What’s Wrong with Internet Explorer?

Internet Explorer is the most widely-used web browser in the world. Most people use it simply because it’s the only web browser they have on their computer. They aren’t aware that they have other choices such as Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Google Chrome. So when they want to check their e-mail, or get driving directions, or watch a video, or go on Facebook, what do they do? They fire up Internet Explorer and away they go. So what’s the problem? Well, there are actually three problems:

  1. Internet Explorer is insecure and unsafe.
  2. Internet Explorer is much slower than other web browsers, as shown by the graphs on this page.
  3. With Internet Explorer, things often don’t look the way they should.

Although the first two points in the above list are important, this article focuses on the third point. Here is a link to a page on my personal website showing ten examples of things that look wrong in Internet Explorer, but look right in Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Google Chrome:

Ten Things That Look Wrong in Internet Explorer

Please note that there are far, far more problems than just ten. The point of the page is to make it easy for the average person to see the problems. For a much more technical and exhaustive list of problems in Internet Explorer, see this page.

Why is Internet Explorer so different from other web browsers?

For whatever reason, Microsoft (the maker of Internet Explorer) decided to program Internet Explorer in such a way that it breaks many important rules of the web set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

What is Microsoft doing to fix Internet Explorer?

As of March 2009, Microsoft is still developing the next version of Internet Explorer (version 8), which aims to be more compliant with the rules of the web. They have a public preview available to download, but it’s still far from perfect. Even when it’s finished, I’m sure it will still have many flaws.

What should I do?

You could cross your fingers and hope that Internet Explorer version 8 ends up being a good web browser, but I highly doubt that will happen. I recommend immediately switching to Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari, or Google Chrome. That way you can surf the web much more securely, much more quickly, and with the confidence that you’re seeing the websites the way that they were intended to be seen.

Be aware that there are some websites that require Internet Explorer. If you happen to run into one of those websites, go ahead and use Internet Explorer for that website, but don’t use it for anything else.

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16 comments

  1. I just use Explorer if I want to download Microsoft Office Template files which have a cab extension. I don’t have Stuffit Expander to open them. Just found out that there’s a demanding import feature which is not optional – to take all my bookmarks from Firefox. I don’t really want to do that but cannot prevent it. As well, the address line looks hacked in Explorer. Is there a bug? Thanks.

  2. Just read your article after a minor bust up with someone who thinks all critics of IE are “misinformed and predjudiced”.

    I wonder, however, if you should consider updating the article, as your 10 things that look wrong (in IE7), now look OK in IE8!

    But I still have problems with getting layouts 100% correct in IE – Firefox is for me – at this time – numero uno!

  3. My experience with Internet Explorer is just the annoyance of its constantly popping up with offers from all kinds of solicitors for junk for which I have absolutely no need, and no matter how many times I reject the offerings they just keep coming back…almost would like to rid my computer of it. I rarely would need it for anything. No other search engine aggravates me the way Internet Explorer. What’s with this??

  4. well we all know that internet exploror’s capabilities are trash but to me when i was using it for testing reasons found it reliable and workable Imo sure the new internet explorer will be much better than the last and thats what we should all look at, fixing problems to make the trash better

    but as the saying goes “it’s not hard to improve garbage!)

    i hope that microsoft catches up with the future and make it better

    Way to go microsoft! :)

  5. Internet explorer 7 is going the way of the dinosaur….. that is fine by me…. I still no people who use it and tell me this or that site is broken…..well…I think few if any people design for it anymore….

  6. Hi! I have a protection plane with McAfee, and I also have internet explorer forcing it,s protection on me, by closing pages that I want to see and that I know are safe to do so. What can be the meanning behind that? Control? in order to stop me from What?

  7. I agree, internet explorer sucks. I have done about everything in the book and the dam thing is still hanging up whenever it so pleases. Then just exit and leave it a couple of hours and then it inexplicably it works again. A clear indication that Microsoft is fucking the world around and holding the internet at ransom..

  8. totally AGREE with FH Brink. I’m sick of Internet Explorer “Not Responding”/closures and complete olss of computer to even shut it down. Frequetly just pull electric Plug to re-gain control of my computer.Got new i-Pad,it should help stop inaneinternet time waster. my life is too short.

  9. I tried to install Chrome, Opera, and Firefox, but IE won’t let me (say it. I’m doomed). When I tried to fix the “can’t display the webpage” error, I got stuck with a bunch of crummy antiviruses.

    Has anyone sued Microsoft yet? Or are we just being cheap and insulting them instead?

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