04 October 2006

Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7

Internet Explorer is a horrific, but nevesary, part of my computing life. I need it as a backup for when sites do not support the ultimate standard, FireFox. However, it does suck a crapload. In an attempt to have a nicer time of it, I downloaded IE7.

Whoops. This sucks in whole new ways. The menu bar does not display by default, and when it is enabled it defaults to below the Navigation Bar. Icons on the Command Bar are too small. The tabs system isn't too hot either, with a tab displayed even with only one open. There is a new Tab button in the Tab bar, but I don't really think that adds too much.

Further, Back/Forward remain on the left of the address bar but Stop and Refresh are now on the right. This is officially stupid. It might not sound like much, but it becomes damn annoying. Also, the buttons all look different, almost like they are from different GUIs. Stop, Refresh and Search are all square with small icons, whilst Back and Forward are just circular widgets with arrows in them. The Command Bar buttons look fairly similar to IE6 equivalents from what I can tell.

What I can't understand is why Microsoft doesn't follow its own human interface guidelines. Office uses a different colour for the menu are and has fully moveable bars. Admittedly, moveable bars have a place in office applications, but Microsoft's inconsistency and shoddy IE7 UI has me wondering, just who the hell designs Microsoft software?

Feel good,
Jens

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