Microsoft Marketing Strikes Again

We, of course, have laws about truth in advertising.  However, these laws become useless when one considers that most often advertisers and marketers actually say nothing at all (or at least as close to nothing as possible).

For instance, Internet Explorer 8 was recently unleashed upon the public.  This is the first version of IE which passes the second Acid Test (go here to take the test in your browser).  This is commendable.  Let’s give them a little round of applause.  Ok, that’s enough.  After all, Opera, Safari, and Firefox have been compatible for a very long time (and at least Opera 10 has nearly passed the third test–just need to get the animation smooth and they are done).

Don’t get me wrong, I still think IE is a crappy browser.  (And I hate the click it makes whenever you click a link—”click”, yes I know, I clicked the link!)  But I did get a fine chuckle out of the marketing spin they placed on, really, their passing of this second test.

You see, they have been allowing and encouraging bad code for so long that many Web pages were written badly in order to function in IE.  It is the most popular browser no one has to choose.  So, their crappy browser was rendering all this bad code nicely and was not able to manage the good code.  They had a strong motivation not to pass the second test as they knew this would break many functional pages (or, more aptly, disfunctional pages), so let’s give them a hand for taking the brave step of passing the second acid test.  Oh, never mind; we already did that.

Anyway, as one installs IE 8 a dialog arises upon which I just had to comment and here is that screen shot:

IE 8 Talks About Compatibility
IE 8 Talks About Compatibility

The “Compatibility View updates” represent a mode in which IE 8 will render pages as though it were still IE 7 or earlier.  So the phrase “helps make websites designed for older browsers look better in Internet Explorer 8” really ought to read “helps make Web sites designed for older versions of our browser look better”.

Even calling it “Compatibility View updates” is a whole lot of nothing.  Compatible with what?  Updates?  What?  How about “Legacy IE Engine Code”?

I’m with Bill Hicks on this one: you marketing people—just stop.  No, really: Just Stop.


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