Webometric Thoughts

April 2, 2009

Internet Explorer 8 Virtual Q&A: Time for the bespoke browser?

Filed under: IE8,IE8QA,Microsoft — admin @ 6:11 pm

I have just spent the last hour having a chat with some people at Microsoft about Internet Explorer 8 (using Tangler).

Whilst I first tried IE8 over a year ago, I have been a pretty solid Firefox user since then; Firefox wasn’t a deliberate choice, just something I floated into over time.

I’m not too sure why I was invited along to the chat (everyone there was far more technical than me), but it did force me to think about web browsers. My conclusion:

Bloated

IE 8 is full of bells and whistles, and whilst the technorati may make use of them, does the average user? Are they actually becoming a hindrance to the average user? Not only slowing down the program, but adding confusion to the browsing experience.

I think it is time to move beyond the one browser fits all model. At a minimum I would like to see Microsoft develop two browsers: IE Simple, and IE Professional. But what I would really like to see is a bespoke browser. You go to the Microsoft site, select the browser features you want included, and it compiles the IE browser for you.

March 6, 2008

IE 8 v. Firefox 3

Filed under: IE8,browser — admin @ 11:33 am

Internet Explorer 8 was launched yesterday, and whilst I have spent the morning messing about with some of the new features, it’s unlikely to set the browser world alight. But there again neither is Firefox 3 (however over-excited certain web-users get).

For all the additions over the years, browsing is pretty much the same as it always has been. Whilst I may get excited about certain new innovations when a browser add-on first launches, I have soon returned to browsing in the way I always have: clicking on links and typing urls into the address bar. The only innovation that has made a real difference to my browsing habits has been the inclusion of tabs.

The situation is probably the same for most users, despite geek hype about Firefox, and the majority of users will continue to use the familiar Internet Explorer interface for the foreseeable future. Personally, however, I would welcome a new browser that fundamentally changes the way we surf.

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