Oh, brother. You know things are bad when people start ditching your
product over fears that it's slower and less secure than other free
alternatives, but things are really bad when a government recommends to
its citizens that consumers should ditch your product if they haven't
already. It almost sounds too weird to be true, but the German Federal
Office for Security in Information Technology (better known as BSI) has
actually issued a formal statement urging consumers to shy away from IE
and try their luck with something else...like Firefox.
We can't say that we're experts in translating the German tongue, but
the gist of it is that German users are recommended to not use IE until
Microsoft issues a fix that remedies a critical vulnerability that some
are saying had a lot to do with the Chinese attack on Google. It's
likely that Microsoft
will patch things up and life will continue on as
scheduled, but there's more to this story that that.
Internet Explorer has been taking hits for awhile now. But this is
probably the biggest, most widely recognized hit of all. When a
government issues a statement, it's more than just some frustrated user
complaining. It makes people take notice, and while we doubt that IE
will lose a ton of market share (thanks to it being packaged within
Windows), it certainly won't help its standing in the market place.
After all, when is the last time you heard of a serious security hole
in any other browser aside from IE? We're waiting.