Users, Web developers vent over IE7

Microsoft blog about the browser's success draws scores of complaints

Users of Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) turned a blog post by a Microsoft program manager into a complaint free-for-all that took the company to task for not following through on browser upgrade promises and alienating Web developers.

In the posting to the IE team's blog, Tony Chor, a group program manager, used the passing of IE7's first year to tick off several milestones for the browser, including a claim that its user base recently reached 300 million. "This makes IE7 the second most popular browser after IE6," Chor said in the post. "IE 7 is already #1 in the U.S. and U.K., and we expect IE7 to surpass IE6 worldwide shortly."

Chor also said that IE7's integrated anti-phishing filter stops an estimated 900,000 phish attempts each week, and that the support call volume for Microsoft's browser line is down 20% from a year ago. "This is typically a sign that the product is more stable and has fewer issues than the previous release," Chor said.

But while Chor was loquacious about IE7, he gave short shrift to news about the next edition. "While we're happy with how well IE7 is doing, as always, we continue to listen to our customers and find ways to further improve Internet Explorer. Look for more news on this front in the coming weeks."

That drove some users to question Microsoft's commitment to a statement made by Bill Gates last year that the company would upgrade Internet Explorer more frequently. In March 2006, Gates acknowledged that the six years between the release of IE6 and IE7 was too long an interval, then said Microsoft would crank out a new edition of Internet Explorer every nine to 12 months.

"Congratulations. In the same timeframe [since IE 7's debut], Firefox went 2.0, and launched 3.0 Beta, Safari has gone to 3.0, including a version for Windows," said someone identified as Paul. " Let's see...six years for IE7, so you guys are on track to have IE8 by what, 2012? Your problem is you think in terms of years."

Others took exception to Chor's statistics on IE7's uptake and the number of security issues found in it during the last year. But it was developers who seemed to bash Microsoft the hardest. "Instead of wasting our time with crazy back-patting uselessness, will Microsoft please just admit defeat and close up development of IE and hand [it] over to people who care about the Web and handle it properly?" said Ryan G. "I have wasted sooo [sic] many hours developing sites to work in this browser, that work without further modification in every other browser."

"Another post on this blog, and not a single word about being open with the community, IE8, bug fixes, new features, transparency, public bug tracking, etc. *except* by every developer/manager/tester/designer/user/security expert commenting on this blog," said a user identified as Bradley. "What's the issue here? If [Microsoft] is not going to commit any time, resources, material to any of this, ISSUE A POST indicating such (preferably with a reason)!"

But the most pointed comment came from someone labeled only as dk. "You all continue to underestimate the dramatic spillover effect this poor developer experience has had and will continue to have on your other products and services. Let me drive this point home. I am a front-end programmer and a co-founder of a start-up. I can tell you categorically that my team: Won't download and play with Silverlight...won't build a Live widget...won't consider any Microsoft search or ad products in the future.

"And the reason is because of IE -- because Microsoft disregards its most important relationship with us. Until this relationship is repaired, nothing else stands a chance."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Exec

Budget

TerraCycle Zero Waste Box Pens and Markers Small

Learn more >

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?