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01.20.10

Patriotic Duty to Abandon Microsoft

Posted in Australia, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 6:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: More governments join the call to replace Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, some even explicitly recommending Free software

THIS is a subject that we have already covered in the following posts:

Several readers have told us (via IRC, comments, E-mail) that two more governments — English-speaking ones even — are finally recommending the abandonment of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) and thus the establishment of diversity. This already leads to a huge increase in downloads of Microsoft rivals (warning: obtrusive paywall), as no version of Internet Explorer is currently secure. It is probable that many people abandon Windows altogether because the government makes the warning official. From Jamie in the UK:

Now fast forward to today. The headline is the same. Again. The only thing that has changed is Microsoft’s response – instead of “it’s only one flaw”, they say “it’s only in one very old version of IE” – which is a sly way of implying that it is the users own fault. Never mind that independent experts have said that it exists in IE 7 and IE 8.

How many times do we have to do this? How many zero-day bugs does it take? Here is the solution to these problems: links where you can download a different browser. Try one. Heck, try them all, it’s quick and easy to download and install any or all of them. If you have been a “loyal” Microsoft / Internet Explorer user until now, I think you will be very pleasantly surprised at how nice, easy, fast and secure every one of these are. Best of all, these are only the most obvious options, just a tiny bit of looking around will reveal several more which are probably just as good.

Well, the Microsoft stunts are not exactly working. Despite the spin which the BBC kindly hosted for Microsoft, Australia has joined the call to flee away from Microsoft’s Web browser.

AUSTRALIAN, French and German internet users have been told by their respective governments to stop using the Internet Explorer (IE) program because of a security threat.

According to a report on news.com.au, Australian web users were advised to install security patches or switch browsers. In France and Germany, however, warnings have been issued against all versions of Microsoft’s browser.

New Zealand too:

The governments of France and Australia have joined those who are warning that Internet Explorer is unsafe in its unpatched state. So has New Zealand. But the UK, reportedly, has decided not to do so. But some of the recommended alternatives might cause some users frustration.

This is a hugely important turning point. Some years ago, governments typically insisted that citizens use Internet Explorer (which requires Windows) merely to access and use government Web sites where there is no choice. Those same governments are now implying that it’s one’s duty to spend time migrating away from Internet Explorer, which in turn makes the migration to other platforms (not Windows) trivial. In Austria, for example, a migration to GNU/Linux was reportedly stifled by IE-only Web sites.

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2 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    January 20, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Gravatar

    There is more to these recommendations than is let on.

    Interestingly enough, because Microsoft refused to follow the EU requirements that its nasty browser be unbundled from its nasty operating system, the only way to get rid of MSIE is to also get rid of MS Windows. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  2. uberVU - social comments said,

    January 21, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by schestowitz: Patriotic Duty to Abandon #Microsoft http://boycottnovell.com/2010/01/20/new-zealand-australia-vs-msie/ #msie…

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