Mozilla-Based Browsers Are Gaining

By Deane Barker on July 1, 2004

Are the Browser Wars Back? – How Mozilla’s Firefox trumps Internet Explorer: This is a good article from Slate that rings true — Mozilla and Firefox are surging in the market right now. More and more, people are switching.

You’ve probably been told to dump Internet Explorer for a Mozilla browser before, by the same propeller-head geek who wants you to delete Windows from your hard drive and install Linux. You’ve ignored him, and good for you. […]

But six years later, the surviving members of the Mozilla insurgency are staging a comeback. […] all-conquering Internet Explorer has been stuck in the mud for the past year, as Microsoft stopped delivering new versions.

Joe and I were leaving my building two nights ago, and we overheard a conversation between two lawyers out front. I know both of them, and I can tell you that neither is a shining example of technical aptitude, yet we heard one of them tell the other “…your problem is that you’re still using Internet Explorer…you should be using that Mozilla…”

This week I have to head over to my in-laws for the sixth or seventh time this year to cleanse their machine of all the unbelievable crud that IE allows to get in there. This time, they switch to Mozilla or I’m not coming back.

I don’t mean to sound elitist and geeky, but if you’re still using IE…why? (I am SO going to regret writing that…)



  1. Three things keep IE hanging on in the corporate world: — ActiveX – Most folks don’t like it, but there’s a lot of it around. There are Mozilla plugins to handle ActiveX, but they’re not always free, stable, or transparent.

    — NTLM passthrough – This is IE’s ability to transparently send your NTLM authentication info to a web server on the corporate network (what IE considers the ‘Intranet Zone’). Mozilla now does NTLM, but refuses to send out your auth info willy-nilly to any local web server that asks for it like IE will. This is a big advantage for corporate intranets.

    — .NET launching – IE’s latest trick is the ability to recognize a .NET exe on a remote server and just launch it, without security prompts or configuration, for web servers in the ‘Trusted Sites’ zone. This is a huge bonus for deploying .NET thick clients in a corporation, since you get zero installation and automatic updates for free with this method, and you can link to thick client apps from your intranet.

    Sadly, Mozilla isn’t likely to implement any of these in the foreseeable future. I use Firefox as much as possible, but I couldn’t roll it out to the whole enterprise unless these items were addressed.

  2. Right On Deane. IE has brought nothing to me only misery. Not just as a user, but as a web developer. Visit any of the css sites and see them comment “IE Hack” here…”IE Hack” there. How come all the other browsers can conform to standards and IE can’t.

    I just downloaded a new little widget for firefox. Its sweet I can sync my 2 machines bookmarks in work and my one at home, no matter what OS.

    Rant Concluded

  3. Unfortunately, from what I hear about XP SP2, all of the things listed above that are good about IE could go poof due to tighter security restrictions in Windows.

    I’m happy and embarassed to admit that I’m a diehard FireFox supporter these days. I just got too tired of the stinking CSS issues.

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