Enterprise Software

Why security concerns are driving migration from IE to Firefox

Follow the rise of Firefox from a lightly-regarded spinoff of the Mozilla group to a stealer of market share from IE.

In scanning the regular litany of security alerts, bulletins, and software updates that come to the attention of the average IT professional, it's interesting how many of them over the past two years have been focused around flaws and attacks that involve Internet Explorer.

Many of the issues surrounding IE involve hackers luring users to malicious Web sites, which then use nefarious tactics to exploit IE flaws and compromise the user's system. Of course, luring the average user with misleading e-mails and hyperlinks is not very difficult to do, and as a result, some IT departments are now deciding that the constant patching and security concerns of supporting IE are not worth it, and many of them are turning to the upstart Web browser Firefox as an alternative.

The following articles chart the rise of Firefox and the reasons for its growing popularity:

  • Firefox provides a legitimate alternative to IE – Here's an article that was written back when Firefox was still a beta release. Even then, Firefox was already beginning to make some noise and draw some converts, and this article begins to explain where Firefox came from and why it became attractive to users.
  • Firefox aims for 10 percent of Web surfers – In October 2004, a spokesman for Mozilla, the organization behind Firefox, said that he expected Firefox to gobble up 10 percent of the Web browser market. This article provides a look at the basic timetable that Firefox is aiming for.
  • Study: Firefox still gaining on Internet Explorer – A week before Firefox 1.0 was released, a study of online users by WebSideStory revealed that the momentum gained by Firefox was not just a flash in the pan but was still moving forward.
  • Mozilla releases Firefox 1.0 – Just over a year and a half after development began, Mozilla released Firefox 1.0, and on the first day the upstart browser got over 1 million downloads. This article explains that a big part of the lure for Firefox has been the growing perception that IE is a security and privacy risk.
  • Microsoft says Firefox not a threat to IE – Shortly after Firefox was released, Microsoft officials gave a collective shrug and said that IE's market share was not under significant attack and that IE was not inherently less secure than any other browser.
  • Dear IE, I'm leaving you for good – Here's a colorful and satirical letter that CNET editor Robert Vamosi wrote to Internet Explorer explaining why he was leaving IE for Firefox. Along with the wit, you'll find a lot of the common reasons that are driving users and IT departments to adopt Firefox.

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