IE is by far the largest used browser. However, one of the common myths around IE is the security, performance and that it doesn’t support latest web standards. Many of the other browsers have openly mentioned in the past that using IE6 is so 2006 days, download blah blah etc., advertising for their browser and thereby conveniently hiding the subsequent IE releases. It strange how people still compare IE6 after which there are 2 releases with all the modern browsers of today.
The reality of the fact is that after IE6 there have been 2 releases on IE. The IE 7 and now the latest IE8. IE 8 is by far the best browser in terms of standards and compliance. Many web developers out there don’t realize that IE provides great help for web development and enhances the web experience to a great extent.
One of the common patterns, we see is that people use Windows XP and have IE6 that came along with it. Post that the other browsers such as Firefox started picking up momentum and people started using that. In that process, they didn’t actually realize that IE also released IE 7 for Windows XP (which shipped as the default IE version with Windows Vista) and now IE 8 that can be installed on XP, Vista and Windows 7.
You can watch the IE 8 Video features at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/videos.aspx?mname=howto_compatibility
Also, for developers and IT Professions, we did a few screen casts that can be viewed at http://www.microsoft.com/india/webcasts/ondemand.aspx
The best feature I like as a web developer in IE is the Developer Toolbar that helps me accomplish tons of testing. F12 is your key if you are a web developer and it gives you various techniques for enhancing your web development experience.
In the past, I have also written about how, the IE8’s tab control and process work and session sharing information at http://geekswithblogs.net/ranganh/category/9470.aspx
If you are running IE6 on Windows XP, I would recommend to upgrade to the latest version of IE8 and enjoy the benefits. You can download it from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&familyid=341c2ad5-8c3d-4347-8c03-08cdecd8852b
For Windows Vista, you can install it from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/default.aspx
If you are running Windows 7 Beta, RC or the RTM version, then you don’t have to do anything since IE8 ships as default with it.
And for the statisticians, here is a report on IE’s protection against malware http://nsslabs.com/test-reports/NSS%20Labs%20Browser%20Security%20-%20Socially%20Engineered%20Malware%20Q3%202009.pdf
The excerpt from the above report, is here below
- Internet Explorer 8 caught 81% of the live threats, an exceptional score which surpassed the next best browser (Firefox 3) by a 54% margin. Windows Internet Explorer 8 improved 12% between Q1 and Q2 tests, evidence of concerted efforts Microsoft is making in the SmartScreen technology.
- Firefox 3 caught 27% of live threats, far fewer than Internet Explorer 8. It was, however, the best among products utilizing the Google SafeBrowsing API. (Note: Firefox 3.5 was not stable enough to be tested during the course of this test. A patch has subsequently become available to address the stability issue. We were able to manually verify that the protection was identical between versions 3.0.11 and 3.5).
- Safari 4 caught 21% of live threats. Overall protection varied greatly, with two short periods of severe dips.
- Chrome 2 caught just 7% of live threats an 8% drop from the previous test.
- Opera 10 Beta caught a mere 1% of live threats, providing virtually no protection against socially engineered malware. In our test bed validation, we verified there was effectively no difference between Opera 9 and Opera 10 Beta.
Happy Browsing !!!
Reproduced with permission – Original Post