I’ve held off doing so for some months now, but, alas, the time came to install Internet Explorer 5 for Mac. Before you break down in despair, it’s only because I’m working on some PHP to advise people to upgrade to another browser such as Safari, Firefox or Opera, and wanted to know what its user agent was like.
In fact, I’m not the first to do something like this. No, Microsoft’s MSN division beat me to it – the MSN.com home page as a message at the top of the screen that says:
Why does MSN look like this? Your browser cannot find our style and presentation information and as a result may not display the page properly. You are welcome to use the page as is, or upgrade your browser to its latest version which may address the problem. […] If you are using Internet Explorer for Mac, we recommend that you use another browser to have an optimal experience on MSN.
No, really. Alas, there’s no link to a site that would let a user download another browser, which is a bit of a shame as the MSN Search results for ‘another browser’ aren’t all that helpful. Google is also a bit of a letdown but Yahoo does have some better results.
As it is, I’m not the only one to notice this. On CNet’s Apple News Blog, Scott Ard saw the same thing when searching Google for ‘msn explorer mac‘ – MSN.com’s message appears as the second result. There is no MSN Explorer for Mac as the MSN client for OS X was ditched earlier this year, despite only being launched in 2002.
Having used MacIE for a few minutes I’m not surprised that it is falling out of favour. As well as not having been updated in two years and not working properly with a number of sites (especially those employing “Web 2.0” features), the interface is also pretty ugly. It’s also immensely slow in comparison with every other browser I have to hand on OS X.