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I hate to say this, but I think that the browser wars are back - and back in a big way. The reason - well, I think partly for these little thoughts and concerns that are going around my head today and yesterday. I am having more and more problems browsing around the Internet as time goes on it seems and I am getting slightly annoyed about it - so I am thinking - “I wonder what it will be like to use THIS browser here?”.

I was a big Netscape user till Netscape 4. Once IE4 came out - I was a dedicated IE user till .... well, basically yesterday. The reasons? Well, its lots of little ones that have added up to a bigger one.

I rebuild my machine every six months or so (I'm a geek ... ok?) and I have been having a consistent JavaScript problem now with IE and I cannot figure out why. I ALWAYS get these errors on almost every page:

I found this fix:

Internet Explorer 6 SP1 Update: "HTTP 404 - File Not Found" Error Message When You Try to Visit Web Pages That Are Opened by JavaScript Functions in Frames or in Windows

But it says that I need to install SP1 first ... which I already did. I try to install SP1 again and it says that I installed it, but the computer needs a reboot. I reboot and nothing has changed and I keep doing a round-robin with this. VERY ANNOYING. Ok .... that is one reason.

SECOND REASON: I HATE POP UP ADS!!!! I know I can go to Google and get the Google Toolbar and stop these pesky adds, but man .... wouldn't it be nice to have that feature built right in?

THIRD REASON: I have been reading a lot about folks that are very concerned about IE for security reasons ... I usually don't give this much credence as much of it is just political talk (not John Kerry stuff ... MS vs. the world stuff), but just the same, there sure seems to be a lot of talk about it though.

FOURTH REASON: I know this is a small reason, but .... I do not like all the icons in the IE menu bar! Every time I install something, it seems to add another icon which I need to go and remove. Small reason I know, but I do dislike this.

SO .... I started looking around. First stop ... Firefox

Firefox - The Browser, Reloaded

If you look at some of the features ... they seem pretty impressive ... tabbed windows (I would like that), built in Google search bar (wow, I use Google almost every 20 minutes) and more. Second stop: Opera.

Opera Software

Hmmm. Pop up blocker, tabs, RSS reader (COOL!) ... but some negatives that I won't deal with .... ads, ads and ads (for the free version).

NOW I know that Microsoft recently started up the IE team again and I know that they are listening to us all about what the next version of IE will bring. I personally can't wait. I *NEED* a better browsing experience.

Features I want in the next IE:

  • Pop up ad blocker
  • RSS Reader
  • No JavaScript errors!
  • Search toolbar which I can configure to work with MSN Search or Google
  • A Print icon which I can press and hold and then select from a dropdown list which available printer I want to send the document to
  • A Favorites icon which I can press and hold and get a dropdown of my favorites (I do not like the side-bar thing at all that comes up)
  • Tabbed viewing
  • More real estate without going to a ridiculous point. When you say “Small icons“ - really make them small ... or add an extra small or something
  • A way to see the HTTP traffic the browser is receiving ... ALL OF IT ... not just the HTML
  • A better way to view the source code of the page that has colors - instead of popping it up in Notepad
  • DON'T make some of these features for developers only which require a separate download
  • STOP incorporating Windows Media Player in the browser and stop asking me if I want to do that
  • Make it easy to email pages I am browsing or page parts even
  • Is there any way of stopping all these MAD ADS of things like cars driving across my screen or such while I am trying to read?

Did I get it all?

UPDATE: It isn't just me (

Posted on Thursday, July 8, 2004 6:49 AM Microsoft , Reviews | Back to top

Comments on this post: Browser Wars are Back!

# re: Browser Wars are Back!
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> A Favorites icon which I can press and hold
> and get a dropdown of my favorites (I do not
> like the side-bar thing at all that comes up)

Have you ever used the Favorites MENU? rather than the stupid icon? I think this is exactly what you are looking for. Try it - rather than hitting the favorites icon, using the Favorites menu, next to the View menu, in the menu list... it pops up as a menu, not a side bar.
Left by Derick Bailey on Jul 08, 2004 8:40 AM

# re: Browser Wars are Back!
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Yeah, realized that one later .... was thinking about the print icon and went .... hey that fav icon too! But alas ... too late ... hit the post button. ;)
Left by Bill Evjen on Jul 08, 2004 10:22 AM

# re: Browser Wars are Back!
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I vote for Opera and then IE for the functionalities it allready provides. Yes, Opera one has to pay for the non ad version, but I think it's affordable with the amount of features a person gets with it. I save a lot of time by using features in Opera and I think I can thus justify the money I pay for Opera.
Left by Tejas Patel on Jul 08, 2004 12:11 PM

# re: Browser Wars are Back!
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Gotta love the Sage Rss/Atom/Rdf reader extension for FireFox.
Left by Kris Krause on Jul 08, 2004 12:52 PM

# re: Browser Wars are Back!
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Another issue I find annoying, now that I'm using FireFox regularly is that it is not possible to run WindowsUpdate from any browser other than IE. Thus, without setting up automated WindowsUpdates (which I despise as WU wants to completely take over and control my machine when it finds an update) I'm forced to fall back on IE to search for and install updates.

Left by Allen on Jul 08, 2004 1:48 PM

# re: Browser Wars are Back!
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100% agree with you, Bill.

We're seeing a pretty big turnaround locally (South Africa) where more and more developers are using Firefox as their primary browser and resorting back to IE for WU, saving pages into mht, etc...
Left by Simon Stewart (C# MVP) on Jul 09, 2004 9:15 AM

# re: Browser Wars are Back!
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Nice list of suggestions.

> A better way to view the source code

Run IE, Tools->Internet Options->Programs
1st otpion: HTML Editor: <enter yous here>

Anthony Carrabino

Left by Anthony Carrabino on Jul 09, 2004 11:33 AM

# re: Browser Wars are Back!
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You mentioned that the IE team is starting back up. Do you have some more info (i.e. links) on that? I heard that Microsoft doesn't care about winning over the browser. We all know that Microsoft has been pushing Windows Forms; especially with Longhorn's UI features. I still think Microsoft wants to bring apps back to the desktop. They're looking for a web-enabled, desktop-centric future.

The last I heard about IE was that it would be fully integrated into Windows and there would be no more releases. Why else would they go 5 years without any updates? I expect a lot of the features you're talking about to be built into the next release, however (in whatever form that may be).

I guess we'll see.
Left by Michael Flanakin on Jul 10, 2004 4:37 PM

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