If the advent of Widgets (and now, Gadgets for Vista) has proven anything, it is that the customization and extensibility of popular applications represent a huge market: everyone seems to demand a slightly different experience from these ubiquitous, monolithic programs and operating systems. IE, the world’s most popular web browser, has long been a base onto which toolbars, mods and skins have been tacked but Microsoft only seems to have embraced this market with the launch of its much-improved version 7.
The cunningly titled ‘ieaddons.com‘ serves as a dedicated home for Internet Explorer add ons, from where users can download, review and purchase extensions for their browser (it’s worth noting that many of the extensions here are for sale, in stark contrast to Mozilla’s offering). Among our favourites are the astoundingly good FoxyTunes – which allows you to control most desktop media players from your browser window and the essential Google Toolbar which adds a lot of functionality to your IE.
While there are many more free extensions available for Mozilla browsers (such as Firefox), it’s worth remembering that many of them are also available for Internet Explorer, where they’ll work just as well. As something of an added bonus: Microsoft are offering a cash prize and trip to Mix07 in Las Vegas to the developer who creates the best IE add on before February 9th! Rumour has it that the Pussycat Dolls might be in attendance.