Just because Internet Explorer comes with your Windows machine doesn't mean you should use it. You want to use the BEST and SAFEST tools you can when surfing the internet and IE get's the worst scores!


...And if you do use it, at least update it!

  1. Aside from the security flaws, if you are running an older version of IE, such as IE8 or older, then you are not seeing the web as it is now designed. IE is the bain of existence for a lot of web developers because Microsoft refuses to adopt web standards that all others have adopted. It's support of CSS3 and HTML5 are either completely different or just not supported at all. Some of my clients report not seeing certain buttons, or forms not working in the correct way and in my research I find most of the time it comes down to them using an older version of IE that I didn't even have to test with! This requires them to either upgrade to a modern browser or for me to fix my code to support old browsers which I don't like doing. 
  2. Today's modern CSS (styling code) and HTML5 (functionality) are supported by FireFox and Chrome just fine. There's differences in every browser but getting IE to play nice is a chore because of poor support. You may have limited functionality or you may not see the site as it was intended as you would if you were using a browser that supported modern coding practices. If you have an older version of IE, don't complain! UPGRADE or just get Chrome.
  3. You are safer by avoiding software that bad guys target. Mac users benefited from this for years. Windows users can lower their attack surface (be less vulnerable) by avoiding popular software. Internet Explorer is popular, so bad guys exploit known problems with the browser. No thanks. 
  4. Microsoft fixes bugs in Internet Explorer on a fixed schedule. But, bugs are not discovered on a schedule which means IE users remain vulnerable to know bugs until the next scheduled bug fix roll-out. Neither Firefox nor Chrome, my preferred browsers, are locked into a schedule. 
  5. In addition, I get the feeling that Microsoft is just slow in fixing Internet Explorer bugs. The last release of IE patches included a fix to a bug that Microsoft had been told about six months ago. 
  6. The topic of bugs in popular software brings Adobe's Flash Player to mind. Internet Explorer users with Flash enabled in their browser get notified of new versions of Flash using a very flawed system. And, when they are notified, they need to manually install the new version of Flash.

    In this day and age, this is not acceptable; Flash is too popular and too buggy. Firefox fails here too. As I wrote about recently, I only use Flash from within Chrome which automatically, quickly and quietly updates the Flash player. 
  7. And speaking of Flash, it exists in Internet Explorer as an ActiveX control. The lack of security in ActiveX is what prompted me to jump on the Firefox bandwagon even prior to version 1.0.

    ActiveX may be locked down a bit more than it used to be, but how many Internet Explorer users understand the security related prompts about running an ActiveX control, let alone the configuration options for ActiveX? To me, a browser that doesn't support ActiveX is safer. 
  8. ActiveX was the first approach to extending browsers with extra features and functions. Now, both Firefox and Chrome have a huge number of available extensions. Internet Explorer has only a handful.
  9. Buggy browser extensions/plugins are often targeted by bad guys. Both Firefox and Chrome do some checking for outdated extensions. Internet Explorer does none. As Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols wrote:

    ... these days when attacking Web-plug ins, such as Adobe Flash is every hacker’s favorite new trick, IE 9 doesn’t alert you if you’re not running the latest plug-in, which Firefox does with Plug-in Check or automatically update them ala Chrome with its built-in PDF and Flash software. Better still, in Chrome, even if your plug-in gets hit by zero day attack, the most frequently attacked plug-ins, Adobe Flash Player and Reader, run in a sandbox so the attack can’t get to your PC’s operating system. 
  10. The most popular operating systems are, I believe, Windows XP, Windows 7 and OS X. Of these, the latest version of Internet Explorer, version 9, runs on only one. Many people use more than one computer and are likely to deal with more than one operating system. Firefox and Chrome provide a cross-platform experience (including Linux) that Internet Explorer does not.