Internet Explorer is Microsoft's integrated web browser. Known by its acronym IE, the program is referred to as an integrated web browser, rather than as a standard web browser, because of the heavy reliance between it and Microsoft's Windows operating system. IE components are used in Windows' file manager, help browser, integrated email client, and many other programs. Also, Internet Explorer has access to most of the Windows operating system's core files and functions. While marketed as a feature of previous versions of IE, this integration has been the subject of fierce criticism of the browser, as it introduces a host of stability and security problems.
Internet Explorer has become notorious for its disregard of standards compliance and its horrible security record. While IE 3.0 was the first major browser to support CSS, the rest of its innovative features were proprietary Microsoft developments. As these features were rushed to market, they were implemented long before the W3C had the chance to standardize implementation details. Often, the recommended implementation of then-proprietary features was not compatible with Microsoft's development (or Netscape's, for that matter). As Microsoft developed its Frontpage web-authoring software which produced the non-standard code required to implement Microsoft's innovations, the company could not change Internet Explorer to conform to web standards while Frontpage did not. Thus, a tradition of non-standards compliance was instituted within IE development. Although standards non-compliance was not reason enough to interest people in finding web browser alternatives, IE's security record has caused many IT managers and even home users to seek alternatives. Internet Explorer has more security notices than all the other web browsers combined, and the severity of IE security issues is often very severe, given the tight integration between the web browser and the Windows operating system.
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