Browser Browser

August 28, 2006

So I installed Internet Explorer 7 on Friday. I have despised IE ever since I can remember, and used Firefox even before it was called Firefox. Yes sir, I distinctly recall downloading and extracting the zip file that contained a browser called Phoenix. Version 0.4

I cannot begin to enumerate the things I find so irritating about IE.

No, on second thoughts I can

  • No tabs
  • Inability to print some pages without cutting off large chunks of the margin
  • Tendency to crash mid-download taking down (with a loud crash) all other open windows
  • No tabs
  • Search dialog that obscures the text
  • Cavalier disregard for web standards
  • No tabs

So finally, after reading a few reviews, I thought why not? Give it a shot. After all, I like to keep an open mind.

Installation

Internet Explorer 7 is a 14MB download. If, of course, your Windows is legit. Within no time you’re merrily on your way

The next order of business is the licence term, which, as usual, you won’t read.

Once you have agreed, you again have to validate your windows. If I’m going to be bothered about this anyway, validating before download is a wee bit redundant.

Next the installer will suck a variety of bits and pieces down the line.

Then it gets cracking on the IE 7 downloads

And gets on with the installation

It then removes what it considers to be malicious software. I don’t mind saying for a second there I suspected it was nuking Firefox

On to its core components

And finally you’re on your way!

The first shock is that Google is the default search engine, and not MSN or Windows Live Search

Interface

Trousers have pockets at the hips because they are very convenient at that particular location. They are easy to reach right where they are and they follow thousands of years of convention.

The merry men behind IE’s interface apparently do not ascribe to this particular school of thought. In their wisdom they defy convention and move around the function buttons away from where they have come to expect them. 

Figure: Opera with the back history, back, forward, image and reload buttons

Figure: Mozilla with back, history, reload, stop and home buttons.

Figure: IE 7. Back and forward are on the left. Reload and stop have inexplicably migrated over to the right of the address bar. Years and years and years of conditioning have led me to expect everything to do with page navigation on the left. I invariably find myself mousing over to the left only to discover reload and stop are not there!

For 10 points and a ladle of gravy, try to find the print button.

Dudes, if it ain’t broke – Don’t fix it!

Another feature that could bear fixing is the find. Find that gets in the way of my text is of little use! Though someone has cottoned on to it and moved it to the top right of the screen, still, its in the way!

Opera has this very same problem

Firefox’s solution is the most elegant

Improvements

The improvements though are several orders of magnitude

Choice of search engines

Open in new tab

It does, however, lack one thing I rely on heavily that Firefox and Opera both oblige

Search text in Google (Firefox)

Search text in Google (Opera)

When it comes to memory, IE does not disappoint. Hot on the heels of Firefox, it makes itself at home and takes great liberties with your RAM.

However, it has yet to beat Firefox’s record on my notebook (198 MB). And it can clean up after itself, unlike Firefox that merrily consumes away

Summary

Very impressive improvement over the howling dog that was IE 6.

Not bad.

Not bad at all.

kick it on DotNetKicks.com

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One Response to “Browser Browser”

  1. Chrenyan Says:

    As you point out, where before I used to get to the Google Search bar with a single tap on the tab button, I now have to hit tab twice to get there. Very, very annoying. I hope that they sort this out in the next one. But I’m thoroughly enjoying tabbed browsing at least.


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