Operation Kill Internet Explorer – and Why most Web Developers Hate It


It`s either that we are afraid to talk about it, or simply not interested to mention it, but it’s a real happening in a real world where once the leading browser, with the biggest market share, Internet Explorer, is now one of the least respected and used browsers in the world. It is a wide-known fact that this joke of a browser gained most of it`s market share, by the simple fact that it was shipped with Microsoft Windows versions, and now as we see, it’s only use is to download another browser, either the speed demon called “Google Chrome”, or the rich in plugins browser Mozilla Firefox.

But instead of booing and throwing bottles at the stage, let`s first point out some facts with why Web Developers, and now the users are leaving Microsoft`s default Web Browser behind.

Why Web Developers Hate It – A tale of War

So the Internet first came out with only links and text, right? Then there were added images (starting with GIF`s), then CGI, then some people decided it was not enough, and they sprinkled some decision-making with the advent of PHP and JavaScript.

And as time progressed, the browser from Redmond did not feel like catching up to the little new technologies other web developers added to the web, cute little scripts that slided some images, some Javascript API`s,  some little layout conventions, all of these things were totally alien to Internet Explorer, neither did the developers wanted to introduce these technologies with Internet Explorer.

No problem, right? But then new technologies like HTML5, CSS3, and jQuery arose. And as developers needed to create then thousand dirty hacks for Internet Explorer to let the user consume these new technologies in piece, they started to voice their growing discontent via Reddit, Twitter, or any other media they usually frequented. And as the discontent grew harder, jQuery developers decided to drop support for Internet Explorer versions up to 8.0, and websites started putting up banners sounding something like: “You are using an unsupported/obsolete version of Internet Explorer, Upgrade in order to use our site” and the more radical ones: “Your browser doesn’t support our website, please download (insert an actually usable web browser name here)”. Ultimately web developers around the world decided to charge extra for web Internet Explorer support, or dropped the subject altogether and refused to do dirty hacks just to please 10% of their visitors.

Why Users Hate It – A tale of Displaced Blame

Visitors neither know or do care about what happens behind the content. They just wanna come in, get their information, leave their feedback, and get out. Where the hell could they know that when the slider breaks, content is turned into garbled text, or div`s are laid out weirdly, it’s actually their browser at fault? They will blame the website, and even worse will leave a bad review, and most of the times when an user sees a non-functional website, you better be sure he/she is not coming back.

So The Final Solution is to drop the support for Internet Explorer so we don`t have to channel our energy into writing extra code and hacks for it, instead of using that energy to create new technologies that will make the Internet better altogether.

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