Three simple reasons to leave IE 6

A frighteningly large number of people still use Internet Explorer 6. Let me come right out and admit it: I’ve never been Microsoft’s biggest fan. I wait with bated breath to see Apple’s latest gadgets. I’m first in line to “ooh” and “aah” over Google’s latest and greatest, too. Microsoft’s products? Count me generally unimpressed. But my distaste for IE 6 is for some simple, unbiased reasons. If you find yourself clicking that ancient blue “E” to browse the Internet, take five to read three reasons why you should be using something like Firefox, Chrome, or Opera (or IE 8, if you must) instead.

One: It’s Broken

On the web, a language called CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is used to design web pages. Just as the English language is standardized so that we can understand each another, so, too, is CSS standardized so that web browsers can understand how to display pages as their designers intended. The problem is that Internet Explorer 6 is the web equivalent of a semi-illiterate cave dweller who ignores the rules half the time and invents his own the other half of the time. Pages either don’t look right, can’t be designed to be as interesting and creative as they could be without IE 6′s problems, or have to be created with “tricks” to make IE 6 render them properly. All of this costs extra time and money, and stifles web innovation. If you wouldn’t trust a simpleton to read you a book, you shouldn’t trust IE 6 to display the Internet.

Two: It’s Dangerous

We do a lot of things with the Internet that require some trust. We buy things with credit cards, click on links without knowing exactly where they lead, and log in to our banks to check our accounts. If using Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and other modern browsers is like driving a car with airbags, seat belts, and body armor, then using IE 6 is like riding in a car with no windshield, a loose door, and a blindfolded driver. This ancient browser just doesn’t have the technology under the hood to keep your information secure and your computer safe if you get into the equivalent of an Internet car accident.

Three: It’s Old

I know what you’re thinking. A lot of old things are great. Everyone loves their grandparents. Most of the finest cheeses and wines are aged. Pyramids, ancient statues, and famous paintings are all great, old things. Computer technology does not, however, get better with age. By holding yourself back with this dinosaur of a browser, you’re missing out on a world of technological inventions. Firefox’s extensions let you turn your “pocket knife”-style browser into a full-fledged chainsaw, for example. Chrome’s combined search/navigation bar makes searching Google never more than one click away. HTML 5, the next generation of the language that powers the Internet, will bring a huge number of advancements, none of which IE 6 will support. Simply put, if IE 6 was a loaf of bread, it would be aged to the point of severe molding. It’s time to throw it out and upgrade your whole Internet experience.

Chrome Shines While IE 8.0 Seems Dull

Google ChromeTechie channels are abuzz about Google’s new browser, Chrome. Built for speed,  Chrome has a minimalistic interface mimicking Google’s search page. This “one box for everything” browser seems foreign at first, but soon gives way to an efficient and enjoyable experience.

  • Unified Address Box
    Combines history, suggested sites, and searches which offers a quick solution to finding anything.
  • New Tab Page
    Offers a consolidated view of your most visited sites, bookmarked pages, recently closed tabs and most used searches.
  • Independent Tabs
    Each tab runs independently allowing one to fail without affecting the others.
  • Incognito Mode
    Allows users to browse websites without storing local history.

Chrome isn’t life changing, but it is a distinctly different browsing experience. Although Chrome is still in Beta, it seems stable. Installation time was under two minutes and required no reboot, so it’s well worth the effort. You can get chrome at http://www.google.com/chrome/.

While not a dramatically different browsing experience, it’s worth mentioning that Microsoft has released IE 8.0 Beta 2. A big push for IE 8.0 is browser personalization though Accelerators and Web Slices.

  • Accelerators
    IE plug-ins that allow you to utilize information on a web page by sending it to a different web page or service provider. For example: map an address with Live Maps.
  • Web Slices
    Allows users to subscribe to sections of a website. When content within that section of the website is updated, the browser notifies you and allows you to preview the information.

Overall IE 8.0 is rather boring and seems to be yet another MS catch-up browser release. The time to install is over 15 Minutes and requires a reboot. I’d say it’s not worth the effort, but if you want to try it out visit http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/ie/default.mspx.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,871 other followers