Your Ancient Internet Explorer Is Wasting Everyone's Time And Money

The New York Times' spectacular multimedia feature, "Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek", is incredible. The elegant design and tasteful extras only contribute to the gripping narrative. It's everything we've been promised about the journalism of the future. But if you're looking at it on Internet Explorer 8, you're doing it wrong.

Here's the thing: Despite being three years, and two versions old, IE8 is still a hugely popular browser because people just refuse to get with the times and use something modern. It's a big problem, and the story behind "Snow Fall" shows why. In this Q&A on Source, multimedia producer and designer Jacky Myint reveals that an entire person on the project was dedicated to making the feature run on Microsoft's inferior offering.

From the beginning we made the decision to not offer the exact same experience across all browsers/devices. This allowed me to focus on the main experience in the more modern web browsers while my colleagues focused on different experiences on other devices or older browsers. Josh Williams worked on the iPad/iPhone/touch experience while Jon Huang worked on IE8. We each had to figure out the best experience for the respective browsers/devices we were focusing on and work within their limitations.

A whole person dedicated to making an dumbed-down product to run on an outmoded browser! It makes us wonder: if you're not willing to upgrade your browser, do you really care about multimedia enough for this outrageous resource expenditure? Do you deserve it? [Source]



    I really, really don't like to say this, but IE is actually a lot better now, and in some ways better than chrome (which I'm using now)

    Oh no then to the replies.

    Last edited 04/01/13 10:53 am

      they are talking about IE8, are you saying IE8 is better than Chrome?

        Only if by chrome you mean chroming and thats what youve been doing before you start using IE8...

    "Microsoft’s inferior offering."
    that really just shows the bias which is present in your writing towards Microsoft - IE10 is the current version! You can't call IE8 an inferior offering from Microsoft when it's not what they are offering anymore!

      Did you even read the entire article? It was referring to the fact that a lot of people are still using IE8 and refuse to upgrade; nowhere does it state that IE8 is the latest version.

        Yes, I did - and I never said that the article was suggesting that IE8 was the latest version - I was referring to the fact that the author uses the phrase "Microsoft’s inferior offering." when, in fact, IE8 is not at all what Microsoft is offering, they are offering IE10

          Did Microsoft make, and then offer, IE8 at some point?

            Offering is present tense in the context of the sentence. It's nitpicking, but the sentence could have been worded better.

              Let's say, in ancient times, a druid may have left something to his gods on an altar. It might not have been as good as his brother's. So it was "the druid's inferior offering". The offering, which was a bunch of bones, was discovered by archaeologists today.

              The word 'offering' is used the same there as in the article's sentence ("Microsoft’s inferior offering"). Yes, it's present tense. Does that make the druid, and his act of offering, now appear in present time? The druid would be bewildered, to say the least.

              Or do you believe the archaeologist referring to it as 'the druid's offering' is incorrect? What grammar structure should he or she instead use?

    As an "IT Guy" myself I know the main reason people kept IE8 was because of plugins/addons that didn't work on newer/better browsers, things like Telstra phone systems and banking/insurance. But then I suggest for multimedia-esk type things just to run chrome on the side because its constantly up to date :)


      I'm in the IT dept at a private school, and only recently (read: a year or so ago) we started deployment of IE9 for staff and students. Admin staff in particular ran into all sorts of quirky problems with IE9 initially, prompting a long term rollback. It'll be a while before we even consider IE10.
      We moved toward deploying both IE9 and Firefox (with regular updates) to suit both needs.

    Pointless article, I use Chrome, but where the comparison to anything ? IE is not that bad.

    Isn't ie 8 the latest version if you still run XP as 9 is only available for 7 & 8

      Correct! Which brings up the problem of people still using XP!

    As a web developer, I do all my browsing and main testing in Firefox and my experience is...
    - everything works in Firefox
    - most things work in Safari and Chrome ( which are quite similar )
    - a lot of things dont work in IE.

    Developers often have to include specific code in their pages that are referred to as 'IE Bug fixes'. Even simple things like displaying .png images were a problem with IE for a long time. With HTML 5 and many new javascript tools now available, IE simply doesnt seem to be keeping up with the other browsers. 10 years ago IE was the dominant browser, but not any more and as a result many developers can probably justify not developing for IE. After all, why would you deliver an inferior product and spend more time creating it, just to satisfy less than 10 percent of a declining user base ?

    I just opened my default work browser, we run XP and IE8 (which was only recently installed/upgraded)

    IE10 is fine, IE8 is ... well it's had its time. MS is a lot bigger than Mozilla, and if they really want full BC with things that work in older versions of IE they can make it happen. It doesn't seem that important to them, so I'm sure they don't care if you want to move to another browser. At least they're not forcing you to use it as the default (lookin' at you, iOS).

    You're correct from a grammatical sense but I think the real suggestion is that the phrasing in context is incorrect.

    Generally when you talk about a companies 'offering' it is in the context of comparing it to a similar product released at a similar time, or against the latest releases of similar products. Especially in the context of a tech blog website that does reviews. Which is perhaps why he used that phrasing as it would be more common in a tech blog writer's phrasing lexicon.

    In this article they are comparing IE8 to new browsers, even IE10 and in this context to call it 'Microsoft's inferior offering' I agree with the original complaint that something is off, it is wrong for the context and audience.

    I think I would write it as 'Microsoft's now, well and truly, superseded offering'.

    .....Using Chrome always sounds like you're sniffing paint.

    VERY late to the game on this one, but came across this article while researching for the company I work for. What people don't understand is that it doesn't matter what you're company runs, it's about what your audience/customers/clients run.

    So yes, if the bulk of your audience is using IE8 then build it for IE8 and progressive enhancement for modern browsers (remember progressive enhancement and graceful degradation? those are for this problem).

    If the bulk of your audience is on modern browsers, and your company is still on IE8 (or as it is here where I work, IE7) then do what you should be doing and present the facts and pros and cons - "It will take x amount of time, money and resources to make an IE8 compatible version is this acceptable?" This *should* spark a conversation on what can be done, what the realities are, what's more important, what the goals are, etc.

    I did this exact same thing and, surprisingly, the company I work for is making a change in its' priorities and how to properly staff IT so that we can modernize our Win7 machines (yes, Win7 running IE7 - you read that right).

    Most of the time it boils down to people (stakeholders, COs, etc) just don't understand the problem or that there is even a problem. It's our job as web developers and web designers to educate them.

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