I admit it. I like IE. I don’t care about jumping through hoops to get some obscure CSS functions to work properly — I just don’t see the need to use them. And if a line is off a little between IE and Firefox or Safari, it doesn’t usually look bad, just a little different. That doesn’t bother me. Internet Explorer is faster than any other browser on windows. Sure, that’s because it’s embedded in the OS. I don’t care. It’s faster and it works perfectly fine on 99.9% of the web. But it doesn’t have tabs, and it doesn’t have mouse gestures, and that just sucks.
But IE is just a shell for the IE engine… and anyone can write a browser that uses it. One of my coworkers wrote “MikeScape” in delphi, an IE wrapper with no controls except a close button and a print button, and right click disabled — when employees use his desktop application and need to access any of several online services (credit reports, etc), he can launch it in MikeScape and they can do what they need to do… and only what they need to do. Very cool. No tabs there, of course.
Fortunately, there are several tabbed browsing wrappers for IE. CrazyBrowser is one. I like it fairly well, but there were some minor annoyances (for example, it doesn’t support the Google Toolbar). The one I’m using now is called MyIE2. It has tabbed browsing with a nice feature to close the tabs simply by right clicking on a small red “x” on the right edge of the tab. It has mouse gestures. It supports the Google Toolbar, though some versions seem not to support the popup blocking part of it (presumably a bug they introduced with the last update and are fixing). And it can be skinned. There are a couple of nice safari and OSX themes so I don’t miss my mac too much. It has a bunch of plugins which mostly suck (In my opinion, of course), but there’s also a ‘light’ version which contains only the popup and ad blocker (which are too restrictive for me, they even block regular links that have target=”_blank” I think), and you can turn them off. All in all, it’s much nicer than standard IE. If you’re on windows and like IE, or even occasionally have to use IE, give it a try.