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back to article Microsoft: have it your way on IE 8

Microsoft will soon start encouraging users running old versions of Internet Explorer to upgrade to the latest edition of its browser. People running IE 6 and 7 on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 will in the third week of April receive a notification through the Automate Update service that …

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Stop

one more admission

Just one more admission by Microsoft that Ie is an application not an OS.

Only idiots and fools should be surprised here.

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Go

Its already here

I updated 4 vista boxes on Saturday, two prompted for IE8 install with that screen.

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Happy

Voila!!!

Where were they sooooooooooooo far?!

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Interesting pitch

I suppose they do need to give users a reason for the upgrade, but I've never heard of any of the IE8 features that alert is touting. I doubt anyone particularly cares about them. Couldn't they just tell the truth? "Your current browser is a worthless piece of shit that we're ashamed to have ever released."

This is a nice gesture, but I'd really like a public apology for IE6.

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Ah Microsoft...

Always trying to nudge the user community forward under the impression that newer is always better.

In all seriousness though... I've downloaded IE8 and am currently using it. It's a nice browser and certainly better than IE7, but it's nothing to write home about. I encourage people to try it, but be prepared to roll back to the last IE version you have as you may discover some of your websites may not load correctly -- even in compatibility view.

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Do I dare...

...to dream of IE6 dying?

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Unhappy

Firefox has me by the short and curlies

My big problem is I switched over to Firefox when its first production release came out, and now Firefox has all my passwords.

So I'm stuck.

I'd love to switch back to MSIE, because all the security updates Firefox needed have made its code run slow as heck.

I tried using LastPass, which can read Firefox passwords and manage them securely for use by any browser, but it isn't quite there yet. (It somehow found multiple passwords for my regular sites, which is another way of saying it didn't insert the one password I needed.)

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about bloody time!

cant believe its taken them this long! many a developer will be saved how much stress!!!?!

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Boffin

"high-priority"?

But I stopped using IE when v 6 came out!

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More clunky old bloat

No thanks, there are much better browsers on the market and as for activeX, you must be joking !

For something that has most of it's libraries in the OS and active it sure runs like a dog compared to the opposition. Try harder ManureSoft.

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Flame

* eradicate ie6 forever...

This is a mixed blessing for web devs the world over.

It seems likely that our web sites *will* work with ie8, but we're unsure whether that will require any tweaks.

The big issue here is having to support *three* iterations of the same bloody browser!

ie6, ie7 *and* ie8.

Any webdev worth thier salt ensures websites render as intended on browsers with market share above a reasonable percentage. To date, ie6 still hefts enough percentage weight to be included in that market share.

The problem has always been the issue of having multiple versions of ie installed on a single "seat". For the most part, the only reliable option has been to use multiple versions of windows to run these multiple versions of ie in order to check layouts.

Trust me, applications such as "multiple ie" are *not* a reliable alternative.

We now find ourselves in the position of running three versions of windows in order to check our layouts.

My take?

One of them has to go, eventually. That will be ie6. In the interum, we'll be ignoring ie8 until the install numbers reach a significant proportion - after all, time = money.

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Anonymous Coward

Better then 7 but.....

Still no spell check. And I find it will still crash or freeze on occasion. FF still more compatible overall but IE 8 is a huge improvement over IE 7 which I did not use at all. 8 is much faster and probably opens sites faster then FF IMO. I find I am using IE more now and that is saying something since I have used FF exclusively since FF 2xx version came out. If your using 7 then you will probably love version 8.

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Bronze badge

About the Twitter business?

Is IE8 vulnerable to XSS attacks?

And does it run under Linux?

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IE

I think ie7 will die quicker than ie6. ie6 exists mainly on enterprise computers, running applications written for it, and they will not upgrade anytime soon. ie7 users will probably be much more willing to go into the upgrade path...

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For website testing...

I suppose I will have to make another virtual machine to run yet another browser, and I've only just exhaled after IE5 leaving us.

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Linux

Call me...

...when it:

* runs Adblock

* runs NoScript

* runs Flashblock

and

* runs under Linux.

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RE: For website testing...

Anonymous Bastard:

[quote]

I suppose I will have to make another virtual machine to run yet another browser, and I've only just exhaled after IE5 leaving us.

[/quote]

I have an addin which runs all the IEs. It's called "IETester". What do people think of it?

You still test for IE5? Isn't that a bit like testing for NN4.7?

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Anonymous Coward

Better, but...

IE8 is much better than previous incarnations but I have been spoilt by FF, which allows me to put any button anywhere, not to mention the plugins. It would be too much work to change my habits now, especially as there are no real show-stopper features for me.

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@Keith T

Have faith, my friend. I've been playing with FF 3.5 and it's rather slick.

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Re:Interesting pitch

"This is a nice gesture, but I'd really like a public apology for IE6."

And IE7.......

In fact, for people already using IE7 I don't believe the "upgrade" will cause many issues. The included "compatibility mode" does seem to impersonate IE7 very well and certainly some of the things that IE7 broke look broken in exactly the same way with compatibility mode turned on!

Interestingly, because it is standards compliant, I have found that several web apps which would not run correctly on IE7 (but did on IE6) actually run well on IE8.

My personal opinion? I like it, especially as Firefox has become dog slow as of late.

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Gates Horns

i give up on IE

that's it, i quit.

i am charging double for IE compatibility now, and i will be explaining to clients that this is due to Microsoft being a steaming pile of shit. if clients don't pay me extra, i won't even LOAD internet explorer. Enough is enough.

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Stop

IE8 FAIL

It sucks.

Tried opening a few tabs and streaming some audio from the BBC - you know, general browsing stuff. Opening new windows fails to load pages, and the only way to get it working again is to reboot. I need IE, because I run Outlook Web Access (which is a joke on other browsers).

Will roll back to IE7

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IE8 - what a joke

Just installed IE8, after spending too long on the download site because it loaded so slow and the automatic download didn't happen. And I was using IE to do it.

Oh yes it's still part of the OS, not just an application. How do I know this? Because it took about 5 minutes to install and I had to restart the computer. What other applications require this? Firewalls etc. yes, but no other browsers require this. (and Firefox and Opera take mere seconds to install)

After reboot, started it up and was greeted by pretty much the same as IE7, with "Free Hotmail" link. Good old MS, always trying to punt their crappy wares when they're not wanted.

Best of all, it's still trying to load The Register homepage, and meanwhile I'm writing this in Firefox. Perhaps there's something wrong with my computer. Maybe what's wrong is it's got IE8 on it, 'cos everything else is working OK.

I'll be sticking with my trusty Firefox, I think!

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Stop

Browser wars

I was pretty happy with IE7, I must admit. Whilst the stripped-down front end was a bit alarming at first, I soon got to prefer the sparse look over all the competition.

However, recently I've been using older hardware and low-powered netbooks for web surfing and I've found that older varieties of Firefox fit the bill much better. I'm afraid that having multiple animated adverts really strains these lower-powered devices and FF with *certain popular plug-ins* has become the only practical way to surf ad-supported sites on these machines. The only alternative is to use a stripped-down text-only or text+graphics browser (Dillo for example), but these usually render sites in a hideously unorthodox manner and deny a lot of functionality.

I've loaded IE8 on my main desktop running XP SP3 and it's fine, but it's a case of FF2, ABP and NoScript for all the other machines in my house (whether running Windows or Linux).

Stop sign looks close enough to the ABP logo for me.

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Anonymous Coward

Better?

TBH, I thought it was better than that steaming sack of crap that was IE7.

That said, it does horribly break bits of the Mitel web management console, so it's not in wide use here yet.

Here's a thought to all those web-console people - MAKE IT MULTI-BROWSER COMPATIBLE! It's not as if it uses ActiveX or anything, the devs are just lazy.

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There are companies that have standardised on IE6

I had to downgrade someone to IE6 the other week so they could access a training site.

And no use saying 'boycott the site till they upgrade' as we *have* to get training at these places or we can't go to the various customer buildings we require to do our job.

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Stop

I'm turning to Chrome...

Firefox is on the top of the list, the Chocolate Factory has somethin' interestin' on Chrome, and MS... well... can I run Steam (as in Half-Life 2) without IE, from the launch game screen?

I miss Netscape Navigator (3x or 4x), for some obscure reason...

Thanks MS, for forcing me to look into 4 different browsers, helped me widening my POV. Even Maxthon runs on your IE7 renderer, 3x faster, with AdBlock and everything, to prove how much it stinks. Right now IE8 is optional, but soon it will be mandatory, as we all know.

Trying Opera next.

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@Mark Pawelek

Thank you for that. It highlights an important detail.

Testing is not just on the output of the rendering engine but on the underlying OS too; In rendering times, font sizes/aliasing, parallel downloads, embedded content like flash/java/activex (shudder)/other multimedia. Also remember the browser is more than it's engine, different versions can change their behaviour of back and next buttons when redirected to the same page they are already on, a particular nuisance and pet hate...

Only last month I had to quote usage stats to a client showing IE5 is at 0.04% to get out of testing for it. Surprisingly I found out at the same time IE4 is apparently 0.01%, now who uses that?

IE isn't the only culprit here. Despite it's cross-platform abilities firefox fonts are sometimes wider on linux. Once affected by an unexpected wrap around I now test on GNOME and KDE variants too.

I applaud Mark SPLINTER's suggestion, let's all charge extra for microsoft compatibility. After all we have to pay extra for the joy of installing their products on test machines and it's getting more expensive all the time.

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Anonymous Coward

Surely...

...getting people off IE6 is a good thing, even if it is only to upgrade to IE8

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Stop

IE

Do they still release it for Mac? No.

Do they still have a version for WinNT on Sun. Oh silly me.

The only platform that it exists on is Winblows. Most of the users seem to be the ones who are too stupid to look for a better browser. Microsoft might save a lot of money if they just gave up and directed people to a page with links to 3rd party browsers like Chrome, FireFox, Opera etc

Which is pretty much what you get if you try to download their WMV stuff for OSX these days.

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@ Mark Splinter

"i am charging double for IE compatibility now, and i will be explaining to clients that this is due to Microsoft being a steaming pile of shit"

At my company, while we don't exactly express our opinions about Microsoft to clients in quite that fashion, we do have a policy of cost loading on compatibility with various browsers. Our baseline price is quoted on W3C compliance (e.g. guaranteed to work in Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc). We then load additional costs for compatibility with any versions of IE the client wishes to provide support for. Full support for IE 6 and 7 on top of W3C compliance usually adds about 20-50% to the quote - e.g. a $1000.00 basic website with guaranteed W3C compliance turns into a $1200.00 - $1500.00 website if the client wants guaranteed support for IE 6 and 7 as well. How much extra we quote for depends on the complexity of the site layout and the estimated extent to which we'll have to kludge for IE. At a minimum is 3 separate CSS files (1 for IE 6, 1 for IE 7 and 1 for W3C), and there's usually additional PHP/Perl code to inject compensatory HTML depending on the browser detected.

We implemented this policy a few years ago when we found that most of our project overruns were the result of time wasted correcting rendering faults in IE. The clincher was a cost blowout on a major commercial project a while back that wiped out the entire profit we made from the job, purely because our designers had to spend several extra weeks testing and patching the site to work in 3 different versions of IE.

On our office bulletin board, we have a mock-up itemised bill to Microsoft for the extra time we've wasted making our sites work in their 'steaming pile of shit'. Currently it stands at over $200,000 Australian. It's a standing joke in the office that when it reaches the million dollar mark, we're going to send it to Microsoft in a coffin-shaped box along with some broken old IE install CDs!

So my friend, you're not alone in your decision! :)

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