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Redmondmag on Dumping IE

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the go-on-everybody's-doin'-it dept.

Internet Explorer 442

nSignIfikaNt writes "Here is yet another article discussing options to using IE. This one is from redmondmag.com who claims to be the independent voice of the microsoft IT community."

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442 comments

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Nothing for you to see here. Please move along. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433236)

By the way, First Post!

should read "Alternatives to..." (5, Insightful)

carcosa30 (235579) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433244)

Options to using IE? Should be "Alternatives To..."

And besides, IE is not even an option for anyone serious about, well, serious about anything.

Re:should read "Alternatives to..." (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433302)

i dont kno what all you shafts probelm is but ie works just fine for me. shit it just crashed and i had to retype it but then i got a million popups and accidently closed slahsdot and now im just typing this to say THERES NOTHING WRONG WITH IE. oh crap jpeg virus duck!

Re:should read "Alternatives to..." (5, Insightful)

pbranes (565105) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433586)

This is what I tell everyone that I help support. If you are a serious web user, you need to be using Firefox. The mantra that I repeat is: firefox reduces spyware, viruses, and security holes in your system.

With the latest version of firefox, it checks for program updates automatically, it downloads program patches, and it attempts to find necessary plugins for pages and install them if you tell it to. Firefox is about to reach the point to where the adoption rates start increasing exponentially.

Re:should read "Alternatives to..." (2, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433587)

"And besides, IE is not even an option for anyone serious about, well, serious about anything." ... except for viewing 99.999% of the sites on the web.

Re:should read "Alternatives to..." (2, Interesting)

dlockamy (597001) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433661)

While this was once try, it's not now
The only website I know of that doesn't work
with firefox is my bank's

so of the hundreds of websites I've visited over the
last year or two one dosn't work

Re:should read "Alternatives to..." (5, Informative)

bendermannen (817161) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433674)

Funny. I use Firefox at all times. I have no problems with viewing 99.999% of all sites I visit. And I'm dead serious all the time.

Re:should read "Alternatives to..." (3, Informative)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433688)

Please note that your statement does not confer the meaning that programs like FireFox cannot view 99.999% of the sites on the web.
I have only encountered one website (other then MS windows update page) that gives me a problem via FireFox, and then it is only a loss of part of its functionality.

Used to be MCP Magzine (4, Informative)

L-Train8 (70991) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433252)

Redmond used to be called MCP Magazine, as in Microsoft Certified Professionals. I got a free subscription when I got my MCSE, and the magazine has certainly had a focus on Microsoft certification. Much of the advertising is related to training boot camps and testing aids, and there are monthly statistics on certification. The name change is very recent, as I guess the magazine is trying to broaden it's appeal.

Re:Used to be MCP Magzine (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433303)

There seems to be a fuckstick moderator bent on moderating down all the first on-topic posts in this thread.

PLEASE TELL ME HOW THE PARENT IS OFFTOPIC FOR CHRISSAKE?

Re:Used to be MCP Magzine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433347)

I guess they didn't want to be associated with a certain Master Control Program...

"independent" and "microsoft" huh? (-1, Troll)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433256)

redmondmag.com who claims to be the independent voice of the microsoft IT community.

I hear they're FAIR AND BALANCED...

Re:"independent" and "microsoft" huh? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433321)

This is no flamebait. "redmondmag" used to be a Microsoft lapdog under another name for the longest time...

Re:"independent" and "microsoft" huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433476)

Pity your being sarcastic. I'm not when I say it was surprisingly fair, considering where it came from. Now, it is possible to do some messy kludging to get Firefox to work a bit with group Policy, but in the main, it was actually pretty correct and factual.

Which is rather unexpected from what is after all a MS mouthpiece.

Anyone but IE! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433264)

Vote for anyone but IE!

Who cut the cheese? (5, Funny)

grunt107 (739510) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433275)

Internet Explorer is the Swiss Cheese of software--it's full of holes.

I'd think it was more like the Limburger of software - it stinks.

Re:Who cut the cheese? (-1, Troll)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433316)

And linux is the curds and whey of software because it's like cleaning up after a Bukakke shoot with your mouth.

Har har har

simpson quotes (1)

Man in Spandex (775950) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433631)

Jay Sherman: It Stinks! It Stinks! It Stinks!
Doctor: Sure Mr. Sherman. Everything stinks.

Re:Who cut the cheese? (1)

AchilleTalon (540925) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433650)

And Firefox is the Italian Cheese of software, it sticks.

Re:Who cut the cheese? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433675)

And all this time, I thought is was the Hoover Vacuum of software, since it really sucks!

Wow, this is incredibly interesting (3, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433285)

Every time some guy I've never heard of working for some online e-zine I've never heard of writes an article bashing a Microsoft product, is it really worthy of attention?

What does Roland Pikapuile think of all this? Please include a link to his blog in the submission.

Re:Wow, this is incredibly interesting (0, Flamebait)

js3 (319268) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433356)

IE is full of holes. Everyone needs to be aware of this including MS lovers and windows users. Frankly I'm a bit surprised at microsoft for letting one of their major projects just rot like that. IE is dragging microsofts reputation down the toilet with it (I know there is not much left), but this particular software is the largest single source of bad publicity for the company as a whole and nobody at ms seems to give a shit

Karma whoring article text (-1, Redundant)

gcaseye6677 (694805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433288)

Time to Dump IE? Internet Explorer is a hacker's dream. Can you (and should you) drop it right now? October 2004 by Don Jones Internet Explorer is the Swiss Cheese of software--it's full of holes. Holes in software are never good, but when the browser is so integrated with the OS as to be as one--you've got problems. Add to that the sheer ubiquity of the Microsoft browser, and it's no wonder IE has become the hackers' No. 1 playground. Now we're beset by increasingly common--and dangerous--security vulnerabilities. We knew IE was integrated with Windows, but we didn't have any idea how integrated it was. Even Microsoft doesn't seem to have a firm grasp on IE's internals, judging from the weeks it took to deliver an actual fix for the recent Download.Ject Trojan. -- advertisement -- Not to say an integrated browser is all bad. To a developer, an integrated browser is cool because it gives you a built-in HTML rendering engine. You can then write apps that use HTML, knowing that the OS can render that HTML for you. IE can begin to take over the regular Windows Explorer shell and, in fact, has become so tightly integrated with Windows Explorer that it's a bit difficult to see where the shell ends and the browser begins. The downside is a real downer. With a regular Web browser, a security vulnerability might let someone crash the browser. With an integrated Web browser they can crash the whole operating system. The tight ties to Windows means that the slightest IE security issue becomes an OS-wide panic. It's not just IE, either: Windows Media Player, Outlook Express, and even DirectX, are all, in my opinion, overly integrated and give hackers too much access to core PC functions. But corporate users don't spend a lot of time playing with DirectX-based games, listening to Windows Media Player, or checking e-mail with Outlook Express. They do spend a lot of time in IE, and the more they surf the more they're vulnerable to its eccentricities. That's why more than a few corporations, not to mention individual users, are looking at alternatives--any alternative--to the built-in browser. Browsing the Alternatives Despite dire predictions from Netscape (now a unit of America Online, which, weirdly, continues to bundle IE with its software), the market for non-Microsoft browsers didn't go away. It sure as heck got small, though, with Microsoft now commanding around 95 percent of the market, according to some sources. But the times, they are a-changin'. San Diego Web metrics company WebSideStory recently reported IE losing 1 percent of that market, the first time IE has stumbled. IE is now down to 94 percent. Who's gaining? Mozilla. The open-source code base of the Netscape browser, Mozilla offers a couple of browsers. Mozilla 1.7 is its base product (1.8 is in beta as of this writing); Firefox (currently at 0.9) is the next-generation browser. Both are available from www.mozilla.org. Netscape also offers 7.1 of its venerable browser based on Mozilla code. It's available from www.netscape.com, but you'd better hurry: It'll be the last Netscape-branded browser AOL produces. Figure 1. Firefox's tabbed browser beats the heck out of Alt+Tabbing between a clutter of browser windows. (Click image to view larger version.) There's also the well-known Opera Web browser, currently at version 7.53, available from www.opera.com. All of the Mozilla products, including Netscape's browser, are completely free. Opera offers a free, advertising-supported browser as well as a $40 version sans ads. And those are just the Windows browsers (see online extras for more on browsers for other OSes). While these are the major contenders, others exist: Search Download.com for "Web browser" and you'll get 356 results, many of which are small-footprint, self-contained Web browsers. Be aware that some of these simply throw a new cosmetic face on Windows' built-in IE objects, meaning you're still using IE. Others are completely self-contained and count as true alternatives. Pros and Cons of Straying From the Pack Forgetting security for a moment, there are functional reasons to consider another browser. One of the best is tabbed browsing, something you'll love once you try. Firefox's tabbed browsing shows each Web page in a separate tab (see Figure 1), allowing you to quickly flip among pages all within one window. Ctrl+ clicking a hyperlink opens a new tab, keeping your desktop nice and manageable. You can close tabs individually and add a group of tabs to a single bookmark for later reference. Any group of bookmarks can be opened all at once, with one page per tab. It's intoxicating. Most of the third-party browsers build in searching. You can select from an array of other search options that plug into Firefox, such as Amazon, eBay, Yahoo and more, providing robust searching right from the toolbar. Opera supports similar functionality: Typing "g browser" in the address bar will search Google for "browser." Pop-up blocking is also built into most alternative browsers. Many IE users are already installing tools like the Google Toolbar to handle annoying pop-up ads, and Microsoft has promised integrated pop-up blocking in a forthcoming version (which must irritate the folks who run the MSN Web site, a notorious pop-up villain). For most other functions, it's all the same. While alternative browsers don't support ActiveX controls, they do support a plug-in model based on the original Netscape Navigator's model, and there are compatible plug-ins for technologies like Flash. Many legitimate, commercial Web sites have eschewed ActiveX in recent years because of that technology's worsening reputation as a virus and Trojan vector. You're obviously going to miss out on some functionality if you switch browsers. Anything ActiveX-based won't work, nor will sites that use client-side VBScript for dynamic HTML. Someone sitting in an ivory tower might suggest that not having VBScript and ActiveX is a good thing and that visiting sites that use them is a bad idea anyway. True, but if that Web site happens to be your internal procurement Web site, not visiting isn't really an option. Does "Non-Microsoft" Really Mean "Secure"? No software is secure in the absolute sense of the word. Mozilla has issued more than a few patches for its browser, as has Opera. For example, Mozilla issued a patch that stops the browser from allowing an attacker to execute applications on a Windows system--something we're used to dealing with in IE. With this in mind, part of the reason that browsers like Mozilla are more secure is that there are fewer deployments. Attackers prefer to have a good opportunity, so in many cases they simply ignore marginal products. You can be sure that if Mozilla had a 95 percent market share, we'd see more than a few patches cropping up. But that's not what led the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) to announce, in June, a recommendation that users stop using IE. While the advisory, posted on the CERT Web site (www.kb.cert.org), relates to a specific IE vulnerability, the advisory states that there are a "number of significant vulnerabilities in technologies relating to the IE domain/zone security model, the DHTML object model, MIME type determination and ActiveX. It is possible to reduce exposure to these vulnerabilities by using a different Web browser, especially when browsing untrusted sites." In the eyes of CERT, IE's architecture is at the heart of its security problem, not just that millions of copies are in use. The most compelling thing an alternative browser offers, therefore, is an alternative architecture, one less tightly integrated with Windows. The patch issued by Mozilla is the first and only entry for that browser in the CERT database. Opera doesn't show up at all in CERT's records, nor does Netscape 7.1. A search of CERT's vulnerability advisories for Internet Explorer returned more than 80 results. Clearly, an alternative architecture offers some promise. So does simplicity. The Mozilla browsers (including Firefox and Netscape) use a simple checkbox to turn off JavaScript and Java. That's it, on or off. IE has a similar capability, but it's tied to a complex system of zones. While JavaScript might be disabled for the Internet zone, an attacker who sends you an HTML file and gets you to execute it locally can attack from the more highly trusted Local zone, which by default has everything enabled. Alternative browsers, while supporting plug-ins, provide absolutely no support for ActiveX, which from a security standpoint is one of Microsoft's bigger mistakes. There is one area in which the alternative browsers (at least, the Mozilla family) commit the same sin as Microsoft: Trusted Certification Authorities (CAs). I have a long-standing gripe with the number of CAs that Microsoft has arbitrarily decided that I trust, without providing any information on how trustworthy these CAs are or what procedures they use to verify the identities of the organizations and people they issue certificates to. I've always recommended paring that list down to the CAs you've personally investigated and decided to trust. Sadly, alternate browsers ship with a similar, extensive list of trusted CAs built in, although it's still somewhat shorter than the all-encompassing list included with the current IE. Super-Sized Browser Manageability and Deployment Sure, non-IE browsers may offer increased security, but when it comes to implementation, there are downsides. For example, if you're not using System Policies or Group Policy to centrally manage IE and you're not using an auto-discoverable proxy server like Microsoft ISA Server, then enterprise manageability isn't a concern for you. Unfortunately, if you are using those features, you're probably going to lose them. Nothing but IE supports the Microsoft-centric "proxy discovery" mechanism that so many companies rely on to auto-configure Web browsers. With other browsers, you have to manually configure the proxy settings the first time out, and users may have to reconfigure laptop settings when they're away from the office. And because most alternative browsers run on more than one operating system, none make extensive use of the Windows registry. Instead, they tend to store information in a proprietary configuration file. Personally, I've always been a little skittish about the registry. Having my configuration information in one place just seems to be tempting fate. But the registry is the enabling technology behind System Policies and Group Policy. That IE goes to a certain portion of the registry for its configuration information makes it possible to centrally manage IE through registry-manipulating technologies like Group Policy. In short, you're not going to be configuring Firefox via Group Policy anytime soon. The decision to deploy an alternate browser is a decision to relinquish centralized control. That said, you may not find yourself yearning for centralized control. Without complex Security Zones and a dozen other settings, allowing users to configure their own browser preferences might not be so scary. The Firefox options dialog is pretty straightforward (this is a version back from the current release, but the newest version looks similar). Even the Advanced section's 14 settings can't hold a candle to IE's overly option-laden Advanced tab. Deployment is another issue. Unfortunately, most of these alternative browsers are distributed as executable files, rather than the easier-to-deploy MSI packages that work so well with Group Policy's IntelliMirror features. In fact, of the most popular third-party browsers--Opera, Firefox, Mozilla and Netscape--none were available as an MSI. Of course, you could use MSI repackaging tools for easier deployment through SMS, Group Policy or some other tool, but it's a shame that these vendors haven't realized the market potential and made their products more accessible to corporate IT departments. How Do You Ditch an "Integrated" Browser? Ever remove IE with the Add/ Remove Programs function? You can't. In fact, you can never rid your hard drive of IE because it is completely integrated into Windows. Microsoft made that point while defending lawsuits over IE. Today, the best you can do is to stop using IE. You can start by using the "Program Access Defaults" application that comes with the latest versions of Windows to block access to IE. This will, however, only stop IE's user interface from running; the underlying functionality, which is used in a number of Microsoft management console (MMC) snap-ins and other applications, will continue to execute. However, if your users aren't using IE to browse Web sites, they'll be much less likely to get nailed by the next vulnerability. Which brings me to the real question: Can you live without IE? I try to use Firefox as my main browser, but I find myself firing up IE from time to time out of sheer necessity. My Web site uses Google AdSense to display context-sensitive ads to my users. The AdSense administration site works only with IE, which, if you think about it, is ironic given the competition Google is starting to face from Gates and Co. A number of companies have built intranets around IE, meaning they'll have to continue using it until those sites can be redeveloped. Given today's IT budgets, that might never happen. A number of commercial Web sites rely utterly on IE, which is something those companies may want to seriously reconsider in light of signs of waning popularity for IE (not to mention its increasing age). Unfortunately, there are a number of ways that IE can "get ya," even if you're not using it as your Web browser. IE is basically a gigantic COM object; it can be instantiated and controlled by ActiveX controls, applications and scripts written in VBScript or JScript. Not using IE will not make you invulnerable to IE-based attacks, but not using IE will make you less likely to get those attacks into your system in the first place. Alternative Medicine Alternative browsers may not offer perfection, but they offer plenty of features, though with less manageability. Their security is stronger at this point, but haven't really been tested. At the very least, though, these browsers offer far less integration with the Windows operating system, making them far less likely to be an entry point for a severe, system-damaging attack.

Re:Karma whoring article text (1)

The_reformant (777653) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433313)

yuck! If your going to karma whore at least but in some paragraph breaks..my eyes nearly fell out after that assault of wordage!!!!

Re:Karma whoring article text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433346)

Sorry. Next time I'll use 'Preview'.

Re:Karma whoring article text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433343)

Please switch to "Plain Old Text" before doing this again...

Properly formatted karma whoring article text (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433477)

Time to Dump IE?
Internet Explorer is a hacker's dream. Can you (and should you) drop it right now?
October 2004 by Don Jones

Internet Explorer is the Swiss Cheese of software--it's full of holes. Holes in software are never good, but when the browser is so integrated with the OS as to be as one--you've got problems. Add to that the sheer ubiquity of the Microsoft browser, and it's no wonder IE has become the hackers' No. 1 playground.

Now we're beset by increasingly common--and dangerous--security vulnerabilities. We knew IE was integrated with Windows, but we didn't have any idea how integrated it was. Even Microsoft doesn't seem to have a firm grasp on IE's internals, judging from the weeks it took to deliver an actual fix for the recent Download.Ject Trojan.

Not to say an integrated browser is all bad. To a developer, an integrated browser is cool because it gives you a built-in HTML rendering engine. You can then write apps that use HTML, knowing that the OS can render that HTML for you. IE can begin to take over the regular Windows Explorer shell and, in fact, has become so tightly integrated with Windows Explorer that it's a bit difficult to see where the shell ends and the browser begins.

The downside is a real downer. With a regular Web browser, a security vulnerability might let someone crash the browser. With an integrated Web browser they can crash the whole operating system. The tight ties to Windows means that the slightest IE security issue becomes an OS-wide panic. It's not just IE, either: Windows Media Player, Outlook Express, and even DirectX, are all, in my opinion, overly integrated and give hackers too much access to core PC functions.

But corporate users don't spend a lot of time playing with DirectX-based games, listening to Windows Media Player, or checking e-mail with Outlook Express. They do spend a lot of time in IE, and the more they surf the more they're vulnerable to its eccentricities. That's why more than a few corporations, not to mention individual users, are looking at alternatives--any alternative--to the built-in browser.

Browsing the Alternatives
Despite dire predictions from Netscape (now a unit of America Online, which, weirdly, continues to bundle IE with its software), the market for non-Microsoft browsers didn't go away. It sure as heck got small, though, with Microsoft now commanding around 95 percent of the market, according to some sources. But the times, they are a-changin'. San Diego Web metrics company WebSideStory recently reported IE losing 1 percent of that market, the first time IE has stumbled. IE is now down to 94 percent. Who's gaining? Mozilla.

The open-source code base of the Netscape browser, Mozilla offers a couple of browsers. Mozilla 1.7 is its base product (1.8 is in beta as of this writing); Firefox (currently at 0.9) is the next-generation browser. Both are available from www.mozilla.org. Netscape also offers 7.1 of its venerable browser based on Mozilla code. It's available from www.netscape.com, but you'd better hurry: It'll be the last Netscape-branded browser AOL produces.

There's also the well-known Opera Web browser, currently at version 7.53, available from www.opera.com. All of the Mozilla products, including Netscape's browser, are completely free. Opera offers a free, advertising-supported browser as well as a $40 version sans ads. And those are just the Windows browsers (see online extras for more on browsers for other OSes). While these are the major contenders, others exist: Search Download.com for "Web browser" and you'll get 356 results, many of which are small-footprint, self-contained Web browsers. Be aware that some of these simply throw a new cosmetic face on Windows' built-in IE objects, meaning you're still using IE. Others are completely self-contained and count as true alternatives.

Pros and Cons of Straying From the Pack
Forgetting security for a moment, there are functional reasons to consider another browser. One of the best is tabbed browsing, something you'll love once you try. Firefox's tabbed browsing shows each Web page in a separate tab (see Figure 1), allowing you to quickly flip among pages all within one window. Ctrl+ clicking a hyperlink opens a new tab, keeping your desktop nice and manageable. You can close tabs individually and add a group of tabs to a single bookmark for later reference. Any group of bookmarks can be opened all at once, with one page per tab. It's intoxicating.

Most of the third-party browsers build in searching. You can select from an array of other search options that plug into Firefox, such as Amazon, eBay, Yahoo and more, providing robust searching right from the toolbar. Opera supports similar functionality: Typing "g browser" in the address bar will search Google for "browser."

Pop-up blocking is also built into most alternative browsers. Many IE users are already installing tools like the Google Toolbar to handle annoying pop-up ads, and Microsoft has promised integrated pop-up blocking in a forthcoming version (which must irritate the folks who run the MSN Web site, a notorious pop-up villain).

For most other functions, it's all the same. While alternative browsers don't support ActiveX controls, they do support a plug-in model based on the original Netscape Navigator's model, and there are compatible plug-ins for technologies like Flash. Many legitimate, commercial Web sites have eschewed ActiveX in recent years because of that technology's worsening reputation as a virus and Trojan vector.

You're obviously going to miss out on some functionality if you switch browsers. Anything ActiveX-based won't work, nor will sites that use client-side VBScript for dynamic HTML. Someone sitting in an ivory tower might suggest that not having VBScript and ActiveX is a good thing and that visiting sites that use them is a bad idea anyway. True, but if that Web site happens to be your internal procurement Web site, not visiting isn't really an option.

Does "Non-Microsoft" Really Mean "Secure"?
No software is secure in the absolute sense of the word. Mozilla has issued more than a few patches for its browser, as has Opera. For example, Mozilla issued a patch that stops the browser from allowing an attacker to execute applications on a Windows system--something we're used to dealing with in IE.

With this in mind, part of the reason that browsers like Mozilla are more secure is that there are fewer deployments. Attackers prefer to have a good opportunity, so in many cases they simply ignore marginal products. You can be sure that if Mozilla had a 95 percent market share, we'd see more than a few patches cropping up.

But that's not what led the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) to announce, in June, a recommendation that users stop using IE. While the advisory, posted on the CERT Web site (www.kb.cert.org), relates to a specific IE vulnerability, the advisory states that there are a "number of significant vulnerabilities in technologies relating to the IE domain/zone security model, the DHTML object model, MIME type determination and ActiveX. It is possible to reduce exposure to these vulnerabilities by using a different Web browser, especially when browsing untrusted sites." In the eyes of CERT, IE's architecture is at the heart of its security problem, not just that millions of copies are in use. The most compelling thing an alternative browser offers, therefore, is an alternative architecture, one less tightly integrated with Windows.

The patch issued by Mozilla is the first and only entry for that browser in the CERT database. Opera doesn't show up at all in CERT's records, nor does Netscape 7.1. A search of CERT's vulnerability advisories for Internet Explorer returned more than 80 results. Clearly, an alternative architecture offers some promise.

So does simplicity. The Mozilla browsers (including Firefox and Netscape) use a simple checkbox to turn off JavaScript and Java. That's it, on or off. IE has a similar capability, but it's tied to a complex system of zones. While JavaScript might be disabled for the Internet zone, an attacker who sends you an HTML file and gets you to execute it locally can attack from the more highly trusted Local zone, which by default has everything enabled. Alternative browsers, while supporting plug-ins, provide absolutely no support for ActiveX, which from a security standpoint is one of Microsoft's bigger mistakes.

There is one area in which the alternative browsers (at least, the Mozilla family) commit the same sin as Microsoft: Trusted Certification Authorities (CAs). I have a long-standing gripe with the number of CAs that Microsoft has arbitrarily decided that I trust, without providing any information on how trustworthy these CAs are or what procedures they use to verify the identities of the organizations and people they issue certificates to. I've always recommended paring that list down to the CAs you've personally investigated and decided to trust. Sadly, alternate browsers ship with a similar, extensive list of trusted CAs built in, although it's still somewhat shorter than the all-encompassing list included with the current IE.

Super-Sized Browser Manageability and Deployment
Sure, non-IE browsers may offer increased security, but when it comes to implementation, there are downsides. For example, if you're not using System Policies or Group Policy to centrally manage IE and you're not using an auto-discoverable proxy server like Microsoft ISA Server, then enterprise manageability isn't a concern for you. Unfortunately, if you are using those features, you're probably going to lose them. Nothing but IE supports the Microsoft-centric "proxy discovery" mechanism that so many companies rely on to auto-configure Web browsers. With other browsers, you have to manually configure the proxy settings the first time out, and users may have to reconfigure laptop settings when they're away from the office.

And because most alternative browsers run on more than one operating system, none make extensive use of the Windows registry. Instead, they tend to store information in a proprietary configuration file. Personally, I've always been a little skittish about the registry. Having my configuration information in one place just seems to be tempting fate. But the registry is the enabling technology behind System Policies and Group Policy. That IE goes to a certain portion of the registry for its configuration information makes it possible to centrally manage IE through registry-manipulating technologies like Group Policy. In short, you're not going to be configuring Firefox via Group Policy anytime soon. The decision to deploy an alternate browser is a decision to relinquish centralized control. That said, you may not find yourself yearning for centralized control. Without complex Security Zones and a dozen other settings, allowing users to configure their own browser preferences might not be so scary. The Firefox options dialog is pretty straightforward (this is a version back from the current release, but the newest version looks similar). Even the Advanced section's 14 settings can't hold a candle to IE's overly option-laden Advanced tab.

Deployment is another issue. Unfortunately, most of these alternative browsers are distributed as executable files, rather than the easier-to-deploy MSI packages that work so well with Group Policy's IntelliMirror features. In fact, of the most popular third-party browsers--Opera, Firefox, Mozilla and Netscape--none were available as an MSI. Of course, you could use MSI repackaging tools for easier deployment through SMS, Group Policy or some other tool, but it's a shame that these vendors haven't realized the market potential and made their products more accessible to corporate IT departments.

How Do You Ditch an "Integrated" Browser?
Ever remove IE with the Add/ Remove Programs function? You can't. In fact, you can never rid your hard drive of IE because it is completely integrated into Windows. Microsoft made that point while defending lawsuits over IE.

Today, the best you can do is to stop using IE. You can start by using the "Program Access Defaults" application that comes with the latest versions of Windows to block access to IE. This will, however, only stop IE's user interface from running; the underlying functionality, which is used in a number of Microsoft management console (MMC) snap-ins and other applications, will continue to execute. However, if your users aren't using IE to browse Web sites, they'll be much less likely to get nailed by the next vulnerability.

Which brings me to the real question: Can you live without IE? I try to use Firefox as my main browser, but I find myself firing up IE from time to time out of sheer necessity. My Web site uses Google AdSense to display context-sensitive ads to my users. The AdSense administration site works only with IE, which, if you think about it, is ironic given the competition Google is starting to face from Gates and Co. A number of companies have built intranets around IE, meaning they'll have to continue using it until those sites can be redeveloped. Given today's IT budgets, that might never happen. A number of commercial Web sites rely utterly on IE, which is something those companies may want to seriously reconsider in light of signs of waning popularity for IE (not to mention its increasing age).

Unfortunately, there are a number of ways that IE can "get ya," even if you're not using it as your Web browser. IE is basically a gigantic COM object; it can be instantiated and controlled by ActiveX controls, applications and scripts written in VBScript or JScript. Not using IE will not make you invulnerable to IE-based attacks, but not using IE will make you less likely to get those attacks into your system in the first place.

Alternative Medicine
Alternative browsers may not offer perfection, but they offer plenty of features, though with less manageability. Their security is stronger at this point, but haven't really been tested. At the very least, though, these browsers offer far less integration with the Windows operating system, making them far less likely to be an entry point for a severe, system-damaging attack.

Don Jones is a contributing editor for Redmond magazine and the owner of ScriptingAnswers.com [scriptinganswers.com] , a Web site for automating Windows administration. His most recent book is Managing Windows with VBScript and WMI [amazon.com] (Addison-Wesley). You can contact Don about "Time to Dump IE?" at donj@braincore.net.

Re:Karma whoring article text (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433509)

Imbecile! If you're going to karma whore at least format the text!

Turbo Smorgreff [www.des.no]

An idea to beat Microsoft (2, Interesting)

rmy1 (815018) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433293)

The Mozilla guys should patent "tabbed browsing", allowing royalty free use in any browser who requests it. With one exception, of course (IE)...

Re:An idea to beat Microsoft (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433363)

Too bad Opera had it first.

Douchebag.

Re:An idea to beat Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433464)

Opera had/has tabbed browsing? When I last used it I remember MDI, not tabs

Re:An idea to beat Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433482)

NetCaptor (I think) added tabbed browsing to IE long before Mozilla had it.

Re:An idea to beat Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433656)

since when did prior art have any affect on software patents?

Re:An idea to beat Microsoft (5, Informative)

pebs (654334) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433369)

The Mozilla guys should patent "tabbed browsing", allowing royalty free use in any browser who requests it. With one exception, of course (IE)...

ummm.. yeah.. nevermind that OPERA HAD IT FIRST

Re:An idea to beat Microsoft (1)

js3 (319268) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433452)

you see something idiotic like "tabbed browsing" should never be patentable. There were already software that displayed multiple pages where you switched with "tabs" long before it became the fad in webbrowsers.

Re:An idea to beat Microsoft (1, Informative)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433518)

Like Excel...
(Ouch... I forgot to put on my asbestos suit.

Re:An idea to beat Microsoft (4, Funny)

cowens (30752) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433517)

ummm.. yeah.. nevermind that OPERA HAD IT FIRST
Since when did prior art matter in the granting of a patent?

Re:An idea to beat Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433377)

Uhm... IIRC, the guy who implemented that on Mozilla had done work on two previous browsers.

Opera, for example, has tabbed browsing.

Re:An idea to beat Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433407)

Didn't tabbed browsing appear for the first time in OPera?

Re:An idea to beat Microsoft (4, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433426)

So your saying the Mozilla foundation should be run by a bunch of assholes instead of people just trying to do a good job?

Re:An idea to beat Microsoft (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433440)

The idea is not original. Tabbed browsing has its origins in spreadsheets going back years.

Re:An idea to beat Microsoft (2, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433519)

ha, how about pattening the integrasted popup blocker too?

It isn't wise to tit for tat here. Pattens would eventualy come back and byte someone. It is best to leave then alone in my opinion.

Re:An idea to beat Microsoft (1)

d_jedi (773213) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433605)

Is that supposed to be funny, or a troll? I can't decide which..

Obviously the moderators can't either..
score: 5, interesting??! WTF?!

Re:An idea to beat Microsoft (4, Insightful)

orasio (188021) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433627)

Very interesting.

Opera had tabs ages before mozilla, and that is very recent history. That in the context of browsing, of course, tabs are a ubiquitous interface.

Anyhow, you should remember that software patents are really evil, more evil than Microsoft, and they need to be destroyed much more than IE. IE only hurts their users, but software patents hurt everyone!

Gratifying to see it in the wild (4, Insightful)

CodeWanker (534624) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433301)

It's nice to see an article about this. All we're witnessing here is the natural evolution of the internet browser system... A monoculture gets decimated by pathogens, and that opens up niches for newer species. This is what any monopoly leads to when it's not protected by some level of government.

When was this article written? (5, Insightful)

NCatron (103418) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433311)

The article points out that Microsoft may add popup blocking to IE... is it just me, or did that already happen with WinXP SP2?

Re:When was this article written? (4, Informative)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433450)

They also list Firefox .9 as the latest version. The article was clearly written a while back... that's all.

Re:When was this article written? (1)

MagicM (85041) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433475)

Yeah, they also talk about Netscape 7.1 being the latest version, while 7.2 is now available.

Not a very up-to-date article, but what do you expect from a, yada, yada, yada.

Re:When was this article written? (5, Informative)

zurab (188064) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433520)

The article also says:

Netscape also offers 7.1 of its venerable browser based on Mozilla code. It's available from www.netscape.com, but you'd better hurry: It'll be the last Netscape-branded browser AOL produces.

Actually, if you "hurry" to www.netscape.com, you will see right on the front page they advertise Netscape 7.2. The article claims to have been written in October, when, in fact, Netscape 7.2 was released [mozillazine.org] in August, and AOL announced they would make that release [mozillazine.org] back in March; also stating that:

there will be future versions of Netscape that are essentially repackaged upgrades of Mozilla.

could this be a trojan horse? (5, Interesting)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433324)

What better way to evangelize IE than to encourage its own rabid userbase to try out competing browsers? They will try it out, get turned off by the minor differences (such as tabs), and then switch back to IE and be able to say "I've tried the alternate browers, and they are CRAP".

I'm not trying to stereotype microsoft users, I am merely presenting a "devils advocate" viewpoint.

Re:could this be a trojan horse? (1, Interesting)

DogDude (805747) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433528)

Well, I really don't think that you can use "rabid" to describe IE users. I mean, if that's the case, then what are Mozilla/Firefox users? "Fanatical"? "Insane"? "Driven to a jihad by a bizarre mental condition centering around software"? You have to reserve some space for the insanity that is the Open Source fanclub that *easily* dwarfs what IE users and developers feel about IE.

Ehh... Ask your folks (4, Interesting)

meganthom (259885) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433544)

My parents, after tons of proding from both my brother and I, finally gave alternative browsers a try (being the scientific sort, we had them try Mozilla, Firefox, AND Opera), and they like all three better than IE. They took to the tabs instantly, and I never hear any complaints about Pop-Up ads. Nor do they have any trouble with plugins for Flash, etc. And while my dad is relatively computer savvy, my mom repeatedly needs to be reminded of how to download/upload attachments. Really, I think all three browsers were well designed with a general population in mind.

Re:could this be a trojan horse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433575)

Now that would surprise me. I've never met anyone who didn't like tabbed browsing. The usual reaction after I introduce somebody to FireFox is : How could I browse the web before without tabs!

Turbo Smorgreff [www.des.no]

Quasi-OT: Opera's voice mode (5, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433338)

... I discovered the voice mode of Opera (win2k/XP only, sadly) last night. The thing accepts voice commands: hold down scroll lock and tell it things like "reload", "back", "close window", "zoom in", etc.

You can even select a bunch of text and tell it to "speak", and it will read it to you.

Incidentaly, I had just discovered WinXP's onboard voice synth. A group of people were at a Krystal's and wanted to contact a friend.

We realized that:

--Nobody had a cell phone
--Krystal's has wifi! (I boot up my laptop)
--Our friend wasn't on AIM or similar
--I have a VoIP client... we can call him!
--We have no microphone
--WinXP has a voice synth!

So, with a little mixer tweaking, I routed the voice synth output into Skype's input, called the poor schmuck, and had Microsoft Sam read him a message. (which was, if I recall, "We will be playing Starcraft at ten o'clock and such-and-such a place. Interested?")

Re:Quasi-OT: Opera's voice mode (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433417)

You do realize you could have simply used an IP relay service such as http://www.ip-relay.com/index.htm [ip-relay.com] ?

Re:Quasi-OT: Opera's voice mode (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433422)

So, with a little mixer tweaking, I routed the voice synth output into Skype's input, called the poor schmuck, and had Microsoft Sam read him a message. (which was, if I recall, "We will be playing Starcraft at ten o'clock and such-and-such a place. Interested?")

I seriously hope that this dude has the same option so that he can use it to respond to you in a completely calm voice which says, "YOU ARE TEH GEEK!" while he is fucking laughing his balls off at your geekdom.

Obligatory Mastercard Commercial (4, Funny)

papasui (567265) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433512)

Laptop: $1500
Wireless Access Point: $80
Broadband Internet: $40
VOIP Service: $20

Calling your tinfoil wearing, goverment conspiracy theory lovin' friend with a computer generated voice to play a game of strategic conquest: Priceless.

Re:Quasi-OT: Opera's voice mode (1)

Taladar (717494) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433600)

You might want to try out the Unix (Linux) command-line. Piping together small independent tool seems to be a concept you already discovered yourself and the Unix commandline is the best place to use this concept.

I don't care. (-1, Flamebait)

celeritas_2 (750289) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433342)

Mark me troll if you like, but I'm caring less and less about Microsoft propeganda. We all understand they're fascists now, so can we get on to some 'real' interesting news? The audience of slashdot doesn't need to be educated every day about Microsoft's untruths ok?

politics.slashdot.com called... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433424)

...you're presence is requested.

Internet Explorer Killed the radio (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433350)

I don't see any excuse, aside from ignorance, for anyone using internet explorer. I just don't see it. Please tell me why we are forced to have our very Windows lives wrought with this invasive and corrupted application? It pains me to use IE when downloading FireFox for the first time (because I've had to reinstall windows!). My attempts to rid my system of ie are futile. A simple uninstall/on-off switch would be nice MS!

Is IE even "free" anymore? (4, Insightful)

ARRRLovin (807926) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433354)

With a required OS upgrade to get the latest features and security, can one consider IE "free" ?

Re:Is IE even "free" anymore? (5, Funny)

savagedome (742194) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433441)

Yes. Only in the sense of 'buying an airplane to get free peanuts'

AdSense (4, Informative)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433366)

One thing the author claims is:

My Web site uses Google AdSense to display context-sensitive ads to my users. The AdSense administration site works only with IE

This seems dubious. The google site claims that you just need javascript. Can anyone who uses AdSense verify this? I'm guessing the popup blocker in firefox thwarted this guy's limited computer savvy.

Re:AdSense (4, Informative)

LynchMan (76200) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433403)

I use adsense, and had some issues logging in with older versions of FireFox (.7 and below I believe). But the recent versions have worked fine...

Re:AdSense (1)

tclark (140640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433486)

I use adsense without any trouble. I don't even remember seeing anything that said IE was needed.

Here's a wierd one for you: My wife can't use Firefox to read her work's Exchange-driven webmail system, but it works just fine with Konqueror.

Re:AdSense (1)

syrinx (106469) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433643)

That's weird... my work's Exchange webmail works fine in Firefox. Haven't tried it in Konq though.

The only thing I need IE for is my cell phone provider's bill paying online. I can view bills, etc, using Firefox, but then if I try to pay, it dumps me out of their system with an "unknown error", and I have to log in again. Works fine in IE. I should email them about that.

Re:AdSense (2, Informative)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433494)

AdSense works just fine under Safari (KHTML) and FireFox 1.0PR (Gecko). The author is either ignorant or a liar.

Re:AdSense (5, Informative)

colonslashslash (762464) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433658)

Aye, I have a couple of AdSense accounts, I have never actually accessed the administration page from anything but Mozilla / Firefox, and I have never once had a problem with it. Nor do I remember ever seeing anything on Google's AdSense pages advising users to use a specific browser.

Complete bullshit.

Bad facts... (5, Informative)

Nos. (179609) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433367)

From the article:
Which brings me to the real question: Can you live without IE? I try to use Firefox as my main browser, but I find myself firing up IE from time to time out of sheer necessity. My Web site uses Google AdSense to display context-sensitive ads to my users. The AdSense administration site works only with IE...
Well, I've been using Adsense for about 2 months now, and I have yet to open it in IE. I've only used Firfox so far, both on Windows and Linux, and never had any problems.

Re:Bad facts... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433703)

I've only used Firfox so far

Maybe Firfox is a rebadged IE. I only use Firefox, so I wouldn't know about Firfox.

Time to Dump IE? (4, Insightful)

mcwop (31034) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433382)

Yeah like, two years ago.

The darned thing still does not have tabbed browsing for god's sake. How long does it take MSFT to copy that one.

Re:Time to Dump IE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433513)

Try NetCaptor (I think), which added tabbed browsing to IE long before Mozilla had it. Not the ideal solution, but it's available.

Oh yeah? (5, Funny)

FirstTimeCaller (521493) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433387)

But corporate users don't spend a lot of time playing with DirectX-based games, listening to Windows Media Player, or checking e-mail with Outlook Express.

I don't think they know the same corporate people that I know.

Re:Oh yeah? (3, Insightful)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433628)

Depends on your corporate environment. Where I work, we run Windows NT4 (properly separated from the internet) on brand new Dells. Sound cards? Yeah, the machines got them, but there are no drivers. DirectX? On NT4? DirectX 5 was the last one, I think.

Outlook Express? No trace of it, even IE is at 5.0 or so... We do use Outlook 98, but as I said.. properly firewalled.

I don't think that corporate setting is somehow exceptional.

Disconcerting IE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433388)

Aieeeeee!!! Sounds like the classic screams of a Microsoftie. Here's food for thought -- where I work, we have machines locked down that I can't do anything with the registry, etc. That means I can run pestpatrol, have it detect all the crap that's gone in, and then when I try to delete, I have no authority to do so. I reboot the machine and they're back.

So what kind of crap is it that locks me out of a machine while letting spyware/adware go right on through? It's rather frustrating to see all of that happening and not have any authority to do something about it.

On a somewhat related note, is there a way to disable altering "connection settings" by regular users in Firefox? We run on a filtering proxy and that's how it's set up to restrict access. If that were changed, they'd have free reign. The locks on IE are one of the main reasons they stick with it, I think.

Why doesn't (5, Insightful)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433430)

MS just give up on the browser, and add some "ie like features/extesions" or some other specific windows features/native gui like Camino for OS X to mozilla and/or geko that are optional to make some broken websites work until the websites get standards compliant and be done with it?

To my knowledge, MS only makes money off of IE by licensing it to people like AOL (and that is a wierd thing, and another discussion), but they make nothing off of having it bundled with the OS, and would loose nothing by bundling some other browser.

It seems evident that there are issues with having a webbrowser tied so closely to the OS. Most of people's issues with switching from IE is that 1) ie is just there, so what else is there to use, and what else is better? 2) There are a few too many broken websites that end users blame the browser for if the website does not work properly.

And if someone feels like adding a completely off topic tangent here. What is up with the IIS websites and those damn "go to # on this page" links or whatever? They are annoying because I don't know what they are doing, and they sometimes break (even in ie) if I open them up in a new window or tab. Grrrrr....

Re:Why doesn't (2, Insightful)

jm92956n (758515) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433644)

Microsoft doesn't make any money on the browser itself; however, the broswer allows them to make money through associated activities. IE's default home-page (MSN) sells more than enough advertising to make the entire operation profitable.

Re:Why doesn't (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433689)

IE's default home-page (MSN) sells more than enough advertising to make the entire operation profitable.

They can still have the default home page with a mozilla/gecko varient.

IE isnt even favored by its users (1)

lawngnome (573912) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433431)

I have changed several friends and family to mozilla lately, after cleaning viruses and other crap off their computer - they generally dont care what the browser is called as long as they can access the web. Do your friends a favor and upgrade them today :)

Quiz Time! (-1, Offtopic)

earthstar (748263) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433442)

Hi Guyz!
Iam taking part in a online quiz competition and found some answers with google.For some questions though ,googling didnt help much.Tried searchin for images ,but couldnt crack it.
So,thought you guys could help me out. ;-)
Thanks.
1.Whats the connection between these two pictures. [geocities.com]
2.Identify this brand of gun more famous in another context. [geocities.com]
3.RElated to the world of automobiles.What is this lady's claim to fame. [geocities.com]
4. This spider is named for the unique marking on its rear segment which is shown in the picture [geocities.com] . So, who is it named after? (Cryptic clue- Think of a nice sobriquet for Thomas Alva Edison's mom, though they may be more than one.)


Please do share your knowledge!

Re:Quiz Time! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433617)

The gun is an FAL, likely an older one from Fabrique Nationale.

The design is Belgian but its been adopted as the main battle rifle by dozens of countries, is chambered in 7.62x51 (.308winchester).

You can get in the US all over, but the best of breed are here:

http://dsarms.com

cunclusions retarded (3, Informative)

$tendec (818143) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433444)

got this from the bottomAlternative browsers may not offer perfection, but they offer plenty of features, though with less manageability. Last I checked mozilla allows much greater manageability of cookies, images, popups, downloads...hell i can't think of anything EI does that is easier to manage.

Re:conclusion - missed the point (3, Informative)

ihaddsl (772965) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433659)

Management in this case being enterprise management of IE configuration, rather than the ability of the end user to manage their cookes, etc.

Re:cunclusions retarded (1)

Taladar (717494) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433679)

IMO the IE Options (or whatever it is called) Dialog is a good example to show young programmers how NOT to design a User Interface.

Fallacies or misconceptions? (5, Insightful)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433539)

Netscape also offers 7.1 of its venerable browser...It'll be the last Netscape-branded browser AOL produces.
What about Netscape 7.2 [netscape.com] ? Technically, it is Mozilla 1.7, but it does have AOL-produced add-ons.

For example, Mozilla issued a patch that stops the browser from allowing an attacker to execute applications on a Windows system--something we're used to dealing with in IE.
For those of us that remember, the shell: vulnerability was because Mozilla passed it on to Windows to handle, and Windows failed at handling it. That's why Mozilla "patched" it.

Anything ActiveX-based won't work
There is an ActiveX addon for Mozilla.

Interesting too that he brings up the issue that non-IE browsers would be harder to manage using Microsoft products (ISA Server, etc.). I wonder why that is so.

Anonymous Coward on Dumping Slashdot Colors (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433553)

AdSense FUD (4, Insightful)

peterdaly (123554) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433557)

I have been using AdSense for well over a year, starting a month or two after it was released. I have never seen any IE specific features. I first started using AdSense with Mozilla, more recently with FireFix. Seems like he may be having other problems, and jumped on the blame Mozilla scapegoat. Maybe he disabled JavaScript.

-Pete

This article is questionable (1)

junebughunter (817044) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433577)

After reading...

"which must irritate the folks who run the MSN Web site, a notorious pop-up villain"

and a few other statements I get the feeling that this is a semi-tech writer, trying to scare non-tech readers away from using IE

not to say you should or shouldn't use alternatives, what you shouldn't do is read articles that don't get facts straight

OF COURSE Microsoft wants this known. (4, Insightful)

Gannoc (210256) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433581)

"See? We don't have a monopoly! See! See! Now, go ahead and make your little browsers while we lockdown digital media. And seriously, Fuck Apple. No really, fuck'em."

You Won't Be Missing Anything (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10433589)

"...You're obviously going to miss out on some functionality if you switch browsers. Anything ActiveX-based won't work, nor will sites that use client-side VBScript for dynamic HTML...."

And these are *positive* changes! The WWW is an open public arena. And ActiveX and VB are closed and *should* not be part of the WWW anyway. So, good, miss out on these lock-in features. You'll be safer for it in the long run. MS imbedding COM objects in a HTTP client has brought all these security issues upon themselves. They can just eat their own dog food.

Firefox' little secret (5, Interesting)

Eloquence (144160) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433601)

If you use Mozilla or Firefox, click this link [faser.net] . It's a fully powered application that you can run directly in your web browser. It uses XUL [xulplanet.com] , the Mozilla project's XML User Interface Language, and JavaScript. It's like Java applets without the crappiness.

This is what Microsoft must be afraid of: cross-platform user interfaces with pluggable scripting languages and super-easy application deployment. This is why they originally fought Netscape - they were afraid that Netscape would become a "platform" independent from the operating system layer. And now exactly that is happening, thanks to open source. The people who designed this stuff were some true visionaries.

The Spread Firefox [spreadfirefox.com] initiative may seem like a trite marketing effort. But in reality, it is one of the best ways to enable people to switch to other platforms tomorrow. I really hope that the Firefox hackers will get SVG support ready soon, as this is one of the other key features that can have immediate amazing benefits.

Re:Firefox' little secret (1)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433676)

That's a nifty little application!

Article is Redundant. (-1, Redundant)

Maul (83993) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433637)

It doesn't really bring anything new to the table we didn't already know.

The major hurdles for widespread adoption of a browser other than IE have always been the fact that IE is tied to the OS, and that there are many IE-specific pages out there.

I use a Mac and I liked the article (4, Insightful)

theolein (316044) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433647)

My title above is a disclaimer. I am a Mac user, and only use a PC via VNC to view webpages in IE. That said, I found this article pretty straightforward about the pros and cons of IE and alternative browsers from a Windows point of view. The guy make valid points about centralised management of IE vs. the standalone path of Firefox et al that would be a question in mainly Windows environments.

That said, all of these problems can be overcome by a good admin who thinks creatively, and I seriously doubt that much active development is going into ActiveX using sites these days.

i switched...and never look back...mostly (1)

Madcapjack (635982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433649)

I switched almost full time to Firefox, and never looked back. Sometimes I open up IE, but only because I have multiple hotmail accounts, and want both opened at the same time.

I dumped IE a long time ago... (2, Informative)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433690)

About a year ago I started using Mozilla. Now I use Firefox. I've never needed to use IE for anything. Where are these sites (not including those run by Microsoft of course) that force you to use IE?!

Ironic, but expected... (3, Insightful)

Chuck Bucket (142633) | more than 9 years ago | (#10433704)

Really, IE is just so out of date I can't imagine anyone using it unless they have to. I'm still showing off Firefox at my work, but only have 2 others using it. Now that it's about to go 1.0 it should be easier, I love the RSS feature, the Https 'yellow' highlighting and the find-as-you-type new features of 1.0.

All in all I think the only thing that IE is good for is to cause my Mom's Dell to download viruses and trojans so I get the Support call!

CB@#$%^&
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