Should IE Stay or Should IE Go?

Don't go ripping out Microsoft's Internet Explorer just yet. IE certainly has proven vulnerable to attack in the past, and the constant patching to add the latest security updates can be a nuisance. The CERT coordination center last year even warned people to stop using Internet Explorer. And the Mozilla Foundation's Firefox has been getting a lot of buzz lately--to the tune of 25 million downloads in fewer than 100 days on the market. But our testing of both browsers shows that choosing one is not an easy decision--particularly in an enterprise environment. IE's vulnerability to attack might in part be because it's rich in features and thereby presents a larger "attack surface." On the other hand, Firefox's perceived edge in security comes with a price: fewer features and a possible inability to access some Windows-based Web applications. So before you make a decision about ditching IE, weigh the trade-offs. One compromise to consider is using IE internally and Firefox for pure Web browsing.
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And a little more Firefox news coverage:
Market share for the open-source Mozilla Firefox climbed above 6% in February, while Microsoft's Internet Explorer share dropped below 90%. Firefox continues to steal market share from Microsoft Internet Explorer, according to Net Applications, a maker of Web-monitoring software. According to the company's February figures, use of Firefox rose to 6.17% from 5.59% in January. Firefox's gain comes at the expense of Internet Explorer, which dropped to 89.04% market share, from 90.31% in December. Net Applications reports that other browsers maintained their user base.
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March 21, 2005 02:30 PM | Posted in Mozilla


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ActiveX is a security nightmare. It will and should be pushed out of use by more secure methodologies. There is no way to keep ActiveX support secure. Given that I'm amazed at the constant stream of "well we just need to live with ActiveX b/c everyone supports it." My company just spent an ungodly amount of money stripping it out of our products. And if you're truly in an enterprise enviornment (rather than a laid off techie writing about them in the theoretical landscape of your mind) you should damn well demand your suppliers/partners do the same.

All you need is one spyware program grabbing the password manager (don't get me started on those) file of someone with admin access to your systems...

Firefox has shown us a non-activeX browser can be workable in the market. We need to move beyond ActiveX, whether it be with Firefox or some for profit broswer or even IE if they come to their senses.

Comment by Windowdog at March 21, 2005 04:52 PM | Permalink

> Don't go ripping out Microsoft's Internet Explorer just yet.
Ripped it out already. All my frequently visited websites works fine (and better) in Firefox. :-)

Site icon Comment by minghong at March 21, 2005 05:19 PM | Permalink


Every extendable browser needs some kind of "high privilege API". Internet Explorer offers ActiveX, Firefox depends on XPCom and PlugIns. If Microsoft would decide to drop ActiveX they would need another technologie to replace it.

Every browser extension API (ActiveX, XPCom, Java) had critical bugs in the past allowing arbitrary code execution. No feature without a risk.

The world is not that simple.

Comment by Michael Krax at March 21, 2005 06:53 PM | Permalink


Every drug has some risk, that doesn't mean no one is safer to take than any other. This is not about critical bugs. Unless you consider the entire implementation of Activex code before SP2 to be one huge long "bug."

Even now IE collects spyware like flypaper while Firefox gets almost none on the same sites. Why? ActiveX 90% of the time easy. Lots of companies turn off activex, I've rarely heard of IT heads disableing all Java controls. ActiveX is the saturday night special of APIs. It needs to be replaced.

Comment by Windowdog at March 21, 2005 07:47 PM | Permalink

It seems there are loads of previously unheard-of web-stat companies which are popping there faces up, wanting a piece of the spotlight, by contributing to the 'Firefox is continuing to grow' news stream. Not that I'm really complaining - this is good for Firefox.

Site icon Comment by David Naylor at March 21, 2005 08:10 PM | Permalink


I hate how all these articles say that there are less features with firefox. So something that is simple and expandable is _not_ what you want?? huh??

Firefox has standards and is open to every possibility. Developers for corprate enviroments just don't have the holes in IE and ActiveX to use now.

That's just my take anyhow.

Site icon Comment by Joey at March 23, 2005 02:21 AM | Permalink

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