Browsers In Transition

I don't trust Microsoft and never will again. The recent spate of security holes discovered in its operating system leads any person to wonder how a firm with the enormous financial resources Microsoft possess could allow so many serious and even critical security flaws in its Operating System (OS), Internet browser and or office products. It makes one wonder what Tom Ridge (Homeland Security Director) and Bill Gates were really talking about when they met not too long ago. Now, please believe me when I say that I am not too quick to blast Microsoft, as I like Windows. I have used Linux and really liked it too. However because of the the fact that drivers remain the perennial problem with Linux distributions, it will remain in the shadows of Windows until they can make agreements with hardware manufacturers to write drivers for Windows and Linux. Until then much of this work is done by dedicated teams of volunteers.

The browser wars of the 90's almost destroyed Netscape. It wasn't that Netscape was bad, it was just not embedded into the OS as IE was and thus people were almost 'forced' to use IE. However, since then smaller browsers have made tremendous headway. The Mozilla project is my favorite. It is a small group of people who have managed to produce a top notch browser for free and without annoying 'nag' screens or ads. It is stable and has many features that IE does not have, my favorite being tabbed browsing. It allows you to have several web pages open at the same time, each being easily accessed via a tab at the top of the viewing window. It is very useful to me because I have to scan over a hundred web pages a day to gather the news. Firefox also has a feature called extensions that provides a great deal of additional functionality that IE has never put in such as ad blocking and security features such as rotating proxies. RSS news aggregators are also available as well as various other browsing enhancements that give you real control over your browsing experience. For those of you who are afraid of having to learn a new piece of software, you will find it very easy to use. For those who are addicted to 'eye-candy', it even  allows your browser to be skinnable to give a look and feel that one feels comfortable with.

I realize may of you are hesitant to switch browsers, I understand this. Microsoft Banks on that fear. Unfortunately I cannot update and change all 400 pages on this site to fix, what is in essence, a Microsoft problem. So If you really like this site and want the pages to view correctly and be able to print the files you will have to switch browsers.

I highly recommend my readers shifting away for IE and giving another browser a whirl. Firefox is my favorite but Opera is also good as is Netscape, however each of these have their little trade-offs (i.e., ad-ware or nagging 'sign-up' screens etc).

 

Secure your computer and switch browsers!

 

 

Mark Watson

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