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Stop sucking on Internet Explorer 8

Written by Gordon Fecyk, 6/10/2009

Mitel had ten months to test their browser-based applications with Internet Explorer 8.

June First comes along, and they're treating IE8 like it's the next Conficker C.

JUNE FIRST CAME AND WENT with the introduction of Internet Explorer 8 to the Windows Automatic Updates stream. And right on the heels of the announcement, a vendor sends a dire warning:

We have been made aware that Internet Explorer 8.0 (IE8) is not supported at this time by any Mitel applications.
We bring this to your attention because Microsoft has pushed the update for IE8 to their weekly updates. So at this time we recommend that you do not install IE8.

Mitel makes a popular line of IP-telephones and telephony servers such as the 3300 ICP. I deal with such a device, and you can guess my reaction to this dire warning... how do I put it politely...


Microsoft released beta editions of Internet Explorer 8 to the public in late August 2008. This means Mitel had ten months to test their browser-based applications with the new browser. June First comes along, and they're treating IE8 like it's the next Conficker C.

What was Mitel doing for ten months? Sticking their collective heads in the sand thinking, 'if we can't see it, it isn't coming?!'

If Mitel published an announcement like that about the next release of Firefox, they would guarantee their place on several blacklist sites. When Mitel breaks Firefox, it's Mitel's fault. When Mitel breaks Internet Explorer, it's Microsoft's fault.

OF COURSE THIS ISN'T EXCLUSIVE to Mitel. Microsoft had to introduce a "compatibility mode" to Internet Explorer 8 so webmasters can make their broken web pages work, and they even publish a regularly updated list of broken sites. Essentially, twenty-six hundred popular sites have webmasters that don't use the W3C Validator.

Oddly, this is the same approach Microsoft is taking to Windows 7 and broken apps that don't even work with Windows XP. By taking this step in both products, they are acknowledging, "yes, we know developers suck and we're going to nursemaid them."

Most will argue that Microsoft caused this mess, so it's up to Microsoft to clean it up. The problem is they cleaned it up and the cry babies are still wearing diapers. My advice to the cry babies: Stop sucking on Microsoft's left nipple, and start eating some solid code.

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