Dam, when I signed up for this website to comment on your article I had all these things pre-checked for me regarding newsletters and "Special offers from our premier sponsors"... I don't need that spam being sent to my email address. Perhaps you should consider your own companies, techrepublic, as malisius trying to spam our inbox's with this 'junk'. Luckily I was able to unchecked that sneaky little box before it was capable of sending me all this crap I don't want sent to me.
This is the same type of argument you are presenting with having Google Chrome pre checked for installation along side your adobe flash. These pre-checked "Special offers from our premier sponsors" is what pays bills, and for Adobe... Google is willing to pay money to have that option there. It is up to the user to unchecked the box without blindly hitting the install button.
What is sneaky is how Internet Explorer is a integrated product into Windows. I am not sure if it is still as such, but it was once required to have it installed in order to authenticate your installation of windows, to update your operating system, or even to visit the Microsoft website.
As for your article saying that Google Chrome does not offer any features over Internet Explore, then I would like to you consider that Chrome offers sync, extensions, improved security, self updating client, and then there is the improved release cycle.
Chrome Sync allows me to have my extensions, open browser tabs, bookmarks, and other information I chose to sync across all my chrome browsers on all my devices. This means I am able to search for something on my computer at home, and on my way out the door continue browsing on that same page on my tablet or phone.
If that was not big enough of a feature, then you include extensions into the mix and you have a browser that you can make your own. I have an extension with gives me the ability to double click on a word on a website, and it will provide me with the definition of that word. Then there is my Translator extension that enables me to translate websites automatically when I visit one that is not in English. Another Extension I have is my ad blocker, which stops advertisement from being presented to me. A lot of times viruses like to propagate though advertisements, so this also improves security. All of these and countless more extensions are available for browsers like Chrome and Firefox, but with Internet Explorer the closet you get is toolbars.
Some people might be turned off by auto updating, but when it comes to a browser it makes a lot of since. My browser, being chrome, does not require me to go out to Google's website to install the latest version of the browser like one would have to do with IE. This means that I am getting security fixes as soon as they are released, and being that Google thought of there user interface before releasing it... the interface does not change drastically from update to update like Microsoft's IE (they are still trying to figure out what they want to have it look like).
To top that all off, Microsoft has never been known for their development cycle. They are often slow to pumping out the next release or security updates for there products. Then you add the amount of time it takes the normal user to update there browser... which is on average... never.
Coming from a web developer's perspective I do have a rather distaste for Microsoft's IE, mainly because how they have handled web standards. Thanks to releases like IE6, We have a internet with multiple versions of the same website... just so it will load properly in that dam browser.
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