And while you’re at it, drop Internet Explorer

Of course, I had already said that in my last post, but Here is another voice with the same opinion. Actually, with Scoble and recently an article on MSN/Slate news service suggesting the use of Mozilla or Firefox, that cat’s out of the bag. A nudge from the office of Homeland Security was less than subtle. Whereas I have focused a lot on the idea of locking down your normal account, that lockgnome article focuses on the wide open, “come on baby and get me”, “I’m yours forever”, and especially “just beat me” version of web browser called Internet Explorer. I can’t count the hours I have spent in the last year fixing problems that would not have been there had my friends and family not been using Internet Explorer. This list includes many non-technical but nevertheless competent people with good computer skills who have for one reason or another been mailiciously attacked by exploits unique to IE or because IE makes it so dang simple to say yes and install something else that will set your productivity back weeks as you wade through the daily dose of symptom of the day.

Apologies in advance if I have already mentioned this, but I really, really, positively can’t see why MS doesn’t cut the ties to IE. Here is a dream I want to wake to sometime in say the next month. MS reports:

“To our customers, we have over estimated our ability to make a safe browser at this time, and while we are certain we could fix IE or write a replacement in time, there is no point. Internet Explorer, though a great browser in its day, is technically not possible to safely support with it’s current set of features. We are reversing our stance on IE and have decided to support the Mozilla project. We will donate our code to support the contenteditable tag to the Mozilla project and push to have the tag added to standard HTML. Our operating system will continue to ship a stripped down version of IE that only does HTML/CSS2 rendering, link navigation, javascript in a standards compliant fashion, and this version will support some of our other products such as MS Outlook and Outlook Express that must render HTML content. Activex controls and ActiveX scripting, MS-JVM, non standard object tags and other commonly exploited technologies will be completely removed from this version. For our customers who rely on some of these removed features a new standalone version of IE will be made available, however we encourage all developers to actively begin moving away from these technologies and we will establish a sunset on our support for this standalone version of IE. It is our intention to have a safe replacement for IE, or to offer assistance to the the Mozilla project to support our .net components including .net’s much stronger security features at the time we release Longhorn.”

OK, I can wake up now.

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2 responses to “And while you’re at it, drop Internet Explorer

  1. I’ve been using firefox for most om my browsing lately due to the security issues with IE…but then this one pops up: http://www.computerworld.com/securitytopics/security/story/0,10801,94439,00.html?SKC=security-94439

    I guess we can never stay entirely clear of those problems…but at least at fix is provided fast in this case. I just wonder whether my mon will know about it 😉

  2. Philip Nelson

    Funny, I had originally written this blog in June, finally got around to updating and posting it, and viola, Mozilla vulnerability! This Mozilla/Firefox problem is really serious, easily fixed, but well beyond the radar of the common user like your mom. Strangely, virtually the same vulnerability was found in MS-Word and in HTML help and was patched in the July MS security updates. Well if anybody is keeping score, *discovered* vulnerabilities in IE are still way ahead of the Mozilla family, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!