back to article Internet Explorer needs fresh dev infusion for a full recovery

Despite years of pressure from government antitrust actions and open-source upstarts like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) browser still commands more than 50 per cent of the global desktop browser market. While Microsoft remains an obvious choice for many consumers, there's some indication …


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  1. DAN*tastik

    IE developer tools are not exactly great either

    From what I remember at least. Last time I had to develop for Explorer was a couple of years ago and the version at the time was IE8. I remember most people were using FireBug and some DragonFly. Opening IE8 debugging tool only happened for IE specific bugs or anomalies. Which means quite frequently, but never by choice. Have they improved over time?

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: IE developer tools are not exactly great either

      Whether as good I don't know but they're certainly better in IE9. And note of course Visual Studio has a lot of web-dev stuff.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: IE developer tools are not exactly great either

        They are still light years behind what is offered in FF and Chrome. They can put as much shiny, shiny as they like on their browser but one tap on the F12 key shows you what an ugly, clunky pos it is underneath.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: IE developer tools are not exactly great either

          Some Intranet applications are still IE only. So there's a lot of call for improvements to IE's development and debugging tools.

          So I'd rather they carried on instead of giving up completely.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IE developer tools are not exactly great either

      IE9 is fine. You even get a traffic logger and IE has had a "console.log" thing since IE8 I think. Great for some javascript logging without having to resort to using 'alert'.

  2. Irongut Silver badge

    Grandparents (and similar users) do not care about Socialfixer (neither do I tbh) or 4ormat (who the hell are they?). They care about their banking website, eBay, Amazon and the BBC. While the Internet button on their computer works with them, which it will continue to do, they aren't going to use anything else.

    IE's market share has bottomed out, at least until Windows market share drops from the Win8 effect.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      red rag to a bull

      Oooh, inflammatory comments. I predict our resident Reading based unpaid intern will be along any moment now to put you right and give us all some educational insight into the number of hundreds of security vulnerabilities the free alternatives are sporting today.

    2. toadwarrior

      All those things work in other browsers too and the other browsers are better supported by popular sites like Gmail.

      And most of those people don't stick with IE because they want to but because they're afraid of changing anything. As you says it works so they don't want to break it. I suspect they would be more likely to change it if they weren't afraid of their computer.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Banking web sites don't necessarily work in other browsers

        Errr.... my company has just had HSBC's new internet banking system thrust upon us. I logged in and found half the expected features missing. Called support and was told that I need to use IE7 or 8 (I was using Firefox, but curiously it doesn't flag at login that the system won't work properly with that).

        I asked the support guy what happens if I am on a Mac or Linux and was told 'it's fine, just install IE7 or 8 and you can still use it.

        1. Jaybus

          Re: Banking web sites don't necessarily work in other browsers

          This was a spectacularly poor decision on HSBC's part. They are not the only one to have made it. I suspect they have gotten a good price for the software and did not realize the hidden cost of alienating half of their customers, who naturally call in to ask why they can no longer use online banking. They should have realized this, so they really have no excuse. Although, witnessing the economic disaster that banks have placed upon us these last few years, I guess yet another stupid decision shouldn't surprise me.

    3. Spearchucker Jones

      Forget about the grandparents.

      It's the developers that are the idiots.

      Have a look through Hacker News - there are some hard-core HTML5 nut jobs on there that would rather use the c-word than say "Internet Explorer", irrespective of version. The same nut jobs that bitch because they can't get freeloader VC cash for their new trendy HTML5 -based start-up that includes hipster words like "social", and "cloud", and "lean".

      These nut jobs are exactly the same nut jobs that willingly knee-cap themselves by excluding +50% of potential revenue-generating customers that use IE.

      Google also develops some sites exclusively for HML5 (e.g. That surprises me even more. If I were Google, and trying to lure IE users to Chrome I wouldn't just put up a message saying "Install Chrome Frame". Google offers no glimpse of a payoff/reward for making a dubious non-techy install dubious software that sounds close to, but isn't, Chrome.

      It beggars belief.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft isn't helped by the fact that a lot of people seem to bash IE because it's "cool". Every time an acquaintance makes a negative comment about modern versions of IE I ask them why. It's generally at that point that they can't give an answer or it becomes clear that they are basing their dislike on earlier versions such as IE6 and haven't actually used modern versions.

    I have been playing with IE10 of late and I'm currently experiencing better performance and less lockups than I have been getting in Chrome over the past month or so. When/if that changes I will go back to Chrome. My loyalties are firmly with what ever can get a webpage on my screen without me wanting to throw my computer through the window, nothing more.

    So that's one of the issues, a lot of people dismiss things because it's "in" to do so, not because they are willing to identify the best tool for the job.

    1. Wibble

      It's not cool to bash IE...

      We bash IE because it is a festering pile of proprietary bug-ridden crap.

      I personally bash IE because I am sick of the amount of extra time it takes to build a website - the cost of which has to be borne by all. IE10, 11, 12 may be more reliable and better support standards, but what of the festering crap that remains? IE7 and IE8 wil last forever as you can't upgrade this on XP.

      Those of us who work in the real world are thoroughly sick of Microsoft's shenanigans and don't forgive in a hurry and especially as we're still cleaning up the mess on a daily basis.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: It's not cool to bash IE...

        I have upgraded past IE8 on XP - Firefox 15

        For XP with IE dead ended FF and co are the best browsers to use.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Random Handle

        Re: It's not cool to bash IE...

        >I personally bash IE because I am sick of the amount of extra time it takes to build a website

        Really? be careful what you wish for - the great thing about browser and now HTML5 fragmentation is the extra work and money. Write once, run anywhere, earn half.

        1. Wild Bill
          Thumb Down

          Re: It's not cool to bash IE...

          "Really? be careful what you wish for - the great thing about browser and now HTML5 fragmentation is the extra work and money. Write once, run anywhere, earn half."

          I'd rather have twice the number of clients and not have to waste half my time pissing around with IE's fucking MENTAL bugs.

    2. The BigYin
      Thumb Down

      I dislike IE (versions 6 thru 9, never used 10). Here are some reasons:

      - It only runs on Windows, so I can't use it across my systems like I can with FF etc.;

      - There are no proper addons, they are all just useless media clap-trap;

      - Dev tools suck donkey-balls. Sweaty donkey-balls. (i.e. there is no FireBug equiv etc);

      - It cannot be removed from Windows (I don't use it, so why have it?)

      After so much pain with IE over the years, I have now found a toolchain that works really well. A toolchain that is still supported. Why should I bother lowering my productivity just to suffer IE?

      Now some people will say "Duh, typical freetard. Why should MS make software for other OSs? Go back to Leenuks you tool." Well, why shouldn't they? Apple do. Google does. If I could run IE on OS X and GNU/Linux I might be prepared to look at it. But why should I bother my ass to learn one tool just for Windows when the likes of FF work well and I can sync my addons/settings etc? Simple answer: I shouldn't.

      IE can go play with itself. Actually, that's all it can do!

      1. hugh wanger

        Only children, and angry techies use add-ons. Soccer mom doesn't.

        I actually switched back to IE recently, never thought I'd say it. Chrome was doing it for me.

        But IE and now this v10 on Windows 8 does enough, stable enough and QUICK ENOUGH now - that installing an alternate browser just isn't necessary.

        Bear in mind I am using a ton of apps, and doing all the techie things techies do - and I'm doing my job just fine without a single add-in. Amazing but true :) But yeah, just like Linux zealots with their hair on fire, its cool to bash MS (or it used to be in the 90s. I thought we'd grow up since then? Maybe not) MS have had a good renaissance recently. Long may it continue. I also hope all of them do well, RIM, Google, Apple etc - as this competition is ultimately good for us the consumer.

        1. The BigYin

          @hugh wanger - "Only children, and angry techies use add-ons. Soccer mom doesn't."

          So what? I wasn't stating reasons why they should hate IE, I was stating reasons why I hate IE.

          "doing all the techie things techies do - and I'm doing my job just fine without a single add-in. Amazing but true"

          So you are probing/hacking client-side JS in IE10 to test a website? Or a-blocking? Or tracker-blocking? Or agent spoofing? Or.... All without an addons? Why do I not believe you.

          IE10 works for you? Great, have at it. But the above is stuff I need/want to do and that is why, for me, IE is sub-standard. I can't speak for others.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Wibble

            Re: I actually switched back to IE recently

            Good for you.

            Would you please be kind and go around and install IE10 on the 100 million other systems which aren't running Windows 8. What's that, you can't?

            You obviously don't develop for a living as you wouldn't be using the non-existent development tools. Nor do you support thousands of desktops. Nor use all the myriad other add-ons which the other browsers support. And you're only running W8...

            All of these are reasons why IE remains a festering turd of a browser.

            1. Wild Bill

              z-index implementation

              has been making me bash IE(7 &8) this afternoon

      2. MJI Silver badge


        Actually I find the version still on my home XP PC might be 7, may be 8, is very sluggish, seems to take a while to do anything, FF is quite quick in comparison. (I needed to compare 2 Ebay accounts).

        Q8200 so no slouch.

        My daughter recently got a new Win 7 laptop, she installed Firefox rather rapidly

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "But why should I bother my ass to learn one tool just for Windows when the likes of FF work well and I can sync my addons/settings etc? Simple answer: I shouldn't."

        Can't? Well.....

        Won't? Stupid.......

        Bugger you then, cut your nose off to spite your face if you want. Plenty of others out there that will happily.

        1. The BigYin

          @Obviously - "Bugger you then, cut your nose off to spite your face if you want. Plenty of others out there that will happily."

          Jolly good for them, butt I never discussed them. As for cutting my nose of; I support IE and test in IE but I do not use IE because (get ready for it) it does not do what I want or need. My other tools are cross-platform. I can sit an GNU/Linux, OS X or Windows and carry on quite happily bar a few filepath differences. Does IE even have some of the tools I depend on? No.

          One of my major requirements - cross-platform. Does IE do that? No.

          Does IE run even on all current versions of Windows? No.

          So why should I bother to bring IE into the mix when it is only going to cause me grief?

          Knowing when a tool is of no benefit is just as important as knowing when a new tool adds value. And, to me, IE of no benefit and negative value.

    3. Tom 38 Silver badge

      1) It's slow as fuck. The only time I come to use IE is on relatives ageing machines. Opening the browser window is some sort of feat akin to cleaning the Augean stables, given how long it takes. Opening a tab gives you enough time to read a couple of chapters of your new book. Chrome is much faster to launch up, as it doesn't involve 500 different windows subsystems all churning into life.

      2) It's insecure by design. The only time I've had to reinstall windows was when I accidentally opened a website in IE from an IRC link (I know, I know - I thought it was going to open in Opera), which in turn redirected to a windows media URL that trashed my registry. It auto opened it because "IE" is simply a rebadged version of the explorer, the windows shell. This, and activex, are the vectors of so many whack-a-mole bugs (they fix one, 2 months later, a virtually identical exploit is found).

      3) It's been like this for years. It's no longer "why chrome is better than IE", it is now up to IE to show to that I should be using it

  4. Anonymous Coward

    IE vs Chrome

    If I had to make a choice it would be IE. Microsoft are 1.2% less evil than Google.

    1. dogged

      Re: IE vs Chrome

      IE10's alright. If Adblock+ was supported, I'd consider using it as a "main" browser.

      And then, through inertia, keep using Firefox.

  5. Mark C Casey

    Tired of MS playing politics

    I think ultimately devs are getting tired of MS playing politics with web standards. Whether it's WebRTC, WebGL, HTML5 etc.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Tired of MS playing politics

      Care to elaborate? They seem to be big into HTML5 now. And I thought WebGL was a deliberate choice due to technical issues rather than political.

      1. toadwarrior

        Re: Tired of MS playing politics

        WebGL and IE isn't a technical reason. They claim it's due to security. I suspect they will fight WebGL until they can find some way to push DIrectX then it'll be acceptable to them to do WebGL-like things.

      2. Mark C Casey

        Re: Tired of MS playing politics

        Sure, see this for an example. Also see here for MS being pretty deceptive still.

        As to WebGL and IE. If by technical issues you mean MS don't want to implement it, then yes it's a technical issue. If they wanted to they could implement it without trouble.

        1. Paul Shirley

          Re: Tired of MS playing politics

          WebGL... I hear echoes of MS trying to kill OpenGL on Windows. The market overruled them back then, it will this again if WebGL takes off.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tired of MS playing politics

        >And I thought WebGL was a deliberate choice due to technical issues rather than political

        Yep - has plenty a long list of critical zero days for browsers which have bitten the magic bullet.

        .....on a pragmatic level its also not likely to get much use anyway other than as a viewer - Stage3D will own at least the Windows and OSX desktops, is 5 years ahead already and improving much faster.

      4. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Tired of MS playing politics

        This is how the standards game is played. You can't influence standards (or insert your own extensions) if you aren't "big" in the standards committees. MS have long played this game, XSLT for example, which they "broke" by virtually inserting their own XML transform spec into the mix, making XSL 1.0 implementations very different.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tired of MS playing politics

          >This is how the standards game is played. You can't influence standards (or insert your own extensions) if you aren't "big" in the standards committees.

          Not really true - surprisingly talentless and unemployable developers with the time to put up with the processes of W3C have a far more disproportionate influence on Standards.

          .......this, much more than transparent and obvious corporate agenda pushing, is why the vast majority of W3C Standards ultimately fail - by which I mean they are ignored completely by the real world [probably 50-75% of W3C Standards] or end up being fixed with proprietory tweaks when a Standard is unavoidably necessary as with html5+.

  6. Refugee from Windows
    Thumb Down

    Not my obvious choice

    We're still landed with it - I can't say my experience of IE10 is a good one. I am only "forced" to use it as some websites throw a wobbly with FF, and I've never trusted Chrome. My opinion is that a lot of the improvements have made it even worse, it is annoying and still difficult to configure for the average user.

  7. Barry Tabrah

    More meaningful statistics

    I'd like to see the stats comparing corporate to personal. I'm not sure if it's possible to do this via IP address ranges or other means but browser usage is heavily influenced by usage environment and these statistics would be more meaningful if we can see the difference between choice (home users) and policy (corporate users).

    1. Mark 65

      Re: More meaningful statistics

      That's my view on why the numbers have dropped but have stabilised - the choice users have chosen and the policy users have stuck.

  8. Greg Thomas

    I don't think it's correct to say jQuery is dropping IE8;

    Instead they are providing two versions with identical APIs

    1.9 will support older versions of IE

    2.0 will support IE9+ only, and so will be smaller/quicker.

    See for details

    1. JDX Gold badge

      That's good to know, I thought it sounded dodgy anyone would stop supporting IE8 while so many PCs remain on XP.

  9. Techs UK

    Adobe Flash installs chrome and add-ins

    my son asked if he should update 'flash' as it requests/advises recently, without looking I just said yes.

    I came back a few seconds later to see it had nearly download google plug-in and chrome! manages to hit cancel in time and then download the flash update and disable the google bit.

    what is that all about? why are Adobe distributing chrome?

    I bet a good number of people get googlized by this.

    I'm sure MS have been blasted for such activity, but this is a bit different I suppose - Google promotes Flash via YouTube, Adobe promotes Chrome via Flash.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Adobe Flash installs chrome and add-ins

      Not just Chrome but also Norton AV. Adobe are just pimps for the IT world's whores.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Adobe Flash installs chrome and add-ins

      >what is that all about? why are Adobe distributing chrome?

      Probably for 10 or 20 cents a download - though Adobe now share the source code of FP with Google (and Microsoft) meaning approaches and development are getting a little more joined up than with the moribund plugin from Adobe models.

    3. Fatman

      Re: Adobe Flash installs chrome and add-ins

      Quote: I bet a good number of people get googlized by this.

      Only if you suffer from Microsoft Click Monkey Syndrome. That is the inability to READ, and carefully notice what actions you are attempting to perform. I have no doubt that you didn't pay any attention to the "pre-checked" boxes in the download section. That is most likely HOW that additional shit got downloaded.

      It can't be said enough: Some people are too fucking stupid to use a computer.


      1. Jaybus

        Re: Adobe Flash installs chrome and add-ins

        In my younger days I was unfortunate enough to have to provide tech support for IBM 5250 and 3270 terminals used by bank tellers. One particularly bad day I had a call from a teller who told me her terminal screen was just blank. I went through the usual checks, cables plugged in, etc.. She was painfully slow in carrying out my instructions and I was more intolerant than usual that morning. Finally, I packed up a replacement terminal and lugged the heavy thing across town to discover that she had not turned on the power switch. Needless to say, I was not pleased and let her have it for being so stupid. The end result, however, did not affect her, and I nearly got sacked for my intolerant and rude behavior.

        The moral of the story: many stupid people, of necessity, must use computers. The rest of us must live with this fact and do what we can to limit the damages. Those who would prey upon the stupid, (Adobe? Google?), are evil.

  10. Christoph

    Makes a change

    There used to be lots of sites that openly told the user that they wouldn't work with anything but IE.

    Even the NHS site couldn't do a simple standard form submission with Firefox.

    Building a site is going to be so much easier when we can strip out the reams and reams of IE conditionals that try to force the various IE versions to behave like standard browsers.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think as a decent developer you would have to concede that MS have made strides into making Internet Explorer far less hateful than it was, specially from a development standpoint. Support is much better than ever.

    Though if it was possible I'd still take IE out of the office and kick it to pieces, Office Space Printer style.

    1. Si 1

      Agreed, I generally find IE8 to be quite well behaved only requiring a few specific CSS hacks to make sites work (if any). Compared with the huge amounts of extra CSS I would have to generate for IE6 and IE7 it's a big improvement. Debugging on IE8 is crap, but generally I find the JS engine to be fairly well behaved too. It's not perfect but it's good progress.

      If anything, I wish other browsers supported the <!--[if IE 6]> way of hiding browser specific stuff, as ever so occasionally Safari or Opera will display differently to everything else and it would be nice to have one tidy method for including specific .css hack files rather than doing anything server side or in JS to detect other browsers.

  12. Neil Lewis

    IE user inertia is MS own fault

    In earlier times, MS made a point of breaking web standards so that sites would *have* to be coded for IE, presumably in the hope/expectation that desktop dominance would lead to a web which only worked properly for the Windows/IE combo.

    Those millions of remaining (particularly corporate) IE6 users are there precisely because of MS earlier determination to lock out other browsers with ActiveX. Now that strategy has come back to bite them in the bum for the reasons outlined in this article.

    Ebay/Banks/BBC and such will of course continue to support older IE versions for now, but that is actually irrelevant. All those things also work on alternatives, so IE has no advantage. If newer 'must have' sites stop supporting IE's quirks, then it will suffer an increasing disadvantage compared to the alternatives.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Development on IE isn't dead yet.

    The business case is pretty good: Lots of barely-or-less computer literate users, wide deployment especially in corporate space, good support for a wide range of proprietary plugins, and single platform only so you're certain that exploits and other things won't flounder because the browser turns out to run on linux or sparc or something. Oh, and those users are fairly easily convinced that your latest "toolbar" is really useful. Because, you know, it's really vital to have bonzi buddy or whatever it is you're peddling active in the browser regardless of what the user is actually doing. And toolbars like toolbars for their friends, like rabbits.

    That browser will be around for a while, and is likely to remain unpatched for ungodly long times. So yeah, there's good times ahead, with a better than 50% of your intended victi^Waudience selected by that simple expedient of filtering just for that browser. If I was in that bracket I'd definitely go for that market.

    As a tech-savvy user (and admin, and developer, and someone having to give advice to friends and family), though, the rationale is a little different, and so is the end result. Something with death offered as a main course, aflame.

  14. Martin Lyne

    And it FEELS LIKE I AM JUST TO CLOSE TO LOOVE YOOUU (wub wub wub wub wub)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Was it just me, or was that advert full of crap?

      1. Fatman

        RE: was that advert full of crap?


        What fucking advert???

        I don't see no fucking advert!!!

        Oh, that's right, I use Firefox with Ad Blocker Plus and No Script. Two of the best reasons to abandon Internet Explorder on WindblowZE.

      2. Ottman001

        Not just you. I saw the security claim too. Surely someone remembered to complained to Advertising Standards? Oh, evidently, nobody else bothered either.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why developers hate IE?

    Why developers hate IE?

    - Having to develop, regression test and fix defects across all versions

    - Our automation framework bases its assertions upon the browser rendering of the html - which differs across versions of IE

    - Historical security flaws

    - That bloody advert with the "wub wub wub" sound and riding off the back of the Avengers and Aston Martin websites and that hungry monster game

    - Generally we act as tech support to family, we hate it when we hear that the internet - "blue E" isn't working, half the browser window is taken up by toolbars and the IE internet settings are pointing to some scam DNS, but the browser drives the entire OS internet settings.

    1. Fatman

      Re: Why developers hate IE?...half the browser window is taken up by toolbars

      Oh, you mean like this:

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why developers hate IE?...half the browser window is taken up by toolbars

        EXACTLY like that!

        For a second I thought they'd screenshotted my aunts PC.

  16. m4r35n357

    UK TV ad campaign

    Millions spent trying to persuade people to actually use what's already installed on their computers, pathetic really ;)

  17. LDS Silver badge

    IE6 was kept alive by big enterprise and developers, not "unskilled people"

    "which tends to be less technical and hence less likely to update its browser. Microsoft has struggled for years to get its users off IE6 and now IE7."

    The reason is exactly the opposite. IE6 was kept alive in companies, many of the large ones, because the high-end enterprise software they're using uses web interfaces coded against IE6 and they can't upgrade it without needing to upgrade also software that could cost millions. Who should be blamed? Microsoft of some other companies that hired lame developers and didn't release updates to their bad written "web applications" despite the huge cost?

    Oh yes, then there are the users using illegal copies of Windows that can't upgrade the browser easily.... again a Microsoft fault? Users using legal copies will found new versions of IE in Windows update, and they will usually install it.

    IE has less plugins than other browser because its BHO uses a very different model than Mozilla or Chrome - much more Windows/COM development skills are needed, something very different than the easier model used by Mozilla and Chrome.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Who to blame?

      Plenty of blame to go around. Of course there are the devs who did as they were told by their bosses to deliver a nice and bubble-y "web app" that then only works on IE6 and only with the required activex controls installed. The bosses for demanding exactly that, because "everyone" did too, instead of focusing on standards compliant stuff. redmond, of course, for building something that promoted that. And for promoting it, because of their agenda to kill off the competition through uncompetetive means, leveraging their OS monopoly. And of course for not being backwards compatible with their own software then they could have known, in fact they did know, just how much result of that exercise was still haunting the enterprises that are their bread & butter. They effectively offered a way into the quagmire, but neglected to offer a viable way out.

      So yes, just like they for years let slip lots of unlicensed use, only relatively recently and knowing full well what it'd mean for the installed base, turning on the thumbscrews. That this then also poses a threat to licensed users because, well, exploits hardly care whether the licence is valid, and going ahead anyway, reeks of criminal negligence or worse. Forcing licensed users to update, often behind their back and thus showing questionable ethics, is simply not an adequate fix.

      If you want to try and shift the blame away from redmond, please try again. This isn't cutting the mustard.

  18. A J Stiles

    IE deliberate bug

    In at least one version of IE, there is a very nasty bug in the JavaScript interpreter which can only have been put there deliberately.

    It refers to the string.split() method, when you split against a regular expression (the way Perl and PHP do). IE behaviour deviates counterintuitively from Mozilla and Webkit behaviour by silently dropping empty elements from the returned array.

    If you have an AJAX backend which returns something like

    20 High Street|Smalltown|Countyshire|CY5 6ZA

    then you try to split it with something like

    aa = at.split(/\|/);

    then you quite rightly expect

    aa[0] == "20 High Street"

    aa[1] == "Smalltown"

    aa[2] == "Countyshire"

    aa[3] == "CY5 6ZA"

    On the other hand, should your AJAX backend return something like

    129 Acacia Avenue|Bigcity||BC2 0PC

    then when you call the same

    aa = at.split(/\|/);

    what you find with Mozilla or Webkit is, as you would expect:

    aa[0] == "129 Acacia Avenue"

    aa[1] == "Bigcity"

    aa[2] == ""

    aa[3] == "BC2 0PC"

    But IE, on the other hand, gives

    aa[0] == "129 Acacia Avenue"

    aa[1] == "Bigcity"

    aa[2] == "BC2 0PC"

    Call me paranoid if you like, but I cannot see any way for that behaviour to be accidental. For that matter, I cannot see any way for that behaviour even to be useful if implemented on purpose, other than to break code already tested against the popular Open Source browsers.

    1. Tom Melly

      Re: IE deliberate bug

      Actually, almost all browsers screw up in some way or another when it comes to 'split', and IE only screws up when the delimiter is a regex rather than a string. Not defending IE - I only use it for one must-use-IE application - but cross-browser JS implementation issues are not going to go away any time soon, irrespective of which browser you use.

  19. Joe Montana

    Crappy bundled browser...

    Windows bundles a crippled email client (outlook express), and they sell a fully featured one.

    Windows bundles a crippled word processor (wordpad), and they sell a fully featured one.

    Windows bundles a crippled drawing program (paint)...

    Windows bundles a crippled text editor (notepad)...

    A default windows install is pretty much useless, most applications you would need are either missing, or only have very basic token examples.

    Given that every other application shipped with windows is crude, basic and pretty much intended to upsell you to something else... Why would users think IE is any different?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Crappy bundled browser...

      Because browsing the Internet has become a requirement on practically every system but windows is still just an operating system.

      The applications that you have listed are fine for performing basic tasks within the OS. Are you suggesting it should be a case of getting commercial grade graphics software for free with Windows, that said applications should be omitted entirely or that they should raise the price?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well done...

    "My hunch is that when users discover their favourite sites don't work well in IE6 or IE7, instead of upgrading to IE9 they will follow the advice of their search engine and download Chrome."

    Prey tell how this will happen oh wise one? Please explain how some using i.e 6 will upgrade to 9, even if they wanted to.

    Hint, you don't get 6 in Vista / 7 and i.e.9 is not available to XP users.

    1. jeremyjh

      Re: Well done...

      Surely this makes the scenario more likely, anonymous coward. Because the user would have to fork out money and take their life in their hands with an OS upgrade in order to upgrade to a later IE.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Then devs may find that users won't switch browsers, but, just not take up their offerings!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FF is crap. Tried it, wont use it. Just doesn't live up to the hype.

    Chrome sends as much info as possible to Google.

    And as for the "XP" comments. Durr!

    If you want the latest features, you must get the latest OS.

    Not difficult!

  23. tin 2

    Haha, anyone who genuinely is thinking they'll use or develop for IE because the new versions are "better", have been fooled at least twice.

    IE, MSs "extensions" - and by association those developers that were sucked in by them - are the reason there are corporates and public organisations up and down the country are absolutely stuck with IE 6 or 7 because they are needed to run their ageing expensive to replace web based systems, while also getting bleated at by their users because the new stuff they're buying (and/or youtube etc) are demanding that something new is installed instead.

    An undoubtedly huge number of developers and users got locked in and then abandoned by MS. Why would you risk unblinkingly walking into that again!?

  24. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Microsofts biggest mistake with IE was not releasing IE9 for XP, no one update their OS just to get a new browser and there are millions of people who were and still are running XP who were stuck on version 8 with no upgrade pathc so they migrated off to Firefox and Chrome which are actively improving, so even if these people move off XP to Windows 7/8 they have got used to FF/Chrome and so install that rather than go back to IE

  25. Mike Manship

    Microsoft won't release IE on anything else...

    I use Chrome and Firefox.


    Because they are the same on Windows/Linux/Android etc.

    Lots more of us are accessing the web from lots of different devices for both work and pleasure, why would I use IE when I can only run it on one OS?

    I still don't understand why MS and some others don't get this...

    Do you get the picture yet MS?

  26. Chavoux

    The one place where IE still gets lots of developers

    Especially in the corporate environment where a lot of (intranet) applications are written using Visual Studio .NET, Internet Explorer remains the browser of choice (at least as long as most desktops continue to run Windows). From a management / IT policy point of view, where users are many times not allowed to install any programs, the default Windows browser remains the browser of choice. This is because you know that all users will have it, and also because some .NET web applications simply does not work correctly with other browsers (or is a lot more trouble to get working correctly).

    Personally, I am not fond of IE (or Windows for that matter), but I also know that my browser of choice (Opera) does not work correctly on all web sites. Fortunately there are very few (no?) web sites these days that are not at least compatible with Firefox (my back-up browser).

  27. Mark Dowling
    Thumb Down

    Maybe devs would work more enthusastically on ONE platform

    Like IE10. The browser Win 7 is supposed to get but mysteriously MS is not talking about for anything other than Win 8.

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