JQuery doesn't support parsing XML with it's selector engine, even though it works most of the time. Apparently every browser except IE does a passable job of parsing XML using their built in parsers. IE requires an Active-X control to parse XML which is unreliable as Active-X is often disabled in corporate environments. I wrote up a quick test case to show this flaw. I never found a work around for parsing XML from a string, but with AJAX you just have to make sure your XML is served with content-type: text/xml and you get an XML object instead of a string. This JQuery can parse, even in IE.