April 16, 2005

Why does anyone use Internet Explorer?

Author: Pete Arthur

Recently, our church made the switch to a new Web hosting service that offered us a database-driven site that we can keep updated through a Web interface. Strangely enough, the Web interface operates only under Internet Explorer, although it appears to be written in PHP. I've tried using the interface with both Firefox and Konqueror. It sort of works, but I need it to really work, so I'm stuck with IE. (Maybe that's why I'm the church's unofficial Web master.) After working with the world's most popular Web browser, I wonder why so many people put up with it.Today was the first time that I put any serious effort into working on
the new site, so it was also the first time in a long while that I had
any face time with Internet Explorer version 6, the most current
release. I logged into our Web interface and was immediately greeted with a
popup ad that encouraged me to satisfy my urge for an attractive young
lady by clicking on a button within the ad. Now I'm not that stupid, so
I just clicked on the "X" to close the popup window altogether. Boy,
was that the wrong thing to do. No sooner had I "closed" it than I had
three more windows fighting for control of my desktop, offering me
everything from advice on home mortgages to a flashing banner
announcing that I had finally won a million dollars.

While scrambling to restore order to my system, I noticed a small icon
on the bottom of the Internet Explorer screen. I passed my mouse over
the icon and it proudly announced that "Internet Explorer has blocked a
popup ad" or something to that effect. It had? What about the other three
that I was fighting off at the moment? Apparently I must have wanted
those to appear or it surely would've blocked them too, right?

I asked one of my colleagues, a frequent IE user, if she
ever experienced this behavior. She replied that she hadn't because
"some kind of popup blocker got installed or something." I tried
logging into my Web interface from her machine and was assaulted again,
albeit with a new ad. She told me that, "Yes, I still do get a few, but
nothing like I used to." Wow.

Which leads me to ask: Do people actually use Internet
Explorer? I simply cannot believe that the majority of the Web surfing
public (62.2% according to
a survey done at W3
) has become so complacent as to accept this bombardment as
normal. Although I didn't actually count them all, I am willing to bet
that I was assaulted with no fewer than 20 popups in the 30 minutes
that I spent using Internet Explorer -- with the popup blocker enabled
and everything.

I spend a lot of time in front of a computer every day surfing the Web. I can't remember
the last time I saw a popup of any kind since I made the switch to
Mozilla Firefox. Why isn't everyone
using this browser?

Is it because it doesn't come bundled with every free promotional CD I get? I opened a box of cereal a couple weeks ago and out popped a CD. Along with the free
AOL hours on the CD was -- you guessed it -- Internet Explorer.

Or maybe it is because people are simply too lazy to download and
install a new browser. That could be, but if you're going to spend the time to
download the new "Star Wars" trailer, why not do yourself a favor and
enhance your Internet experience by downloading Firefox too?

My hat is off to the people at the Mozilla Foundation for coming out
with this software. I really hope they are successful. But, then again,
I don't see Firefox in my Wheaties yet.

Click Here!