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IE7: Redmond, we have a problem

December 10, 2006 01:38:24 +0200 (EET)

It's déjà vu all over again... In a fit of optimism, I let Windows upgrade to IE7 on my back-up machine. The result didn't exactly fill me with confidence:

Error on page: opener.document is null or not an object

(Image slightly edited for size: click to open original)

I know this happens to us all on occasion: bugs only appear when customers get their hands on products. Still, you'd think that at least the first intro pages would have been tested pretty thoroughly. And it's hard to find excuses for Microsoft: they have the resources, they wrote the OS, they wrote the app, and they wrote the page. The rest of us building web pages have to make do with just the last item.

Much has been written recently about the problems Microsoft are facing (bloat, Ballmer, brain-drain... and those are just the ones beginning with B! For a more humorous view, see here). I can't see them going anywhere soon, but with the release of Vista, Office 2007 and IE7 we sure get a good chance to examine what we think of them. Maybe people won't jump ship on Vista and Office, choosing just to stay with their current version for now, which will give Microsoft a chance to redeem themselves in the subsequent version. IE7, however, could be too little too late -- and if my first impressions are borne out, too badly executed.

I've not seriously considered another browser since moving to IE from Netscape, but even I'm now feeling more inclined to try Firefox than IE7. If Firefox 3.0 can stay on schedule and nail one more major feature over IE ("places"?), it might well have a shot at taking the lead in the browser wars.