Microsoft security = oxymoron

Opinion Piece
The News Tribune


It's a good thing for Microsoft that it has a near-monopoly on Internet browsers.

If it weren't for the sheer ubiquity of the company's Internet Explorer, used by an estimated 95 percent of the world's Web surfers, a lot of people would be dumping Explorer.

Last week one of the world's top computer security experts, Johannes Ullrich, said Explorer is so riddled with security flaws that using it is "like playing the lottery." His assessment was prompted by the spread of two new viruses that steal passwords and other valuable information from unsuspecting Explorer users.

Ullrich even recommended that Web surfers consider alternative but little-known browsers such as Mozilla and Opera. That would be like Consumer Reports saying Ford cars are so risky that drivers should switch to other brands.

For most users, switching browsers isn't worth the trouble, simply because almost everything else on the Internet works best with Explorer. And most Explorer users figure that the bad stuff that could happen won't happen to them.

So once again Microsoft is busy working on new security patches. Being Microsoft means never having to say you're sorry for a defective product.

Most of us who use the Internet can't live without Microsoft's Internet Explorer.


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