I find it's best to live by a few simple rules. I don't micturate into the wind. I don't mix tequila with red wine (not any more, anyway). I never get into arm-wrestling matches with fat guys named "Tiny."
Here's another rule to live by: When you're the biggest PC software company in the known universe and you have to bribe and/or force people to use your products, said products are probably not very good.
Which brings us to today's screed about Internet Explorer 8.
As The Register snarkily informs us, Microsoft's Australian branch is offering a $10,000 prize for users to switch to IE8. Actually, anyone can enter the Ten Grand is Buried Here contest, but the Web site where the loot is "buried" is only visible if you're using IE8.
Hey, if you want to make your browser choice based on an infinitesimal chance of winning 10 large, good on ya, mate. But many users are having IE8 foisted upon them unawares, and with crappy consequences.
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For example: One day last month Cringester D. L. discovered when he logged onto the Net, he couldn't get to his e-mail or view Web pages. He then enjoyed several quality hours on the phone with Dell tech support, which determined the cause: His daughter had clicked a button and updated the browser to IE8 without telling him. The support tech logged onto his computer remotely and downgraded it to IE7. Problems solved.
Windows Secrets' Dennis O'Reilly also notes that IE causes big problems on some PCs. He quotes a letter from a tech-savvy reader:
I have a computer repair business. In the last two weeks, I've had to fix three XP laptops after the installation of IE 8 made them inoperable. In each case, after the update, the desktop on each of these computers was blank except for the desktop wallpaper.
It didn't matter whether you started the system in normal or safe mode, all desktop items -- including the taskbar -- were missing. The only way I could get them back was by using one of my bootable utilities that would allow me access to the restore points....
Bottom line: There are big issues in Internet Explorer 8 land.