In a recent blog post, Chris Jackson, the principal program manager in the Microsoft Experiences and Devices Group, made it quite clear: Internet Explorer shouldn’t be used. In fact, he does not even call IE a browser, saying it is simply a compatibility solution.
Here’s a quote from Chris Jackson’s recent post on the Microsoft Tech Community:
In the past, Internet Explorer was optimized for simplicity at the expense of technical debt. Looking all the way back to Internet Explorer 6, the very concept of “standards mode” vs. “quirks mode” comes from this “easy button” approach. All existing content (which had no DOCTYPE) would get quirks mode; you got standards mode by adding a specific DOCTYPE.
This, of course, had one little pesky problem: most people neither manually type HTML nor obsessively read the documentation to make sure they get the right DOCTYPE. You see, in the bad old days, you couldn’t just put in , you had to put in a full document type definition (DTD), and what you put in determined whether you’d get standards or quirks. So, it wasn’t just the presence or absence of a declaration, but also whether you put in a correctly formatted and properly chosen DTD, that would promote you to standards mode.
According to Jackson, a technical debt is incurred when “simple” solutions are used instead of more secure ones. For instance, disabling User Account Control creates a technical debt.
It is easy to agree with everything Chris Jackson posted. Based on ancient technology, Internet Explorer has been outdated for quite a long time already. Today, all IT solutions, be they software or devices we use, are (or should be!) based on security considerations. IE as a browser is simply not secure.
As you can see, by going with the “technical debt by default” approach, we ended up in a scenario whereby if you create a brand-new webpage today, run it in the local intranet zone, and don’t add any additional markup, you will end up using a 1999 implementation of web standards by default. Yikes!
The fact is, using IE today is risky. First, a website, web application or Intranet page might not work at all. IE is based on technology dating back to the beginning of this millenium. As such, it simply is not worth updating it to meet today’s standards.
I am a devoted Microsoft Edge fan, having used it as my main browser since October 2014 and the first Windows 10 preview version. I understand that I belong to a small minority; according to available statistics Edge only has around 2 percent market share. Anyway, be it my favorite Edge, Chrome, Firefox or any other modern browser, if your organization is still using Internet Explorer, it’s time to change. Each day you continue using IE is a day too long.
Author: Kari Finn
A former Windows Insider MVP, Kari started in computing in the mid 80’s writing code for VAX / VMS systems. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of IT positions. He specializes in Windows image capture, customization, repair and deployment as well as Hyper-V virtualization. Kari is a proud Team Member at number #1 Windows site TenForums.com.