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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