Should Web Developers Still Despise Internet Explorer?

Posted on July 1, 2013 by

Some web developers and experts in the industry always argue that Internet Explorer is holding the Web back. They believe that Microsoft’s web browsers are relics that prevent developers from creating online experiences. This argument is often directed against IE version 6 to version 9, and sometimes even Windows 8’s IE version 10.

Although these IE versions are huge step forward from earlier version, they are thought to lack a number of essential features that new web browsers have. Internet Explorer lacks the auto-update feature and Microsoft doesn’t apply updates as often as the competitors. Internet Explorer version 6 gets most of the blame and people often complain that it dominates the market share. True, IE 6 was considered as the most popular as it arrives when the highly popular Windows XP, but today its global market share is less than 7 percent. Also, for years, Microsoft has urged people to upgrade immediately.

Complaints about the Internet Explorer version 6 and 7 are perfectly understandable. We had used them for such a long time, so it’s easy to get irritated with them. However, we shouldn’t get too buried in blaming these old browsers. It’s web developers’ job to support these old versions and they need to tolerate bad parts to earn good ones. This is just a fact of life.

The Internet Explorer version 8 was a significant improvement, with its higher stability and performance. It was undoubtedly a blessing for IE fans.

The Internet Explorer 9 was a decent browser that’s built from scratch and that’s the reason it isn’t equipped with all features available on Firefox and Chrome. If Microsoft waited for parity in features with competitors, it would take much too long for them to release the IE 9.

Microsoft doesn’t have spotless reputation for delivering highly secure products; but it’s working hard to make the new Internet Explorer 10 as secure as its competitors. Microsoft’s latest browser comes with protection mechanisms that isolate each tab. Overall; it’s a capable and fast browser that delivers most of CSS3 and HTML5 features found in Firefox and Chrome. Finally, it has automatic updates and the Metro mode interface is perfect for tablets and touch-capable laptops.

The constant drumming in the web development industry is that the Internet Explorer is outdated. However, so far, Microsoft has done so many things to correct their mistakes. Apparently, some people are not ready to let go of their old grudges yet. Web developers should be aware that the availability of multiple browsers is what makes the online world beautiful. If they build things correctly, their websites should work well in any web version. They don’t need to try to make websites work similarly in all browsers, but they can still try to make it to work well on all of them.

It is not old Internet Explorer versions that are holding the Web back, but instead our outdated ways of thinking. Web developers shouldn’t fixate on things that they can’t change. The fact that some people still use Internet Explorer 6 is just another constraint that we need to solve with positive mindset. Creativity was often born from within limitations and constraints. Recent web development techniques have evolved far enough that professionals must stop pointing fingers at old browsers. They should start taking the responsibility and determine how they should do their jobs. As creative and technical individuals, web developers should be better at creating solutions than pointing finger continually.

Obviously, complaints are still needed to encourage improvements. Microsoft will listen when many people are complaining, but this shouldn’t be a pervasive behavior that strongly influences how web developers do their work.

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