Microsoft Still Lagging On Browser Error Messages

Both browser platforms have their ardent supporters, but in many feature areas the latest releases of Internet Explorer and Firefox (easily the two most popular browser choices amongst Lifehacker readers) are pretty much even. But there's one weird area where Microsoft lags behind: error messages.

I was very struck by the contrasting errors the two browsers produce when you try and access a bookmarked file on your local drive that's since been moved or deleted. Here's Firefox's effort, which recognises the problem is likely to be a transferred file:


Yet faced with the same situation, Internet Explorer immediately concludes that there's something wrong with your Internet connection:


Such a stuff-up is particularly amusing given that close integration with Windows has always been a major marketing point for IE. Integration doesn't amount to much if your browser can't even tell the difference between a local file and an external one. Memo to Microsoft: Surely you can do better than this?


    Ahh, typical Macro$tuffed.

    Never fails to disappoint.

    And how many microsoft minutes pass before this gem is diaplayed?

    First time I used IE8 Final it crashed when I tried to close it. This was the only time I will bother hitting "Report Error". I just won't use the browser ever again.

    This has been bugging me for years -- it was the same way back in 2004 when I had a rant about it (it shows the same problem, just different text, back in Windows 2000). All it takes is a little thought - an incorrect local filename is not due to network issues.

    Well, I disagree! You came to that conclusion after one error message difference? I think Microsoft is streets ahead on this front, for a non technologically adept user (which is Microsoft's market) their message is very sufficient!

    I think you have to take Microsoft as a whole, they constantly research their market and their users, their dedication to ensuring that their products work well with the disabled as well as technologically naive users certainly stand streets ahead of anything that Open Source products generally produce.

    PS - I'm certainly not a Microsoft fanboy - I just think they deserve better!

    Peter, I'm sorry but I really can't put the error message from MS and your statement of MS being for non technologically adept users. Have you read the error message? lol.

    It talks about DNS server, HTTP with SSL! How is that meant to help an old lady?

    I'm sorry but MS error messages have been really crap from day 1.

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