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Internet Explorer Vulnerable a Day After the Critical Patch, Firefox Keeps Gaining, But China Remains Stuck

Summary: Microsoft's Web browser is still Swiss cheese, Firefox is gaining, but over in China, the Internet's largest population, Microsoft has managed to create a lock-in that prevents Firefox migrations

Internet Explorer (IE) received a lot of floggings this month [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] because Microsoft is extremely negligent when it comes to security [1, 2, 3] and it lies about the security of rival products.



Microsoft claims to have patched IE, but this was short lived as a new IE vulnerability surfaced just one day after the patch:

Expert finds vulnerabilities in Microsoft browser



A security research firm said it discovered another set of vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, a day after Microsoft Corp patched the Web browser following a high-profile cyber attack on Google in China.


As a joke, someone has just published: "IE is so secure we just had to build an OS out of it." [satire]

Microsofts new Gazelle concept is the greatest thing to hit Linux or the computer industry as a whole ever. According to Microsoft, Gazelle is a secure web browser constructed as a multi-principal OS. I never thought I would live to see the day that Microsoft announces its own suicide.

I also never imagined that you could become a top executive and yet be so absolutely clueless as to sell an idea to the board that will mark their own demise and yet be so blinded by greed that the obvious has become a non issuing factor.


Firefox 3.6 has just been released and Mozilla continues making gains (because or IE flaws for the most part.)

Firefox, Opera downloads surge after IE security scare



Internet browsers Firefox and Opera have experienced a massive surge in downloads since the security flaw in Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) was exposed.

Firefox owner Mozilla claims it has experienced more than 300,000 extra downloads over a four-day period in Germany that started last Friday. Opera downloads in Germany amounted to over 18,000 in a day over last weekend.


Opera is proprietary software, so we can only endorse Firefox and some GNU/Linux-specific browsers. The Chrome EULA gives reasons to stick with Mozilla and with Firefox.

This brings us back to China, whose confrontation with Google is the event which kick-started this whole massive debate about Internet Explorer.



Microsoft had created a monoculture in Web browsers and then infected the Web with IE-only features that causes a lot of trouble in Korea [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] (ActiveX is mostly to blame). Well, it turns out that in China too Microsoft created such a problem. Here is a new post about the subject:

China’s Strange Fixation on IE6



[...]

The scene in China is markedly different. Tons of websites, including commonly used ones, have been constructed and tested to work with IE6 only, without consideration of web standard (W3C), non-IE browsers (Firefox), or non-Windows platforms (Linux). This proliferation of non-standard websites is partly the result of ignorance. Remember the recent Green Dam fiasco? Green Dam was designed to block undesirable websites, but it only works if you access the web with IE. If you use Firefox, Green Dam has no effect.


From Microsoft's point of view, this is not a coincidence; It's by design.

"In one piece of mail people were suggesting that Office had to work equally well with all browsers and that we shouldn’t force Office users to use our browser. This Is wrong and I wanted to correct this.

"Another suggestion In this mail was that we can’t make our own unilateral extensions to HTML I was going to say this was wrong and correct this also."

--Bill Gates [PDF]



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