Internet Explorer may still be the dominant browser on the Internet but its clout is nowhere near where it was a few years ago. Back in the early days of the browser wars when IE4 finally unseated Netscape to become the front-runner, it enjoyed immense popularity. I certainly was a devoted fan and used IE exclusively.
But then Firefox crashed the party and I saw the chance to defect once again to this new browser. Only this time it wasn't a complete defection. Today when I login to Windows XP (no Vista, thank you), the first browser I launch is IE6, followed immediately by Firefox3 and occasionally I add Chrome2 (Google's browser) to the mix. Depending on my mood and the sites I visit, I may pull up one site on one browser and the next site on another. It's a weird habit, but it serves me just fine.
When the time came to upgrade to IE7, I balked and stayed the course with IE6. Not so with the other browsers. Where I am open with upgrading the others (even to their latest betas), I have been resistant to upgrading IE. I suppose the innate fear of dealing with unwanted features and flaws has held me back.
Word has it that IE8 is a much better product than IE7, its predecessor. But when Windows Update alerted me with the IE8 upgrade screen, I once again passed on the opportunity. What I found interesting was the description accompanying this update:
Internet Explorer 8 is the latest version of the familiar Web browser that you are most comfortable using. Internet Explorer 8 helps you get everything that you want from the Web faster, easier, and more privately and securely than ever.