Internet Explorer Mini Site

Internet Explorer Mini Site

  1. Internet Explorer Landing Page
  2. Your Internet Explorer Version
  3. Internet Explorer Problems
  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


There quite some Internet Explorer Problems. When you disregard its lousy security, its major problem is that its support for web standards is so lacking that it cannot be considered a web browser. It is fair to say that Internet Explorer does not just have problems, but is a problem.

There are three solutions to the Internet Explorer problem. From most effective and desirable, to least effective and desirable, these are:

upgrade to a browser

The easiest way to get XHTML support it to switch to a capable browser, such as Opera, Firefox, Safari, Flock or Chrome. You do not lose Internet Explorer when you install one of these, you just get a modern, capable browser in addition to it.

Firefox with IE Tab add-on

If you’ve been thinking of switching to a modern browser for some time, but need Internet Explorer for some Internet Explorer-only sites, you do not need to wait for that site to upgrade to web standards, you simply get Firefox with the IE Tab add-on. That way, you need only use one browser for all sites, even those that require Internet Explorer. The IE Tab add-on does not simulate Internet Explorer, but relies on Internet Explorer itself, you get an status bar icon to switch between standard mode and IE mode, and you can provide a list of sites it should automatically switch for. By the way, the IE Tab add-on works with Flock too.

upgrade Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer 7

Internet Explorer 7 improves on Internet Explorer 6 in various ways. It has tabs, it is more secure, etcetera. Visit Microsoft’s own Internet Explorer 7 features page for a long and convincing list of reasons to upgrade.

Although Internet Explorer version 7 is a serious improvement over version 6, it is not a modern browser. Its support for CSS is limited and you need to get a plug-in to make it support SVG. Among its various shortcomings is that it still does not support XHTML, and the explanation Microsoft’s Chris Wilson gives for not supporting XHTML is, is essentially that Internet Explorer 7 uses the same broken rendering engine...


Internet Explorer 7 does still not support XHTML. That is official. Now, if you merely read Chris Wilson’s post you’d probably think that that Internet Explorer version 7 will fail to handle all XHTML pages just like Internet Explorer 6 does, but that is not the case. Internet Explorer will sometimes put up a download dialog like Internet Explorer 6 does, but it often does the next best thing to actual XHTML support; instead of failing bluntly like Internet Explorer 6, it renders the XHTML page as if it is an HTML page. That is not real XHTML support, but it happens to be good enough for most XHTML sites, and it is a lot better than showing nothing.


It does not seem to be documented when Internet Explorer 7 shows a download dialog box and when it shows the page as HTML.. My guess is that when Internet Explorer 7 fails to recognise the XHTML MIME type, it decides to use some heuristics to guess the page type, and then acts on that guess. For many XHTML pages, it think the page looks like HTML, and it decides to render the page. For some pages, it fails to make a good guess, and then show the download dialog box anyway.


It matters little how Internet Explorer 7 makes it decision. The trick to make Internet Explorer render XHTML does not just work for Internet Explorer 6, it works for Internet Explorer 7 too. Apply it, and Internet Explorer will never offer to download XHTML pages again, but always render them as HTML instead.

Internet Explorer 6 pre-Windows XP

Internet Explorer 7’s ability to kind-of render XHTML is not going to help you if you are running Internet Explorer 6 on Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000 or Windows NT 4. The best solution for older systems with relatively limited CPU power is a small, fast browser like Opera. The one but best solution to make Internet Explorer render XHTML,

Internet Explorer 8

Microsoft is working on Internet Explorer 8. A public beta is available.

The current Internet Explorer 8 beta still does not support XHTML!

Internet Explorer can render XHTML as HTML

Internet Explorer 6 fails to render XHTML,and That’s odd. Microsoft is not going out of its way to tell everyone, but it is quite simple to make version 6 do the same thing as version 7 often does; render XHTML as if it was mere HTML. Again, it is not the same thing as real XHTML support, so don’t expect XHTML pages to look as good as they do in Opera and Firefox, it is just lot better than showing nothing or popping up dialog boxes; make Internet Explorer render XHTML.


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