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Browser Updates for October 2006

By Kimberly Blessing | October 20th, 2006 | Filed in Browsers

Microsoft’s IE7 is out, Firefox 2 is on the horizon… and is there still room for Opera?

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From Microsoft: I’m sure that, by now, everyone has heard that the final release of IE7 is available. While only the English version is currently posted, other languages will follow soon. And while users currently have to go to Microsoft’s site to get the new browser, it will be available as an optional automatic update for XP SP2 users in November. (Here’s hoping that Microsoft will fix the security flaw already found before the automatic update. Read the MSRC’s report about the IE7 vulnerability.)

From Mozilla: Also released yesterday was Firefox 2.0 RC3. The final release is due by the end of the month.

The big question on many people’s minds is how will this affect browser usage percentages? After all, the release of IE7 comes at a time when IE’s market share is shrinking (from 93% in 2004 to 86%, source BBC).

Meanwhile, Opera Says It Can Still Compete In Browser Battle.

Your Replies

#1 On October 20th, 2006 12:20 am Devon replied:

I imagine IE 7 will create a bump up in IE usage for a short period before things fall back into place….IE slowly sliding down and Firefox slowly climbing upward. Although, that awful user unfriendly interface of IE 7 might just quicken IE downward some. If I were to take a guess, I’d say IE’s market share will be around 75% before the end of next year…probably before Firefox 3.0.

#2 On October 20th, 2006 12:34 am WaSP Member ccasciano replied:

Missed one Kimberly!

Camino this week released 1.1alpha1 which adds some long-time-wanted user features like spellcheck, feed discovery and single window mode to an already great Gecko / Mac browser. Info can be found at

As for IE7, I think the adoption over IE6 will get a fairly quick bump, but I don’t think it will change overall IE vs. the rest percentages too much — and it probably won’t do much to change IE5.5 and 5.0 install numbers which will continue to linger (with IE6 / non-XP joining them eventually).

#3 On October 20th, 2006 2:26 am » Blog Archive » Firefox 2.0 en el horizonte replied:

[...] [Vía The Web Standars Project]Ayer se publicó la RC3 del Firefox 2.0. Según parece la versión final estará disponible a final de este mes. Pero me parece que esa no la van a poner como actualización de Windows. [...]

#4 On October 20th, 2006 12:45 pm Graham replied:

I’ve just downloaded IE7 from Windows Update and it runs smoothly. Firefox is climbing up and i use that as my default on my system, only time will tell, but as of now Firefox is what i am using.

#5 On October 20th, 2006 10:23 pm Glenn replied:

Please validate your site now in W3C, YOur site has an error, just one error.. it didnt pass the XHTML Strict. :)

#6 On October 21st, 2006 9:51 am Andrew replied:

It validates now.

#7 On October 22nd, 2006 8:18 am Gérard Talbot replied:

Dear fellow colleagues,

I too believe that IE7 has an awkward (not intuitive, not within generally accepted UI design) and unfriendly user interface of IE 7. It even has bugs, regressions regarding its help/documentation.

I too believe that IE7 is disappointing. “They haven’t taken things seriously, and haven’t given the necessary resources to IE 7. They could have built a new rendering engine, but instead they used [the engine that debuted with] IE 4.” Hakon W. Lie (October 19th 2006,

IE7 still has no download manager. IE 7 has no improvements regarding bookmarking and bookmark management. IE 7 is very weak regarding development tools (script debugger) and add-ons (extensibility). Microsoft still does not have anything comparable to Apple (WebKit Bugzilla) and Mozilla when it comes to public, accessible bug reporting/feedback system: several people have publicly complained about their bug reporting/feedback system.

For several reasons, I believe IE market share will continue to diminish. If new security vulnerabilities/flaws are found, then such pace/trend may become more important (slope becoming more steep).

Overall, MSDN and Microsoft (generally speaking: all webpages) have not been able to even create a single webpage (new webpage or updated one) that pass markup validation test while using a strict DTD and while implementing clear separation of content from presentation. And that is true for any/all webpage written about IE7, MSDN webpages for content developers, etc.. This is a major and blatant-obvious contradiction regarding Microsoft and its pretense to support web standards. This issue is not just about web-standards-evangelization but it’s about showing and practising the standards in which you believe and preach about to begin with.

I even spotted CSS 1 bugs which still have not been fixed or are regressions from IE6.

After almost 10 years, Microsoft and its latest IE browser still can not render this webpage accordingly, as expected:

IE 7 fails 2 specific float tests in CSS 1 test suite (4.1.4 and 5.25b), and this, despite Chris Wilson claiming on August 10th 2006 in his blog
that IE7 pass the set of tests in the CSS1 test suite.

Since on one hand, everyone agrees that nothing and nobody is perfect and since on the other hand we all agree that IE browser could be better, then I say that, despite undeniable CSS improvements and security improvements, IE7 is nevertheless a major disappointment. People should still continue to choose and to prefer Opera 9.02 (or higher), Firefox 2.0 (or higher) and Safari 2.x over IE 7.

Gérard Talbot

#8 On October 22nd, 2006 12:47 pm Coward replied:

I can’t believe they “finished” this browser (and IE6, 5 years ago) and still haven’t finished support for HTML — that’s right, IE doesn’t support the most basic web standard. It has one element left out: the Q element.

If it had had that fixed, I would have recommended it — oh, well … back to persuading everyone to use standards-compliant browsers again.

#9 On October 23rd, 2006 1:13 pm Tom Hughes replied:

I agree with Gérard, if you don’t bother to declare a DOCTYPE on your product’s homepage (, I would infer that you are really not that concerned with standards.

#10 On October 24th, 2006 9:03 am Ivo Emanuel Gonçalves replied:

IE7 can’t still cope with the Q HTML tag. Mr. Gérard is surprised it can’t cope with basic CSS :)

#11 On October 26th, 2006 1:32 am La domo de karotoj » Kiuj TTT-legiloj estas pli bonaj replied:

[...] En lastatempa blogero Kimberly BLESSING skribis pri Esplorilo 7 kaj la baldaŭa eldonado de Fajrovulpo 2. Nu, Fajrovulpo 2 estas eldonita, do se vi ankoraŭ uzas Esplorilon kaj ne uzas eldonon XP de Vindozo, vi eble volu provi ĝin. Ĝi enportos en ĝin viajn legosignojn k.t.p. el Esplorilo. Vi povas aldoni al viaj legosignoj la TTT-ejojn, kiujn vi estas spektanta kaj poste spekti en Fajrovulpon ilin. [...]

#12 On October 26th, 2006 2:36 am chep replied:

IE7 is great when I compare it to firefox.

In firefox I can’t even get it to maintain download actions on my linux box.

Then I install a simple and most popular theme and the browser crashes 100% percent trying to add a bookmark. Now how does that feature bug get overlooked by someone? So I go over to the support pages and nobody is willing to actually address or is even concerned about the stability problem. Most of the concerns were about people explaining that the instability was in the theme. Well the themes may expose an instability problem that exist in firefox. So you have the inmates running the asylum. If the browser has critical failures on a simple feature like that then who cares if it renders some random blob of images and text properly? Not me.

#13 On October 27th, 2006 3:18 am Chris Hester replied:

@Gérard Talbot: The link you mention that fails in IE7 after 10 years is interesting. Firstly, the paragraph used in the demo does not have a closing tag. Secondly, IE doesn’t fail to add the padding. IE fails to expand the body to accommodate the padding. This can be seen by narrowing the browser window until the text spans onto 2 lines. You then see the padding is there.

If you try some other elements than STRONG though, IE does expand the body. B and I fail, yet CODE does not. Odd!

#14 On October 27th, 2006 3:53 am Dave Kinsella replied:

Is it just my configuration or is IE7 the only new browser (of the big three windows ones) that supports the “accesskey” attribute. It doesn’t seem to work on Firefox 2 or Opera 9?

#15 On October 28th, 2006 3:42 am zooplah replied:

@chep: The stability of a browser is hardly the concern of the Web Standards Project; after all, it’s not the Web Stability Project. First, make sure it’s not a problem on your end.

@Dave Kinsella: I haven’t used web-page access keys (as an author or a user) in ages, but it used to work in Gecko. I seem to remember that Opera requires a special key combination that eliminates the chances of interfering with the browser UI; maybe Gecko finally does the same. RTFM, I guess.

#16 On November 2nd, 2006 10:09 pm Britney Simpsons Blog » Browser Updates for October 2006 replied:

[...] Browser Updates for October 2006 [...]

#17 On November 25th, 2006 3:27 am Alice Pretchet » Browser Updates for October 2006 replied:

[...] Browser Updates for October 2006 [...]

#18 On December 17th, 2006 1:14 pm Kim’s Place » Blog Archive » Browser Updates for October 2006 replied:

[...] Browser Updates for October 2006 [...]

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