After years of trying to convince technologically inept relatives to stop using Internet Explorer, computer geeks worldwide may finally have something new to back up their words: the advice of the German and French governments.
The French government joined Germany today in recommending that its citizens switch to another browser in light of last week's admission by Microsoft that Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8 all contained the same security vulnerability, in which "Internet Explorer can be caused to allow remote code execution."
Microsoft declared in a blog post on Sunday that the security exploit was only seen in Internet Explorer 6, yet both Germany and France have recommended moving away from the browser regardless of version.
As we reported on Friday, Internet security company McAfee pointed out this security vulnerability in Internet Explorer, which allowed hackers in China to attack Google, Adobe and a large number of other companies, including Yahoo and Northrop Grumman.
We contacted Microsoft's PR firm, but due to the holiday in the U.S. today, we weren't able to reach anyone inside the company. An article in The Telegraph, however, paraphrased Microsoft as having said "that the German government had over-reacted about the threat posed by the vulnerability, and that general users were not at risk."
Joe Wilcox of Beta News was not so timid, his suggestion that "it's time to stop using any version of Microsoft's browser -- IE6, IE7, IE8 and forget someday releasing IE9."
According to StatCounter, Internet Explorer still accounts for 45% of browser use in Europe, as opposed to 53% in North America and just over 55% worldwide.
While Microsoft is working on a fix for the problem, we have yet to hear of any resolution to the issue. We'll have to keep an eye on this one and see if the recommendations do anything to lessen Internet Explorer's complete and total dominance in the browser markets.