Firefox vs Internet Explorer

A nice rant by Kate Bevan in today’s Guardian technology supplement. She’s fed up of going into corporate clients’ offices and finding that Internet Explorer is the only browser available. Firefox has been available and stable for 18 months. Why do corporate IT departments still insist on forcing IE onto their users?

So being dumped in front of a computer that insists on using IE is a nasty shock. For starters, only the beta of the very newest version – IE7 – uses tabbed browsing. Command-click on a link in any other version and it opens a new window. One office I regularly work at deploys ancient iMacs running a five-year-old operating system. Open more than two IE windows and it crashes. Bashing the keyboard or mouse won’t work – you have to go nuclear and pull out the power lead.

I have plenty of sympathy. IE is the corporate standard for my current clients. In fact I’ve recently learned that downloading and installing Firefox might be considered a sacking offence as it’s not on the list of approved software. But I’m prepared to take the risk as asking someone to develop web applications using IE constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. But developing on Firefox for users who are going to be using IE has its own problems. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve written something only to find that it doesn’t work in IE.

Memo to corporate IT departments: Get Firefox installed. You know it makes sense.


  1. Memo to those who don’t have to deal with the fallout.When Firefox starts issuing security alerts then I’ll start recommending it to clients. Until then I’ll keep them on IE6 and carry on using IE7(beta) because I’ve found no reason not to.

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