Saturday, May 9, 2009

On Internet Explorer 8

A general remark up front:
I am highly suspicious of big business knowing everything about me. Microsoft is the last company I would want to know my interests, the last company I would trust with so much detail about myself. I could tell why but it would be far beyond the scope of this blog.

Microsoft has begun to deliver IE8 via their Microsoft Update service. Since your computer needs it to receive future updates from Microsoft there will be no way around it. But installing IE8 confronts you with a couple of questions when the new version is first started.

After agreeing to the installation you are presented with a screen where a whole bunch of "recommended" settings is offered. Please select Custom settings; only then you can influence these settings.

Here is my admittedly personal take on how to answer these questions.

  1. Custom Settings: Since I do not use IE there is no need whatsoever for this. And it is none of Microsoft's business to know what my settings in the browser of my choice are.
    A clear NO for me; here this means "Choose custom settings" and read on.

  2. Suggested Sites: I want Google's search results or the results of whatever search engine I am using for a special purpose. I do NOT want Microsoft's "suggestions".
    A clear NO for me.

  3. My default search provider is Google. If it is suggested don't change, if something else is suggested tell it you want to select it and later you will be presented with a web page to do just that.
    Up to your personal preference but for me Google rules.

  4. Updates for search providers: I don't want any "updates" to be downloaded without complete up-front information on what and why and without a choice of yes/no.
    A clear NO for me.

  5. Accelerators: Accelerating search? How? By Microsoft knowing everything I search for and then modifying the search results to what they think they know about me?
    In my book that is clear spy-ware behavior!
    A loud and resounding NO, that is "Turn OFF...".

  6. SmartScreen Filter: Transfers URLs (web site addresses) to MS. See above.
    For me a clear NO, that is "Turn off".

  7. Change default browser ? NO! I determine on my computer what web browser is my default browser. And don't import any settings from nowhere, snoopers.

  8. Web Slices: Can anybody please explain to me what this feature really does? I just can not get myself to believe MS' marketing speech arguments.
    I rather err on the side of caution and say NO.

  9. Internet Explorer 8 keeps your current settings: I do not use IE except for MS Update so this feature is worthless to me. Your mileage may vary.
    Up to your personal preference.

  10. Compatibility Settings: This seems to be something where MS gets caught in its past attempts to lure web site developers into using non-standard, MS specific functionality. If I stumble on a web site that requires IE then I want it to work like it would have in an older version of IE; so I want these kind of updates that will perpetuate MS specific behavior.
    This looks like I really want it.
Above list may neither be complete nor in the correct sequence; additionally MS seems to vary these questions; please be vigilant and read what is described in the explanations. If you have suggestions or questions please let me know via an email or a comment here in the blog. Thank you.

As usual I welcome comments and suggestions right here in the blog.

Thank you in advance.