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Browser Comparison

At work, we’re pretty much restricted to using Internet Explorer 6. I’m a rebel and use Firefox anyway.

There are lots of free alternatives to Internet Explorer on the internet. But why use them? What advantages do they have over what comes default on most machines people buy? Lets break it down into three categories; Security, Expandibility, and Usability. I’m going to cover Internet Explorer and my personal favorite alternative, Firefox.

Security
Number of Vulnerabilities
Internet Explorer 6
– 25+ vulnerabilities

Internet Explorer 7
– 24 vulnerabilities

Firefox 3.0.4
– 1 vulnerability

General Security Policies
Internet Explorer 6
– No integrated popup blocking
– Cookie Acceptance configurability

Internet Explorer 7
– Basic popup blocking integration
– Cookie Acceptance configurability

Firefox 3.0.4
– Configurable popup blocking
– Cookie Acceptance configurability

Expandibility
Internet Explorer 6
– No Integrated Addon support
Internet Explorer 7
– Simple Addon Support
Firefox 3.0.4
– Integrated Addon Search and Installation/Upgrade Support

Usability
Internet Explorer 6
– No RSS Support
– Doesn’t display pages according to the W3C Standard

Internet Explorer 7
– Good RSS Support
– Doesn’t display pages according to the W3C Standard

Firefox 3.0.4
– Good RSS Support
– Displays pages according to the W3C Standard

So after all these little tidbits, I ask myself, why are we using the oldest and most vulnerable browser out of the lot? If anything, we should probably be upgrading to IE7, since you know free open-source projects are never as good as things you have to shell out hard earned money for.

Contemplate this: Even if you don’t have a general dislike of Microsoft, and are willing to give them your cash, why would you go and use something that’s not as secure as something else? Just because you paid for it? (Yes, Internet Explorer is not free, it’s bundled with your Windows License). Firefox on the other hand is free, available for multiple platforms (Windows, Linux, BSD, Mac, Unix, etc etc), and it’s Open-Source.

References:
W3C
Wikipedia
SecurityFocus