Is it time to give up on IE8?

I’m not familiar enough with browser development to know whether Microsoft’s IE8 refuses to play with Google Chrome.

Today, when I tried to visit the Feedbooks website using IE8, I got a blank screen and an error message indicating that Google Chrome had crashed. Google Chrome? Hmmm… I hadn’t opened Google Chrome, at least not knowingly. Uninstalling Google Chrome seemed like the easiest solution. Along with Google Chrome, I uninstalled Google Frame, since I didn’t know what it was, which is never a good reason for tampering with the programs installed on your computer. I know. Not only that, it didn’t help me access Feedbooks using IE8.

No big deal. I didn’t want to download anything from Feedbooks anyway; I was only looking for information. I could go on to other things, such as reading my RSS feed.

Google Reader is my RSS feed reader. For a while, I’ve noticed a strange, nearly undetectable redirect whenever I access Google Reader using IE8. Now, without Google Chrome installed, I can’t view the Google Reader site at all using IE8. Both Google Reader and Feedbooks have disappeared, as far as IE8 is concerned. Grrr… I am not amused by browser wars.

Any tech nerd will tell you that I shouldn’t be using IE8 in the first place, because Microsoft has refused to bring its browser into conformance with accepted Web standards, creating endless hours of extra work for Web designers and developers around the world who must attempt to create applications and websites that display properly across multiple, incompatible browsers. It’s a nightmarish waste of resources and time. The problem is that, at least the last time I did the research, some version of IE was the browser of choice for most users. My site statistics bear that out. I kept IE in mind when I designed my website, and I continued, until now, to use IE as my default browser. It made sense to view the Web through the same lens as most other users.

Today, if I want to see my RSS feed or Feedbooks or whatever else has, for whatever reason, disappeared from IE8’s view, I’ll be using Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, or AOL’s Netscape. Strike that. I refuse to use a browser portal that automatically plays AOL background music. It’s been so long since I used Netscape that I wasn’t aware it was no longer supported. Its homepage has become the AOL portal. The Netscape Archive refers users to Mozilla’s Firefox and Flock.

Mood: mildly irritated

Future hardware purchase: Apple iPad

Default browser: open to suggestions

[Updated on February 21, 2010] Opera is another decent browser that I forgot last week.

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