October 10, 2006

May The Force(d Upgrades) Be With You

Filed under: — mlazoff

According to Brian Kreb’s Security Fix column in today’s Washington Post, Microsoft [Will] Push Out [Internet Explorer version 7.0 browser] IE7 This Month, “…to Windows users who download security updates through Microsoft Update or Automatic Updates.” This “long overdue upgrade” to the current version IE6 will include tabbed browsing, built in RSS feeds, tools to help identify data-stealing phishing sites, and security improvements in ActiveX. However, one new security feacture—Protected Mode, ”a ’containment wall’ to prevent the browser from installing software or changing computer settings without the user’s consent”—will not work with current Microsoft operating systems, not even XP. It will require Microsoft’s next operating system update, Vista, due out in early 2007.

Microsoft IE’s main competitor, the open source browser Mozilla Firefox, is mentioned in the article. “It will be interesting to see whether this upgrade for Windows will further increase Microsoft’s market share in the ongoing browser wars. According to numbers released today by Amsterdam-based Web analytics firm, the total global usage share of IE increased 2.8 percent since July 2006, bringing Microsoft’s share of the browser market worldwide to nearly 86 percent. The company says Mozilla Firefox’s browsers have a total global usage share of 11.49 percent, a decrease of 1.44 percent since July 2006. In the United States, the IE/Firefox ratio is roughly 80 percent to 15 percent, according to OneStat.”

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