Microsoft’s Internet Atrocities
better or worse, Microsoft has been a huge player in the way the internet has evolved. You would expect that considering Microsoft has had a virtual lock on the PC OS market as well as an overwhelming percentage of the browser market share. Unfortunately, however, Microsoft has lived up to its name as a poor-quality company when you consider their internet contributions. I consider Microsoft's internet-related products as absolute atrocities that may have set us back more than they've pushed us forward.
Internet Explorer x.x
In this age, a browser installed on an operating system should be standard. That doesn't mean the browser should be low quality, though. Internet Explorer's entrance into the browser market was initially great because you could escape from AOL's grasps, up until Microsoft decided that following standards wasn't important, especially when you could implement your own.
Internet Explorer 5 and 5.5 contained numerous CSS inconsistencies, most notably with floating. Internet Explorer 6 was an improvement but Internet Explorer's problems continued:
- Numerous, CSS issues
- Lack of CSS functionality
- Insufficient security features
- Inconsistent or missing standards implementation
Microsoft renewed its commitment to Internet Explorer in late 2005 after five years of being stagnant. Internet Explorer 7 implements many improvements but problems still exist and Microsoft has a long way to go to prove it's serious about creating a good browsing product. Unfortunately, novice and beginner internet users will probably continue to use Internet Explorer for years to come.
Microsoft FrontPage debuted in 1997 and made every person with a computer think that they could make a website. Good? Hardly! Many of my customers exude an attitude of "why do I pay you that much if I could just do it myself using FrontPage?" People generally don't understand the time, effort, and skill that go into creating a solid website and
Beyond how it affects me, FrontPage generates some pretty horrible code. There's nothing like a good chunk of: <span><span class="MsoNormal" style="font-size:12.pt"><span><strong></strong></span></span></span> FrontPage also generates browser-specific code (guess which browser), but of course the FrontPage "web developer". And lets not forget that you need a server that allows FrontPage extensions.
IIS itself isn't the worst of the evils. Is does provide great support for ASP and .NET technologies but installing PHP on an IIS server and then getting it to work is a nightmare (yes, I understand that IIS wasn't meant for PHP). I mention that because I believe PHP installation with others servers is pretty fluid. IIS has also had more security issues than Apache but that's no surprise, right? IIS, to my knowledge, doesn't allow for easy URL rewriting like Apache does.
Microsoft created ActiveX to allow for programmers to provide users functionality beyond the capabilities of the standard browser. That's fine and well most of the time but when malware creators get ignorant internet users to download their ActiveX control a world of hurt can ensue for the user. Unfortunately Microsoft left IE untouched for years so no provisions were created to try to prevent the problem. I'm on the internet more than the average user and I don't visit any sites that require ActiveX functionality (I use Firefox, but never seem to encounter an ActiveX site). ActiveX is clearly not a needed technology.
Microsoft has been a huge letdown, creating subpar technologies that stifle web developers.