Tuesday, December 26, 2006

IE7 bad, firefox 2 good

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Update to a better browser: Firefox 2.0

I've been using both Firefox and Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6 as web browsers. I like Firefox for it's functionality,speed and security, and I liked Explorer 6 for it's ability to correctly display all the web pages I go to, as well as being the only browser that will work correctly with Microsoft web pages and update services (no surprise there!). Depending on my need I used either one.

Microsoft recently unvieled Explorer 7, which has the same tabbed browsing feature as found in Firefox. I thought that I would finally be able to just use one browser for all my internet needs, and leave the other behind. Well, I was wrong.

So rather than having Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) meet all my needs, it may never be used again. The reason: it locks up...and the first time it locked my entire system!

In the space of 24 hours, I had IE7 twice lock-up on me while exploring different web sites. The little browser totally froze-up, becoming completely unusable. I've never had this problem with Firefox, nor Internet Explorer 6. The first time it locked up, it locked up the entire PC and operating system, which is a problem I've never experienced before with any other software program I own. Both times the lock occured, IE7 was the only application running.

The last time IE7 locked up, I checked my system monitor, and saw that the CPU was being used at 100% capacity! Yet nothing was happening with the browser, it was completely non-responsive. Normally when you see a situation where the only application you're running has locked-up solid, and your CPU is pegged at 100%, then you might have what is commonly known in the programming world as an infinite loop: a computer instrution gets carried out over, and over and over, because the software programmer forgot to provide the instruction an "exit" for when it finishes it's instruction. So it just carries it out again, and again, and again....

Usually infinite loops are created by beginning programmers, or those who are working on very complex systems where a programmer may only be working on one tiny piece of the system, and not be aware of the other pieces and how they interact. I doubt any of the programmers working on IE 7 are beginners, which leaves me to think that the loop was casued by system complexity and a poor testing procedure for the finished product.

Hence, no more IE 7 for me. Instead, I'm using Firefox 2 as my browser from this point forward. I don't have enough time in this life to be messing with unstable, unusuable software. I will be keeping IE 7 around for software update purposes, especially since Microsoft software updates don't like Firefox. But beyond software updates, IE 7 is not going to be used very much on my PC.

Microsoft had an excellent opportunity to become the dominant PC web browser again, but instead, due to a poorly tested product, they will be sending the masses off to Firefox.

<>< TM

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