Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

IE7: Were they ready?

Category: IE

Over at they did some analysis on the impact of the IE7 release and whether “the web was ready for it”.

On Friday 20th October – just two days after IE7 was released – we kicked off a short internal study. We fired up two machines and compared the homepages of all one hundred FTSE 100 companies in both IE6 and IE7. Were these companies ready for IE7? Were their sites bent badly out of shape? Or has this all been a big fuss over nothing? (Y2K bug anybody?)


Thirteen of the FTSE 100 homepages that we tested were broken in IE7 – although not significantly so. Problems ranged from warped page layouts (Alliance and Leicester) to small presentation glitches (Hanson).

It’s worth pointing out however that the general lack of adherence to web standards amongst the FTSE 100 companies may have insulated them somewhat from IE7’s various bugs and glitches (IE7 tends to struggle most with standards-compliant sites – particularly those using hacks and filters to achieve decent presentation in IE6). Given that most sites aren’t standards-compliant however, we think our results are pretty representative.

Generalising our findings to the internet as a whole – which is admittedly of dubious meaning and therefore should be taken with a pinch of salt – suggests that there are around 12.7 million websites in need of a little TLC as a result of the introduction of IE7.

The scary part is the mention of standards. The last thing we want is for people to stay away from standards compliant behaviour.

Anecdotally, I have been pleased with how IE 7 has rendered my recent projects. There were a few parts of some design on my last project that started to work perfectly in IE 7, so no hacks were needed.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 9:02 am

3.3 rating from 20 votes


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Spellcheck anyone? Just copy the title correctly! How hard can that be?

Comment by Joost — November 2, 2006

You might want to check your headline grammar.

Comment by Zach — November 2, 2006

Joost: Spellcheck? This headline is an example of why NOT to rely on spellcheck. Everything’s spelled correctly.

Comment by Fletch — November 2, 2006

Maybe the headline is some sort of all-too-clever pun…?

Comment by CrackWilding — November 2, 2006

Where you ready to publish this article?

Comment by Michael — November 2, 2006

Fletch, don’t get too cute! Sure, you’re right, but I’m only Continental European… Please forgive me :D

Comment by Joost — November 2, 2006

Why do people keep mocking Y2K and saying it was nothing? The only reason it was no big deal was because of the immense effort spent preparing for it. Please, give respect where respect is due.

Comment by Matt Nuzum — November 2, 2006

So… anybody got anything worth saying on the topic? or you all going to be petty about the small spelling error.

oh and show us your perfect websites!

Comment by Amused — November 2, 2006

I had a customer install MSIE7 the other day and every time he launched it, it would crash his computer. Totally locked up and had to use reset to recover. We tried a bunch of things to get it to work, and it just would not work. (XPSP2) So we ended up uninstalling it, and MSIE6 worked just fine. I told him to use FireFox instead. But we all know how hard it is to get most people off MSIE. Total waste of 2 hours of my time.

Comment by Phill Kenoyer — November 2, 2006

My experience has been the opposite: I see sites broken because IE7 is now more standards-compliant. A good example is the BASE tag which IE7 now enforces to spec but which breaks a ton of sites (

Comment by pwb — November 2, 2006

“IE7 tends to struggle most with standards-compliant sites – particularly those using hacks and filters to achieve decent presentation in IE6”

So, really, serving IE7 all of the IE6 hacks and filters is the problem, not IE7’s standards compliance.

That jibes with my experience anyway. I’m working on retrofitting a few sites that make extensive use of the underscore hack and I’m using conditional comments to serve up an ie7 specific sheet. More often than not, all I’m doing is pasting in the original, standards based CSS rule into the ie7 sheet.

Comment by rob — November 2, 2006

IE7 was the primary reason I converted from IE to FireFox. It almost feels like a Java Swing app, only slower. :)

Comment by Jack Slocum — November 2, 2006

i agree with you man. The whole article didn’t really seem so harsh until it got to the “standards” part.
So far, IE7 has been playing nice with me. The page rendering is so much better than IE6, although they still haven’t fixed the freaking hover in css.

Comment by Simon Jia — November 2, 2006

Ajaxian: IE7: Were they ready?

Are you ready for Internet Explorer 7? I am, I just installed firefox 2.0! Woot woot! IE 7 is pretty cool though, and like Microsoft, they copied the tabbed browsing system other that other browser adopted first. IE 7 seems to be much quicker, and has …

Trackback by JRB Technology — November 2, 2006


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Trackback by smirxgncvsm — November 14, 2006

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