Computerworld blogger Barbara Krasnoff writes that after Microsoft's latest forced IE8 update, some users reported they could no longer access YouTube or other Flash-based sites. Of course, the solution was upgrading to a new version of Flash, as any moderately experienced user would know. But why, she asks, should Joe and Jane Consumer have to know this stuff? She adds:
...think about how most of us live with our automobiles. We're capable of filling the gas tank, and checking the air pressure and oil. But when you hear a mysterious noise, most drivers have no way of knowing whether they simply need new brake pads or whether the transmission is about to give up the ghost. Unless you're a home (or professional) mechanic, spending five hours trying to figure it out isn't really a useful option.
Microsoft, apparently, feels that it is. After convincing thousands of users that the company knows what's best for them, and that they should therefore accept the weekly updates that come their way, it pushed through an update that effectively interrupted the usefulness of their systems.
Couldn't have put it better myself. OK, I might have been a tad more sarcastic. But otherwise, she's spot on.
For months now, Windows Update has been nagging me to install a "high priority update," without which my computer may be in serious peril of being pwned by Eastern European cybergoons. (Of course, to even find that out I must run IE.) At the top of the update list: IE8 for XP. As if.
Admittedly, I did install IE8 on my Vista test machine, but only because I was willing to take one for the team. So far, no problems. Then again, I hardly ever use it. Because although IE8 is probably more secure than any other version of IE ever produced, it's even more secure to not use IE at all.
These days, when there's a plethora of browser choices available and seemingly a new one every other week, why should anyone use Internet Explorer when they don't have to? It's like what I told Tiny the other day: That's my forearm and I'll do what I want with it, thank you very much.
Did you switch to IE8? Had any problems? Post your tales of woe below or e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org.