Sunday, February 8, 2009

IE For Linux?

I recently came across a blog post where the author is proposing the idea of Microsoft releasing a version of Internet Explorer for Linux.  His reasoning is that a Linux version of IE would help Microsoft's bottom line and also give Linux users Internet Explorer, something they seem to want.

Frankly, I disagree.  Even when running Windows, I avoid using IE.   I much more prefer running the Firefox browser.   It's more secure and much more customizable then IE (IMHO).

There may be the odd few times when a Linux  user  may need Internet Explorer.   My experience has been that, once in a blue moon, a web site is specifically designed to be used primarily with IE.  For these times, I have two options which have been discussed in this blog. They are worth reviewing.

First, a Linux user can easily install Wine and then install IE. Wine allows for certain Windows program to be installed directly in Linux .  And these programs don't rely on needing Windows. Wine installs and runs the program in Linux as if it were being run in Windows natively.  You can also go with the commercial version of Wine known as Crossover by Codeweavers.  This is what I run and it's a brilliant product!    Crossover is offered at an affordable price and allows me to run a few Windows programs in Linux that I sometimes need (MSMoney, MSWorks, IE).  The above screen shot is Internet Explorer running Linux through the help of Crossover.  I highly recommend Crossover.

Secondly, a Linux user can install a virtual machine software package for free from their distro's repository.   I run Virtualbox.  Virtualbox enables me to install Windows in a virtual environment (see screen shot at left).  I can then run the entire Windows operating system, including Internet Explorer and any other software program I chose to install.  And I've found that Windows actually runs faster in this  virtual environment!

So there you have it.  Use Firefox (in Linux or Windows) and get Crossover or virtualbox for running Specific Windows programs Like IE.  Why wait for Microsoft to develop IE for Linux?  You can have it in Linux now if you really need it.  But you'll soon discover Firefox to be a better browser.).

Get Linux!

5 comments:

Martin said...

If you encounter a site which checks your browser to be IE, you can use KDE's konqueror and simply set it to send a faked browser identification so the site thinks you run IE. No need to really run IE.

MSzorady said...

Martin,

I completely forgot about that option! Thanks for pointing it out! It's worth a blog post itself!:)

Trey said...

What about web development? I know I would love it if I didn't have to pay for a windows license and then have to load up a vm every time I want to check if IE will render a page the way I want it. I think it would be a great tool, as long as it used the same rendering engine and didn't add more bugs you have to account for (like IE for Mac).

Other than that, I can't think of a use for it though.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention of CrossOver--we appreciate it!

Best Wishes,

-jon parshall-
COO
www.codeweavers.com

MSzorady said...

jon,

My pleasure.:) Crossover is one of the big reasons why I moved to Linux. I was able to keep some key programs running. CO continues to be one of the reasons why I am able to stay with Linux.