The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

THE END OF POPUPS
After hemming and hawing over it for years, Microsoft will finally build in automatic popup/popunder-stopping capabilities into the next upgrade to Internet Explorer.

Given that IE is the default browser for at least 90 percent of the online world, this pretty much will kill off the scourge of popup advertising. I'm sure not many will shed a tear, save the shitheads who actually employ the super-annoying technique.

A lot of tech-heads will point out how every browser other than IE already incorporates popup-blocking; therefore, in their view, this move by IE is superfluous. That's a blindman's view of where the majority of eyeballs are, of course. I love the Mozilla browsers to death; I even started using the new lean-and-mean Mozilla Firebird a couple of days ago. But I'm well aware that they, and all other non-IE browsers, will forever be a puny minority as long as Windows is the dominant operating system--and that's going to be the case for the foreseeable future.

In a lot of ways, those putting significant money and resources into Internet advertising have already moved beyond the popup model. Embedded ads and other channels will be more effective in the long run. Fortunately, some media, like newspapers, didn't have much riding on this ad format anyway, so nothing's really lost.