Over the next few weeks I’m going to be talking about IE8 (and depending on what gets announced at Mix maybe IE9 as well). Whilst I don’t have the data to prove it I’m convinced a lot of people running Firefox are doing so as a way of getting a modern browser when their company still has something from the last century tying them to IE6. I suspect a lot of those people have seen demos which prove IE7 is much better than 6 and that IE8 is better, but the demos are always simplified, and you see pages with a single issue conveniently fixed using a click of a button. But it is definitely not that easy. You could have thousands of apps, many of them packaged, or you could be prevented from accessing the code because it is part of a product you bought.
Why is that last bit in italics ? It’s part of the session abstract for a webcasts which is being run different times of day, over the next few weeks.
The presenter is Chris Jackson, Principal Consultant and the Technical Lead of the Windows Application Experience SWAT Team, Microsoft Corporation (a widely recognized expert in the field of Windows Application Compatibility) . Although I haven’t had a chance to watch it myself, I’ve seen the scores for the first run which said the audience rated it very highly. So if you still have IE6 in place and want to do something about it, this seems like a good place to start.
James, I think that the reason most people (myself included) are using Firefox as because of the extensions - not the browser itself. IE7 & IE8 are good browsers, but 'just' browsers.
Firefox extensions mean it becomes a browser that is totally customizable to how each individual wants it. I can't live without my gmail notifier, XMarks, football scores in the status bar, adblock plus, greasemonkey (to tame Facebook etc.)
So, no matter how much MS improves IE, I can't ever see them opening it up to third parties to create whatever add-ons they like. Therefore, without a massive policy shift, I think this is one un-winable war for you guys.
Keiran we have opened up IE to create whatever add-ons they like. I know that there are roughly double the number of add-ins for FF compared with IE, but I assumed that meant a bigger community writing extensions for FF - possibly because people didn't know they *could* write for IE (although there is a plenty of material on MSDN)
IE7 pro (for example) provides the adblock and scripting (grease monkey style) and gesture support.
Have a look at http://www.ieaddons.com/gb/
and the following have various "top picks".