IE versus FireFox

January 13th, 2007

The IE blog has reported that IE7 is the second most commonly used browser behind IE6.  Really?

Now, I use IE7 more routinely than firefox; however, it’s hard for me to swallow those numbers.  They do not display their hard numbers but they may be comparing IE against all the individual build numbers of firefox.

Across our network, here is the breakdown if you lump the relative build numbers of firefox together.

IE
6.0 37.1%
7.0 21.4%

FireFox
2.0.x 25.0%
1.0.x 16.5%

Being a technology site, we do probably have more FF users than other sites.  It is also interesting that firefox users are quicker to upgrade than IE users.

Either way, the competition is good.  FF2 and IE7 are leaps and bounds ahead of their earlier counterparts. 

Both IE7 and FF have icons that appear highlighted when a web site has a web feed. Hopefully, this “in your face” display will encourage more users to learn about and use RSS and ATOM feeds.

Interestingly enough, many webmasters have not updated their web pages to take advantage of this new autodiscovery feature. The code is certainly easy enough. Here is the recipe that describes how to do it:
IE7 / Firefox: Enable Live Bookmarks or Web Feeds for Your Web Sites

Microsoft has publically released the latest version of Internet Explorer. Here is the link to download it now. Users should also check out our current listing of IE7 tweaks and hints…

Link to Get Internet Explorer 7
Tech-Recipes IE7 Tips

Only these operating systems are supported:

  • XP SP2
  • XP Pro x64
  • Windows Server 2003 x64
  • Windows Server 2003 SP1
  • Windows Server 2003 ia64

If you already have an early version of Internet Explorer 7 installed, this new installation will remove your old installation first.

How to Master the IE7 Feed Reader

September 21st, 2006

The feed reader incorporated into IE7 steals from most of the excellent feed aggregators already out there. It is intuitive and natural.

Here is a brief introduction to get one started:

In IE7, click the star to open up the feed reader/favorites window.

Click the Feeds tab to view the feeds. Alternatively, you can just hit CTRL+J from anywhere in IE7 to jump to the feeds. Now, IE7 looks like most of the other feed aggregators out there:

By default, the feed reader window will close after you make your first selection. This is a painful default choice. Lock your feed reader window by hitting this button:

After the window is locked, moving from feed to feed is easy. Just click the feed and read. The RSS content will appear in the main IE7 window.

Additional tech-recipes posted about the new IE7 feed reader/aggregator will be linked here. The best submissions will receive instant swag. I’ll be posting some basic ones soon. Anybody want to step up the plate?

Addendum… Here are some of the first entries about the IE feed reader:

Even though many in the Microsoft camp have suggested that IE7 will be THE stimulus for the eventual explosion of RSS feeds, I had never believed it. 

RSS feeds to me are really about as anti-browser as you can get.  I have hundreds of web feeds that I scan each day.  I could never do that in a browser.  RSS feeds provide the raw content without the fluff.  Heaven!

Other than turning people off away from web browsing in general, I never bought this idea that IE7 would be the RSS savior.  Now, I believe I was wrong.  Ironically, it is all because of newsgator.

I have long been a fan of newsgator as a feed reader.  Its XP client is uberslick, it’s online system is good enough, and its smart searches are exceptional.  However, I have been having problems getting my newsgator serial code to work on my local newsgator client in vista.  Right when I was about to give up and contact support, I noticed that newsgator released a tray client that keeps a user’s newsgator feed subscriptions synced with IE7.

Why?  On his blog, Nick suggests reasons for this when he describes the release of the tool.  Now a user can get a free newsgator account and just sync to IE7 without ever giving newsgator a dime!  Always synchronized feeds across web and local client platforms for free?  Wow!

Without this tool I would have not considered IE7 to be my primary RSS client.  I was happy with newsgator, but now I realize that IE7′s feed reader is just as slick. I’ll keep my newsgator subscription for other reasons, but I can see that some users may no longer see a need to purchase the local newsgator client now! 

At least for now, I’ll continue to use the newsgator client on my IE6/XP setup.  However, when I migrate completely over to Vista, I may no longer have need for the newsgator client. 

As Nick as suggested, newsgator likely has bigger plans that just selling local rss clients.  I am intrigued to see what newsgator’s master plan is.

IE7 First Thoughts and Fixes

February 1st, 2006

When IE7 beta was released earlier this week, several friends of mine were quick to download it. For the most part they liked it; however, they are slowly hitting me with new questions about this updated browser. In typical tech-recipes style, I have answered some of these questions in our new Internet Explorer 7.0 section.

So far I am moderately impressed. I like the tabs a bit better than in firefox. It takes a little time to get comfortable with any GUI change, but that’s not too painful. The RSS/XML support is nice. The widespread fears of CSS-rendering wasteland have been largely been put to rest although some CSS issues still exist.

Firefox’s plug-in system is amazing, and I hope something similar comes out for IE7. I don’t miss firefox as much as I miss some of the unique abilities that certain plug-ins give me.

If you have IE7 hints, tweaks, hacks, please post them. We love giving away gifts for such things. If you have an IE7 issue, we’ll try to help you through it.

Remember, if all else fails, just uninstall the IE7 beta and wait for the next version to roll out.