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Windows Guru Calls For IE7 Boycott 895

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-that-bad dept.
Anonymous Cowherd writes "Paul Thurrott, a journalist that usually writes about all things Windows related (and sometimes about Apple affairs too), made a call in a recent article to boycott Internet Explorer, due to Microsoft's approach (continued in IE7) of not supporting web standards: 'My advice here is simple: Boycott Internet Explorer. It is a cancer on the Web, and must be stopped. IE is insecure and is not standards-compliant, which makes it unworkable for both end users and Web content creators... You can turn the tide by demanding better from Microsoft and using a better alternative Web browser. I recommend and use Mozilla Firefox, but Apple Safari (Mac only) and Opera 8 are both worth considering as well.'"
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Windows Guru Calls For IE7 Boycott

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  • Ok with me (Score:5, Funny)

    by tclark (140640) on Tuesday August 02, 2005 @03:15PM (#13224286) Homepage
    In fact, I think I'll take it a step further and boycott Windows as well.
  • by XanC (644172)
    Maybe this will make people sit up and take notice of how horrible IE is. This guy's one of the loudest pro-MS voices out there, and if he's not satisfied, something's really wrong!
    • What "people" exactly, are going to notice an article in a relatively obscure Windows developer website?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    They claim they don't want to support all the standards because it will break poorly coded website. Well, there's an easy solution they already somewhat support... turn on the correct rendering engine with doctype switching! Regular users with badly coded sites are unlikely to have a correct doctype (or any doctype at all) that would trigger this mode. Standards supporters win, and users win.
    • They claim they don't want to support all the standards because it will break poorly coded website.

      you forgot to translate that first

        They claim they don't want to support all the standards because it will break [translated]MSN.[\translated]

      Now does everyone understand?
  • Nobody cares (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TommyBlack (899306)
    I doubt a boycott of this sort would have much impact. Anyone who cares already uses something other than IE. Your average user will just say "Why bother? I've never had a problem." That's what I did.
  • what the hell? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by liquidpele (663430) on Tuesday August 02, 2005 @03:18PM (#13224327) Journal
    Microsoft tries to improve it's product, which everyone has been asking them to do for years, and now we should Boycott it? Fuck that. If they're allowing for PNG and better CSS, I'm all for it, and want it for windows 2000 too.
    • Sure, IE7's CSS support will be better, but will it be good enough? Think about this - fixing the major bugs is great, but think about how long we'll have to support this thing. Is it REALLY good enough? What marketing deadline are they trying to meet here? Vista isn't due out until 4Q2006 (or 2H2006, best case), so what artificial ship date are they trying to meet? What's the upside for them to ship it before it's as good as it can be?
      • Okay, let me explain.
        I'm not saying I'll use IE7, and I'm not saying it'll be a good product. IE still has a 90% marketshare though, and as a web developer, anything that gets better standards, even if they're not complete standards, to such a large portion of the market can't be bad, because lets face it: some people will never use anything but the blue e.
        • I know one person who was still using 3.1, a few that are still using '95, many who are using '98, thousands, okay not personally, who were using NT until is got EOL so now they're using 2000, two people using XP.

          Windows may have a 90% share but which windows and how much a share each?

          IE7 is a dead isue since it didn't come with the box and most people are scared to install anything new (except viruses that install themselves.)

          It'll go on the next box, to replace the current box since its gotten so slow.
        • Actually, IE's market share is closer to 85% and falling. The days of 90%+ market share are over and usage will continue to decline. That is, unless MS comes up with something considerably better than what they have (even with the IE7 improvements).
      • Full support for CSS2 (which is apparently what the IE team are aiming for) seems like a fairly reasonable goal to me. In most places I am very much for keeping up with standards (where the heck is C99 in Visual C++?), but the web standards are moving much too quickly. Basicly the W3C has for the last ten years pushed out a new standard long before even the most major browsers have finished trying to set up even basic support for the last one.

        It should not be so hopelessly complex to make a accessible har

    • Re:what the hell? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jellomizer (103300) *
      There is a term...

      Too Little Too Late.

      Yes the next version SHOULD be better then the last one. But it is not what we want. Why Can't we follow the CSS Specs 100%, We can excuse free software for not because it is free and you get what you paid for but for a company like Microsoft who has a lot of resources and cash it should be head over heals better then anything out there. And it is not even close.
    • I don't think anyone got the joke. But it was an entertaining way to point out that IE7 will only be available for Windows XP and above.
  • There is a blog entry about this here [msdn.com]
    • In IE7, we will fix as many of the worst bugs that web developers hit as we can, and we will add the critical most-requested features from the standards as well.

      ....But as few of them as we can.

      Come on. Give me a break. It sounds to me like it will take a long time for the browser to be up to the standards. Is IE7 just a rewrite of IE6? If so, would it be faster to start from scratch if you wanted to make the browser compliant with all of the standards?

      In the web platform team that I lead, our top pr
  • Do you think Boycott realy works?
    • Yes. Right now IE has, what, 90%? 95%? market share. If market share drops to 80% then people writing IE-only sites exclude 20% of their potential audience. Would you do that? How about excluding 30%? 40? If it drops below about 75% then more sites can start coding to the standards with fallback code for IE and informing readers that they will get better results if they use a standards compliant browser.

      The more people not using IE, the more of an incentive web developers have to write standards-com

  • It's hard to boycot something when the product comes installed on over 90% of new computers and can't be completely removed from those computers.

    MS will contine to dig their own grave, but very slowly because they package the software with their OS and there are still a lot of people out their ignorant to the fact that something else exists.

  • by scharkalvin (72228) on Tuesday August 02, 2005 @03:20PM (#13224350) Homepage
    Have your webpages check to see what browser the client is using, and if it is IE7 (or hey, ANY version of IE) refuse to render the page and pop up a link to Mozilla or Firefox and tell the user that his current browser is broken, and a plague on the web, and that he should follow the given link and download a REAL broswer if he (or she) wants to see your content. (turn around is fair play I say!)
  • Sorry Paul.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by plutonium83 (818340)
    ... unforunately Microsoft won't give a damn about you and your ideas.
  • Does this windows Guri post on slashdot....
    I thought I saw this exact comment modded +500 insightful
    'My advice here is simple: Boycott Internet Explorer. It is a cancer on the Web, and must be stopped. IE is insecure and is not standards-compliant, which makes it unworkable for both end users and Web content creators... You can turn the tide by demanding better from Microsoft and using a better alternative Web browser. I recommend and use Mozilla Firefox, but Apple Safari (Mac only) and Opera 8 are both w
  • Any Web site developer that produces content for the general public has to deal with IE (like it or not). It's not wise for a commercial site to tell a large block of potential customers - sorry, we won't interact with you, go load another browser.
    • As a fellow Web Designer/Developer, I feel the same aches and pains of having to deal with IE being the majority among even a tech savvy demographic. However, I don't know if I would say that this article is calling for developers to boycott IE, but rather the peons (or victims of the company's computer lockdowns) that actually surf with IE.</toungeincheek>

      In essense, he's calling for web surfers to boycott it so that when the web admins look at the traffic reports one day and find that IE is only 7%
    • "It's not wise for a commercial site to tell a large block of potential customers - sorry, we won't interact with you, go load another browser."

      No, but they can restrict themselves to a subset of the standards that are supported by most browsers, while recommending people use one that is "more standards compliant" so these issues can go away in the future. They used to say "best viewed with IEx or NetscapeX.x" - the whole reason for that was compliance issues. Actually, if a lot of commercial sites demand

    • You are quite correct. If you are a web coder for say, Amazon.com it isn't going to fly to tell IE users to F-off.

      Perhaps though, including an additional banner at the top of the site that tells IE users that their browser doesn't support web standards, and suggests a few open source alternatives is a viable and less heavy handed approach.

      I have found that most uneducated computer users will make good decisions if you give them a simple to understand explaination.
  • Oh, this was a good one. this article actually made me laugh out loud. What in the hell does he really think that even developers can accomplish? That's so ridiculous it's funny. If people will use it (and rest assured, people will), then we'll develop for it. Even a large boycott by developers will have -zero- impact on the acceptance/usage of IE 7.

  • I've already pretty much boycotted IE myself...use Firefox pretty much exclusively, and IE only gets used for Windows Update.

    However, the real issue is not what browser the tech geeks use (a tiny percentage), but what browser Mr. and Mrs. Joe Sixpack use. IE comes with Windows, and Windows comes with their PC. Any sort of boycott that fails to address the vast majority of Windows users is doomed to failure.
  • Why did he wait until IE7 to call for a boycott?

    Internet Exploder has been a piece of shit since 5.0 and possibly earlier (I just didn't realize it until I discovered Firefox).

    Or is he just trying to draw attention to himself?
  • I just visited the Acid2 test page in the Internet Explorer 7 beta, and it looks exactly the same as it does in FireFox. Am I doing something wrong?
  • tell it this guy :http://www.fileuniverse.com/?p= [fileuniverse.com]
  • Boycott a product that hasn't even shipped yet? We have no idea how secure/insecure it is, or how standards compliant IE7 is going to be. Just stop blustering already.
  • by FLAGGR (800770)
    More sites should put up warnings when the user agent is msie. It's easy to do on php. Page still loads for IE users, but they get nagged (yay.) It would be cool if Slashdot did it, I assume most of the /. crowd uses FF anyways though. Put this PHP code at the beginning of your , and put the rest of your code after it:

    <?
    if (strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], 'MSIE') !== false && strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], 'Opera')
    === false) {
    ?>
    <br><br><b>Warning:</b> You ar

    • Re:Advice (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LordHunter317 (90225)
      Except that other browsers pretend to be IE (e.g., Opera) or can be configured to pretend as such (e.g., Konqueror, Safari).

      The above is the exact reason why browser detects are no longer used in Javascript: The user agent doesn't tell you jack or shit.
      • Notice the line about Opera in the code. Also note the article from a few days (yesterday?) ago about how Opera has stopped using msie as their default UA. As for other things, like users going into about:config in firefox and setting it to display as msie, thats too bad for them. They are >1% of the audience, and serves them right. This doesn't harm them at all, just displays a message at the top of the screen.
    • <?
      if (strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], 'MSIE') !== false && strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], 'Opera')
      === false) {
      ?>
      <br><br><b>Attention:</b> Although this method of browser identification isn't foolproof, you appear to be using Microsoft Internet Explorer. A number of security and other analysts (including the Internet Storm Center) have recommended that people stop using IE, since it not only has a very large number of security problems, but also does not comply

    • Re:Advice (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SFEley (743605)
      More sites should put up warnings when the user agent is msie. It's easy to do on php. Page still loads for IE users, but they get nagged (yay.)

      Yeah, that's exactly what will keep people coming back to your site. "Hi, thanks for visiting! This has nothing to do with my content, but you're not using the browser I think you should, so YOU'RE A MORON. Now on with the show..."

      It's not your job as a Web developer to nag your audience or stuff your own preferences down their throats. It's your job to conn

  • Some PHP Code... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Compholio (770966)

    if(strstr($HTTP_USER_AGENT, "MSIE") != FALSE)
    {
    print "You are running an outdated, boycotted, browser - please upgrade:<BR><BR>";
    print "<A HREF=\"http://www.spreadfirefox.com/\"><img border=\"0\" alt=\"Get Firefox!\" title=\"Get Firefox!\" src=\"http://www.spreadfirefox.com/community/image s/affiliates/Buttons/180x60/get.gif\"/></A><BR><BR >";
    print "<A HREF=\"http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/08 /02/1853256&tid=113&tid=218\">IE 7.0 Technic

  • For user-friendlyness alone, I'm hoping this brings FF to the attention of even more people. I don't want to have to explain to my grandparents why IE7 looks completely different from the browsers they've been using for the past like 6 years.

    Is it me, or does the new IE7 look like a step backwards from an interface perspective? It looks like some bad pre-Gnome/KDE usability exercise.

    If MS wanted to get on the ugly-chic bandwagon they're about 8 years too late. What year did people stop using FVWM aga

  • How exactly is Safari an alternative to IE7? If I am in a position to use IE7, then I'm not in a position to use Safari, unless he's suggesting I throw away my current computer to get rid of IE!
  • MS still does not keep itself to the standards, that was already pretty clear after the review of IE7 92 days ago on /.) by a little bit more positive person though. I do not think that even a "more powerful speaker" like Paul Thurrott will not make a lot of difference in that. The quality of the other browsers in stability and possibilities will have to do the trick of forcing MS to be compliant (possible), or to quit with the browser business (not very likely to happen)
  • I had a neat idea last week for a web site that would require the alpha transparency in PNG files. Then I read that IE6, the most common browser, does not support it. So much for that idea.
  • We see comments like this on Slashdot all the time - "just write to the standard, and ignore Internet Explorer". Now Paul Therrott is basically the same thing. Why is it so hard for these folks to grok that you just can't do that with a browser that still has ~ 90% market share? Sure if you've got some meaningless blog site, or some "pets on parade" personal site, you can do this without repercussion - going from 20 visitors a month to 4 isn't really a big deal. But if you're running a professional site you
    • We see comments like this on Slashdot all the time - "just write to the standard, and ignore Internet Explorer". ... Why is it so hard for these folks to grok that you just can't do that with a browser that still has ~ 90% market share?

      Because if everyone did that, it wouldn't.

      Call it idealism, call it collective action...
      • Oh, for fuck's sake... You're talking to a country full of people that shop at Wal-Mart and voted in George Bush. You think anybody really gives a flying fuck about browser standards? It's so far off the radar for most people it's funny.
  • Ya know, I'd love to, but I have too many web applications which just don't work with anything other than Internet Explorer on Windows. Somebody needs to tell College Board, Packetshaper, APC, and others to abandon IE before I can abandon IE.
  • I remember once upon a time when it was Netscape that had "Netscape Extensions" that you could choose to use for a richer user experience, or not to be more compatible.

    Now it's Microsoft who doesn't meet commonly agreed upon standards.

    The more things change...
    Well, you can fill in the rest.

  • Marge: "Do you have Internet Explorer?"

    Slashdotter: "Sure, one FireFox!"

    Marge: "No, no, Internet Explorer."

    Slashdotter: "FireFox?"

    Marge: "Eye eee.."

    Slashdotter: "Eff eye..."

    Seriously though, who would voluntarily "go backwards" and use IE after experiencing all the FireFox goodness?

    If you haven't; try now [mozilla.org] it's free, it's funky, it's pop-in fresh... mah-hoy!
  • "We want a better IE7!"
    "We don't want an IE7!"

    Make up your minds, will ya? Obviously, this guy hasn't read the IE7 blog. At least the IE7 development team are trying.
  • by splerdu (187709) on Tuesday August 02, 2005 @04:03PM (#13224877)
    standards comply to you!

    Seriously, when you have as much marketshare as microsoft, forget the w3c -- you ARE the standard.
  • by Momoru (837801) on Tuesday August 02, 2005 @04:07PM (#13224914) Homepage Journal
    All this IE won't pass the Acid test on purpose hype is a little out of control. Where that comes from is this [msdn.com] article from yesterday where the IE developer says:

    our top priority is (and will likely always be) security

    First, let's be happy about that. Obviously the more serious problem with IE is the security issues.

    He then says:

    I want to be clear that our intent is to build a platform that fully complies with the appropriate web standards, in particular CSS 2 ( 2.1, once it's been Recommended).

    and further more:

    It's pointedly not a compliance test (from the Test Guide: "Acid2 does not guarantee conformance with any specification"

    So neither the author nor half of slashdot read anymore then the hyped up Slashdot headline. He specifically says they will be fully compliant and are making that a large issue. Cripes, if you want to have credibility, at least get the real facts straight.
  • by CatOne (655161) on Tuesday August 02, 2005 @04:41PM (#13225264)
    It's the CORPORATE desktop. Microsoft does NOT want to break that.

    And they have users locked DEEP into Exchange, Outlook, and Outlook Web Access (OWA). They have also had corporate users develop custom ActiveX controls, yadda yadda.

    OWA looks GREAT on IE on Windows. It looks EXACTLY like Outlook 2003, and behaves almost exactly like IE. Which is amazing for a browser! What really sucks, is that it's totally proprietary, which means it works in nothing else, but IT departments STANDARDIZE on it, which means their users are all using it. They are hopelessly dependent on it. And they cannot use Macs (because Safari, Firefox, Opera, and IE 5 for Mac all render it like crap), and they cannot use alternative browsers on a PC. If Microsoft "fixed" IE, they would offend their corporate customers, who are exactly the people they're trying to get billions out of when Vista/IE 7 ship, and that WILL NOT HAPPEN.

    Believe me, I get the "fix your browser because NONE of our corporate IT apps work on it!" like every week. And saying "hey, not our fault" doesn't matter to these people. It means they cannot use their apps, or run key business components, on our platform, and there's not much we can do about it to fix things. And it sucks. Microsoft knows this, of course.

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