So I wasn't immensely impressed with my newly installed copy of Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2. It's shiny and nice, and has a few nice features like tabs and feed support, and it's attempted to make security better. All good things, you'd think.
Then you look at the ugly positioning of the address bar above the other menubars and no way to change it. The weird placement of control icons on the far right that you can't control in any way, can't move, can't touch… Overall there's a fairly nice feel to it but the level of rigidity is disturbing. As it's only a Beta I wouldn't be concerned if I wasn't fairly certain things aren't going to change.
Then there's that irritating Information Bar that comes up every time I load up a tab, moaning at me that I don't have my security settings at the recommended defaults. I'm told to "Fix My Security Settings…" with no option to have IE just shut the hell up. I know what I'm doing; I want certain things to run without warning because I know where to go on the web and where to not go.
It's the same old story.
"Power Users" don't like to be told that their settings are "wrong" or "broken". If I've changed the security settings away from the bog standard defaults it's because I *want* to. Because I have a reason to. I don't even need a good reason to: it's my reason and it's my browser and that's the end of it.
Reminding me constantly is annoying, and thinking that it's the right thing to do is so Microsoft it really drives me up the wall. This is my browser, not theirs.
"Standard Users" who don't know about ActiveX or scripting probably should be encouraged to make their browser as safe as possible. Fine. And yes, possibly this is the best way to do it.
Essentially, though, the nag takes away the practical ability to customise security settings. There should DEFINITELY be a "don't ask me again" option, even if it's just in the security options so that "simple users" shouldn't be fiddling around in there.
That should suit everyone. And please, please, Microsoft… don't tell me my settings are wrong. That's like when I opt to disable Windows Firewall in SP2 (because I have a router taking care of that, or for whatever reason I personally choose) and Windows constantly beats me over the head telling me that what I'm doing is wrong. Sure, make it clear that it might not be wise. But stop telling me off. Thanks.
It's stories like this which are why I will never use IE, and why "Standard Users" will never use Firefox. And annoyingly so, it's why I will probably end up using Linux whilst "Standard Users" will get their prize: our dear, misled friend, Windows.