Internet Explorer Mini Site

Internet Explorer Mini Site

  1. Internet Explorer Landing Page
  2. Your Internet Explorer Version
  3. Internet Explorer Solutions
  4. Firefox for the Internet Explorer User
  5. Make Internet Explorer render XHTML
  6. Choosing a Browser
  7. Download a Browser
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. How the Internet Explorer Landing Page works
  10. How the Internet Explorer Version Detection works
  11. Valid Internet Explorer Conditional Comments

Internet Explorer 6

spectacularly unsafe

Internet Explorer 6 is not a very good browser. Its best known misfeature is that it is spectacularly unsafe. Microsoft has often touted Internet Explorer’s integration with Windows, but that integration amplifies the security problem; it allows attackers to compromise Windows through Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer 6 is so unsafe that even organisations that are agnostic to a fault decided to explicitly recommend switching to something else.

US Department of Homeland Security logo


Back in 2004 already, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security and the public and private sectors, recommended switching away from Internet Explorer in its security bulletin about yet another Internet Explorer vulnerability: Use a different web browser.

The bulletin warned that [Internet Explorer] components are integrated into Windows to such an extent that vulnerabilities in IE frequently provide an attacker significant access to the operating system..

Browse Happy button


That same year, the Web Standards Project (WaSP) started the Browse Happy campaign to educate users and make them switch away from Internet Explorer.

Bruce Schneier’s 2004 Safe Personal Computing advice includes this advice: Browsing: don’t use Microsoft Internet Explorer, period.


user interface

The Internet Explorer 6 user interface is archaic. It does not support tabbed browsing, but opens every page in a new window.


Internet Explorer 6’s support for web standard is deplorably bad and its capabilities are severely lacking.

PNG is the web standard for bitmap images, yet IE6 makes a mess of displaying PNG images. PNG supports transparency, but IE6 does not. There are tricks web developers can use to fix this IE defect, but web developers should not need to fix browsers. That is like Windows developers fixing Windows.

SVG is the web standard for vector images, yet IE does not support SVG images at all. There are third-party plug-ins you can install, but that should not be necessary. A web browser must support web standards.

CSS is the web standard for page layout. Internet Explorer 6’s CSS support is rather limited - and broken. Internet Explorer sizes and place items differently than the standard prescribes. This serious defect has become known as the "broken box model".

XHTML is the XML-based successor to HTML, yet Internet Explorer does not support XHTML at all.

The Download a Browser uses partial opacity for a nice hover effect on the buttons. Internet Explorer does not support the web standard for specifying opacity, so that page had to include additional, non-standard code to make sure it works in Internet Explorer as well.

blaming others

When you visit an XHTML page, Internet Explorer 6 does not render it, but starts downloading it instead. And, since Windows XP Service Pack 2, it will even falsely blame the site for trying to download a file to your !
Make Internet Explorer render XHTML describes this misbehaviour in more detail.

many little things

There are many little things. For example, web pages can use the quote tags to mark-up a quote. Like this:

He said <q>Nothing.</q>.

A web browser will show that as:

He said “Nothing”.

Notice the use of proper open and close quotes instead simple straight quotes. The first benefit of the quote tags is that it uses proper quotes. The second benefit is that handles nested quotes smartly.

Internet Explorer does not even support quotes. Internet Explorer show the above fragment as:

He said Nothing..

That does not even mean the same thing and the double full stop at the end is confusing at best. There should be a single full stop at the end of sentence, and if there were three you would understand it as ellipsis. Two full stops has no known meaning, except this: you are using Internet Explorer and it is not rendering this page correctly.

What’s weird about these little things is that they are fairly easy to fix, yet Microsoft still hasn’t done so.

IE7 project

It is possible to fix some of Internet Explorer’s 6 issues using JavaScript. Back in 2004, Dean Edwards started the IE7 project, a library that compensates many of IE6’s shortcomings through JavaScript.

The Internet Explorer 6 Countdown

On 2010 March 4, Microsoft itself started The Internet Explorer 6 Countdown site to get rid of Internet Explorer 6.

Internet Explorer 7

Internet Explorer 7 is definitely an improvement over Internet Explorer 6. It supports tab browsing, finally adds a search box, and even integrates a feed reader. It supports transparent PNG, but it still doesn’t support SVG. The quoting issue still hasn’t been fixed. Its broken box model still messes up page layout.
Most unbelievable is that it still doesn’t support XHTML. This isn’t some minor detail, but a major web standard. A browser that doesn’t support it simply isn’t a web browser.

Internet Explorer 8

Internet Explorer 8 once again improves on its predecessor, and has somewhat better standards support, but still does not support XHTML. Microsoft has focussed on supporting proprietary extensions such as the so-called Accelerators.

Internet Explorer 9

Internet Explorer 9 is Microsoft's first web browser in a decade. After more than a decade of thwarting web standards, Internet Explorer is Microsoft first browser to support all major web standards.



Official Microsoft Internet Explorer information

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anti-IE campaigns

anti-IE6 campaigns

web standards