Internet Explorer

Dennis Faas's picture

Internet Explorer, abbreviated 'IE' or 'MSIE', is a proprietary web browser made by Microsoft and currently available as part of Microsoft Windows. Internet Explorer is an integrated component of all current versions of Microsoft Windows. Microsoft has shipped Internet Explorer as the default browser in all versions of Microsoft Windows since Windows 95 OSR1.

Features of Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer has been designed to view the broadest range of web pages and to provide certain features within the operating system, including Windows Update. During the heydays of the historic browser wars, Internet Explorer superseded Netscape by supporting many of the progressive features of the time.

Criticisms of Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer is subject to a relatively high volume of criticism. Much of this criticism is related to concerns about security; a notable portion of the widespread promulgation, across the Internet, of spam, spyware, adware, and computer viruses is known to be facilitated, in part, by exploitable bugs and flaws in the security architecture of Internet Explorer. Furthermore, a notable number of users and security experts perceive that Microsoft has not been sufficiently committed to fixing the browser's exploitable bugs in a timely manner, and has been ineffective in pushing those changes out to users.

Other criticisms, mostly coming from technically savvy users and developers of websites and browser-based software applications, concern Internet Explorer's support of open standards. Internet Explorer supports, to some degree, a number of standardized technologies, but has implementation gaps and conformance failures -- some minor, some not -- that have led to criticism from an increasing number of developers. The increase is attributable, in large part, to the fact that competing browsers that offer relatively thorough, standards-compliant implementations are becoming more widely used. Internet Explorer's ubiquity, in spite of its perceived inferiority in this area, frustrates developers who want to write cross-browser code.

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