Dvorak: Microsoft should just kill Internet Explorer

“I think it can now be safely said, in hindsight, that Microsoft’s entry into the browser business and its subsequent linking of the browser into the Windows operating system looks to be the worst decision—and perhaps the biggest, most costly gaffe—the company ever made. I call it the Great Microsoft Blunder,” John C. Dvorak writes for PC Magazine. “All of Microsoft’s Internet-era public-relations and legal problems (in some way or another) stem from Internet Explorer. If you were to put together a comprehensive profit-and-loss statement for IE, there would be a zero in the profits column and billions in the losses column—billions. The joke of it is that Microsoft is still working on this dead albatross and is apparently ready to roll out a new version, since most of the smart money has been fleeing to Firefox or Opera. This means new rounds of patches and lost money.”

Dvorak writes, “Microsoft should pull the browser out of the OS and discontinue all IE development immediately. It should then bless the Mozilla.org folks with a cash endowment and take an investment stake in Opera, to influence the future direction of browser technology from the outside in. Then, Microsoft can worry about security issues that are OS-only in nature, rather than problems compounded by Internet Explorer.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Scott” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: The U.S. should just hook up John C. Dvorak to a steam-powered generator and we’d all have free electricity for as long as he lives. Now, in this case, by chance, Dvorak’s actually correct. IE causes nothing but headaches for Microsoft. Internet Explorer is the Windows of browsers. Of course we mean that in the worst possible way. That 80% or so still use IE should tell you just about all you need to know about the majority of humans. Furthermore, those that design web sites to be Internet Explorer-only are talentless hacks.

On a Mac, we use Safari, FireFox, Camino, and Netscape in that order. If stuck with a Windows PC, we’d use FireFox with a Safari-like theme.

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Related articles:
Firefox breaks 10% mark, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer lost nearly 4% market share in past year – April 04, 2006
Security report shows Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was unsafe for all but seven days of 2004 – March 22, 2005
Penn State’s IT Services recommends dumping Microsoft Internet Explorer immediately – December 09, 2004
Security expert: Don’t use Microsoft Windows, Office, Outlook, Internet Explorer – December 09, 2004
Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer products reflect arrogance, sloppiness – November 21, 2004
Web Standards Project: Abandon Microsoft Internet Explorer and ‘Browse Happy’ – August 25, 2004
IT managers loath to switch from flawed Microsoft Internet Explorer – July 07, 2004
Securty expert: Microsoft Internet Explorer ‘just cannot be trusted, use alternate browser’ – July 02, 2004
Security firm warns of new Internet Explorer flaw, advises ‘use a different browser’ – July 01, 2004
Microsoft axes Internet Explorer for Mac – June 13, 2003

48 Comments

  1. IE has a whole host of problems, but back when it came out, it was a godsend for developers when compared with the disaster that was Netscape 4. IE dragged HTML/JS/CSS coding out of the dark ages and actually made it somewhat sensible (anybody remember the <layer> tag? ick). Not that it doesn’t have its fair share of totally annoying coding issues, but I think the coding community is *way* better off because of IE’s presence than if we’d just been stuck with NS4.

    It has taken years for the competition to really catch up, and it was only because of some 17-year-old whiz kid that Mozilla/Firefox doesn’t totally blow. That kid singlehandedly rescued that entire project, bless him. Firefox/Mozilla are now the nicest browsers to code for, with Safari and IE close behind. IE 5.5+ really isn’t so bad.

    I’m just saying IE served a useful purpose. Of course, if the entire community moved over to FF/Safari/Opera at this moment, I wouldn’t shed a tear

  2. Dvorak is definitely right about this one.

    Err… unfortunately not.
    No OS vendor can rely on a 3rd party browser because the browser is almost the desktop now. You wouldn’t want to have such an integral part of your system in somebody elses hands.
    Why do you think Apple has dedicated teams to develop Safari and Mail in the first place? Browsers and Mail Clients are where most of us spend our computer lives now.
    Besides that, Dvorak’s statement that the security problems would significantly decrease in the scenario he portrays is defintely wrong.
    Windows is in such a sad state now as regards security that scraping IE won’t help that much. Most of the IE vulnerabilities are intertwined with hooks to the underlying system, they just trigger them, but many could be triggered from other browsers as well.
    What’s next from Dvorak? MS should kill Outlook? As far as I know Outlook also functions as a trigger to several Windows security problems too.
    What should MS do? Scrap both IE and Outlook?
    The only sane thing MS could do now is start a new effort and build a totally new OS. Really, they should buy what’s left of BeOS and start from there. But with the BeOS filesystem guy working at Apple, I guess they are already late…

  3. I only use IE to look at my hotmail account and that’s it. MS forces you to use IE for hotmail. I only keep the hotmail account to use as a spam magnet when shady sites require an email address.

    MW = leave. LOL

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