But worse than having ASP.NET broken on my development box is what IE 7 has done to the PC in the kitchen. For more than 20 years my wife has used my hand-me-down PCs. Last week I bought her her first-ever new PC: a Dell quad-core with 3 GB of RAM, a 500 MB hard disk, a 20-inch LCD monitor, and Vista Home Premium. (For the first time ever, I’m envious of her PC!) At first I was a little hot when Vista didn’t support my trusty USB wireless network adapter, but $70 and a new adapter later, Vista was happy and so was I.
The smiles didn’t last long. My wife fired up IE 7 on her new computer and went to our high school’s parent portal to check my son’s math grade. IE, however, wouldn’t let her get past the login page; it kept insisting “Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage.” She asked if this was another Vista problem. I knowingly assured her it wasn’t, and informed her that she had been running IE 7 on XP for a long time. Just to make sure, I downloaded the latest version of Firefox and went to the parent portal. Much to my surprise, Firefox let me log in and view grades just fine! I spent the next couple of hours toggling settings in IE 7 trying to get past the problem, and a couple of hours after that doing Web searches and analyzing HTTP traffic to find out why IE 7 couldn’t display a page that Firefox had no problem with. (It has something to do with “302 Temporarily Moved” responses coming back over SSL/TLS, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten with it.)
My wife can still check our son’s grades with IE 7 on her old XP PC. She can check grades with Firefox on her new Vista quad-core. But she can’t use IE 7 to check grades on Vista. She’s confused, and so am I.