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Falling out of love with Internet Explorer, thanks to version 8 (beta)

I thought the day would never come when I fall out of love with an Internet Explorer browser. I have been a fan since day one. Sure, I tried a few other browsers along the way (Netscape, early Firefox, Opera, recent Google Chrome and even Safari for Windows), but I was nevertheless convinced that Microsoft was the only company that really understood how any web page was supposed to be displayed. I thought that each Internet Explorer’s release has been a level better than its predecessor. I was happy and proud to be one of those loyal Internet techies to defend Microsoft  in it’s stand for one of the most popular browsers in use, especially when it has visibly started to lose ground to its nearest competing application from Mozilla.

Subsequently it came as a shock when the latest beta release of Internet Explorer 8 has changed those feeling in a matter of few days. Having promoted the release as breakthrough in browsing security and speed, I was looking eager to exhaust all Microsoft could offer. Unfortunately, upon installing IE8 Beta, I found nothing but disappointment.

I do realize that a beta does not equal stability, or a final product so to speak, but with such a solid previous application, how can a company mess up so badly that it would turn off a loyal user like me? You should have seen my face when I realized that I have just lost one of my most cherishable applications to… no other alternative! Internet Explorer 8 Beta might be more secure and more feature rich, but what good does it do when the most primitive characteristics you’d expect from an Internet browser completely ruin the rest of your experience? Against Microsoft claim that the new application is faster, I found the Beta release extremely slow, especially when you try pulling the Favorites out. Display of a lot of web pages I frequent is corrupted. If not for the “Compatibility” button that allows you to escape to previous browser’s page view, I don’t know whether I would have been able to operate my routine tasks at all.

I was sad. And I was crushed. My favorite little app has turned into a little nasty resource-intensive monster and perverted my favorite Internet browsing experience. It left me in the ditch without a warning of any kind. Going back wasn’t an option, nor did I have the time. I found myself with no choice but to quietly try an alternative, the one everyone was bragging about – Firefox 3.0.

Already nauseas from the idea that I was stabbing IE in the back, I proceeded to Mozilla web site. Upon quick installation, I imported my Favorites and Browsing History and there I was – one on one with a new set of eyes into the world of web. I could not lie to myself for long as I quickly fell for Firefox’ quickness of… well, everything. Smart Location Bar has been the pivotal turning point as I found Favorites to be a thing of the past. No more 3-click activity before you finally get to the page you are looking for. With my new toy, I just start typing in the location bar and I find myself at my destination even before I complete a word. Fantabulous! Password management is also something to brag about. No more “do you want to overwrite your password with the new one?” kind of question. Firefox recognizes the URL of the web site you are on, stores the password with your approval and logs you in no matter which page you land on. And there is something nice to be said about other windows opening in a new tab instead of a new window by default!

Clearly, I haven’t yet explored all the Firefox has to offer (Add-ons is next on the list) as it has only been about a week. Nonetheless, I discovered that if I were to look past some of my habits in how I work with the web, I could find new ones well worth keeping.

I plan on using Firefox for a while. That, however, does not mean that my decade-long marriage to Internet Explorer is over. I owe Microsoft at least one chance on every browser release to follow, in hopes they can influence my habits over again. However, the longer they keep assembling an application that turns even their most loyal users off, Microsoft executives might find themselves playing catch-up for many years to come.

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One comment for “Falling out of love with Internet Explorer, thanks to version 8 (beta)”

  1. The only reason that I have still been using Internet Explorer for visiting certain sites is because some secured sites will only work properly in Internet Explorer. 95% of the time I do however use Firefox. From a user point of view, Firefox is a much faster browser and there are so many great options which you can add on.

    Posted by Jamesb | Saturday, January 31, 2009, 3:51 pm

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