So IE9 has been released into the wild and experts are expecting plenty of people to be using it within the next few days. So what does that mean for us?
Well for me it’s going to be quite a challenge because, like many people … including porn surfers, I’m still locked into an operating system that IE9 won’t work with. Here in our office … and at home … we’re still locked into XP because the cost of upgrading all our software to the point where it might be compatible with Windows 7 is not in our budget right now.
A lot of people are in the same situation and you would be surprised at how many people are still looking to buy computers that have XP installed as the operating system. The computer guy that we share office space with is continually getting people coming in with new computers that they’ve bought somewhere else and asking him to downgrade the pre-installed operating system to XP.
So the first hurdle for any webmaster who wants to take advantage of all the new bells and whistles in Internet Explorer 9 is to not lock out all those people who can’t use it.
The second hurdle is to make sure that what you’re coding really will work as you want it to. I’m seeing a lot of complaints around the Net about the way IE9 handles a large number of functions so don’t be surprised if your beautifully crafted site that should look really wonderful in IE9 ends up looking like shit.
It’s sad that IE9 appears to be off to such a bad start in the eyes of at least some developers because IE9 was supposed to be the version that would bring Internet Explorer into line with the way all the other browsers handle important CSS elements. Perhaps instead of seeing the launch of a browser that works the way all the others do we’re actually seeing a modern version of the shambles that IE6 created.
Firefox 4 has also launched … in fact it came out just this week … and it’s got everything from a new look to a new speed.
I haven’t downloaded Firefox 4 just yet … I tend to wait till Firefox forces its updates on me because it takes about that length of time for all the plugins I use to work with the new version.
However I have had a look at the screen shots and I have to say that from what I’ve seen of its interface it doesn’t impress me much. It looks as though the tabs bar … the one that shows you all the tabs you currently have open … has been moved above the address bar.
I tend to use the tabs bar more frequently than I use the address bar so having to go from the screen where I’m working all the way to the top of the screen is going to be annoying … and then there’s the question of all those extra toolbars that I have. I wonder where they’re going to appear?
Firefox does give users the ability to adapt the interface to suit their requirements although that’s something I haven’t tried before. Perhaps it will be something I’ll have to look more closely at when upgrading to the new version becomes inevitable.
So in the space of just 10 days we have two new browsers. One is obviously going to work with just about every operating system you can think of while the other is only going to work with the two latest Windows operating systems.
One is going to work almost faultlessly as far as developers are concerned while the other is going to cause headaches and require work-arounds before it will display every website correctly.
One is going to be really popular while the other is probably never going to become the most popular browser even though it’s almost certainly the best browser on the market … such is the power of marketing.