The browser war has gone too far. I came across this website yesterday that literally stopped me from accessing it, because I was using Internet Explorer.
Getting the facts out of the way, Internet Explorer 6 is very insecure and non-standards compliant, but IE6 SP2 and IE7 improves that dramatically.
So this administrator has enforced a server-side script that checks my browser identification for the words “Internet Explorer”, and then if found, redirect me to a page promoting Firefox. What he forgets is that I could be using any variants of Internet Explorer, IE7 in this case but could extend to any newer versions, some of which could be just as secure and compliant as Firefox, so should I still be blocked access from the site?
The administrator calls it a “boycott of IE”, but in reality, it’s a boycott of his users who use IE. Why the hell would you want to do that? Why would you prevent potential visitors from viewing your site just because his or her choice of browser is different to yours? If you want people to change, educate them, don’t force them. For any reasons possible, some users can only to use Internet Explorer due to technical or external reasons, should they be punished for something they don’t have control of? This is not so different from another form of prejudice we all oppose, discrimination.
On a side note, the administrator also notes
I’m doing this in retaliation to there (Microsoft’s) exploitation of power to bully flash user and promote their MS sparkle. It’s time that the Flash community stands up agaist this attack on us.
This is just plain stupid. Microsoft Sparkle is an user interface design tool, similar to Macromedia Director or Adobe Photoshop. Sparkle makes XAML (XML markup) for WPF/E, which enables Flash-like rendering capability on devices ranging from cell-phones to internet browsers, and if anything, it’s a direct competitor to Adobe Flex, not Flash. So Microsoft is hardly bullying the Flash user, in fact, they may even bundle Adobe Flash player in Windows Vista if Adobe allows them.
What a strange site.