Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

IE7 From a Firefox User's Perspective 250

Buertio writes, "A week with IE takes a look at IE7 from the perspective of a long-time Firefox user. The verdict? Microsoft has come a long way but still has some way to go before taking on Firefox and Opera."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

IE7 From a Firefox User's Perspective

Comments Filter:
  • Opportunity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kelson ( 129150 ) * on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @04:55PM (#16566864) Homepage Journal
    I'll agree with the author on a number of things. Most critical is that IE7 requiring XP or later is an opportunity for other browsers [hyperborea.org], particularly Firefox and Opera. The majority of Windows users out there are on XP, but Windows 2000 and Windows 98 are sizable minorities. I know one site's stats aren't enough to judge the whole internet by, but my own site, with ~92% Windows users, shows 83% on XP, 5% on Win2k, 2.2% on Win98, and 1% on WinME. (That 1% on Windows Me is scary -- I'd almost rather run Windows 98.)

    Firefox will go through the same thing next year, since Firefox 3 won't run on Windows 98 or Me, but it'll still run on Windows 2000. Of course, that's another 8-10 months for some users to upgrade (those percentages are about a third of what they were a year ago) -- and if you've gotten them hooked on Firefox while they're on Win98, they'll probably stick with it when they move to a new machine with XP/Vista. And in a year or two, as IE7 supplants IE6 and websites start targeting it, those holdout Windows 98 users might decide they're better off with a slightly-outdated Firefox 2 than a massively-outdated IE6.
    • Re:Opportunity (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eln ( 21727 ) * on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @04:59PM (#16566938)
      The problem with your theory is that people that are still running 98 or (shudder) ME are probably doing so because it came with their computers and they are not into upgrading anything. The people that do not upgrade their OS, even after 6 or 8 years, are not likely to be the ones jumping on the latest browser upgrade either.

      Sure, you can try and get your 98 and ME-using friends to use Firefox, but suggesting that it might be a good idea for the project as a whole to go after a small and shrinking segment of the population, particularly when that segment of the population is defined in part by not liking change, does not seem to be a winning strategy to me.
      • Re:Opportunity (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Foofoobar ( 318279 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @05:24PM (#16567302)
        My mom ever so recently was told to upgrade by her ISP; in fact they told her to buy a whole new computer or else they wouldn't support her. After I screamed at them for this kind of attitude and for advising someone who is ignorant of such matters that they would need a whole new computer, I went out and bought her a new system and installed Ubuntu on it. Now her scanner, printer, digital camera that my brother bought her and speakers all work great. She never worries about viruses and LOVES firefox. It took her awhile to get used to tabs but now that she is, she wouldn't switch back to IE even if you paid her to move to Windows. I don't think it's unreasonable to think that at least 10% of these outdated systems may eventually switch. If they get fed up enough with things, they will. And I'm speaking as someone who has refused to upgrade my Win2k machine because it still works just fine for me including for playing games; I don;t have reason to upgrade but do want to use a decent browser.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @06:07PM (#16568072)

          After I screamed at them for this kind of attitude and for advising someone who is ignorant of such matters that they would need a whole new computer, I went out and bought her a new system

          So basically, you screamed at them for telling her exactly the same thing you did?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            There is a substantial delta between telling someone frivolously to spend their own money[1] on a new set of shackles, and parting with your own time and treasure to liberate them from said shackles.
            Begone, androgynous blowhard.

            [1]presumably to extend the grip of the fifth branch of government, Redmond
          • Re:Opportunity (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Foofoobar ( 318279 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @12:00AM (#16571994)
            Not really. I could have installed Ubuntu on her current system. But hey, she's my mom. So I figured I'd upgrade her whole computing experience. She practically wigged when I showed her GIMP and Open Office and everything. She thought I paid a fortune and didn't understand how it could all be 'free'.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          after I screamed at them for this kind of attitude and for advising someone who is ignorant of such matters that they would need a whole new computer, I went out and bought her a new system

          Is anyone else confused by this?
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward
            I'm guessing he didn't win the arguement with the ISP.
          • Only people who don't value software freedom, don't like reading posts in their entirety or in context, and don't hesitate to point out those shortcomings publicly. While I don't agree with the original poster's reaction to the ISP, I do think that software freedom is worth paying for and worth cherishing in its own right.
        • by houghi ( 78078 )
          So you actualy followed the advice her ISP gave her" Buy a new PC and upgrade the OS.

          So why did you yell at them as you clearly seem to agree with them in the end?
      • by Teun ( 17872 )
        You are a little short sighted, my GF (yes!) has a 600 mHz PIII Packard Bell Le Diva with only 128 Mb of memory and although it's running fine on W98 we'll be damned to spend money on upgrading it to XP.

        Still it's nice to have the latest FF browser if only because we know it gives some of the security that Windows never had.

        (I'm typing this from a 500 mHz Compaq PIII that was to upgraded to Xubuntu with FF2.0 including Flash9b)

    • It's both good and bad that IE7 may be, in a sense, a wildcard. For one, it's good because those not running XP may switch to Firefox, as Kelson mentioned. The bad part is not that the masses who will use it will get a bad internet experience: IE7 should be fine for most people's internet needs (and wants). It's the fact that once the masses continue to take up IE7, Microsoft's potential whims on HTML code, and especially CSS, will have to become normal or else many will *gasp* become inconvenienced.

      Back w
      • by mgv ( 198488 ) *
        It's both good and bad that IE7 may be, in a sense, a wildcard. For one, it's good because those not running XP may switch to Firefox, as Kelson mentioned. The bad part is not that the masses who will use it will get a bad internet experience: IE7 should be fine for most people's internet needs (and wants). It's the fact that once the masses continue to take up IE7, Microsoft's potential whims on HTML code, and especially CSS, will have to become normal or else many will *gasp* become inconvenienced.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Barsteward ( 969998 )
          "Firefox is the only single browser that runs everwhere. " eh? Does it run my phone like Opera?
          • Minimo (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Yes, it does. [mozilla.org]
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by dunkelfalke ( 91624 )
              no it doesn't. if it won't crash at startup it will crawl, not run

              minimo is far too big and too slow to be used in a mobile device. as much as i love mozilla on pc (using it since 1999) opera mobile is currently the best mobile browser.
        • Well it may be a replay of the WWW standards war but the web is different now, with more separation between content and presentation and (barely) enough browser independent functionality.

          Also, a growing number of users will be relying on the web for running web apps, so:

          - IE6 is a PITA as a webapp client (try selecting from a longish dropdown menus typing the first letters on the keyboard...)
          - IE7 won't be available for web clients with linux embedded, a big market in the near future IMHO
          - FF2 spelling chec
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        As a web developer and designer, my biggest worry is that a significant proportion of my target audience (too large to ignore) will be stuck with IE6 for the forseable future, and that will further complicate the development process.

        I doubt that many people who aren't running XP will switch to Firefox - the likelihood is that anyone in that situation who hasn't already switched won't understand and won't care.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Most critical is that IE7 requiring XP or later is an opportunity for other browsers

      Also notice that IE7 *requires* a legal copy of Windows XP, you need to run through this WGA thing. And even if it's possible to circunvent it, it's unlikely that most of the people (who doesn't have windows license) will do it. So it's possible that a big number of XP users *will* install firefox, just for not being left behind of the IE7 users and firefox users.
    • by bcmm ( 768152 )
      Your stats are probably better than most. A site with 8% non-window users probably has more-technical than usual users. Less technical users must be more likely to run old Windows versions.
    • Well this is pretty scary. My website [darwinawards.com] usage? Out of 150,000 cgi hits in October... rounded to one sig digit...

      126,000 Windows NT
      9,000 Mac OS X
      2,000 Yahoo! Slurp
      3,000 Windows 98 (or Win98)
      2,000 Linux
      600 Windows CE
      400 Mac_PowerPC
      200 Windows 95
      200 Windows ME
      70 Windows CE
      40 Blackberry
      and approx 162 misc entries.

      I had no idea the world was so overwhelmingly Windows! Grrr.

      I can do this also for the 7,000,000 monthly "regular" page hits (as opposed to cgi) but I assume I'd get about the same res

    • The majority of Windows users out there are on XP

      The majority of Windows users out there are on 95 or 98. It may be true that the majority of the ones who actively use the web are on XP, though.
  • We are really concerned that the forced (unless you take action) ie7 upgrade will break some business apps.

    Such as Oracle's Jinitiator.
  • by Tama00 ( 967104 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @04:58PM (#16566920)
    This article was so bias.
  • Tarnished Brand (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @05:00PM (#16566948)
    I said it before and I'll say it again: the Internet Explorer brand is tarnished. No matter how great Microsoft makes IE in terms of functionality and security, most, if not all who have switched to Firefox or Opera (or Safari if they just went out and bought a Mac) have already made up their minds about IE.

    All Microsoft can hope to do at this point is prevent more users from switching away, but that'll only work so long as IE7 doesn't become an exploitfest like its mildly-retarded predecessor. The next year or so will determine that as more IE6 users and malware authors migrate to IE7.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jawtheshark ( 198669 ) *

      No... Simply No....

      You are so wrong, you don't even see it. Internet Explorer is a tarnished brand for the people that read slashdot, for the people that care about interoperability, for those that care about standards. Outside of that world, there is a world where Microsoft is a good brand name, equivalent to Jaguar in cars! Microsoft is the brand that bring you computing, that *is* computing.

      I know that what the above paragraph says is not true, but it is for millions and millions of people.... I

    • by misleb ( 129952 )
      Doesn't matter how tarnished it is. As long as it ships with every Windows machine, it will remain the dominant browser for Windows users. "Switchers" will always be in the minority if only because most people simply don't care about what browser they use as long as it renders the pages they want to view.

  • IE 7 RSS reader? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @05:00PM (#16566950)
    No mention of the fantastic RSS reader that comes built-in with IE7.
  • by King_of_Crunk ( 763543 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @05:02PM (#16566966) Homepage
    You talk as if IE isnt the most used browser out there...
    /me waits for troll comments :P
    • Not from people who don't just blindly use the default browser.
    • by aeoo ( 568706 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @05:26PM (#16567330) Journal
      No. He's just talking from his own perspective. He sees himself as a battleground upon which Firefox and IE struggle. So far Firefox has won on that particular battleground (a.k.a. the author of the article). So he's talking about what IE has to do to win him over.

      It's a completely valid and highly useful way of looking at things. It actually makes more sense to me personally than going by aggregated statistics which lump all things together. Some sites are dominated by Firefox users. Other sites are not. The sites that are dominated by Firefox represent valid and lucrative markets in and of themselves. Of course if you aggregate everything together into one big lump, then in terms of numbers, IE is "winning". But that's not a very meaningful way to look at things. For exactly the same reason GDP is a horrible way to estimate economic health of a nation, and all the sane economists know this.
    • ... and folks are still talking about "Oh, any day now, its going to vanish". Yep, any day now, when Firefox completely reinvents the what makes people choose browsers like Apple reinvented what makes people choose MP3 players ("Price? Commodity hardware my sleek white plastic hiney! I think all you music lovers would sell your kidneys to be hip."). "The same as IE, except more secure" is not a good marketing pitch when after IE becomes *good enough* for most people.
  • sure... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @05:03PM (#16566998)
    "but still has some way to go before taking on Firefox and Opera"

    Well, considering it has the majority market share, it looks like they need to do nothing. They've already won the battle, it's up to Firefox and Opera to take on them.
  • firefox has a dtd bug in xml it hasn't fixed for years: it doesn't reference external entities

    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=69799 [mozilla.org]

    and opera flat out just doesn't support xsl formatting

    http://www.opera.com/docs/specs/#xml [opera.com]

    nevermind ie7, ie6 does both, just fine

    in my book, as an xml/ xsl programmer, ie is light years ahead of firefox and opera
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      interesting, but nobody was saying that ie was worse at absolutely everything. just the most important things. taking years to get tabbed browsing going and being terribly, terribly behind on basic css and image support, etc.
    • The developers of Firefox focus on high priority bugs, that's why they don't care about xml bugs, especially if it won't jeopardise the security of Firefox. Microsoft doesn't mind any kind of bug whether it is critical or not. http://www.cybertopcops.com/ [cybertopcops.com]
    • by wrook ( 134116 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @05:47PM (#16567718) Homepage

      I can't understand this. IE doesn't even preserve the encoding type on an XSL transform. I can't use it *at all* for my Japanese documents.

      And it has unbelievably poor support for CSS. It won't even do tables. Not even in IE 7...

      Your comment kind of blows me away...
      • we're kind of on the cutting edge with xml/ xsl at the browser. so support is spotty, at best, for everything, in all browsers. even though what we're doing is the way of the future: shove the raw data to the client, let them format and transform

        as xml and xsl support improves, i'd say that the way you and i are working is the foundations of web 3.0 ...but if that assertion strikes you as odd, considering the age of xml/ xsl, remember web 2.0 and it's "ajax" is really just iframe tricks from the late 1990s
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jsebrech ( 525647 )
        And it has unbelievably poor support for CSS. It won't even do tables. Not even in IE 7...

        Make sure your page loads in standards mode instead of quirks mode by defining an appropriate doctype. If you don't have a doctype, or have an incorrect doctype, it will behave like IE 5 for backwards compatibility reasons.
    • by Snover ( 469130 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @06:03PM (#16568000) Homepage
      If you'd bother to read the Opera page you linked to you'd see this:

      XSLT, XPath, and XSL-FO

      Opera has near-complete support of XSLT 1.0 and XPath 1.0

      Now let's see. IE can't handle application/xhtml+xml. Its JavaScript implementation doesn't support any of the namespaced DOM functions (createElementNS, getAttributeNS, etc.) making it pretty much useless for any sort of dynamic handling of XML that contains multiple namespaces. Hell, IE7 fails 38% of the W3C's DOM test suite.

      Obviously, MoFo has omitted several rather important things from their browser product, one of them happening to be the ability to load external entities. But to say that Opera doesn't support XSLT is just blatantly wrong, and while I certainly don't advocate working around broken browser behaviour, it's certainly something that's done a lot for IE -- I bet you could do it for Firefox's flaw, too, if you spent less time complaining and more time working.
  • Memory Issues (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zenithcoolest ( 981748 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @05:05PM (#16567020)
    The article does not reflect the Memory consumption of each of the browsers. Unless, you tweak the firefox, it hogs a memory a lot when multiple tabs are open.
  • Well.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kclittle ( 625128 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @05:05PM (#16567022)
    Microsoft has come a long way but still has some way to go before taking on Firefox and Opera.

    I can't speak to Opera, by Firefox 1.5 crashes on me much more than IE6 ever did (based on experience with two different machines), and my experience with IE7 is that it is solid. And some sites using fancy forms (for example, my LinkSys/Cisco home router) don't work with FF at all.

    Don't get me wrong, Firefox is still my default browser (I'm using it now), but by some meterics IE is more than a match.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by MooseMuffin ( 799896 )
      Firefox works with my linksys router's config pages just fine. And as for it crashing, I'm sure its happened, but I can't remember the last time.
    • Re:Well.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by the_rev_matt ( 239420 ) <slashbotNO@SPAMrevmatt.com> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @05:19PM (#16567208) Homepage
      I would dispute this, I'm running firefox on OS X, Windows, and SUSE Linux across a half dozen machines and have been since the beta releases of firefox. I have had three linksys routers (still using 2) and a linksys NSLU2 'storage server'. Firefox has had no problems doing anything including the firmware updates.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Vicegrip ( 82853 )
      LOL.. I've used Firefox regularly on at least 15 different computers over the years since the first releases (Mozilla and then Firefox). I don't remember crashes but do recall the occasional bad behavior. My experience with IE has been considerably worse but tolerable.

      IE7.. got it.. nothing to write home about. Cute upgrade. Still like Firefox a lot more.

      Here's something to chew on. I know a whole bunch of people whose machines were seriously pwned because of IE exploits. Thats enough to turn you off a piec
    • Firefox is very stable browser. It is almost impossible to get it to crash, unless you have a corrupted installation, corrupted profile or you are using some unstable extensions. So what you are experiencing is not normal and there should be a fix for it. See if this article helps you:
      http://kb.mozillazine.org/Firefox_crashes [mozillazine.org]
    • I just want to chime in and say that I've configured about five different models of linksys router with nary a problem, and I've been using firefox since the first beta version (and mozilla before that.) Only things I use IE for are windows update and downloading firefox (and actually, I have portable firefox on my usb key these days so I don't even need it for that.)
  • Drawback (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tasukisempai ( 931149 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @05:07PM (#16567060) Homepage
    The drawback is that if IE ever gets usable it will be more difficult to make people switch to Firefox, they will just stick with IE because it works.
    • by Achoi77 ( 669484 )
      Sorry, but if IE7 Just Works, then moving to FF (and getting others to move to FF) is not going to be worth the effort. I'll work with whatever is most convenient (from a user perspective), and if the answer is IE7, then I'm going for IE7. As of right now, my ass is deeply rooted in FF, so I don't have any immediate plans to swith to IE7. But if FF2 starts to crash out on me or bork out when it tries to load a flash file (which it's actaully done today incidentally), I'm going to drop FF like a bad habit in
    • The drawback is that if IE ever gets usable it will be more difficult to make people switch to Firefox, they will just stick with IE because it works.

      On the bright side, if they happen to be Linux or OS X user, IE won't work at all.
    • Luckily, IE7 is actually *less* usable than IE6.
    • Assuming that usable means something more than chrome and cosmetics. I switched to Firefox not because it was prettier, 'easier to use', or because I'm anti-Microsoft. I, and many, many others have switched to Firefox because of security. I know beyond a shadow of doubt that no ActiveX malware will infect my machine because of use of Firefox. Security in and of itself ought to be the reason people switch to Firefox.
  • IE7 Text Rendering (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Keebler71 ( 520908 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @05:15PM (#16567148) Journal
    I installed IE7 out of curiousity the other day. I use firefox but my wife uses IE. One thing that was immediately clear to me was that IE had substantially improved their text renderer. Text rendered in IE is substantially more readable and easy on the eyes than either IE6 or FF. If you don't believe me, try it within FF using IE tabs. Any idea on what they did to make the text so readable and how we get FF to render like this?
    • by rnelsonee ( 98732 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @05:29PM (#16567374)
      Yeah, that's ClearType - a very nice Microsoft innovation that uses subpixels of LCD displays to make smoother text (basically it will address each R, G, and B segment of each LCD pixel rather than just giving the pixel a color value). For some inane reason, it's off by default on XP, and IE7 is the first app to use it by default. If you can take advantage of ClearType that means that a) you're running XP, and b) you've got an LCD monitor. To use ClearType in all applications (including Office and Firefox), right-click the desktop -> Properties -> Appearance -> Effects..., then select ClearType under the "... smooth fonts" item.
      • by nazh ( 604234 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @05:56PM (#16567886) Homepage Journal

        Regardless whether or not you like cleartype or not. IE7 should obey the system settings for that setting. I have turned off cleartype in XP, the text is to blurry for my taste, so it was quite annoying that IE7 did come with cleartype turned on by default and ignoring my system wide settings. How to turn off cleartype wasn't very intuitive either. Who would know that that setting is listed below multimedia?

      • by NullProg ( 70833 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @06:10PM (#16568122) Homepage Journal
        Yeah, that's ClearType - a very nice Microsoft innovation that uses subpixels of LCD displays to make smoother text

        Minor correction, your sentence should say assimilation not innovation .
        Microsoft did not invent ClearType.

        http://www.grc.com/ctwho.htm [grc.com]

        • Good lord, 22 years? And I was going to make a nice comment about how this was Microsft's first innovation in a long, long, time. Thanks.
      • by zobier ( 585066 )
        Personally I hate ClearType.
  • LiveBookmark Folders (Score:5, Interesting)

    by binaryspiral ( 784263 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @05:18PM (#16567194)
    Uhg... Microsoft's implementation of RSS feeds sucks so bad.

    I enjoy FireFox's live bookmarks because it gives me a quick and screen friendly way of scanning stories on sites like BBC, /., Wired, Woot, and all the other places I just don't have time to visit.

    Microsoft's Answer: display as a normal website with prettier formatting - and advertisements.

    One saving grace for IE 7's implemenation of RSS feeds - it syncs them with Outlook 2007, where I can scan them easily as if they were email messages.

    My verdict? Firefox still wins this match.
    • Microsoft's Answer: display as a normal website with prettier formatting - and advertisements.

      Yeah, it really surprised me the first time I saw IE's RSS page rendering when I was testing my own Drupal-based site. I thought at first that Drupal had applied a CSS or XSL transformation to it, and wondered where that code came from.

      It's kinda cool that they use the categories supplied with the items to generate a menu though. It works very well with Drupal's feeds [drupal.org] (the menu on the right).

  • The IE team sent a congratulatory cake to firefox to celebrate shipping success.,br>
    http://fredericiana.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/10 /fromredmondwithlove.jpg [fredericiana.com]

    It has an erie deja vu feeling of when Apple put an ad out welcoming IBM to the PC market.
    • It has an erie deja vu feeling of when Apple put an ad out welcoming IBM to the PC market.

      It was Apple welcoming MS with Win95... IBM was a big player in the early PC market. "IBM-Compatible" used to be the defacto term, not "PC".

      **mumbles about Whippersnappers...
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by woodsrunner ( 746751 )
        Thanks, Dynedain. I wasn't aware of that ad. Here's a link to the one I was refering to:

        http://www.flickr.com/photos/kengz/198041571/ [flickr.com]

        In the ad they use the term personal computer which at that time was abbreviated as PC. This was before Compaq made the first IBM clone. It was run in August of 1981.

        *** mumbles about absent minded oldies....

        Here's the text if you're running a non-gui computer ;-)

        Welcome, IBM. Seriously. Welcome to the most exciting and important marketplace since the computer revolut
  • I went to getfirefox and lo and behold by removing the version number for 1.5 and putting 2.0 in ala:
    http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/products/download.htm l?product=firefox-2.0&os=win&lang=en-US [mozilla.com]
    I started downloading it.

    (Mind you it is really slow and stopped at 33kb)
  • by Sleepy ( 4551 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @05:22PM (#16567264) Homepage
    [disclaimer: this could have snuck in FF 2RC3 and I wouldn't have known... I only tested RC2, and don't see this feature in the RC3 release notes]

    FireFox 2 lacks page zooming, which from a my perspective is impossible to live without on certain displays.
    I'm a web developer (sometimes), and I love FireFox. As a developer I love FireFox because the Gecko team show consistent progress towards standards. From this perspective, FireFox is what the web should be. The worst thing about developing for FireFox is... writing broken code with comment hacks to support IE's nonstandard ways. But that's not FireFox's fault.

    For DEMO or home theater purposes, FireFox is (on a high-res display) very very unusable.
    FireFox 2 has no page Zoom. FireFox offers unchanged as a featurem plain old "Text zoom", which is not the same.

    The fact that many pages don't scale to different resolutions well is not FireFox's fault.
    But until all websites adopt a consistent method of page scaling, the workaround is going to be Page Zoom.

    On a 42" LCD (1920x1080p), a fullscreen FireFox browser is legible from about 3 feet away (with my eyes).
    If you make the text bigger, the page layout goes toast in FF. SURE, you can go in and change your video resolution to a non-native size and cause everything to get bigger, but that is not fun and it messes with other apps. The solution for now is some kind of liner scaling on the page.

    On a 42" LCD (1920x1080p), a fullscreen Opera browser is legible from about 6 feet away (with my eyes), if you use Page Zoom of 180-200%. 200% really isn't needed, but there's some annoying artifacing In Opera if you resize at a factor of 1.8. 2x looks very nice!

    I see IE has page zoom now, and I've done a little bit of testing. It seems no better than opera's at first glance. But it's THERE.

    I'll continue rooting for FireFox privately, but it's hard to sell people on FireFox's importance... when you have to use Opera or MSIE on the big panel display.

    Here's to FF 2.5 including this feature. One hopes! :-)

    • I've heard that one of the benefits of moving to Cairo in FF 3 is that it FF will finally have real page zoom. I can't remember where I heard this, but I sure hope it's true.
    • by hughk ( 248126 )
      I have a Logitech MX5000 keyboard for my laptop when I'm at the desk. I discovered that page zoom was working extremely well by accident after accidentally hitting the control pad rather than the volume next to it. FireFox 1.5 rescaled very nicely, even smoothly,

      I can't imagine that Logitech wrote a bit bit of code for FF support so I would guess that the support is in there. It just needs a key binding to activate.

    • If you make the text bigger, the page layout goes toast in FF

      Not true... this depends on how the page was coded. If the dev used relative sizes for everything (em) instead of fixed sizes (px), then the page should scale uniformly when doing text-resizing. I have implemented this quite successfully on some email newsletters to ensure consistency between varying resolutions, native font sizes, and printability.
  • GUI is bad (Score:3, Interesting)

    by M0b1u5 ( 569472 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @05:33PM (#16567452) Homepage
    Sorry, but the GUI of IE7 is like someone without any knowledge of HCI or how people use browsers or PCs in general is responsible for the disaster that is IE7.

    They had a clean slate to work with, and could have produced something truly intuitive, and highly usable, but instead they produce something which is only half a step away from dogshit. Honestly, separating the functional buttons is just stupid. To me, it appears that absolutely no research was done for the GUI, and they only spent money on the back end, and the graphics.

    Removing the file menu is retarded.

    So, to me, it doesn't matter how good IE7 is behind the curtains, the curtains themselves suck so bad that I simply will not use it.

    The sad thing is that I'm not the least surprised by this: a unique opportunity completely missed, and Internet usability has been set back by at least a couple of years.

    • Wow... while there is some value to the argument that splitting up the toolbars is bad, I think you're overreacting.

      Yes, they hid the menu bar by default. I love my screen real-estate, so I think this is great idea. And you know what? I dont need the menu bar. Not for anything I do at all often. File menu? It's almost all under the Page button in the command bar. Tools menu? Take a guess which command button that is... Basically, the menus are only there for backward compatibility; many users will stick to
  • by matt me ( 850665 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @05:35PM (#16567494)
    Is there such a thing? It's still a child. It's not yet two years since the 1.0 release. I'd installed Firebird about a year before that. Before that it was the browser component of mozilla, and then way back it was netscape navigator! Essentially the interface is no different from it's ancestors. Much of what we like about Firefox is really the extensions (adblock, decent tab functionality) or disabled by default (find as you type) - and all this was upstream in Mozilla. The greatest distinction between Firefox/mozilla/etc and IE is the tabs, and frankly this is apalling "out the box" without any extensions. Multiple tabs, one window: fantastic. Multiple windows of IE = alright. Firefox "out the box" multiple tabs in multiple windows, new ones coming from nowhere all shapes and sizes = Confusing as hell. It's hardly surprising new users want to disable it, when they must guess at random what opens a window, what opens a tab.

    The majority of the older mozilla userbase is on linux, think back to when mozilla was the default browser in debian, red hat, suse. only with firefox 1.0 did the development shift from this technical userbase to the hysterical evangelicals of firefox vs IE.
  • The application either works on my platform or it doesn't. If it works on my platform then I'll use it... otherwise I'll pass. The platform issue is moot... sort of like saying the iLife suite is bad because it doesn't work on my PC.

    On the otherhand, close integration between the OS and the browser can make for a more seamless experience (and DOJ interactions). IE 7 works on 75+% of the PCs in the world and probably nearly 100% of the PCs in companies with more than 500 employees.
  • slow (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kurtis25 ( 909650 )
    IE7 is to slow to be of use. I'm not on the best computer (not the worst either) but it's slow, takes forever to load a tab and to long to open up. FF is much faster on my machine, which is the biggest usability point. If I want to use a Web 2.0 ap say the ap formally known as writely I want it to open fast so I can take a note or check email quickly and move on with life. I don't want to wait for my computer to load things up. Two clicks to get to my RSS is two clicks to many. RSS didn't make much sense. I
  • Why I like IE7 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by swalters1 ( 1008477 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @06:55PM (#16568778)
    I have a slanted view, but I'll share it anyway. I program in VS 2005, I write ClickOnce Applications, my code works in IE6 and IE7. ASPX rendered pages work well in Opera, Netscape and Firefox (I do XML validation tests to make sure it does) It fails horribly in Safari (go mac!) ClickOnce works perfectly in IE6, IE7, and in Opera (with the appropriate setup) and Netscape (with a lot of setup). It fails constantly in FireFox, even with the plugins that are suppose to allow it to function. My advice to all business users who need deployment abilities, use IE6 or 7 it's easy it's fast and you don't have to mess with it. I'm actually waiting to test Firefox 2, I'm hoping that they fixed the ClickOnce Issues and that it's a stable deployment pathway for us, I have a lot of FireFox fan bouys (who by the way are almost, but not quite as bad as Mac users) and would love to make them happy. What I don't like in IE7: Menu bars! Come on! I'm using Vista RC2, and this doens't even make sense in the Vista Interface! Addons! I don't like that the wrong version of addons like Google, AOL, etc Stop it from working! Rendering Issues! They fixed the rendering problems in IE6 and now pages that correct pages because it thinks the browser is IE6 are now broken! Security Overkill on embedded controls, even ones with a genuine digital certificate. (yeah you can turn it down, but it's annoying that it has to be set so high!) What I do like: You can start IE7 in safe mode and have it disable all plugins if someone is dumb enough to load MSN toolbar, Google Toolbar or AOL toolbar (Can you tell I have a problem with tool bars?) Tabbed browsing: gotta have it. Favorites and History popouts. I know it's a gimick, but I like it. Zoom! Especially with my MS keyboard's zoom control (Hey I'm older my eyes get tired when I stare at 1600x1050 all day.) Improved Page Printing (it's minor an most people will never notice it) Multiple Home pages: I can open my browser, and pop, I have my home site, my work site and my favorite Game o' d month site. Anyway, my very slanted two cents worth.
  • by kinglink ( 195330 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @07:35PM (#16569434)
    Seriously, there's a reason why we all stopped using IE. Was it crashes, bugs, it being too tightly linked to the OS, or just "I hate Microsoft". What ever the reason was most of us didn't leave IE because they wanted more features. You can get tabbed browsing for IE.

    That reason we leave is the exact reason why we will never return to IE, even with a great interface. We know track history for the company, and even if IE7 looks like it's bug free, we'll know there's memory leaks, crashes around the corner or what ever. It doesn't even matter if they EXIST, we will believe it has these problems just because we left IE for a reason.

    There might be a few people who leave Firefox for IE especially since Firefox loses a little extension support with it's new version but we're not going to suddenly be like forgetting every reason we avoid Microsoft products.
    • Nah...I switched because IE sucks, but I will never leave for one reason: AdBlock + Filterset.G Updater. Ads? What ads?
  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @09:23PM (#16570774) Homepage Journal

    The screenshots make MSIE look bizarre to me, but I am very sceptical that this will really put MS at any sort of disadvantage. To make a joke, here: they're just copying Apple again.

    In the last 5 years or so, Apple has gone absolutely apeshit with apps that totally defy their earlier style guidelines. Nobody talks about MacOS's "consistent experience" anymore. What price did Apple end up paying for this? None. Did as many people leave MacOS in protest over the bizarre UIs, as migrated to MacOS after saying "ooh, shiney!!!"? Hell no. Nobody protested at all, except usability nerds, and we all know they have sticks up their butts, anyway. ;-)

    Microsoft has probably learned something about human nature over the years. And perhaps one lesson they've learned, is that making bizarre arbitrary changes to UIs, is a good way to make people think something is "new and improved." It worked for Apple, so it will probably work for Microsoft.

    • That's not true. People have complained about the Apple Metal UI, but they don't see the forest for all the trees.

      There are two points with the metal interface. The first is that the gray color just vanishes when browsing or watching videos; it doesn't compete with the colors of the video. Compare that to WIE7's "interface", which looks like a fucking christmas tree or pile of candy.

      The other point is that just plain gray is something that you associate with Windows; it still has to be slick and stylish. Th
  • by Sepodati ( 746220 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:38PM (#16571852) Homepage
    Surprised on one's mentioned how messed this new Slashdot commenting code is with IE7...

    IE7 is far less integrated to the OS like IE6 was. Or at least it seems so. It used to be that you could open web addresses in My Computer and Explorer would "become" IE and navigate to the address. Now, doing the same thing triggers a Firefox window to open and navigate to the address, since Firefox is set to my default browser. Not a bad feature here, but interesting.

    Another issue that I personally have, but won't apply to many others, is using a runas shortcut to get to Explorer. I used to have a shortcut that used runas to open IE6 as an administrator. Then I could type "Control Panel" or C:/ and go about my business with an admin window while still logged in as my normal restricted user. Very convenient and I rarely found myself logging on as an administrator to do anything. With IE7, it's merely a browser and you can't (that I've seen) get to the control panel or navigate the file system with it. If you type in C:\ for example, IE7 will open another Explorer window to the C: drive. What's really odd, though, is that this new window opens with the permissions of my restricted user even though the IE7 window was running as an administrator. Usually (or in the past) a window opened would inherit the user permissions of the parent. (FYI, pointing the runas shortcut to Windows Explorer doesn't work, nothing opens.)

    Other than those issues, there's really no problems. It's a functional browser and not much else.

    What misses the mark, though, is the majority of the add-ons for IE. I got excited once I started reading over the list until I realized most of the were not free. Paying for add-ons? Are you kidding me? Even the ones that are free sound good, but miss the mark when compared to similar add-ons that I'm familiar with.

    There's an IESpell add-on that'll spell check text areas for you. Instead of underlining misspelled words like their Office app (and Firefox 2.0) does, you have to click a button to spell check the text areas for you. Functional, but annoying.

    There's an InlineSearch add-on that'll find words as you type, ala Firefox or whoever had it first (I don't care who). However, instead of just searching as you type, you have to press Control-F first to open the search dialog along the bottom of the page. Maybe this is better for some people, but if you're going to copy something and make it different, at least give the option to make it behave like whatever you copied. The other problem with this add-on is that is only installs for the user who runs the .exe file. That sounds good, and similar to extensions on a per-user basis in other browser, except you have to be an Administrator to install the extension. So unless I want to (and I don't) run as an administrator (or mess with file permissions somewhere within "Program Files"), I can't. Functional, but annoying.

    There's there's Fiddler which promises to be like LiveHTTPHeaders in Firefox. For the most part it is, but again, it just misses the mark. First, it's just another program and other than capturing HTTP requests that IE makes, I don't see how it's really an add-on for IE. Second, a big feature of LiveHTTPHeaders (and others, I'm sure) is that you can replay HTTP requests after modifying any of the request headers and see the results in the browser. Unless I missed something, Fiddler let's you replay the modified HTTP request, but only shows you the raw HTML response, instead of actually loading it into a browser window. Functional, but annoying.

    There are others that are annoying, too, mostly be requiring administrator permissions for some obscure installation folder, but some are good. The NoMoreCookies add-on is useful since IE7's cookie management is non-existent. I did not find any way to delete individual cookies or view their contents. There's a DevToolbar that has some useful features, too.Not that I have a use for them, but there are StumbleUpon and MouseGesture add-ons for IE7, to
  • great summary (Score:4, Insightful)

    by briancnorton ( 586947 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @08:44AM (#16575942) Homepage
    "Microsoft has come a long way but still has some way to go before taking on Firefox and Opera"

    I bet the IE guys are microsoft read the article and are sulking about how their browser isn't ready to take on the competition. Oh well, I guess they can always take solace in their 88% market share.

The absent ones are always at fault.