the Internet".

    There's a reason AOL is still popular with 20+ million people -- because it's easy and most computer users are idiots when it comes to technical knowledge/know-how.

    I find Microsoft guility of contempt -- contempt of not upgrading their browser. They kept quoting x-million users but then saying they had a choice. No they didn't. They used what popped up when they clicked on a Web address somewhere on their computer, and they've used that default browser from Day fucking One.

    Microsoft is going to be looking at major lawsuits if they don't immediately push this RC-2/SP-2 patch series out immediately. They owe it to the world and they owe it to those of us who write proprietary software that DOESN'T suck.

    (P.S. GMAIL invites! I woke up this morning and saw that my other gmail account got 2 new invites, so if you reply with a funny joke about sex and befriend me, I'll give em out to my two favorite ones.)
    • Be Reasonable (Score:5, Insightful)

      by amliebsch (724858) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:19AM (#9652320) Journal
      It simply isn't fair to blame Microsoft for the ignorance of their users.
      • Stop, right there. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:37AM (#9652550)
        Check back to the Netscape trial and read Microsoft's rational for "integrating" the browser with the OS.

        Also, check the comments of people who said that doing so would INCREASE the security risks.

        Now, read the comments TODAY about the security holes attributed to IE and how difficult it is for Microsoft to fix them.

        This is NOT a problem of "the ignorance of their users".

        This is a problem that stems from an IDIOTIC approach to security that was motivated by the desire to destroy Netscape as a company.
      • by Gordonjcp (186804) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:51AM (#9652751) Homepage
        Imagine a car manufacturer produced a car where the wheels were held on by one big nut. Imagine that nut kept slackening off unless you tightened it every 1,000 miles, with the result that the wheels popped off occasionally when you went round corners. You'd expect them to either *warn owners to make sure the nut was tight*, or better still, fix it somehow. Maybe they'd put a split-pin through it, or better yet go for a conventional three-, four- or five-stud fixing.


        Microsoft *are* that car manufacturer, but they're just continually saying that it's the fault of the owner, for not reading the tiny warning label printed at the back of the battery tray, only visible when you get under the bonnet with a torch.

    • by mdvolm (68424) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:26AM (#9652399) Homepage
      My mom certainly has no clue that there even IS anything other than IE to use. Most of our mothers probably don't even realize that IE is not "the Internet".

      This would indicate to me that if Microsoft didn't ship with IE as "The Internet" (tm), the vast majority of mothers would never even have the opportunity to use the internet. Maybe this isn't quite as bad for everyone as most of us think...
    • by kippy (416183) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:27AM (#9652400)
      I think there is a common misconception that non computer experts are completely clueless. Now before you give me cupholder stories, peep this. A while ago I visited my mother who is in no way a computer expert. To my surprise, I saw a Mozilla icon on the desktop. I asked her if she used it and she said yes. She had downloaded it after hearing on the news how insecure IE was. She did the install (next, next, next, finish) and started using it no problem.

      Now she doesn't do all the power user stuff but the point is that with a basic understanding of computer usage she was able to kick the IE habit.

      Don't underestimate the ability of the average user to see the problems that IE has and to move away from it. Apathy however can be powerful and I think that's the main culprit.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:31AM (#9652466)
      I don't want an invite, but I'll tell a joke anyway.

      A man walks into the bar and orders up 6 shots of vodka.
      The bartender says "woah! Six! What's the occasion?"
      The man says "well, my first blowjob actually."
      Bartender: "Hah! Well i'll give you a seventh shot on the house."
      Man: "No thanks... if six vodka shots won't get the taste out of my mouth, nothing will."
    • by Glog (303500) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:31AM (#9652467)
      Joke about sex? You got it...

      Q: You know what Bill Gates's wife discovered on their honeymoon?

      A: What Microsoft *really* means!
    • by shawn(at)fsu (447153) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:35AM (#9652517) Homepage
      Maybe your underestimating your mother. I told my mother to consider using mozillia last week and within 20 minuets she called me back saying she got it. She's not a developer like me, she uses her compuetr for office work, all I had to tell her was to go to Mozilla.org.

      I think we need to get over this fear/belief that we /. readers are 1337 and all other people, like our moms, are poor sheep given to the wolves.
      Why don't you try telling your mom that their is a different browser out there, give her the URL for Mozilla or what have you.

      Maybe you'll find that your mother isn't some backwards internet user but she is actually capable of fending for herself.
    • by HighOrbit (631451) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:39AM (#9652581)
      People don't choose IE. It's a default icon on their desktop and the default broswer in the file associations. Most Joe Sixpack users just don't know any better or are afraid to change or too lazy to change. If they do happen to know that they *can* change, they probably don't know *how* and are too lazy to find out or afraid because computers intimidate the average user.

      If the Browser-Fairy were to suddenly change the target of the desktop icon on every computer all over the world from iexplorer.exe to firefox.exe, the market share for IE would go to something like 10% or less. Very few users would make the effort to switch it back. IE is a virtual monopoly because Windows is a desktop monopoly. There is no conscience choice involved.
    • by Condor7 (541565) <Condor7 AT operamail DOT com> on Friday July 09, 2004 @12:14PM (#9653792)


      I'm not sure if this is a golf joke or a sex joke:

      Two business partners are playing golf. The two women playing in front of them are playing slowly and badly, and holding them up. One businessman says to his partner, "I'll go ask if we can play through." He starts walking toward them, but about halfway there, he turns around. When he gets back, his partner asks what happened.

      He replies, "I can't talk to those women, one of then is my wife, and the other is my mistress. Why don't you go talk to them?" The second man starts to walk over. He gets halfway there and turns around. When he gets back, his partner asks, "Now what happened?" To this he replies, "Small world, isn't it?"

  • Well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arieswind (789699) * on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:18AM (#9652301) Homepage
    We've seen what they said about it, now all thats left is to see what they DO about it...
    • Re:Well (Score:5, Informative)

      by rice_web (604109) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:26AM (#9652395)
      Quickly looking at that MSDN article, I must say that they are taking some extremely important steps:
      • Does your Web site launch automatic download prompts?
        Microsoft will now suppress downloads not initiated by the user directly.
      • Does your site launch a pop-up from a pop-up?
        Along with other things like this one, Microsoft is effectively blocking pop-up ads this time around. It's should at least rival the offerings from Mozilla, OmniWeb, etc.
      • Do you launch the setHomePage() dialog automatically?
        This is finally gone! No more shithole websites set as the default
      • And then you have to love these suggestions
        • Do not install ActiveX controls using a pop-up window or HTML dialog.
        • Do not suggest to users they should lower their security settings to install an ActiveX control.
        • Do create an instance of the ActiveX control on a standalone page describing the purpose and end-user impact of the control.
      • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

        by schon (31600) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:42AM (#9652624)
        you have to love these suggestions
        * Do not install ActiveX controls using a pop-up window or HTML dialog.
        * Do not suggest to users they should lower their security settings to install an ActiveX control.
        * Do create an instance of the ActiveX control on a standalone page describing the purpose and end-user impact of the control.


        I had to read that twice to be sure that it was true...

        They're saying they're making IE more secure by asking website authors not to exploit it?!?!?!?

        OK, you can shoot me now. I've seen everything.
        • Re:Well (Score:5, Informative)

          by rice_web (604109) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:48AM (#9652708)
          The reason they suggest these things is in large part due to their blocking of these possible exploits. No longer can ActiveX run in a pop-up or dialog window, and from what I can gather from the third item, when the dialog box comes up confirming the installation of an ActiveX control, the user will be able to see exactly what the program does. Granted, it'll be easy for a spyware developer to insert falsehoods in that description, but if the program does not perform as advertised, then it creates some leverage for lawsuits against the spyware developer.
  • Oh my... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mz6 (741941) * on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:20AM (#9652322) Journal
    "IE is a super powerful Web browser that hundreds of millions of people choose to use," Hachamovitch replied."

    Let me be the first to say... HAHAHAHAHAHA.. choose to use? No, we choose to use Mozilla, Opera, Firefox, and the like... but we didn't choose IE.

    Perhaps MS has finally looked at themselves and figured they were behind the times with their browser technology. Sure, they might still be #1, but word spreads quick about the underlying problems and that there is actually another browser choice out there... And it's better! The security problems right now are just the icing on the cake.

    "CSS3 has actually been in progress for a number of years and you'll find that IE6 already supports some parts of CSS3 such as vertical text layout," wrote Massy. "This is particularly useful for Far Eastern languages. We can't at this time commit to implementing every part of some of these recommendations but we look at these carefully."

    Why can't you comment on them? Why wouldn't you implement the CSS3 standard? Am I missing something here?

  • by MisterP (156738) * on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:20AM (#9652326)
    Over the years I've read several books and opinion pieces on Microsoft and their success. "Microsoft as the underdog" was a theme in many of them. I guess it's their strategy for motivating their workforce.

    As a peon, what would influence you to work harder? Being told that you're the underdog and you're going to get stomped on by Sun, Apple and probably now Linux, or being told that you have a world wide monopoly in the desktop computing space and companies are throwing buckets of money at you every year despite the fact that your software is mediocre at best.

    It seems like a logical thing to tell your employees. I guess they leave out the specifics of exactly where they would be classified as the underdog.
    • by haystor (102186) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:35AM (#9652520)
      Yea, the "it's time to rest on our laurels" memo didn't really work out for Netscape.
    • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:38AM (#9652559) Homepage Journal
      Over the years I've read several books and opinion pieces on Microsoft and their success. "Microsoft as the underdog" was a theme in many of them. I guess it's their strategy for motivating their workforce.

      I've had lengthy discussions with a number of different 'Softies about this.

      Keep in mind that Microsoft has a very consistent and very strong corporate culture. Everyone there thinks the way Gates wants them to.

      The people over there truly believe that they are somehow "saving the world" with their software, and that they are the only ones capable of doing so.

      It's truly bizarre.
    • by overunderunderdone (521462) on Friday July 09, 2004 @11:50AM (#9653501)
      Gates saw Microsoft which was a little nothing company that sold BASIC to hobbyists eclipse IBM . He knows it wasn't because he was smarter or better but because of IBM's complacency and M$'s dumb luck and a bit of aggressiveness. He learned that business giants are not as invulnerable as they look. Now that he is the giant he is afraid that the same thing can happen to him. So he he sees threats in every tiny start-up, he is afraid that he is going to miss The Next Big Thing(TM) and be knocked on his ass by two guys in their garage. (which almost really happened with Netscape) So he will either co-opt or crush those little start-ups when they start to look promising. But he's still afraid, he's still looking over his shoulder because somewhere, out there, there is a guy coding in his basement, filing a patent, tinkering in his garage on some seed of Microsofts ruin.

      On top of that threat from beneath there is also the threat from his big business peers. IBM, Apple, Sun, Oracle, etc. - they all want to knock Microsoft down. Combined they account for even more intellectual and financial capital. He's on top now and they *HAVE* to work with him but they resent it. If M$ teeters it's disgruntled allies will seek to knock him down. Some of them with a great deal of pleasure.

      We see Microsoft on top but Gates sees it as being on top in the same way a rodeo rider is on top of the horse.
  • Big Mistake... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zone-MR (631588) * <[slashdot] [at] [zone-mr.net]> on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:20AM (#9652329) Homepage
    How can I tell if Internet Explorer has blocked my pop-up window?
    Functions that return a window object will return null if the window is blocked. Always check the return value of window.open() before using it to avoid script errors when pop-ups are blocked.

    By allowing a script to determine if the popup was blocked, it opens the floodgates for even more annoying and intrusive advertising.

    Now whenever the page detects it's popup was blocked, it will force the user to view a full-screen advertising page for a pre-determined time, or other annoyances.

    When will advertisers get the message. If people block pop-up windows, they do so for a reason - they are not interested in you're stupid special offers. They should spare themselves the bandwidth and everyone else the annoyance.
  • IE to block popups. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tcd004 (134130) * on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:20AM (#9652333) Homepage
    The default setting in IE will be to block popups.

    This pretty much means that the popup window will be officially dead in a year's time.

    tcd004
  • Innovation (Score:5, Funny)

    by Giant Ape Skeleton (638834) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:22AM (#9652354) Homepage
    They should really strive to maintain IE's cutting-edge status by incorporating innovative features such as:

    tabbed browsing
    popup blocking
    mouse gestures

    Incorporate stuff like that and get a jump on the competition...

    Oh, wait....nevermind.

  • CSS Support???? (Score:5, Informative)

    by metalhed77 (250273) <[andrewvc] [at] [gmail.com]> on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:24AM (#9652374) Homepage
    Let's remember, while Mozilla was still on unstable milestones MS had a much more advanced and working browser. It's barely changed since then. They're dragging their asses. It must have been a decision within microsoft, there's no way they could fuck up THIS BADLY with IE development.

    IE stills sucks at CSS support. The bottom line is, when I design something and test it in mozilla, it also looks fine in Opera and Safari. When I look at it in IE there's a very good chance something looks wrong due to some missing feature or weird implementation.

    They just hack everything together. You can't even use css like tr:hover although a:hover works because of their shitty implementation.
  • by manavendra (688020) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:25AM (#9652376) Homepage Journal
    Looks like MS has now gone for secure by-default way:

    1. The modal installation prompt for ActiveX controls will be initially suppressed using the Information Bar.
    2. Changes would have to be made to the way some pages automatically redirect or behave differently when refreshed after a control is not installed
    3. If the dialog does not provide an option to install the ActiveX control, the file might not be correctly signed. - Phew! No more hidden installs then, hopefully!
    4. In SP2, the Information Bar will suppress file download prompts that are launched automatically
    5. Enforcement of file-extensions to match the content-type.
    6. SP2 will have the pop-up blocker that is turned on by default
    7. And, finally, there are some browser window restrictions

    I still don't think SP2 will be a panacea, but for corporations with a large number of users, or naive end-users, SP2 should bring a sigh of relief...
  • he's right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dekeji (784080) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:26AM (#9652392)
    Getting informed is the only way I know to get better. The day we don't get heated feedback I'll be concerned.

    Every time you complain to any software company about a bug, a misfeature, or a problem, you are giving them something pretty valuable, something they would otherwise have to pay a lot of money to find through testing. But all your investment in time and bug reporting is repaid by--having to pay for the next upgrade.

    It's like sending the company a $50 donation and then still paying $200 for the next upgrade.

    That's one of the reasons why it is so important to use open source alternatives when available: when you report bugs in OSS, you don't pay for the resulting improvements over and over again.

    Users, not programmers or lines of code, are the most valuable asset any software project has.
    • Re:he's right (Score:4, Informative)

      by Khomar (529552) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:45AM (#9652680) Journal
      That's one of the reasons why it is so important to use open source alternatives

      Or buy software from companies that give you bug fixes and updates for free. My company, for example, will never charge for bug fixes. We only charge for upgrades when significant improvements have been made to the product. There are many other companies that run with this mindset. If a company provides quality service then I see no reason not to support them.

      Furthermore, companies whose products you have purchased have better reason to get improvements out to you quickly. Since they know that you have paid good money for their product, they will work that much harder to make sure they keep you as a customer. Some open source projects are really good about this as well, but you are really up to the whims of whoever has the knowhow to make the fix (a lot of us just don't have the time to dig into the code and fix it ourselves).

      There really isn't an inherent advantage of open source to closed source here. Both can be hit or miss. We just need to support those organizations that do things right.

  • by LordZardoz (155141) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:27AM (#9652402)
    One thing that Slashdotters tend to forget in their eagerness to hold Microsoft in contempt is that they are not stupid.

    They may not have much respect for the typical consumer, be slow to respond, and ship buggy software, but they are anything but stupid.

    From their standpoint, there really is not much imperative need to respond to complaints until they become critical enough to convince a common user to switch to a competing product.

    But when it becomes apparant that such a thing is happening, they can and will respond.

    END COMMUNICATION
    • by Kevin Stevens (227724) <kevstev@gmailYEATS.com minus poet> on Friday July 09, 2004 @11:14AM (#9653048)
      I think you really have to add a management modifier to that statement. These guys are the coders, and I am confident that they werent out at the bar celebrating when MS announced that all IE development would stop. As a techie you (and others) should know that you often have to deal with management decisions that you do not want to implement, do not think will benefit anyone, but you have to do it anyway. MS was pushing COM and Active* technologies really hard in the late 90s.
      I would imagine that the developer's hands were tied in allowing it in IE in the user friendly (but insecure) way that made it such a problem. If the devs were behind it, I am guessing they did not forsee all the evil uses it could be used for that give such a headache today. Other browsers have had the luxury of seeing how bad ActiveX became and learned from its mistakes.

      I consider myself a "nice" and not evil person, and I know that given an offer w/ a decent raise, I would join MS, and work in its IE department.

      Direct your anger towards the corner offices, not the guys in the cubes. The guys in the cubes IMHO made a damn fast but out-of-the-box insecure browser. And unlike an open source project, I wouldnt expect these guys to deliver any scathing remarks about their boss's or MS's decisions, because im sure they like doing what they are doing, warts and all, and generally like their jobs, and would not want to jeopardize them- and what company really wants to deal with a developer who will go around in public blasting the company on one of its most high-profile products.
  • I, for one, (Score:5, Funny)

    by GillBates0 (664202) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:27AM (#9652414) Homepage Journal
    'I welcome the feedback today. Getting informed is the only way I know to get better. The day we don't get heated feedback I'll be concerned."

    am willing to take the responsibility of repeatedly kicking them in the nuts if it'll make them develop better code.

    I didn't know they welcome the 'heated feedback'. Poor things...all they had to do was ask.

  • Underdog (Score:4, Funny)

    by manavendra (688020) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:27AM (#9652416) Homepage Journal
    For the size of Microsoft, that's quite an underdog!

    Wonder how it got there?... oh, bad programming practices for one! :-)
  • We can't commit... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AT (21754) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:30AM (#9652447)
    In the actual discussion, their reply to any question about concrete features -- including standards support, CSS2, CSS2.1, CSS3, tabbed browsing, and PNG alpha transparency -- was, "We can't at this time commit to implementing xxx but we will look at it carefully."

    They seemed evasive and unwilling to say anything except marketing-speak. What's the point of chatting to the community if you aren't allowed to talk about the product?
  • by Randolpho (628485) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:33AM (#9652484) Homepage Journal
    From the article:
    I welcome the feedback today. Getting informed is the only way I know to get better. The day we don't get heated feedback I'll be concerned.
    He brings up an interesting point. How often to people give heated feedback to, for example, Mozilla/Firefox? I personally find the browser to slow and clunky in many ways, which is why I use IE and a popup blocker (Google Toolbar) rather than Mozilla, for sheer speed.

    Which, frankly, sucks because there are so many features on Firefox that I like, but it's so slow that I can't use it for everyday browsing.

    My question is this: Are we so anti-Microsoft that we'll settle for clunkier software without complaint, just because it's not made by Microsoft? Where is the hue and cry for a faster, more responsive Firefox? Why do we accept things without complaint just because we admire the politics of the developers?
    • Short memory.. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by amightywind (691887) on Friday July 09, 2004 @11:19AM (#9653112) Journal

      How often to people give heated feedback to, for example, Mozilla/Firefox? I personally find the browser to slow and clunky in many ways, which is why I use IE and a popup blocker (Google Toolbar) rather than Mozilla, for sheer speed.

      Only 18 months ago Mozilla was considered a poster child for a failed free software project. It was ridiculed frequently on this forum for being slow, buggy, etc... Then along comes Firefox. How short the collective memory is! The Mozilla developers fought through it all. They deserve our highest esteeme.

  • CSS3 support (Score:5, Insightful)

    by danharan (714822) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:33AM (#9652485) Journal
    Oh great, they're looking at possibly, maybe doing more to support CSS3.

    WTF? I don't want them to add more CSS, I want them to get what they have working like it should.

    All the designers I have worked with are mad as hell. The amount of hacks they have to use to produce CSS that is cross-browser compatible and doesn't look like shit on IE is absurd, and the extra time spent on that is killing my budgets.

    In other words, I'm mad as hell with IE and Microsoft. I don't really give a damn that IE doesn't have tabbed browsing, or that it ships with insecure defaults. Couldn't give a rat's ass about the lack of pop-up blocking. I care that every f'ing simple web design project's budget has to account for a few extra hours getting their shit working properly.

    When FF hits 1.0, I'll go on a mission to convert as many people from IE. I hope others do the same; maybe this will help M$ wake up and smell the standards.
  • Better suggestion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dachshund (300733) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:33AM (#9652491)
    the IE big wig thinks that all of his engineers should have other browsers installed to see what they can do

    No. All of the IE engineers should have a twelve-year-old kid use their computer at night while they're out of the office. Maybe after uninstalling a few thousand pieces of spyware they'll reconsider some of their basic design choices.

  • by Foofoobar (318279) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:33AM (#9652498)
    "People choose," replied Hachamovitch (IE lead engineer). "Hundreds of millions of people actively use Windows and they get to choose. Nothing in Windows as it ships keeps them from downloading other software that extends their browsing experience (e.g. the Google or Ebay toolbars) or changes it (e.g. an alternative browser)."

    What a load of shit. I spent 8 hourts on line with MS tech support trying to disable IE entirely from my system. You see, when you remove it, the system recreates it. And even when it isn't there, it uses a default installed version which is integrated into the system.

    Microsoft tech support has NO CLUE on how to remove it so I messaed around and came up with a way to have all Microsoft apps default to using Firefox [crackbaby.com] instead
  • by Wizzy Wig (618399) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:34AM (#9652508)
    What have the IE engineers been doing for the last three years? Handing out towels in the rest rooms?
  • CSS CSS CSS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fredtheshingle (696059) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:35AM (#9652521)
    Before you folks even THINK about implementing outrageous and curiously new features like... Tabbed Browsing or ActiveX, why don't you seriously think about the fact that the core part of IE is a load of junk. How about making the render engine RENDER XHTML and CSS2 properly?! IMPLEMENT THE STANDARDS *COMPLETELY.*

    I, along with so many other developers are sick and tired of hacking our otherwise perfectly valid and conforming CSS and markup to make it display properly in the hack you call a browser, which has remained virtually unchanged since the *conception* of Mozilla's Gecko engine. Before you start implementing *parts* of CSS3, why don't you fully and *PROPERLY* implement CSS2? Have you seen the numerous sites dedicated to Internet Explorer specific CSS hacks? You are the most HATED browser. Developers are outraged. It's ridiculous. No one CHOOSES to use IE.

    I feel guilty about flaming you on CSS support. I'd much rather see the browser and company just collapse under the power and superior quality of Free and Open Source software. But since that's not going to happen any time soon, and since you're not going to be shipping Firefox or an alternative with your POS software you call an Operating System, and since it's unfortunate that somewhere like 90% of the population uses that abomination you call Internet Explorer... my head would stop spinning so fast if I could just write valid XHTML markup and valid CSS and ... what a concept ... have it render properly in IE!

    Just stop trying and give up, for the good of the common man. Really. Your days are numbered, so why not take some time to think about the good old days, and just let natural progression drag you under.

    Thank you.
  • With popups gone, people will resort to javascript alert()s.

    "Do you want to download our new penis enlargment software?" (yes/no)

    *clicks no*

    "Are you sure you dont? It will make your penis 5 times longer straight away... and if you add it to startup, your penis will grow 5 inches on every reboot. Visit our homepage." (yes/no)

    *clicks no*

    "Ok, so may we interest you in some generic viagra instead?"

    ARGHHHH!
  • by Ex Machina (10710) <`jonathan.williams' `at' `gmail.com'> on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:37AM (#9652553) Homepage
    The sound of the world's smallest violin.

    Awwww poor, MS!
  • by BELG (4429) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:45AM (#9652668)
    The day we don't get heated feedback I'll be concerned.

    Funnny, I thought having the Department Of Homeland Security recommending other browsers because of the abysmal security was plenty of reason for concern.
  • by fermion (181285) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:49AM (#9652727) Homepage Journal
    MS was the underdog. The continuation of that mentality is why many of their products are by many metrics inferior. They have been reduced to paranoid tin foil hat wearing fanatics.

    MS does not try to create innovate products for customers. All MS does is look at where it is losing market share, then quickly hack a barely functional product that will keep customers from leaving. The world went GUI, a year later MS had a GUI. The Internet happened, a year later MS had a browser. Customer started putting servers on commodity hardware, much later MS had server software. This has been the case with media players, music services, nearly everything. Even the wonderful Excel was based on other popular products.

    MS needs to give up the browser. It was a ill thought out reaction to the fear of losing market share, and all the problems result from the bad engineering that occurs when people are in a hurry. IE makes a fine application frontend, and they should concentrate on promoting it for that use. Data servers on the back end, the local IE rendering the GUI.

    This will not happen because MS quality cannot compete in the open marketplace, and though many will continue to use IE due to the tight integration with other MS products, others will use the change as an opportunity to move to more reliable solutions.

  • Underdog culture (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dcmeserve (615081) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:50AM (#9652739) Homepage Journal
    'I've worked at Microsoft for 14 years and I have always felt like the underdog,' said Hachamovitch.

    Of course!

    This is a fundamental part of the culture at MS. They nuture the "underdog feeling" there in order to remain so fiercely competitive -- even when the product is a near-monopoly.

    I saw this when I was an intern on the Excel team some 10 years ago -- the team leaders took pride in obsessing over what the competition was doing, and acting almost as if the company were going to go out of business in 3 months if they didn't.

    If this applies to the marketing/legal departments too, that would explain a lot of MS's behavior.

    • by alispguru (72689) <bane.gst@com> on Friday July 09, 2004 @11:06AM (#9652957) Journal
      Part of the reason MS thinks of itself as an underdog is their inability to really innovate. They've never been first in any software category - they're good enough to be the last man standing, but that requires competence and persistence, not innovation.

      Their marketing and sales force has the general public convinced they're brilliant innovators, but among their technical peers, they're behind the curve. We know it, they know it, and it gives them an inferiority complex a mile wide.
  • by scrod (136965) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:53AM (#9652773) Homepage
    This will be particularly important to developers who use ActiveX controls, pop-up windows and file download counters in their websites..."

    What would we ever do without these wonderful features?
  • by RaisinBread (315323) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:58AM (#9652848) Homepage
    What the crap have they been doing for the last THREE years? Playing Halo?

    Check out some of these release dates: [microsoft.com]

    6.0 --> 31-Dec-2001
    6.0 SP1 --> 28-Aug-2002

    I thought IE on the Mac was dead... judging by their release schedule, IE on the PC has been dead for years. Any other software company that waited *years* to release their next version of internet software (or an operating system, no less) would be dead in the water.

    What really makes me mad is they drove other browsers into the ground during the war, only to sit on their haunches and enjoy the elimination of their competition. Thank goodness for Mozilla, or we'd all be in real trouble.

    Get to work MS.

    --J
  • Corporate bullsh*t (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pandrijeczko (588093) on Friday July 09, 2004 @10:59AM (#9652865)
    Why can't people just say what they mean?

    I've worked at Microsoft for 14 years and I have always felt like the underdog

    "..but they paid me too much for doing too little which is why I have stayed here 14 years."

    Maybe the road behind us looks easy, but at the time going it wasn't.

    "It's going to be just as difficult in future."

    I welcome the feedback today.

    "...but I'm going to do nothing about it."

    Getting informed is the only way I know to get better.

    "I've really messed up in the past."

    The day we don't get heated feedback I'll be concerned.

    "..because that means our products work as they should and I'll be out of a job."

    To defend Microsoft a little, they are not the only purveyors of corporate bullsh*t. But I get so annoyed that they think we, as the general public, cannot immediately see through this coverage of facts.

  • by holy_smoke (694875) on Friday July 09, 2004 @11:01AM (#9652886)
    notice how they kept side-stepping the questions about being W3C compliant!

    Obviously if they were 100% compliant then web developers would stick to the standards, and any compliant browser would work and IE would start to lose market share.

    Notice that his responses kept repeating the "needing to support current customer configs". What he really means is "ensuring continued customer lock-in to IE and Windows".

    I bet they had PR coaches sitting right next to them the whole time the chat was going on.

    Hilarious!
  • Finally (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Azureflare (645778) on Friday July 09, 2004 @11:03AM (#9652903)
    After a long time of appearing to not give a shit about anything in their browser, Microsoft has finally decided to reassure people that Internet Explorer will be improved.

    I think it's a good development. For one, it means that not everyone will go over to firefox. I wouldn't want everyone on firefox, just as I don't want everyone on internet explorer. I want there to be some sort of balance.

    I'm fine with a vast majority of people using IE once this service pack comes through for XP. If it does what they want it to, and they aren't putting themselves at risk, then I'm all for it.

    My concern is for the users on legacy operating systems, who will never get an internet explorer update. They will still be vulnerable to exploitation. As they still comprise a surprising amount of internet users, this is some cause for concern. Any news on if Microsoft will be releasing the updates to IE as a standalone upgrade? Or are these things specific to the operating system?

    The conspiratorial part of me wonders if Microsoft was planning this all along. To leave the browser abandoned so people get scared about security issues, and then release the fix for many security issues as a Windows XP only service pack.

  • by Jezral (449476) <mail@tinodidriksen.com> on Friday July 09, 2004 @11:03AM (#9652916) Homepage
    "If the Content-type ProgID for a given file does not match the file extension ProgID, Internet Explorer in XP SP2 may take the following actions: 1) the user may be prompted to download the file and 2) the file will not be executed in the extension-handler if it fails to execute in the mime-handler."

    I'm not so sure I like or agree with that one.

    MIME types are there for a reason, so I can serve anyfile.anyext as text/html or image/jpeg. Or name.hubba as a Quicktime movie. I'd expect both to work, since that's what MIME types are for...

    Extensions are a bad hack, and a relic from the DOS era. They should get rid of them instead of enforcing them (yeah, I know Mac OS X partially fell for extensions also, poor sods).
  • Reality Check 2 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bonaman_24 (790196) on Friday July 09, 2004 @12:53PM (#9654210)
    People just keep saying over and over that the users are just as much fault for not educating themselves. There is a reason why Slashdot users know about IE, Adaware, Linux and the new OS X system. We like learning about this stuff. Should I be accused of being lazy because I don't know how to cross-stitch? No, that just doesn't interest me and I could live out my life happily not knowing it. Many people feel that way about computers and we shouldn't call them lazy for not drilling into technical things when they really have no interest to do so. If I buy a PC from any store, I get Windows and IE...done deal. People should not be blamed for not knowing about Firefox, Safari and other options like that. It is up to a business to support the public interest of the business and since Mozilla is distributing Firefox free, don't expect advertising. Therefore it seems like the necessary advertising for Firefox is word-of-mouth and that seems to fall on users. Since Firefox's main users are techies, it's fate rests on us telling our mom's, not Microsoft. My mom is afraid of computers; she's not going to download Firefox any more than I'm going to learn how to stitch with her.

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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