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Dear Internet Explorer:

It’s over. Our relationship just hasn’t been working for a while, and now, this is it. I’m leaving you for another browser.

I know this isn’t a good time–you’re down with yet another virus. I do hope you feel better soon–really, I do–but I, too, have to move on with my life. Fact is, in the entire time I’ve known you, you seem to always have a virus or an occasional worm. You should really see a doctor.

That said, I just can’t continue with this relationship any longer. I know you say you’ll fix things, that next time it’ll go better–but that’s what you said the last time–and the time before that. Each time I believed you.

Well, not any longer.

You cheater!
The truth is there’s nothing more you can say to make things better. I know about your secret marriage to Windows. You say you two are not seeing each other anymore, but I just don’t believe it. You say you can live without Windows, and I’ve heard that Windows can live without you, but I know that’s simply not true.

What about HTML e-mail in Outlook? Every time there’s a new letter in the Inbox, you rush over to help Windows render it. And what about HTML within Word? There you go again. And don’t get me started with those late nights you’ve spent rendering thumbnail images in Windows Explorer. You’re all over Windows and, what, you just expect me to turn a blind eye?

You’re no longer fit
For another thing, you’ve gone and gotten all lazy and out of shape on me. When was the last time you picked up a new feature? Two years ago? Three? While you rest on your laurels, while you spend your days slapping patches on the various flaws that seem to pour out as though your source code were a colander, the Internet has changed. A lot.

Last Christmas, I gave you a free RSS reader, Pluck, and you seemed to like it, with new feeds popping up from time to time keeping you fun and relevant. It gave me reason to think maybe you and I could work things out. But, in the end, it just wasn’t a true fit; it wasn’t really a part of you.

When I mentioned wanting to view more than one Web page at a time, you just laughed, said it couldn’t be done. Well, I knew that wasn’t true. Opera, Netscape, and now Firefox, they can all do it. You simply don’t want to discuss change.

And when you do, it’s only because of someone else. A certain someone else: Windows. Don’t deny it. You didn’t think twice when Windows XP SP2 offered you its shiny new pop-up blocker. Or gave you new firewall protection. I know Windows has promised to block buffer overflows, too–but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Yet what have you done for me lately? I don’t want to keep upgrading my operating system just to keep you around. Talk about baggage.

This is it
I know, I’ve tried breaking up before, and I’ve always come back, but that’s because I couldn’t find the right browser to move on with. I want an independent browser, one that stands on its own without a codependent operating system. What I want is a browser that’s strong and secure, one that handles the latest content and won’t crash. I want transparency. I want code that actually means something.

I have found just that.

With Mozilla Firefox, at least I know where I stand. The code is open source, built from the ground up, clean–not recycled. No more hidden agendas. At least when there’s a flaw in Firefox, this browser alerts me on its toolbar. It doesn’t try to hide its mistakes, waiting until the second Tuesday of the month to offer me a patch for some flaw that’s been out there for six months already.

I can take my Firefox to my Mac and Linux friends, and everyone gets along just fine. You barely even talk to Macs anymore, and you always seem to walk out of the room whenever Linux stops by. Why? What are you afraid of? Honestly, a grown browser like you afraid of a little operating system? I think this snobby behavior speaks volumes about what’s wrong with this relationship.

So this is it: Good-bye. I know you’ll do fine without me; you always have. I’m sure there’ll be someone who’ll find you to be cute and interesting. It just won’t be me.

if you can write a better break-up letter to IE Talkback