Originally Posted by LovingSticky
That is not true at all.
IE6 was introduced in 2001, and at that time, it was an excellent browser. Microsoft introduced XmlHttpRequest, and gave birth to modern AJAX technologies (yes, Microsoft basically invented AJAX).
Take any other browser from 2001 and no modern 2009 website will work in it. IE6? Not always 100%, but it can cope with most of them.
Let's face it: IE6 from 2001 was so good people are still using it in 2009. That is not true of any other browser.
IE7, launched in 2006, was innovative as well - great UI, especially. With IE7Pro and Roboform is it a solid browsing and user experience.
IE8 has excellent core, microformats, indepedent threads for tabs (Microsoft introduced it before Google Chrome).
So, why some people hate Microsoft browsers? First, there is ActiveX. Great technology which makes it possible to run basically any code on your machine, which had also serious security implications (non IT-educated users clicking on "Allow" all the time, letting code that can do anything in). Second, there was a big gap between IE6 and IE7 launches, which made room for other browsers (namely: Firefox).
Firefox was slow, did not have ActiveX, UI was written in extremely slow XUL, did not even have proper name (remember Phoenix and Firebird?), but behaved similarly like IE6, and it was not from Microsoft. So people installed it. If you remember Firefox 1.0, it basically copied IE6 looks, tabs were an afterthought (stolen from Opera anyway), and poorly implemented. Still, there were no ActiveX controls, so people could not click on "Allow" and they (falsely) believed Firefox to be safer.
Now, IE8 is the best choice without any doubt. But latest Safari 4 looks promissing as well though.
You know I wonder if you have ever lifted a finger at trying to make standards compliant HTML/CSS. The point of having standards is that browser developers have a common set of rules that everyone can follow so dev's can use the same code and get the same output. There is NO bigger offender of proprietary junk, or just not following the rules than IE.
Active X is a bad idea almost all around. Its a security nightmare, and you are locking your applications to only windows users.
To go back to standards compliance, IE8 beta fails the acid3 test HARD, a tad better than IE7, but still fail. Some of MS .NET stuff doesn't even work right in IE... so I think you need to go back and rethink your argument there.
The reason why a lot of people still use IE is because of bad web devs/managers who think its ok to use bad web coding practices. MS did a good thing with Silverlight as far as concept and mostly in implantation. I have not had a chance to really dig into it yet.