Microsoft: IE is “the browser you loved to hate”

Few people in this world would disagree that Internet Explorer earned its reputation for being a web browser to avoid at all costs. The dark days of IE6 firmly established a layer of hatred towards Microsoft’s browser that for many people remains even today, and there are those who practically spit at the mention of its name.

The scale of the challenge for Microsoft to win over the millions of users who have nothing but hatred in their hearts for its browser is, quite simply, immense. So it’s refreshing to see the company tackle its big perception problem head-on, with a new campaign to promote Internet Explorer 9 that doesn’t shy away from the reality of its situation.

Entitled ‘The Browser You Loved To Hate’, the campaign is centred around a new website that encourages people to give IE another chance. The site showcases user feedback on IE9, with tweets and comments from across the web, and critical acclaim from the likes of Wired, The New York Times and Forbes.

In a post on the Windows Team Blog, Roger Capriotti (Director, Internet Explorer Product Marketing) said that IE9 “has been a turning point. We’ve been both humbled by its uptake on Windows 7 and by the response we’re hearing from our customers. And while there have been a number of pretty funny things said about IE’s past, it’s great to see those same enthusiasts bringing IE9 back into their browsing mix.”

Capriotti says that an increasing number of the Chrome and Firefox faithful have been introducing IE9 into the way that they browse and use the web. The ability to pin sites to the taskbar in Windows 7 – bringing app-like functionality and ease-of-use – has apparently been a key part of IE9’s new-found popularity.  

Capriotti added that the site also offered an opportunity for Microsoft to ‘poke a little fun’ at itself, and central to that effort is this video:

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

RIM confirms PlayBook will get BlackBerry 10 OS update

Next Story

Nokia CEO: Multi-core phones are “just a waste of battery”

64 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

The mandatory upgrade of IE9 through Windows Auto Update in Windows 7 has brought an nightmare to my company. IE9 makes some of our business partners' web sites fail to work correctly. So, we have downgraded it in hundreds of computers and disabled Windows Auto Update. We are planning to use Firefox as well since it works without any problem.

I mainly used four browsers in the past few years, only IE is the one I don't like, the chrome firefox and avant browser ,I like all of them for their distinguished advantages.

Even though the plumbings of IE are quite ok in IE9, it's still only just ok compared to the competition that support more CSS, HTML5 etc features. There are no features in IE9 that would make one want to use it over the more advanced Chrome, Firefox, Opera or even Safari.

I really wish MS released some better tools for testing old IE versions. Their "expires in x days" virtual machines are a pain in the ass.

Since dumping IE8 for Maxthon and then dumping that for Opera 11.xx I'm now happily using Opera 12 OOP X64 as my everyday do everything web browser complete with ad block, spell check and should I so choose a whole host of other things via plug-ins

I am a Mac user. I would be more than happy to "give IE9 a try" -- and stop wasting dozens of gigabytes on Windows virtual machines just for when I need to test websites with IE -- if Microsoft actually made IE available for my platform.

Fry said,
I am a Mac user. I would be more than happy to "give IE9 a try" -- and stop wasting dozens of gigabytes on Windows virtual machines just for when I need to test websites with IE -- if Microsoft actually made IE available for my platform.

Just use Safari or other browsers on Mac.

iwillneverstop said,

Just use Safari or other browsers on Mac.


....he is a web dev and cant test sites on IE because IE doesnt run on OSX....

I like IE better since the release of version 9, and in the Windows 8 CP, IE 10 is working even better. Once IE 10 goes gold, I may need to consider switching from using Chrome as my main browser.

I like my spell checker and no chance am i going to be using that Metro I.E or Normal I.E in W8 over my Chrome.

Well... I wanted to use IE more often... but it still does crash when having some more tabs opened, specially if running flash and java stuff... Just hangs there waiting for the future to happen, even tho the future is now :b

Didn't even read past the headline and can tell you many of us don't like Microsoft's attitude towards customers now or in the past and anytime a usable alternative is available, we'll choose it. Ie might be a good product...now, but performance alone doesn't dictate how people choose a browser. I used firefox up until two months ago despite it becoming very clunky. Now I use Chrome, and really don't like Google's attitude lately either so I might be going right back to Firefox in a few months.

OK, Microsoft ... give me a flexible, fully customisable GUI, that isn't dumbed down like Chrome,
then I might consider using IE as my secondary or tertiary browser instead of not using it at all.

Until then, the fully customisable, not at all dumbed down SeaMonkey, is the browser for me.

While i think that IE 9 is a good browser and as a web dev i have no problem with people using it for me it was not enough to make me change from Firefox.

I use Chrome on my Desktop but Internet Explorer on the HTPC.
I might look at giving IE a go again as the customization I can have for websites that don't have a favourite icon is small, but important.

Oh my! I'm one of those people that installs Chrome and sets it as default on everyone's computer. With great reason of course.

Ugh! You're one of ''those people".

Tell me, what are those great reason of which you speak? I've tried Chrome. Seems rather dumbed-down to me.

dumbed down in the sense you can type an address and go there "without-fear-of-a-drive-by-infection" dumbed down? or dumb as you don't know how to use it?

COKid said,
Ugh! You're one of ''those people".

Tell me, what are those great reason of which you speak? I've tried Chrome. Seems rather dumbed-down to me.

COKid said,
Ugh! You're one of ''those people".

Tell me, what are those great reason of which you speak? I've tried Chrome. Seems rather dumbed-down to me.

Dumbed down?

Why would I want a browser to get in the way of me browsing?

Chrome is great because it's simple but powerful.

COKid said,
Ugh! You're one of ''those people".

Tell me, what are those great reason of which you speak? I've tried Chrome. Seems rather dumbed-down to me.

Well I try to test every browser and I got to say that Chrome is by far the fastest.

I like IE 9. It has come a long way. I love it's integration with Windows 7 taskbar. But still use Firefox and Chrome primarily due to AdBlock and Facebook Disconnect. I hate animated ads or the Intellitext ones. They are very distracting.

I still prefer Chrome and Firefox over IE. Something about Javascript speed and following W3C standards continues to turn me off IE. Plus, it's great to use AdBlocj.

Z'Loth said,
Javascript speed and following W3C standards continues to turn me off IE.

You do realize that IE9 js engine is the fastest, and through their predictable release cycle have continued to get closer toward complete w3c adherence?

dotf said,

You do realize that IE9 js engine is the fastest, and through their predictable release cycle have continued to get closer toward complete w3c adherence?

Who cares about JS speed? What you doing, making a game in JS?

KomaWeiss said,

Who cares about JS speed? What you doing, making a game in JS?

ಠ_ಠ

nearly every site you use on a regular basis is JavaScript heavy. Speed is everything. Try browsing Facebook in Firefox 1.

shockz said,
If IE9 had the same level of adblocking chrome and firefox do... I'd use IE as my daily. Until then, nope.

You guys do realize that it actually does have the same level of ad blocking? Tracking Protection lists. I don't see a single ad on any site I visit. Funny that I came back around to IE. Went from IE to Netscape to Firefox to Chrome to IE.

Now on IE10 with Win 8.

Tootles.

Wyn6 said,

You guys do realize that it actually does have the same level of ad blocking? Tracking Protection lists. I don't see a single ad on any site I visit. Funny that I came back around to IE. Went from IE to Netscape to Firefox to Chrome to IE.

Now on IE10 with Win 8.

Tootles.

The tracking lists are good, but not great. Still see ad's regularly. With adblock on chrome it's a simple right click and done. I want that kind of functionality in IE.

Wyn6 said,

You guys do realize that it actually does have the same level of ad blocking? Tracking Protection lists. I don't see a single ad on any site I visit. Funny that I came back around to IE. Went from IE to Netscape to Firefox to Chrome to IE.

Now on IE10 with Win 8.

Tootles.


It also block a bunch of things that shouldn't be blocked.

shockz said,
If IE9 had the same level of adblocking chrome and firefox do... I'd use IE as my daily. Until then, nope.

Use Privoxy and you'll have ad blocking that works across all browsers, because Privoxy is not a plugin. It's a local proxy server that filters out ads. Give it a try.

The main thing keeping me with Chrome is the constant stream of updates and improvements, Flashblock plugin, and spell checking!

Chrome (beta channel) is my default browser, but I also use AND like IE9. Both browsers have pros and cons, the only difference is that some people are willing to minimize Chrome's shortcomings and amplify IE9's.

Sorry Microsoft. I can't forgive you for the years that, after dominating the browser market, you sat back on your ass and did nothing. You deserved to get a rude awakening and unless hell freezes over, I don't think I'll ever go back to IE.

Chicane-UK said,
Sorry Microsoft. I can't forgive you for the years that, after dominating the browser market, you sat back on your ass and did nothing.

Just like many other products though. Competition stimulates development these days, nothing else.

Mr Spoon said,

Just like many other products though. Competition stimulates development these days, nothing else.
That's not an excuse, and they purposely went out to shut down their competition. What the IE5/IE6 days showed was that Microsoft was happy to flip the bird to customers and developers when they could get away with it.

Chicane-UK said,
Sorry Microsoft. I can't forgive you for the years that, after dominating the browser market, you sat back on your ass and did nothing. You deserved to get a rude awakening and unless hell freezes over, I don't think I'll ever go back to IE.
What an Ignorant comment... you totally deserve all the viruses coming to you....even if you have a Mac.

jesseinsf said,
What an Ignorant comment... you totally deserve all the viruses coming to you....even if you have a Mac.

Have you ever designed or programmed a Web App or Web Site? Chances are you did not.

Chicane-UK said,
Sorry Microsoft. I can't forgive you for the years that, after dominating the browser market, you sat back on your ass and did nothing. You deserved to get a rude awakening and unless hell freezes over, I don't think I'll ever go back to IE.

That is like cheating on you for years and then come back and be good ( for a while ) and ask for forgiveness. Although i will give you another chance ( Stop bashing you ), but it will be a long time before i completely forgive you.

MiukuMac said,
Chrome came, Chrome saw, IE wept.

Chrome still requires a service and two processes to run all the freaking time on your pc even when crhome is not being used.

Until chrome fixes that crap I will never use it

swanlee said,

Chrome still requires a service and two processes to run all the freaking time on your pc even when crhome is not being used.

Until chrome fixes that crap I will never use it

Fix implies It's a flaw?

either way, I only see the browser running on my PC. Sure there's a service that runs at boot, but it closes when it's done doing what it does. I think google updater is set on the windows task host, so it will pop up from time to time, but again it doesn't stay resident. And especially as a web developer - I'll take and always-up-to-date browser over a requires-user-input-to-update any day.

MiukuMac said,
Chrome came, Chrome saw, IE wept.
They are trying to figure out a way to fool the tracking protectors so they can make more money from you.... lol

medium_pimpin said,
Nothing downloads other browsers better than IE. Nothing.

Actually. IE9 is solid.

Do you realize whatever you click to download, the link sent to Microsoft server for verification?

I was impressed by how well IE9 came out. Would I use it over Firefox though, absolutely not. Lacks too many features and extensions that I use daily.

nub said,
Lacks too many features and extensions that I use daily.

Yes because we all want to see what the weather is doing from our browsers!

I prefer to browse the internet with my browser. IE is sufficient in doing this and nicely laid out. Firefox is slowly dying. I'm a Chrome user myself though.

Mr Spoon said,

Yes because we all want to see what the weather is doing from our browsers!

Some of us enjoy adblock, firebug, etc.

Lets not pick the dumbest extension we can think of and then use it to pretend all extensions are pointless.

autobon said,

Some of us enjoy adblock, firebug, etc.

Lets not pick the dumbest extension we can think of and then use it to pretend all extensions are pointless.

Every browser has adblock in some form (You can actually have it at network level with something like peerblock). And every browser has developer tools like firebug. admittedly IE's tools aren't as good, but then I personally prefer Chrome's tools over firebug any day.

The only reason I'd pick to use chrome now is because of google's profile syncing service - It's pretty cool to have all my bookmarks and settings on every computer I use.

Internet Explorer 10 STILL does not support HTML5 audio and video elements and since Microsoft is part of the MPEG-LA patent troll group that still wants to charge consumers and businesses a like to DECODE videos in browsers Microsoft has refused to support open codecs (and NATIVELY, user installs is NOT an excuse). This means continued IE-specific code AND IE specific FILES well in to the 2020s and probably the 2030s. At this point I no longer release IE specific code, these features simply won't work because IE doesn't support them.

It should be noted that Google has NOT come through on their promise to drop H.264 support in Chrome and it's been well over a year since they said they would. Apple's Safari also stands with the patent trolls on this topic instead of supporting a free and open web.

IE10 STILL does not support Server-sent DOM events, WebGL, classList, Web Notifications, Filesystem & FileWriter API, and the CSS resize property among many other things. Internet Explorer is STILL behind other browsers albeit not as severely as it used to be. It's still the browser that doesn't do what all the other browsers do and it's no where near being a reason to spend money on a Windows license.

Techies need to be aware and educated about these topics. Your tech cred is on the line if you begin to fanboy over anything without being objective. And as a reminder Microsoft sends out their employees out to sites like this who do NOT disclose who they receive paychecks to sway public opinion with obvious bias. These are giant corporations that care about making profits however they can and closed systems are the only way that they comprehend, an open internet does not benefit them.

9point6 said,

Every browser has adblock in some form (You can actually have it at network level with something like peerblock). And every browser has developer tools like firebug. admittedly IE's tools aren't as good, but then I personally prefer Chrome's tools over firebug any day.

The only reason I'd pick to use chrome now is because of google's profile syncing service - It's pretty cool to have all my bookmarks and settings on every computer I use.

IE9 Has tracking Protection which has many providers to chose from (Including Ad-Blocking). Google hates Ad Blocking and Tracking protection. You would not believe how Google makes money from you. This is why I would never use the Chrome browser. Microsoft has won me back. BTW, I love this add-on IE has for Spell Checking.

JAB Creations said,
Internet Explorer 10 STILL does not support HTML5 audio and video elements and since Microsoft is part of the MPEG-LA patent troll group that still wants to charge consumers and businesses a like to DECODE videos in browsers Microsoft has refused to support open codecs (and NATIVELY, user installs is NOT an excuse). This means continued IE-specific code AND IE specific FILES well in to the 2020s and probably the 2030s. At this point I no longer release IE specific code, these features simply won't work because IE doesn't support them.

It should be noted that Google has NOT come through on their promise to drop H.264 support in Chrome and it's been well over a year since they said they would. Apple's Safari also stands with the patent trolls on this topic instead of supporting a free and open web.

IE10 STILL does not support Server-sent DOM events, WebGL, classList, Web Notifications, Filesystem & FileWriter API, and the CSS resize property among many other things. Internet Explorer is STILL behind other browsers albeit not as severely as it used to be. It's still the browser that doesn't do what all the other browsers do and it's no where near being a reason to spend money on a Windows license.

Techies need to be aware and educated about these topics. Your tech cred is on the line if you begin to fanboy over anything without being objective. And as a reminder Microsoft sends out their employees out to sites like this who do NOT disclose who they receive paychecks to sway public opinion with obvious bias. These are giant corporations that care about making profits however they can and closed systems are the only way that they comprehend, an open internet does not benefit them.


IE9 supports h.264, your basing this BS on it not supporting webgl? and not supporting WebM? ... really? they are not W3C HTML5 either.

And IE9 is not ahead in everything offcourse. But the few things its not ahead in, you point them out as flaws? While there are dozens of things that IE9 kicks FF/Chrome/Opera's ass by a long shot is being ignored? ... really?