Article

Letters to the Editor: Is Internet Explorer in your future?

Jennifer Luscomb, Assistant Editor

In a recent SearchWin2000.com survey of nearly 600 IT professionals, respondents were extremely divided on whether to stick with Microsoft's Internet Explorer in the wake of the Scob (Download.Ject) Internet attacks. The survey found that 39% planned to dump IE, 35% said they would keep using it and 24% favored using IE and some other browser.

Readers who e-mailed us or posted messages in our Sound Off forum were equally split on the issue.

Following is a sampling of reader opinions. Enjoy!

  • In an effort to use something other than IE I downloaded Netscape. Unfortunately (and I think they are making a huge marketing faux-pas) the download also installed AOL all over my computer and I was immediately deluged with pop ups. I went to Google to install the Google toolbar that includes Popup Blocker and realized it is Google toolbar for IE.

    There will be times when I'll use Netscape, but they sure didn't make it easy, simple, or appealing. As Julia Roberts said to the shopkeeper in Pretty Woman "big mistake, big - huge mistake!" -K.F, CA

  • I will be sticking with IE if I just could get the darn thing to work again. Somehow it quit working and now I'm unable to reload or fix the problem. Every time I try to fix it, I get this error about unable to load due to "CoInternetGetSession not found in urlmon.dll".

    Well I deleted old and extracted new urlmon.dll, even in safe mode. Short of reinstalling WinXP Pro, I have tried everything.
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    • Now I'm stuck with Netscape. I don't like it. Any suggestions? -E.C.

    • No matter what they say, it's hard to get away from Internet Explorer. All it needs is a face lift. Avant Browser is an obvious side step, still using the Internet Explorer engine but with all the bells and whistles. My question, is how long before MS adopts this as standard??? -D.O.

    • Microsoft, lets face it, has done a 110% job in its business, and to the world we as a user owe a great deal to the idea's and foresight they have shown. I have been in the industry from the dial up bulletin boards using 2400 modems. In fact I was one of the first BBS's to have 14.4 k modems.

      But the big problem is us as honest users of computers and the internet do nothing wrong. it would be a better to arm the honest person with the tools to track the spammers and the Pc's that are sending out this rubbish. -W.K.

    • I've been a fan of Mozilla Firebird (now Firefox) since version 0.06 and find it to be pretty stable (fast and good looking too!). However, as much as I used it by choice, I have always kept IE as the "default" browser. Clicking on a link to somewhere you haven't been before probably will display an HTML page that was first tested against IE and maybe later some other browser as an afterthought.

      Until now, I felt that was harmless.

      Now, I have promoted Firefox 0.92 to my primary browser and will use it until I see something break the other way. Explorer as the defacto standard can only be unseated by the momentum of change and security issues certainly should cause change to happen. -G.S.

    • Microsoft chose to have IE and IIS and Windows itself use the same security architecture. This makes it impossible to have different security levels in the different components, and makes any flaw in IE or IIS affect the security of all of Windows. In addition, doing things like stopping scripts breaks applications like RealOne that use IE under the covers. So the poor user is screwed either way. -J.R.

    • Microsoft has released a configuration change that addresses the recent malicious attack against Internet Explorer known as Download.Ject.

      In addition, Microsoft has released a Knowledge Base article, 870669, that provides information that administrators can use to implement this change manually in their environment and to deploy the change across their networks. This Knowledge Base article is available here:
      http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=870669
      Customers are advised to review the information in the Knowledge Base article, test and deploy the change immediately in their environments, if applicable. -C.W.

    • As with all MS products, why can't Gates simply produce something that works right the first time? This is the history of MS. Rather than fix, end support and roll out a new version with its own share of hidden problems, then deny culpability. A PC should be viewed as a car and the OS and programs as fuel. If the PC is built right you should be able to tank up any where not just at the MS station. Oh well, we surrendered too long ago and, unless there is divine intervention, we are doomed to the mediocracy of Gates and company. -mjbr122

    • I already have our users browsers locked down and there are no real mission critical needs to have the functions in our environment that are currently being exploited. Interestingly enough, as I read all the "experts" with their calls for "Abandon Ship! Jump into the Mozilla lifeboat!", a huge critical gaping security hole was found in Mozilla browsers. We will be fine right where I have things now. -JCF

    • For too many years we have been continually told how bad IE is. I remember a few years ago that there was one boffin who grudgingly admitted Netscape was in fact worse...but it wasn't politically correct to kick the underdog... How many of these security problems can ONLY be duplicated in ideal conditions of a lab.. but never in the inconsistancy of the REAL world. -Arron25

    • Even people using AOL have to keep IE updated. If you run a good Internet Security Program like Norton and a couple of spyware programs like AdAware and spybot and keep the windows updated you should not have very many problems at all. The big solution to this is to find all the idiots that make virus's and are hacking and put them all in jail without all the fancy stuff. Just bread and water, no tv, no excersize and then see what they do and say. This is milder than what I tell my all my Computer customers. -Wayne46902

    • I use IE and Mozilla (and Opera from time to time). I find that MS has engineered some sites, such as parts of support.microsoft.com, so that they DO NOT work with Mozilla. Or maybe it's the opposite ... Mozilla hasn't figured out how to handle MS's tricks. Go ahead and try wandering through Public Forums etc. I have come across other sites that don't work, some of which include popup videos or other special features. IE has good functionality, although of course its security is a constant problem. However, it is on the edge of being out of date and unless serious redesign is done, it will be as dated as a Studebaker. -catoQuestion

    • IE is a typical MS product, barely tolerable. It would appear that this is what users (collectively) want - dancing paperclips and useless "help" in place of functional, secure and stable software. -FMVRWC

    • Security? Hah! You make me laugh. Any software as complex as what Microsoft has made Windows into is impossible to make error free. The entire concept of web-based messaging is based on the ability of some external party to run a program of their choosing on your computer. So, not only is Internet Explorer full of holes, any other program that allows someone else to run a piece of code on your computer is a major security risk. What we have here is a failure to understand that if you give someone freedom, they will abuse it. Whether or not I stick with Microsoft's Web browser is going to be moot. Netscape and Opera will fare no better, and the problem with security is that the e-mail clients are just as bad as IE at allowing problem software to be loaded on your computer. Maybe Microsoft can make IE secure, but it is not in their interest to do so, and you can bet that if it doesn't affect the pocketbook, they won't do it. -rupertg

    • Perhaps, Microsoft Explorer has numerous "holes" that have yet to be fixed by the IE development or the IE Security staff. But, what other web browser provides the resources to fix its web browser? Opera, Netscape, Mozilla are good browsers but their development and technical web sites are light years behind Microsoft's web development and security web sites. Microsoft is the biggest target for hackers and others looking for vulnerabilities - but if the other browsers become popular they will have the same group looking for vulnerabilities and holes in their respected browsers. Microsoft IE isn't perfect - but its support and knowledge base supports it products. Other browsers just don't measure up to what IE provides. It's not perfect but it is still better than its competition. -Shopis

    • I don't know about most users, but I'm in the process of swearing off ALL Microsoft products, at least at home, in favor of Red Hat. -LaughingDBA

    • Taking the poll on IE browser was simple... I don't ever use IE unless I absolutely need to. I have been using Nescape for years, due to all the holes in IE. I currently use Netscape 6.2 and have (never) had a problem with it!! -Zanzibar

    • Netscape is my choice of browsers. I only use MSIE when it is required by a site due to the site's use of ActiveX. If only there were an ActiveX plug-in for Netscape. -PJ

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