So another massive security hole in Internet Explorer was found today, not that it’s too surprising. Even with SP2 and all the recent updates, just going to a website can modify or delete any file on your computer. Trash it. And if the past is any guide, it won’t be fixed for months. Secunia’s solution?
Use another product.
Why is IE still so widespread? I can only think of two reasons: home users are clueless, and business doesn’t want to take the time to change.
Home users are starting to get the idea, as seen by the 16+ million downloads of Firefox after its November release. IE hasn’t been seriously developed (aside from SP2) in years. Most home users, unfortunately, don’t care about things like security, speed, standards compliance, or even ease of use. They take what they’re given, and Microsoft did a lot of giving by including it with Windows.
Business just doesn’t like risk. I work in corporate IT, and I can tell you that switching browsers would not take much of IT’s time. Most IT guys would even prefer it, as they wouldn’t have to worry about constant security risks or clueless users destroying their systems. The managers, however, just see Firefox as another risk, another piece of the system with which they would have no one to blame but themselves. Believe it or not, free is bad in business. Free means no support and no lawsuits, nowhere to place the blame if something turns out badly. The irony, of course, is that IE is the real risk — it causes far more troubles than an installation of Firefox ever would. I’m not sure how to resolve this problem aside from more and more IE security holes showing up and costing businesses money. Unless Microsoft starts to take the competition seriously that might just happen.