As of 1st March Windows XP, Vista and 7 users will receive an update which prompts them to choose a browser…a change of pace for Microsoft, who used to force people into using their own Internet Explorer by default. The software will install a desktop icon and if your are using Windows 7 and IE is your default browser, it will unpin it from the taskbar. If the software is not started by the user, it will run the first time IE is loaded after updating, and will present users with a dialogue box with the choice. The choices will be Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer 8, Opera or Apple Safari. After choosing one, the software will then install it automatically and set it as default…removing the need to manually download and install a new browser, which not all users are comfortable with doing.
This all comes after a landmark ruling by the European Commission, stating that locking Windows users into using IE was unfair. It has been largely welcomed in the IT community, especially among web designers who are tired of accommodating for IE’s lack of support for industry standards, especially CSS 3 and HTML5. While these are still un-ratified and experimental, most other browsers have started implementing them and many developers and users feel that IE is behind. Along with this news, there is mounting pressure on the UK government to phase out support for IE6, which is now outdated (first released in 2001) and insecure. Google has announced it will stop support for it on 1st March, and many other companies and governments are following suit. Our advice? Use anything other than IE. Chrome, Firefox, Operaa and Safari are all good, secure and up-to-date browsers with their own strong points. Our personal favourite is Chrome but this is a matter of preference. If you really really do insist on making your browsing experience insecure and inefficient by using a browser that is riddled with holes and cannot display many websites properly, then by all means stick with IE. But at least upgrade it to IE 8, which is the lesser of all the IE evils. Anyone using IE6 will soon find themselves in the dark.