[LINK] IE 7 vs. Firefox 2.0: Why This Browser Battle Matters To Businesses

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Thu Oct 19 12:31:21 AEST 2006


> But it's security that's been Internet Explorer's No. 1  
> shortcoming, according to IT pros and Microsoft itself. "Nothing  
> pains you more than people bailing on your product because they  
> don't trust it," Schare says.

> Microsoft will distribute IE7 as an automatic update, but many  
> companies won't let it be pushed to employees just yet. A  
> reputation for buggy new releases precedes Microsoft. "We have no  
> desire to be on the bleeding edge of browser technology," says Dave  
> Pluke, VP of IT at engineering firm Ericksen Roed. "Stability and  
> security are paramount." Pluke says his company's IE7 upgrade is  
> more than a year off. Foley & Lardner plans to wait until next year

> Clearly, Microsoft needs to pick up the pace if it's to keep up  
> with the more nimble Mozilla. Microsoft promises it will update  
> Internet Explorer more frequently, with the next version within 18  
> months.

> But Southwest's Schwab says being a low-cost airline means keeping  
> IT slim, which means not upgrading to IE7 until the release is  
> stable. "Being an early customer means you're taking on a lot of  
> pain," he says. Rob Peterson, CIO of the Strive Group, which sells  
> product displays and supply chain services, is underwhelmed. "Other  
> than the tabbed browsing," he says, "I'm not sure what IE7 brings  
> to the table that we'd be interested in."

> Where They're Different
> Working in Firefox's favor are more than 1,800 free extensions that  
> can be downloaded to customize the browser, including ad blockers,  
> development and testing tools, and different types of tab  
> management. Microsoft understands those benefits and has launched  
> www.ieaddons.com to gather hundreds of IE applications and add-ons.  
> But it's cautious about opening the code further out of security  
> concerns, and about breaking other browser functionality, as occurs  
> sometimes in Firefox.

> The competition puts pressure on both developers to keep improving.  
> The Netscape-Microsoft "browser wars" ended in a rout amid lack of  
> innovation and Microsoft's brute force. Most businesses don't  
> really care if today's browser battle is an evenly matched fight,  
> as long as they keep slugging.

Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
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