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Thats interesting as we are mainly a Mac based company, but running IE 5.3 (along with Safari) with the handful of PC users running IE 6.
Because most users probably have a windows PC at home when the open a browser they just go for what they know and thats the big blue 'e'
I'd rather have Firefox on all the Macs and PC's and be done with it, I reckon around 20% of my time is currently used up by having to hack code so it works with all browsers!
problem is they wont move across to Firefox until its a final release
They are quite right - I wouldn't recommend Firefox in any corporate-wide deployment until 1.0 is out at the very earliest. However, it's not as long as you think: 1.0 Final is due on November 9th - just one week from now. So, hold your horses, and once the stable release is available, get testing.
OTOH, I don't believe in the common conception that open source software is necessarily less prone to exploits than commercial software. Wait for Firefox to gain a considerable installed base of say 20% and you will see the first real exploits. It just takes one killer exploit to ruin a product's reputation - open source FF or closed source IE. In such a situation it would be to IE's advantage that it is included with 90% of newly purchased PCs . There are many, many people who don't know how to download and install a browser or who don't know that it can be done at all or who don't even know what a browser. These people will continue using IE even if its reputation is ruined.
Most of them think it's the new version of IE because I changed the Firefox icon to the IE icon when it was installed to make sure I didn't have a bunch of people asking me where the "E" icon dissappeared to.
They love it and have no idea, even though it says Mozilla Firefox right on the top of their browser.
FireFox vulnerabilities are likely to be limited to merely crashing the browser
True, but not entirely: vulnerabilities can be more serious that just a browser crash (which, while annoying, is usually recoverable).
It is feasible to imagine vulnerabilities which could affect the data held by Firefox itself within the profile, including bookmarks, cached documents, cookies and stored passwords. While it is unlikely that even a buffer overflow would not open a breach at the operating system level, the data is often more valuable than the program itself.
It's the same situation when using a Unix-based operating system and proclaiming confidently that the system is safe simply because you are using an account with limited permissions - but the system can be easily recovered, but any virus which damages the user's home directory can be disastrous.
The advantage with Firefox over IE on Windows is undeniable, but keeping up to date with patches is still vital. Firefox is more likely to limit the damage to just your computer, but that's not much of a consolation if it is your data which is destroyed.
There are many websites that detect IE and if you don't have it you can not go any further.
I don't understand - what, exactly, does (a) have to do with (b)?
Because you have a road with large holes in it, does that make your car/bus/bicycle any worse or better than it is?
For us it was a combination of the Department of Homeland Securities recomendation, one user installing spyware (unfortunatly our accounting software requires admin privledges), and getting it on the bosses machine for evaluation.
Most users have since thrown it on their home machines.
There are still a lot of sites that don't look right or don't work.
Same thing applied with Opera. Nearly always it's out-of-date browser sniffing to blame for non-working sites.
Talking of Opera, it comes with a user agent set to "MSIE 6.0" by default! Presumably they did this because of bad sites. I always switch it to "Opera" myself, and rarely have problems.
I'd say 95% of sites or more work fine in Opera or Firefox. Both browsers have implemented routines to cope with 'old-school' coding methods, rather than display garbage. It seems to be working.