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ETpro's avatar

Microsoft Patches IE Security Hole: Why do so many companies insist all employees use it?

Asked by ETpro (34145 points ) January 22nd, 2010

An emergency fix was rushed out yesterday to deal with a vulnerability in the Internet Explorer browser that allowed Chinese hacks on major U.S. companies.

Microsoft has a long history of sticking automation into software to let it do really cool, interactive things with external applications across a local area network or even the Internet. Unfortunately, virtually every one of these really cool gimmicks has also let hackers do really cool things from remote locations, like look at your passwords, your personal information, your credit card numbers and PINs, And so come the patches, which you soon lose advantage if you don’t pay up for the next ‘upgrade’ to get the next batch of really cool things that interact even more.

Microsoft also has a long history of being better at inventing their own standards than following those set by industry-wide organizations. Not only are they not so good at following external standards, version to version, they aren’t even good at following the ones they invented. And so if you want to be able to open a document created with the latest version of Word and see all the beautiful new features, again you MUST shell out cash for upgrade after upgrade. And if you want to browse the Web with IE, you must live with the fact that even today, in its latest version, it gets some of the specs established a decade ago wrong, and doesn’t yet have full alpha channel support for Portable Network Graphics (PNG files) like all the other browsers do.

Just coincidence that all this leads to forced, paid upgrade after paid upgrade. Maybe so, but it’s sure gotten to be a long string of coincidences since Microsoft burst onto the scene with MS-DOS back in 1981. Do you think that the constant upgrade strategy just might be a deliberate ruse to drive profits?

Remind me again why so many corporations dictate that their employees use IE only on company computers.

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9 Answers

lilikoi's avatar

I’m wondering if this is true at mega corporations, and less so at small ones because where I’ve worked (small to start-up small), no one cared what I used.

I am wondering when people are going to wise up and switch to Linux. I think it is only a matter of time before open source takes over. Microsoft’s business model quashes creativity and progress. I just don’t see how it can remain competitive.

phoenyx's avatar

They may be locked in because they have software that only works with internet explorer and it’s not worth the time/money to replace.

jrpowell's avatar

A bunch of big companies websites use ActiveX controls that only work in IE. It is just a complete clusterfuck. I refuse to code for IE anymore.

ETpro's avatar

@lilikoi I hope you are right.

@phoenyx There are plenty of other browsers that are fee and you don’t have to remove IE to use them. In fact, IE is so woven into recent Operating Systems from Microsoft that you can’t remove it.

@lilikoi Same here. Code by LAMP.

phoenyx's avatar

@ETpro
You’re right, there are plenty of alternative browsers, but try, as @johnpowell mentions, to get activeX working with any of the alternatives.

ETpro's avatar

@phoenyx No intention of doing so. I do still keep IE around though. I have to know that the buggy thing displays a properly coded Web site the way good browsers do.

rottenit's avatar

From an enterprise perspective IE is much easier to manage via Group Policy, vs other applications.

ETpro's avatar

@rottenit That’s a good point. Thanks.

rottenit's avatar

I face the same sort of problem with Adobe Reader, on the one hand every other week there is some security issue with it, but we can centrally fix that vs using something like Foxit which may have less issues overall but very little central deployment/patching/configuration.

The MS enterprise/server apps are going to be around for a while, dev’s need to plug-in to the exisitng management structures if they want to gain widespread deployment in companies.

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