Time to dump Internet Explorer.


NO! to IE logo Microsoft's internet browser, Internet Explorer has from its inception had a poor reputation for standards compliance with the World Wide Web Consortium (www.w3.org) and carries this tradition today with poor support for CSS (Cascadinding Style Sheets), see reference [1] & [2] for an example of just how bad this is. The first example given is produced by Eric Meyer, one of the developers of css. Although cutting edge, other standards compliant browsers have no trouble rendering the pages.
Although poor adherance to standards is an irritation, more serious is the truly appalling reputation IE has for security. One might have hoped that with the release of XP (which Microsoft claims is their best ever operating system) things might have improved, however quite the opposite to the extent that no less a body that the US Government security body CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) urged companies to drop using IE because Internet Explorer is a hazard in itself [3].
Even soon after the release of service pack 2 for XP which was supposed to harden it up considerably, three security holes were found [4]. Security firm Secunia released an advisory warning that the holes are extremely critical and recommended users dump IE and use an alternative browser.


websearch.png IE also lacks many desirable useability features now common on other browsers, including blocking of pop-up pages frequently used for adverts, tabbed browsing for a neater desktop and the ability to submit searches to an engine of your choice direct from the URL location bar.
On the users privacy front, things are as bad. IE seems to have no cookie control mechanism, this allow sites to automatically set cookies without the user being aware. Cookies are in themselves harmless, but when set by web advertiser sites can be used to track a users progress through the web. Other broswers have cookie management which allows the user to allow cookies for some domains (eg. yahoo.com for webmail) but reject cookies from other domains (eg. doubleclick.net for web adverts).
More serious is the fact that the Secure Socket Layer (SSL & https://) encryption used to protect sensitive data such as bank accounts and e-commerce transactions is deliberately compromised on instructions of the National Security Agency (NSA) in USA [5], [6] & [7]. Lotus Notes was also compromised in this way for "International" versions. Only by using an open source browser can you be sure your transactions are secure.


In all other areas of commerce, from buying a bar of chocolate to buying a car, choice is considered good. Fair competition benefits the consumer, raises quality and ensures that substandard products leave the marketplace. It should be no different in computer land.

It's time to choose.



Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS!