Well, is Internet Explorer (IE) a browser? The answer is ‘No’ and if Microsoft is to be believed, it’s a compatibility solution for enterprise customers to deal with legacy sites that should be updated for modern browsers.
According to Chris Jackson, Microsoft’s worldwide lead for cybersecurity, it is but natural to use Internet Explorer for all situations as it is the way out and all sites are designed for Internet Explorer.
In his blog ‘The Perils of Using Internet Explorer’ Chris Jackson argues that it’s like a deliberate decision to take on some “technical debt” and companies are willing to pay for extended support for legacy software.
Jackson stresses in his article that one should use Internet Explorer (IE) selectively and he talks about the IE11 which limits the use of IE 11 to select cases.
Speaking about the compatibility factor of IE, Jackson says, “Internet Explorer is a compatibility solution. We’re not supporting new web standards for it and, while many sites work fine, developers by and large just aren’t testing for Internet Explorer these days. So, if we continued our earlier approach, we would end up in a scenario where, by optimizing for the things we have, we would end up not being able to use new apps as they come out.”
The blog further goes on to add that IE was optimized for simplicity at the expense of technical debt. “Looking all the way back to Internet Explorer 6, the very concept of ‘standards mode’ vs. ‘quirks mode’ comes from this ‘easy button’ approach,” he adds.
Jackson further notes that as the IE began supporting more standards, Microsoft realized that there was a risk of breaking the applications written for an older version of the standards. “It meant, for sites in the internet zone, it would default to IE8 standards, but, for sites in the local intranet zone, it would default to IE7 standards,” concludes Jackson.