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I just finished reading a very nice blog post about features that can give CSS3 to a web site and I stumbled upon a never ending bunch of comment about how Internet Explorer was forcing web developers to stick with the old CSS2.1. I couldn’t resist and I made a post about it myself. But where the majority of people would only yell at IE, I proposed a possible solution that would unfortunately not solve but help solving the issue. I find it important for people tho know about this so I decided to post it on my blog :
It seems many people hate Internet Explorer and this is good but, why is there so much hate and so less changes? Believe it or not, this is all caused by Windows Vista! Let me explain : Can any one tell me what is the version of IE shipped with Windows XP? Yes! IE 6.
Many people used the “Vista is slow” excuse to not upgrade because they where not able to get a good working copy of it on p2p networks. So they’ve kept their good old cracked XP. Then, here’s the problem. Microsoft prohibit the use of Windows update AND Microsoft update for non genuine WINDOWS users. As a result, these users can’t even install IE 7. Ho yes, they could install an other browser but the fact is that most of them don’t even know what is a web browser, they just use The Internet Explorer.
See? A mix of file sharing, security protections and lack of knowlege cause this masive user base of Internet Explorer. I propose two solutions :
First, forcing Microsoft to remove Internet Explorer from Windows. This is probably not a very good solution. It would indeed force people to learn what is a web browser but then, how would they get one? You can’t just open IE and then go to the Firefox/Apple/Google/Opera/etc. website since you don’t have a web browser. The only solution would be to provide users with an in-store CD version of the browser that would cost a fortune to produce. Removing IE form Windows would also require an extensive rewrite of the OS since it is using IE’s engine about everywhere. And worse, to keep the market fair, Apple who’s shipping Safari with is OS would have to remove it and the same with Linux/Firefox too!
Second, removing the need for a genuine version of Windows to upgrade to newer version of Internet Explorer, forcing the browser to look for update each week and installing those silently without anyway to abort the installation. This solution is much more simpler, doesn’t require a big bunch a money and would help killing old web browser like IE 6.
Since many companie still require IE 6 (like every medical facility in the Quebec province that, beileve it or not, still use Windows XP SP0!) there sould be a way using Group Policy to disable or limit the updating process to let’s say version x and less.
Now you’re thinking : “Why provide a bypass solution when you just said that there souldn’t have anyway to abord the process? Instead, souldn’t we force those company to upgrade their web-software?” NO! The idea is to provide the big majority of people with no way to bypass the update process and provide a way to the IT administrators, who know what they are doing, to keep things working in their Intranet if needed.
It’s all about making money here and I think the second solution is the best to expect.
You might have recognize the first solution. It’s what the European Union expected from Microsoft to do with the release of Windows 7. as you can see, they obviously didn’t took the time to think about the repercussions before putting their demands on the public place.
I hope my solution could solve this problem in a more simple way. In the mean time, I’ll use a little custom, very clever, solution to make people upgrade to the latest version of Internet Explorer. My goal is not to make you switch on an other web browser. It’s just to make you realize how much stuck in the past some of you can be. From now on, any one who’s going to any one of my website will see a little popup “à la active-x plugin installer” at the top of the screen if they are not using the latest version of Internet Explorer. More information can be found here.
It happened to one of my friend today. He was trying to add a class in an MFC application and got stuck when an error message came out. This error is caused by a change in the security policies of Internet Explorer 8 and is documented by a blogger on MSDN (click on title for original post).