"Alternative" BrowsersThu Jul 22 18:09:56 2004
Posted by BigDumbDinosaur
Referencing: Web Browsing
More on the so-called browser wars:
http://www.cnn.com/2004%20/TECH/internet/07/02/%20alternative.browsers.ap/index.html%20(link dead, sorry)
The above is an article about the growing clamor to abandon Microsoft's Internet Exploder...er...Explorer for a browser that is more resistant to attacks by malicious code in web pages. As usual, the article starts off okay and then tries to put a positive spin on the situation. For example:
IE is a frequent target for hacking because of its popularity; WebSideStory Inc. says 95 percent of surfers use it globally.
Actually, IE is a frequent target because it is easily attacked. Yet the press just can't seem to understand that aspect of IE -- or Windows, for that matter. Popularity has little bearing on the situation. If IE wasn't so easy to attack it wouldn't be a target.
"It's not that consumers are so loyal to Microsoft, but more they are apathetic," said Geoff Johnston, an analyst with WebSideStory, which tracks browser usage. "With it, there really is a cost to switching."
This guy hit the nail on the head about apathy. However, he missed the boat by not emphasizing the role played by ignorance and danced around the true measure of "cost." Any cost associated with changing browsers needs to be examined in the context of what will be gained by switching. What Johnston didn't say was there is also a cost associated with not switching browsers, and that is the cost of data loss and downtime associated with repairing damaged Windows installations.
At least there is some press being published about the problem, but there also seems to be an undercurrent of reluctance to report the entire story. Perhaps CNN is afraid Bill Gates might get upset and pull his Windows advertising from the TV broadcasts.
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