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:
- Internet Explorer is insecure and unsafe.
- Internet Explorer is much slower than other web browsers, as shown by the graphs on this page.
- 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:
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.