Internet Explorer 7 (7th November 2006)
I decided to install IE7 on the upstairs and downstairs computers now it’s available from Microsoft Windows Update. Seems alright for the most part but the upstairs computer has hung twice:
- Once while logging out from my account.
- Once when shutting down from Mum’s account.
In the latter case, there were a couple of error messages from Adobe saying the application failed to terminate or something. I clicked OK to both of them and it got to the blank blue screen after hiding the current desktop, but didn’t progress any further. This had better not become routine.
I’m very surprised with how n00bish the user interface is in the final release is! I thought that was just what they were using whilst it was a beta. Calling it n00bish is no understatement. Saturated blue circles for Forward and Back; crazy popdown menus which feel like a novice coder’s First App. And the low-end gradient effects on the tabs? Plus, some parts are really unresponsive, such as the updating of the statusbar when mousing through the Favorites [sic] menu.
It feels like a badly lumped together collection of hacks rather than a properly implemented frontend. I’m shocked.
I hope they see sense in version 7.1 for Windows XP do the following:
- Uses the XP theme by default.
- Do away with those stupid popdown toolbar menu widgets.
- Make the conventional menubar visible by default.
- Make the menubar display above the address bar by default.
- Return to the green buttons for Forward and Back, with the text label displayed for Back by default.
But these are exactly the comments on the IEBlog, which have been echoing around the blogosphere for months. Microsoft have usability labs and all their operating systems have distinctive conventions for interface design. How did the IE team manage to ignore all this wisdom without a higher-up telling them off?
Internet Explorer is not a geekish plaything like their PowerToys are. This program has to be used by about one billion internet users. It should follow the conventions of the operating system it runs in.