Drop IE II

Drop IE seems to be the marching orders of the day. However, eWeek is doing a curious turn on the issue.

Jason Brooks, web commentator, quietly but firmly endorses switching out of IE – recommending two of the best rated browsers – Mozilla/Firefox or Opera. Here is what he has to say:
“according to Microsoft, the only way to ensure a truly secure browsing experience is to disable this functionality by twiddling with security zone settings and modifying registry keys to plug the holes that Microsoft shouldnt have opened in the first place. Windows XP Service Pack 2, due by the end of the summer, will make some of these changes by default, but it will also break applications that depend on IEs built-in vulnerabilities to function.

Since much of IEs richness must be disabled to browse safely—and its a safe bet that weve not seen the last of IEs vulnerabilities—enterprises must ask themselves whether theyd be better off switching to a different browser.Alternatives such as Mozilla and Opera boast better security track records than IE and significant usability advantages. Mozillas and Operas support for tabbed browsing and pop-up blocking alone are worth the switch, but IE also cannot match these browsers Web standards support.”

But Larry Seltzer, Security specialist, demurs. Instead of switching Larry is pinning his hopes on Windows XP SP2 even though XP is not the dominant Windows OS. He dismisses the recommended ActiveScripting and ActiveX turn off as being too disruptive. Yet Larry concedes that Mozilla/Firefox/Opera do better in presenting ActiveScripting/ActiveX pages than IE with Microsoft recommended “Actives” turned off – which is not easy to do properly in the first place. But what does not make sense in Larrys recommendation – “wait for SP2”, is not only does it not cover millions of Win 2000, ME, and 9x users but it will also shutdown all these same “Actives” dependent websites.

It appears that eWeek/Channel Zones Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has the most pragmatic advice on how to make the switch. Lots of pointers/links to resources and practical advice … plus a detailed how to do it with his personal choice, Mozilla Firefox.