Posted by jonathan at 7:06am EST on 06/15/2009
Google Chrome was launched with some minor success just nine months ago, in September 2008. Initially, it was only available for Windows users. Disappointing for Mac and Linux users? Sure. End of the world? No. Google Chrome for Mac is now available, but still fairly buggy.
When Firefox was announced, was Microsoft scared that they were going to lose market share? You bet. When Google Chrome was announced, was Microsoft scared that they would lose even more market share? You bet.
So, what could Microsoft possibly do to gain market share back? Spend more money on marketing a product that doesn’t work? “Sounds like a great idea!” … says a Microsoft executive somewhere along the line.
No. Wrong. Bad. STOP.
What’s the problem?
Instead of fixing Internet Explorer, which Microsoft had initially intended on stopping production of and then renamed from Microsoft Internet Explorer to Windows Internet Explorer with the release of IE 7, they are just going to spend more money on marketing. Here is a prime example of what they are doing to “gain back market share.”
Awesome, they are pouring more and more money into marketing a product that still doesn’t work. How does that help? Oh…right. It doesn’t.
Let’s take a look at the microsoft.com website where the ad leads you. The ad takes you to the IE8 homepage. Alright, cool, I can accept that. Let’s look in the footer. IE8, IE7, IE6, great, I can look at older versions. Click on IE7 and it shows you big banner that says IE8 and a small download link to IE7. Going to the IE6 page, there’s a big banner for IE8 and no IE6 link. So why include links to those pages at all if you’re not going to easily let a user download an older version?
What’s the solution?
Make a better browser! For years and years, Microsoft has decided to take their own route of how it interprets CSS instead of following standards. Firefox (Gecko-based), Safari (Webkit-based), and Konqueror (KHTML-based), all pretty much align with the standards of how CSS should be interpreted. Of course each one has their own flavor of how things look, but are generally the same.
Internet Explorer? No way. Never has even come close. Internet Explorer 5.5 and 6 were a web designer’s nightmare. IE7 got a little bit better and IE8 is getting closer, but IE is still a pain in the butt to work with.
Yes, I realize I’m weighing heavily on CSS as being the culprit of it being a horrible browser, but the CSS engine is not the only thing wrong with Internet Explorer.
Here is a short list of things wrong with Internet Explorer right now.
- No support for transparent PNG files
- Lack of support for extensions – such as how Firefox supports extensions
- Constantly crashing (and it still does, even when I use IE7 today)
Here’s a survey taken, as of today, by 17,412 people. Let’s see what they think. Chrome or Internet Explorer?
So the bottom line here is, should Microsoft re-invent Internet Explorer or just pour more marketing dollars into marketing a product that doesn’t work? You be the decider.