It’s just a coincidence.

I know this may seem like I’m jumping on the bandwagon, but this is something I saw yesterday, and a certain blog reminded me of again today.

Complaining about and belittling the leader seems to be a worldwide pass time.  We all love an underdog, and to this end Microsoft predictably gets picked on all the time.  I’ve always maintained that whatever Microsoft does, they just can’t win.

(Unless you define ‘winning’ as ‘selling the most damned software, ever’)

Today my chosen topic is Internet Explorer.

Those who read from scratch will know that I use MyIE2, as I have no problems with the rendering capabilities of IE, it’s just missing two important features; pop-up add blocking and tabbed browsing.  People bitch about the lack of one, the other, or both all the time.

Queue Tech Report who have seen fit in their excuse for an informative article to criticise Microsoft for planning on implementing a pop-up add blocker in service pack 2.

Pop-up blockers are usually seen as positive, but in this case, they may do more harm than good. Having a pop-up blocker integrated into Internet Explorer will make it very easy for a wide range of mainstream PC users to block annoying pop-up ads, which should be great for Joe Sixpack in the long run. However, it’s unlikely that advertisers will sit idly by while the masses tune out pop-ups; advertisers may turn to more insidious ad formats that make pop-ups look innocuous.

So let me guess, it’s ok for MyIE2 to have it, for Avant Browser to have it, for Mozilla, Opera, Netscape etc, but if Microsoft dares dip their toe into the water…?

Now don’t get me wrong, the author might have a valid point, if pop-ups stop working then what will they resort next?  However I don’t think it’s particularly smart or constructive to start criticising Microsoft for implementing what is not only a good feature, but a feature that users have been crying out for.

What will the advertisers think of next?  Filler pages?  Too late.  Framed adverts?  Too late.  Adverts that follow you on the page?  Too late.  Quite frankly I think they’ve used all the god damned annoying techniques under the sun already.  We’re talking advertisers here, you think they’ve held a few of their cunning plans in reserve for a rainy day for when Microsoft implements pop-up blocking?

This really reminds me of someone commenting on Windows Update as “really needed because Microsoft software…”, but Linux’s apt-get as “makes it really quick and easy…”.

As a parting note, I’d also like to point out that IE currently has pop-up add blocking, however to be fair (and blunt) it’s crap.  It’s an inclusion list.  Add the site you don’t like to “restricted sites”, though I have a feeling it won’t stop all of the varieties of pop-ups.

.end get-a-fucking-clue rant