Sunday, May 22, 2011

What's to like about Internet Explorer 9? Here's one thing!

I have written before about how Microsoft is a huge company, so huge and diversified that it's possible to praise and admire one part of the company or product line while badmouthing and hating another. Well, I have some words of praise for one part.

One of the things that has always bothered me about Microsoft's flagship products - their Office suite, their email offerings, and their Web access tools - is that their incessant advertisement of themselves and Microsoft gets in the way of using the software.

I mean, in every version of MS Word, I always felt like MS was pounding on my head saying "You're using MICROSOFT Word, a MICROSOFT product" with every keystroke. And Internet Explorer always screamed "M1CROS0FT 4 EVRRRRR!!!1!!".

Not anymore. Okay, MS Word is still full of itself - and so are all of its competitors. But Internet Explorer 9? Wow. MS took a cue from Google Chrome and made a singularly unobtrusive interface. Nowhere in the default window does it say "Microsoft," not in upper case or lower case. The only clue that you're using a Microsoft product is the default IE icon that shows up in a browser tab if the web page you're accessing doesn't have its own fav icon.

IE9 is also faster and more intuitive than its predecessors. It looks like the software gang might have done something right this time.

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