Internet Explorer

See also: Web browsers | Microsoft

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Acronym: IE or MSIE

Web browser from Microsoft for Windows and Macintosh, making up approximately 95% of all web browser users. A very common Internet tool that has not been updated with the times, IE can be harmful to run on a computer even when viewing reputable Web sites. IE does not block pop-ups, is rife with security problems (see below), and no new releases have been made in more than years. Originally based on the first graphical browser Mosaic, IE gradually took the browser market away from Netscape in the late 1990s and then stopped development. IE’s decline finally began in early June 2004.

IE is the default Windows browser for any version above Windows 95.

Suggested actions for users:

  • Microsoft encourages users to update Microsoft Windows often as well as adjust settings to increase security, even though it may disable viewing some Web sites.
  • On larger hard drives, Internet Explorer will take up an enormous amount of cache space, far more than anyone is likely to use. Because it is set to take up approx 3% of the entire drive, a 10 gig hard drive could use as much as 300+ megs of cache space, when the average browser really only needs 50 megs (at most). Even if IE isn’t your default browser, it still helps to reduce this number. Visit the Tools menu, select Internet Options and click the Settings box. In the box next to “Amount of disk space to use” type in between 20 and 50 megabytes.




Security Problems
  • No pop-up ad blocking (see Getting-Rid-Of-Pop-Ups).
  • No easy banner blocking.
  • Future versions of Internet Explorer will not be free of charge. It is expected when the next version that appears with Windows Longhorn (due out 2006) the next version will be bundled with the new OS.
  • The Macintosh platform is no longer being actively developed for. As a result or perhaps anticipating Microsoft’s lack of further development, Apple created Safari.
  • Incomplete standards-compliance (see
  • Incomplete PNG support.
  • No tab support, although some IE mods provide this feature.

Note: while CSS and many other standards are handled differently than the W3 standard, because of its market share, IE creates the standard through its popularity.

See also: Anti-Microsoft

Alternate Browsers

On Windows, the two main competing browsers are:

Both browsers have tabbed interfaces, far fewer security vulnerabilites, and integrated pop-up blocking.

IE Mods

  • AvantBrowser – updates IE to be more like Opera with tabbed browsing, popup blocking, and other features.
  • SlimBrowser – among a number of IE modifications available that utilize the embeddable IE HTML-rendering component and provide various advanced features.
  • IESpell – allows for spell-checking documents inside dialogue windows such as Web e-mail. Free for personal use only.



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