Microsoft released Windows XP Service Pack 2 yesterday. Part of the service pack includes updates to Internet Explorer.

On the plus side, IE now comes with a native pop-up blocker. It also requires user authentication for drive-by downloads. Another cool feature is the “Add-On Manger”, which is similar to Firefox’s extensions manager.

On the minus side, these improvements are only for Windows XP users. As well, there appears to be no change in its level of compliance with web standards. Of course, there is still no tabbed browsing.

The changes are welcome, but I do not know why IE is so intent on letting the competition slowly gain market share. Microsoft seems unusually content in its current market share of the web browser market, but its failure at innovation and adoption of web standards and consumer-drive conventions is causing a slow but steady exodus to better products.

I will stick with Firefox at home.

About Kim Siever

I am a copywriter and copyeditor. I blog on writing tips mostly, but I sometimes throw in my thoughts about running a small business. Follow me on Twitter at @hotpepper.

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