The Browser Wars

How To Geek explains why do so many geeks hate Internet Explorer.

Innovation stalled by monopoly

By the time Microsoft released Internet Explorer 6 in 2001, complete with lots of new features for web developers, since there was no competition and they had a 95% market share, Microsoft just stopped trying—seriously, they did nothing for 5 years even after Firefox was released and geeks started migrating left and right.

Forced issue

And here’s where we come to the real issue—the whole reason that geeks can’t stand Internet Explorer:

Geeks everywhere were forced to use Internet Explorer at work even when there are better browsers, forced to support it for corporate applications, forced to make sure web sites still work in IE, and we couldn’t convince everybody to switch to a better browser.

Geeks don’t hate something that’s inferior—but they do hate it when it’s forced on them.

The Good News

Thankfully it seems like Microsoft has finally learned from their many, many mistakes in the browser world. They are below 50% in the market share wars, and they’ve finally learned to focus on using web standards.

Internet Explorer 9 is about to be released, it’s got a shiny new interface that looks a lot like Google Chrome, blazing fast hardware acceleration, and supports HTML5 surprisingly well.

Microsoft is billing Internet Explorer 9 as the browser that’s going to change the world, and they aren’t wrong—they just aren’t mentioning that they were the only ones holding the web back with their anemic browsers.

Lesson: Open source and adherence to standards act like counters to stagnant development brought about by monopolies and closed-source software methodology.

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