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back to article Ditch IE7 and we'll give you a FREE COMPUTER, says incautious US firm

Internet Explorer 7 holdouts are being offered a brand new computer by a US company sick of working to support Microsoft's legacy browser. Before you get too excited, you must be a customer of the company. Following a new website launch, NursingJobs.us has determined it is cheaper to buy each customer using IE7 a brand new …

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Rare pragmatic response

How refreshing that someone costed both sides of the equation, worked out what was cheaper, worked out it came with free PR, and took it. I've been caught up in idiotic infrastructure systems with massive security black holes and staggering running costs just so we could deliver payslips electronically instead of on paper. I costed it, it was a saving of nearly 70% to revert to the paper system (more when you consider that people would then print their own payslips on company printers anyway), but it wasn't considered a viable option.

People are funny, if you employ an engineer to optimise a problem why not listen?

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Re: Rare pragmatic response

In this case, I don't think they've factored in the number of less-than-scrupulous users who will suddenly discover they have been using IE7 all this time.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Rare pragmatic response

Hold on, what operating system are they still using? Just buy them a copy of Win 7 or 8, cheaper than a new computer?

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Re: Rare pragmatic response

Yup then getting people complaining that it doesn't run on their 9 year old P2 with 1gb of RAM.

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Re: Rare pragmatic response

That way you end up supporting their OS install - if you get them a new PC it becomes the PC manufacturer's support problem.

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JDX
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Re: Rare pragmatic response

I doubt it was really cheaper. More than likely, they designed their new site without proper thought and then realised "oh shit, it doesn't work on IE7 and all our customers use it". And now it's cheaper to do this than rework it all.

They probably let some bright-eyed graduates on the job, who were determined to do the whole thing in the newest web technologies just because they're new and cool.

It's a recruitment site. It doesn't need loads of HTML5 and a super-efficient JS compiler. It shouldn't anyway.

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Re: Rare pragmatic response

"I doubt it was really cheaper. More than likely, they designed their new site without proper thought and then realised "oh shit, it doesn't work on IE7 and all our customers use it". And now it's cheaper to do this than rework it all."

Says a person who fairly obviously has never coded even a simple HTML page in his life.

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Re: Rare pragmatic response

There is nonetheless a big difference between it being unfeasible to spend 50% longer to get it to work on internet explorer for the benefit of 1% of users and suggesting that it would be cheaper to buy them all new PCs.

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Facepalm

Re: Rare pragmatic response

"More than likely, they designed their new site without proper thought and then realised "oh shit, it doesn't work on IE7 and all our customers use it".

So... did you read the article at all, maybe? Such as the part where it says: "NursingJobs.us reckons IE7 makes up 1.22 per cent of its traffic."

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Re: Rare pragmatic response

I doubt it was really cheaper. More than likely, they designed their new site without proper thought and then realised "oh shit, it doesn't work on IE7 and all our customers use it". And now it's cheaper to do this than rework it all.

I don't doubt it was cheaper at all. You'd be shocked at how quickly costs rise when you add another browser to support, especially when its one that doesn't support the standard tech that every other browser does.

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JDX
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Re: Rare pragmatic response

The point is it doesn't cost much more if you plan on it up front, rather than design everything on Chrome and then try to make it work on other browsers later.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Rare pragmatic response

By which you must mean specifying that the whole system CAN'T have feature XY and Z in budget / time specified because of IE7 support, rather than built to IE7 and Standards compliant?

And planning up front isn't how business buy websites/web apps these days. You get a "spec" on the back of a fag packet, make a start, see if it's close to what the customer wants, make the early changes, develop it, change it, rinse and repeat then and slap a badge on it that says "Agile".

Echoing what the other AC said - it sounds like you haven't created a basic page, let alone in a business environment... IE7 (and 8 to a lesser extent) is always accompanied by a groan when it's mentioned in a spec, as you have to do a lot of work twice, or use hacks to get simple JavaScript to work.

"It's a recruitment site. It doesn't need loads of HTML5 and a super-efficient JS compiler" - times change, people EXPECT the newer features they've seen on other sites to be included in their site, especially if there are competitors out there (in fact, no, even internal customers intranet sites expect these features).

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Re: obviously has never coded even a simple HTML page

Nah, he codes them all the time. He just only uses MS apps to do the coding and testing. If anybody calls about bad rendering in Firefox or Safari, JD tells them to buy a real operating system and use IE which is included for free.

At least that's what he does if you believe his posting history.

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Re: Rare pragmatic response

"The point is it doesn't cost much more if you plan on it up front, rather than design everything on Chrome and then try to make it work on other browsers later."

I agree with the sentiments of both your posts JDX, but sometimes things depreciate too far to work with in retrofitting drafts. For instance, while it is possible to make a VCR play both VHS and BetaMax, it probably won't be cheaper than trading out the machine.

That being said, I've seen and have personally committed clumsy drafting myself. So your point may be wrong here, but never the less, someone is demonstrating your sentiment at this very moment..

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Anonymous Coward

NZ MOH doing the same thing, giving $1500 towards each computer

The NZ MOH (its DHBs) have been giving resthome providers up to $1500 for each device they need to connect to their on-line database, so long as it's Windows! Yes believe it or not, they are so out of touch that Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera etc, are not an option, or at least these were not an option until all rest home providers had already been effectively mandated to use Windows 98/2000 or XP, (Windows 7 added just a few months ago). There must be thousands of resthome providers, many run dozens of rest homes.

Well done Microsoft, exceptional vendor lock-in success. Or rather, very badly done NZ MOH, you are on another planet.

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Re: NZ MOH doing the same thing, giving $1500 towards each computer

Similar to my brother's bitter comment that, not long after Bill Gates visited UK Premier Tony Blair, my nephew's school circulated parents that they'd need to upgrade to the latest Microsoft Office or their kids wouldn't be able to submit homework.

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I ditched IE in 2000.

Haven't looked back.

Ugly, ugly, ugly attempt at building a web browser.

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Re: I ditched IE in 2000.

"Haven't looked back.

Ugly, ugly, ugly attempt at building a web browser."

So you're ignorant of what it's like now, 13 years later. Did you think this'd make you look good somehow? (Rhetorical question, considering the source.)

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Re: I ditched IE in 2000.

I switched to Firefox sometime ago.

Must admit, I much prefer IE11 to the bloat of the more recent versions of Firefox. Only stay on Firefox as I've not got round to getting up to speed with IE addons.

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Headmaster

@ AMBxx I agree. Whilst I still use Firefox........

..........as my preferred browser (habit I guess, although not solely that) I am obliged to admit that with IE10 I began to review my automatic hostility to Redmond's offerings in that area. I have been trialling IE11 for some little while now and am obliged to admit that it is a world away from anything they produced in the past. Pity it took them so long to get genuinely serious about good browser design.

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Re: I ditched IE in 2000.

My daily driver is Chrome, but IE10 and 11 are noticeably more responsive than Chrome on heavy websites (typically those modern affairs which require scrolling and panning of full page images/videos).

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JDX
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Re: I ditched IE in 2000.

Which browser wasn't ugly in 2000?

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Re: I ditched IE in 2000.

I use Chrome on a daily basis also, but recently I have added IE back to the task bar. Chrome just seems to be getting slower - perhaps that is just a perception?

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Re: I ditched IE in 2000.

you need to try FF ESR - its for companies who prefer a stable platform, no problems caused by all those dev builds..

I say the same as I say to all those iphone 'hopefulls' - when the spec (not just the PR!!!) is as good or better than the competition, I WILL buy one!! Iphone getting a 1280 x 1024 res, 5 in screen??? ROFLMAO... :)

when IE gets fully customisable action buttons, a full library of addons like FF, can use the 'Fanboy Adblock List' directly, including all the needed flash and script blockers... THEN I'll think about it... :D :D

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Re: I ditched IE in 2000.

> Which browser wasn't ugly in 2000?

I don't remember, with all the < blink> around whoever stopped to consider such questions?

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Re: I ditched IE in 2000.

Hey may be ignorant of what it's like now, but his description still fits with the modern version. Didn't it fail to render even msn.com properly when IE11 launched?

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Re: I ditched IE in 2000.

IE11 failed to render a lot of stuff when first launched - including Outlook Web Access, MS CRM, and the MS Partner site!

Apparently, it's the improvements to the javascript processing that have caused the problems.

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Paris Hilton

Just a thought

What will they give me if I turn up at their website using Mosaic, a new house??

Paris can give me a bed bath any time!!

(Just dont tell the wife!!)

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Re: Just a thought

Mosaic? You graphical Johnny-come-lately!

Lynx gets you a whole village!

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IE is much better than it was previously...

It used to be an exercise in abject frustration, getting a website to work according to standards and then having to go back and fuck it all up so it rendered nearly as expected in IE. Of course, if you were an idiot you "designed" the website for IE in the first place... and then got bit by it's steady iteration to actually applying most of the standards in a recognisable manner.

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Re: IE is much better than it was previously...

It still won't run on anything except Windows :)

Actually, there still seem to be compatibility issues. A client called me recently about an old GWT application I wrote for him some five years ago. In the latest IE version it displays blank screens. It continues to work without issue in the latest versions of FF and Chrome. Leopard, spots.

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I was tasked with writing a web site that supports the following browsers:

ie6-10

firefox 3+

safari

I wrote it for FF and it worked as expected in safari, acceptable in 9, & 10, I then had to add a load of hacks to get it to display in ie 6, 7, 8. This, obviously, broke 9, and 10, so I had to add even more hacks ... and the worst thing was, the website was not even fancy. Really dead basic css ... web dev is not my expertise, I must admit, but I asked one of my mates who is and he said I was crazy to even try.

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Pirate

I feel your pain, Hans

Having been down the same route. Now we live in a happy world where it really makes little difference which browser you use, and mainly comes down to personal taste. I mainly use Chrome, despite my Microsoft bent (hmm), due to its portability, and these days I tend to measure a browser's worth by how easy it is to dislodge spoogeware such as Inbox, Ask, Babylon, et al (hint - IE = easy peasy, Chrome = harder, FF = bloody difficult).

Downvotes ahoy, me hearties!

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To be fair, and I dislike IE < 9 pretty intensely, IE 6, 7, 8 were in their own way standards compliant. Unfortunately, they supported a standard box model that was subsequently changed. This is the biggest problem when working with them but it's a biggie because of the way we do sites in a post-table-layout, pre-flexbox world. Add to that the real bugs they do have and supporting them does become a real problem. And, then there is Microsoft's intransigence in welding the browser to the OS.

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Re: I feel your pain, Hans

what do you mean by spoogeware??? Adblock solves most of my probs - you can even hide certain irritating elements of a webpage.. :)

script & flash block does the rest..

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@Charlie Clark

"Unfortunately, they supported a standard box model that was subsequently changed."

There was never anything standard about the abortion that is the IE6-8 box layout scheme. While it was possible to apply dumb-as-hell "fixes" to work around the complete incompetence that generally revolved around the "hasLayout" attribute there were so many other fundamental failures that it was usually an exercise in hair yanking rampant insanity inducing pain just to make older versions of IE render something in any way that approached the standards or what would have been reasonably expected. I still put HTML and CSS together very defensively as a result...

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Happy

Re: what do you mean by spoogeware???

Well, I'm glad to see you keep away from <ahem> certain websites that infest many (most?) of my clients' similarly locked-down browsers. Also, I believe I actually did name a few examples! Most of this crud gets on machines when people download trojan-riddled freeware, and / or respond to 'Your PC is running slowly - click here to fix!' stuff. And not all adblockers catch all of these.

I should point out also that my browsing is also like yours - spoogeware free, and I intend to keep it that way!

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No Brainer

It's Microsoft's own fault for thinking they didn't have to bother complying with standards. Some of us can't run IE. So I develop against Firefox, test additionally on Konqueror and Android Browser, and call that "good enough". I don't even consider IE a target, for want of any way to test against it. If it works, that's a bonus; if it doesn't, well, you can just use Firefox instead.

Then there's what I call The Nuclear Option:

<?php

$browser = $_SERVER["HTTP_USER_AGENT"];

if ($is_ie = preg_match("/msie/i", $browser) && !preg_match("/opera/i", $browser)) {

header("Location: http://getfirefox.com/");

exit();

};

?>

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Re: No Brainer

Refusing to serve your site to someone using a specific browser that you haven't tested for?

Why yes, that seems like a sensible way to behave.

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Re: No Brainer

"Refusing to serve your site to someone using a specific browser that you haven't tested for?

Why yes, that seems like a sensible way to behave."

Absoutely - it is called Personal Choice. We aren't all determined to please everyone all the time (unless forced to as a web designer), sometimes its nice to please yourself and if people don't want to use something appropriate to see you site, fair enough - they have a choice too!

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Re: No Brainer

yeah its a pity about the new opera... :'( its now just simpler to go chrome, it looks the same!!!!

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Re: No Brainer

I think he forgot the 'sarcasm' tag... :D

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Linux

Re: No Brainer

M$ does it , so why shouldn't everyone else?

I am not sure *which* piece of M$ software does it , but a number of sites I have been to (less these days) , produce a blank , empty HTML page.

Usually changing your User-agent string to "IE" (on firefox/opera its easy) seem to fix it for most. Although not always....

P.

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Microsoft's own fault for thinking they didn't have to bother complying with standards

Back in the bad old days, nobody considered standards important. FOSS didn't really exist, not in the mainstream anyway, and everyone developed their own 'standards' as a matter of course.

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Unfortunately no matter ....

.... how good MS make IE to use and work with there is an inherent hatred of it within the web development community. That will never disappear.

I use Firefox for 90%+ of my web needs, but it is getting fat and slow. Just here on this page it is using 370MB of memory with Adblock and NoScript running. Open another tab or two and it will shoot past half a gig. I have games that use less memory. I am currently logged into vSphere, with one console open and also RDP'd into 6 servers and all of that in total is using less memory than Firefox (I know GPU+GDDR is taking care of a lot of the work, but its also doing it for Firefox). Yet using IE11 to view my Spiceworks server is only using 70MB.

IE10/11 are miles ahead of 8/9, and you can use the adblock subscriptions with it. If Noscript becomes available for it I may start using IE more often.

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Re: Unfortunately no matter ....

I think you mean... "fortunately no matter ...."

Refusing to support web standards when it suits your monopoly market share, then adopting them posthumously to avoid losing it as quickly is scummy and no matter how good your product now is, your past behaviour betrays you for who you really are. I hope they end up setting an example of why you shouldn't be as evil as possible in order to maximise profits.

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Re: Unfortunately no matter ....

No, I am quite sure I meant unfortunately.

As for making changes to how you do things when you start losing market share, isn't that just sensible?

P.S. Lehman Brothers already set that example :)

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JDX
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inherent hatred ... will never disappear.

I think it will. Already, people entering into web-development this decade may never have to work with IE6 at all. Those entering the field in a few years will never have to work with IE7 or 8, and with IE9 things took a big step forward.

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Re: Unfortunately no matter ....

memory hog??? how much memory have you got??? 4gig or more???

Do you know WHY IE is sloww?? it loads every page , *every* time, even the *same* one...

want MUCH faster page loading?? give up a TINY bit of your MASSIVE ram to store those pages, for it to load while you are reading one...

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Re: Unfortunately no matter ....

Sensible, yes. But wouldn't it be much better not to piss people off in the first place? The *only* reason that they didn't conform to web standards is because if web standards took off, they'd lose due to healthy competition (like they are doing now): http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/86/Usage_share_of_web_browsers_%28Source_StatCounter%29.svg

They had a (significantly) inferior product which they were able to keep because people had the sane concept of: "If I use another browser, the internet stops working". Web devs had developed their sites to only work in IE because it had a majority market share.

Abusing a monopoly to maintain your inferior product is poor form and they deserve punishing for it.

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