You Don’t Need Admin Rights to Your PC to Use a Modern Browser

Google Chrome logo.
Image via Wikipedia

You Don’t Need Admin Access to Use a Modern Browser

As we all know, Internet Explorer 6 is completely obsolete. However, more than 1 in 10 web users are still using it.

Most of those users are forced to stay with IE6 by corporate policies. The government, especially, is notorious for providing systems that only work with IE6, and forcing all their users to stay with it.

Company web users everywhere are frustrated and upset by all this, especially as many of the external sites they visit no longer support IE6. But they don’t have admin access to their PCs, so they think they can’t use another browser. And so IE6 staggers on.

What many of these users may not realise is that neither Firefox nor Google Chrome need admin access for installation.

If you are a corporate user reading this in IE6, you could download and install Google Chrome or Firefox right now and start using it.

You can download Google Chrome here.

You can download Firefox here.

What’s more, both these browsers can be installed on your PC at the same time as IE6. So you can go on using IE6 for your old company applications that only support IE6, and use one of those modern browsers for everything else.

Be subversive! Use a modern browser today!

(Note: I haven’t suggested those corporate users upgrade to the current Internet Explorer version, because you can’t install the current version of Internet Explorer, which is version 9, alongside IE6. Also, you need admin rights to install IE anyway.)

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Geeks’ Corner: Internet Explorer 9

StatCounter: browser market share in Europe in...
Image by nitot via Flickr

Blue = Microsoft Internet Explorer, Green = Google Chrome

I have always conservatively stuck with Internet Explorer. Obviously IE6 is a piece of obsolete junk now (and was never very good, in truth) but IE7 and especially IE8 seemed very good – every bit as good as Firefox, which I use at work.

Since Microsoft have now released IE9 as a production offering, and I use Windows Vista, which it supports, I downloaded it yesterday. Microsoft promised better performance. Ha ha.

It runs like a dog.

It is full of trivial changes that appear to have been made simply to make it different, rather than to help users. Why did they move the favourites button from the left to the right, for example?

It is full of rough edges. There’s that irritating “back” button, that’s partially overlapped by the toolbar, for example. It looks like somebody worked out the dimensions wrong:

And when you click on a link or an item in your favourites list, of course it doesn’t respond immediately. But neither does it give you the “please wait” icon to show you the PC is working. It just sits there. Now did I click that link properly or not?

And there’s that horrible scaling that makes it default to 125% zoom, complete with fuzziness caused by the scaling. I tried for ten minutes to get it to default to 100%. Then I decided to RTFM (read the f—ing manual) and clicked on Internet Explorer Help.

It provided me with the extremely unhelpful message:

The topic you are looking for is not available in this version of Windows. For more information, try searching on http://www.microsoft.com.

But most of all, it runs like a dog. Probably on the six-core processors in the state of the art PC’s in the Microsoft offices in Redmond it runs beautifully.

But my PC has an AMD Athlon 64 single core processor. Definitely not state of the art, but not too shabby either. Everything else runs just fine.

But IE9 runs like a dog.

I tried to go back to IE8, but it just produced an error message saying that a later version had been detected on my PC.

So this blog post is being written in Google Chrome. It is well laid out and easy to use, and it just works. And it too runs like a dog. Except this time it’s a greyhound.

Microsoft have really messed up with IE9. A colleague at work calls me a “Microsoft fan-boy”. If even people like me can be driven away from IE like that, it has no future.

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Microsoft: “IE is a Legacy Product”

Never Internet Explorer
Image via Wikipedia

The BBC has a report on a new vulnerability that has been discovered in all versions of Internet Explorer.

Microsoft’s notification of the issue is here.

The notification tells you that Microsoft is working on a permanent fix, but in the meantime recommend that those concerned use a protection system called the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit.

Ignoring for a moment that wonderfully “Microsoft” name, if you follow the link, it sends you to a Microsoft page that explains this Mitigation Experience Toolkit.

Here’s what it says:

By deploying these mitigation technologies on legacy products, the tool can also help customers manage risk while they are in the process of transitioning over to modern, more secure products.

Ho-hum. Are Microsoft admitting that IE falls into that category then?

Woops.

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Let’s Kill IE6


Sign Up to the Petition – See Below

Anyone who has been involved in website development will know that one of the biggest issues they face is supporting Internet Explorer 6. It was introduced back in 2001, and is now completely obsolete. Microsoft have released two new versions of Internet Explorer since then, Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8. And there are other modern browsers available, like the new versions of Firefox, Safari and Chrome.

However, IE6 is still heavily in use by major corporations and government departments. Their applications have been optimised to work with IE6, with all its quirks and non-standard behaviour. Because those users are still on IE6, developers of websites are forced to add support for IE6 to their websites. This is a significant additional effort, and therefore acts as a drag on website innovation and even on our economy.

There have also been questions about Internet Explorer 6’s security, although the latest patches for it should keep users reasonably well protected.

Microsoft are not phasing out support for IE6 until 2014. That is too long.

There is a petition on the Downing Street website, asking the government to stop using IE6. If the government did stop using it, it would be a massive step forward, removing that critical mass of IE6 users and driving the process of other users upgrading to a modern browser.

The petition says:

“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to encourage government departments to upgrade away from Internet Explorer 6.”

I do urge you to go and sign it. Your www needs you!

Click here to sign the petition.

If you are still using Internet Explorer 6, click here to upgrade to Internet Explorer 8 for free.