Right now, I am playing with four (4) browsers as my renderers. To work with UI stuffs is really a kicker, and sometimes you will never know how it renders in another browser unless you test it. I work with Opera, Epiphany, Firefox, and Seamonkey. I still favor the popular Firefox (though its really hogging most of my poor laptop's 1GB memory) because of its versatility. Opera is a runner up. I like its widgets, the dials, and the beautiful 9.5 experience, though it doesn't render RTF very well and its frustrating. Epiphany is quite the new favorite lately. Its ultimately lightweight.. (I can even use a lot of other applications while having tons of tabs open), and it doesn't have issues like Opera does. The only caveat is that I still wouldn't have any of Firefox's plugins nor Opera's widgets. Seamonkey comes last.. well, because the users of this browsers are still on the margin. What I can't really do without is actually having to test web code against Microsoft's IE rendering!
Because of this, I needed to install IEs4Linux or even try running virtual machines on my poor 1GB worth of memory! Designing front end could be a hell because of the mere existence of IE. Even my own site had troubles with IE and that I had to drop some fancy designs because of this. Some believe that there are no such things as standards, while others such as myself think that we actually shouldn't bother with IE rendering because it has a lot of bugs (not to mention security bugs).
Microsoft takes the biggest step forward. Since they were first to produce the "user friendly operating system", they have stuck around the users' preferences. Everything Microsoft -- Hotmail, Outlook, Office, and IE. How ever can we break free? We can't. Linux people are regarded as geeky and expensive. Why get these people when you can even setup your own desktop computer yourself? With this thinking, Microsoft gets away with it.
I am faced with a similar problem of going against Microsoft. It is said that since the web scripting language is easier to understand and that products found in the web gets to be shipped faster and better because of the web, it has become the main means of knowledge transfer and communication (not to mention entertainment). As a developer, I tediously go check back on a finished product and retest in IE for rendering problems. This is a nuisance... but recently, I'm faced with a new issue that I haven't experienced for the longest time.
Emails still get the highest preference for update or notification sending vs the famous RSS. Emails still hold the traditional means of information (or sensitive information) exchange. I have been accustomed to checking the email layout in various platforms and engines like (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, and even in email clients Outlook, Thunderbird, etc..). Since the start of CSS2, I have been practicing table less designs, and have strongly encouraged others to do so too. But today, I am deranged by one issue that I have overlooked.
Our emails get received and open by various user email clients, and they all look good.. except in Outlook 2007. Why? Well, we write good code.. It was Outlook 2007 that has gone broke. It did not suprise me to find this out. I read through a lot of articles about Outlook 2007 rants,
As it turns out, in past versions, Outlook used two rendering engines. IE’s for reading content, and Word for composing messages. What this meant was that if you were replying or forwarding HTML emails, previous versions of Outlook would first use IE’s rendering engine to view it, then would switch over to the compose engine, Word. ... So, the IE engine was removed and the updated Word engine is now serving both needs within Outlook 2007. Of course, some stuff is breaking. ... --from Molly.com
Really, Microsoft's dominance is their power. Until they can keep this up, we will always be at the mercy of their poor quality products. Even the most beautiful codes break and are accused of being bad and stale because of these sub standard products. I have stopped using Office, never did use Outlook, but can't stop using IE for the checks.
I really hate this slavery, but can't do anything as long as at least one person is still using their product. We are all helpless. Spare me from revising the code to fit in Outlook 2007. It is dead wrong. This dominance must stop at one point. Please, no more IE8. Please.