Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Microsoft Arrogance

I had seen rumblings in various forums that the new Internet Explorer 9 caused problems for some websites so I thought that I had better install it for myself in order to check mine. The installation process itself was alarming. A window came up to say that various programs that included system functions were in use and had to be closed. I agreed, while making a mental promise to myself that if this f***s up my computer then I'm switching to Linux for good!

I also saw my security software disabling itself. If any other program from any other source did that I would bail out quick. It really is sheer arrogance on the part of Microsoft to expect users to allow an installer to do things that security common sense says it shouldn't, just because the software came from Microsoft. I wonder how long it will be before the malware guys set up fake IE9 downloads which exploit the knowledge that the setup disables security to load bad stuff on a computer?

After the install was finished the computer had to be restarted. Windows just loves being restarted. I wonder how many millions of hours of productivity are lost every year waiting for Windows to restart after an update? But I was now ready to try Internet Explorer 9.

The first thing I spotted is that the embedded APRS maps from on my website and also the WOTA website no longer work. Instead of the expected map you get a message box that says: "Minimum usable map size is 200x100. Currently: 550x0." This is something that has worked on every single browser on every computer platform until now. It is another example of Microsoft arrogance to release a browser that is incompatible with everything that went before, knowing that because so many people use their lousy browser website developers will have to change their sites to make them work with Internet Explorer.

On my QTH Information page where I had an embedded map from Google Maps showing an aerial view of the neighbourhood centered on my house, the map is replaced by a # and a pop-up panel appears at the foot of the page to say "Internet Explorer has modified this page to help prevent cross-site scripting." I have no idea what that's all about. I guess I'll just have to dump the maps.

I gave up writing software except for my own use because Microsoft made it impossible for self-taught amateurs like myself to write programs that work on all the different versions of Windows. Now it seems they are trying to make it impossible for self-taught amateurs to create web pages. Why can't they keep things simple, and if something worked why did they have to break it? Perhaps it's time to reinvent those little badges that people used to put on websites in the 1990s, only this time the badge would say: "This website works best in anything other than Microsoft Internet Explorer."
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