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Why Your Browser Matters

Bruce Morton

Over the past couple of weeks, the Online Trust Alliance (OTA) and Microsoft have launched campaigns promoting the use of modern browsers. OTA’s campaign, “Why Your Browser Matters,” provides tools and resources to help website operators provide user education on the value of keeping browsers current.

What appears to be complementary to the OTA campaign is the Microsoft announcement of a new website, YourBrowserMatters.org. The site evaluates the browser being used and gives you a score from 0 to 4. IE8 scores 3, Chrome 14 scores 2.5, Firefox 7 scores 2, and IE9 scores a perfect 4. Opera and Safari are not supported by the site.

Some may suspect that the scoring system is largely tilted in Microsoft’s favor. On the other hand, the campaign complements another effort by Microsoft, The IE6 Countdown, which is dedicated to dropping the usage of Microsoft’s IE6. I like the line, “Friends don’t let friends use Internet Explorer 6. And neither should acquaintances.” I suppose Microsoft is taking advantage of promoting the tight integration between Windows 7 and IE9, to provide arguably the safest Windows browsing experience

The long and short of it is that your browser does matter. The latest version is undoubtedly more secure than an older version. And yes, some browsers are better than others, but this seems to shift from time to time as browser vendors play catch up.

Personally, I have always been an IE user, but switched to Chrome when IE9 was launched. Why? I also use Windows XP which does not support IE9. My thinking was that if I wanted to stay on the latest browser version, then I would have to switch to something that continues to support XP. I wonder how Microsoft missed that subtlety.

Bruce Morton
Bruce Morton
Director, Certificate Technology & Standards

Bruce Morton has worked in the public key infrastructure and digital certificate industry for more than 15 years and has focused on SSL and other publicly trusted certificates since 2005. He has been an active member of the CA/Browser Forum that released guidelines for extended validation (EV) certificates and Baseline Requirements for SSL certificates. Bruce oversees the governance and compliance of Entrust’s publicly trusted PKI.

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