Calling time on Firefox

A sensible article on Firefox in an enterprise environment leads to the obvious conclusion that anyone who buys a product in its o.x or 1.ox versions ought not to be employed (or not for very much longer, anyway) in any organization that is even minimally risk aware.

And, frankly, you don’t have to be much of a contrarian to spot that Firefox isn’t much of a competitor for Internet Explorer. While the out-crowd hype has driven Firefox market share to 8.45% in a short space of time, IE still has 87.28% of the market. When Firefox started out, the IE share was about 96%. 1-0 for hype.

Now, ask yourself: if you were a criminal (hackers, crackers, and other malcontents included), and you wanted to attack websurfers, what would you target? The two or three browsers that, between them, have less than 5% of the market, or the single one that has about 96%? Ok, so, given that the both the professional and the amateur online criminal fraternities have been targetting IE for a few years, how many vulnerabilities do you think they may have found by now?

And, given our apparently insatiable mania for bigger, better, faster, cooler, NOW! – what’s the likelihood of new IE releases having new vulnerabilities?

In other words, browsers are always going to have holes, and the crooks are always going to focus on exploiting the holes. And they sure are – witness the flaw found last month in all browsers EXCEPT IE. Hmm.

So, on the one hand, we’ve got Microsoft – who’ve built a machine for cranking out updates and getting them to end users quickly and efficiently – and on the other, we’ve got Mozilla, who’ve got… how many guys actually working on fixes?

Of their nightly builds, Mozilla say this: “You will find bugs, and lots of them. Mozilla might crash on startup. It might delete all your files and cause your computer to burst into flames.”

Thanks. That’s a helpful warning.

Even Mozilla recognise that the hype is running out of steam.