Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Loses Impact in the Web Despite Unfair Ballot Placements

Ballot



Summary: The "rigged" ballot with "mere IE shells" is not enough to defend the Web browser which broke the Web

THE deliberate incompatibility with web standards -- an incompatibility which Microsoft has encouraged over the years [PDF] -- still takes its toll.



Mary Jo Foley says that, according to Microsoft, "more than 2,000 major Web sites still not fully compatible with IE 8"

The bad news: More than 2,000 highly-trafficked Web sites are still not compatible with Internet Explorer 8 and require IE’s Compatibility View support to display properly. The good news: That is down from about 3,100 sites a year ago.


As expected, the 'Microsoft press' spins it and so do Microsoft Nick. They only speak about the half of the glass that's full. As we noted earlier this month, IE 6 expires and there is a "funeral" taking place shortly afterwards. To name some coverage:

Microsoft sends flowers to Internet Explorer 6 funeral

Microsoft sends flowers, card for Internet Explorer 6 funeral

Web wags stage IE 6 funeral

Microsoft marks death of IE6 with flowers

IE6 Laid To Rest. Pictures, Videos, And Flowers From Microsoft.

Microsoft sends flowers to Internet Explorer 6 funeral

Microsoft wants people to move to IE 8, thus the statements mentioned at the top. Rob Weir, who previously showed that Microsoft's browser ballot was rigged (either intentionally or not [1, 2, 3]), has more to say on the subject:

First, I’d like to thanks those who commented on that post, or sent me notes, offering additional analysis. I think we nailed this one. Within a few days of my report Microsoft updated their Javascript on the browserchoice.eu website, fixing the error. But more on that in a minute.

[...]

In the end I don’t think it is reasonable to expect every programmer to be memorize the Fisher-Yates algorithm. These things belong in our standard libraries. But what I would expect every programmer to know is:

1. That the problem here is one that requires a “random shuffle”. If you don’t know what it is called, then it will be difficult to lookup the known approaches. So this is partially a vocabulary problem. We, as programmers, have a shared vocabulary which we use to describe data structures and algorithms; binary searches, priorities heaps, tries, and dozens of other concepts. I don’t blame anyone for not memorizing algorithms, but I would expect a programmer to know what types of algorithms apply to their work. 2. How to research which algorithm to use in a specific context, including where to find reliable information, and how to evaluate the classic trade-offs of time and space. 3. That where randomized outputs are needed, that this should be statistically tested. I would not expect the average programmer to know how to do a chi-square test, or even to know what one is. But I would expect a mature programmer to know either find this out or seek help.


It remains a fact that several browser choices are still "mere IE shells".

Some Browsers In Microsoft Ballot Are Mere IE Shells Says Expert



After a complaint was filed with the European Commission by Opera Software company, Microsoft was forced to present its European users of Internet Explorer web browser with a ballot box that allows them a chance to replace IE with Firefox, Opera, Safari or any other browser on the list.


Using the Microsoft-sponsored Net Applications, which Microsoft boosters very much love pointing to, it is shown that Internet Explorer keeps losing market share.

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