MozillaZine

MSN Slate Magazine: "Firefox trumps Internet Explorer"

Monday July 5th, 2004

Several readers wrote in to tell us that the MSN Slate Magazine ran an article recommending Mozilla Firefox over Internet Explorer last week. Author Paul Boutin mainly prefers Firefox for security reasons, with the browser's lack of support for ActiveX eliminating many virus and spyware concerns. While Slate is owned by Microsoft, it should be noted that the publication has always maintained that it is editorially independent and that Boutin is a freelance journalist.


#1 Firefox is pretty sweet

by buff

Monday July 5th, 2004 7:50 PM

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Firefox is pretty sweet. I made it the default browser on Fedora Core 2 and it is running great. The latest 0.9.1 release is bug free enough for general browsing. I have flash and the Java plugin working without any problems. Such a cool browser. It could possibly use a mail application button that could be dragged to a toolbar to open your favorite mail program.

#4 Re: Firefox is pretty sweet

by Gnu

Monday July 5th, 2004 8:54 PM

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But ... it HAS a mail button. It's sitting in my toolbar as we speak. (It's not part of the default toolbar setup, but is easily dragged there from the toolbar farm.)

#5 Re: Re: Firefox is pretty sweet

by Anthracks

Monday July 5th, 2004 9:24 PM

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Actually, I believe the Mail button is Windows-only, at least for the time being.

#6 Re: Re: Re: Firefox is pretty sweet

by Gnu

Monday July 5th, 2004 10:31 PM

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Geez, it's been so long since I've seen a Linux build that I probably never noticed. My poor Linux machine is currently running headless as a server in my closet.

#7 Re: Re: Re: Firefox is pretty sweet

by Ben_Goodger

Monday July 5th, 2004 10:46 PM

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bryner is implementing nsIShelllService for GNOME - the mail button will be available shortly.

#30 Re: Re: Re: Firefox is pretty sweet

by willlburr

Wednesday July 7th, 2004 10:04 PM

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Download Thunderbird and set it as your default mail program and the mail button will bring up the default mail program. This is what I did for my systems.

#8 Java plugin thinks FF 0.9.1 is ... IE6???

by DP3_001

Tuesday July 6th, 2004 1:14 AM

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Java's also working for me. But it's working with the "Microsoft Internet Explorer" option checked off on the broswer tab in the Java Plugin Control Panel, something that isn't supposed to be the case. Checking off "Mozilla 1.1 or later" produces a message that says the browser isn't installed on the computer. Weird.

PS: The article? It took the words right out of my mouth.

#28 Re: Java plugin thinks FF 0.9.1 is ... IE6???

by janahan

Wednesday July 7th, 2004 11:33 AM

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thats because u may have a browser agent spoofing extension... and spoofing mozilla to appear like IE..

#15 Re: Firefox is pretty sweet

by mr_anon

Tuesday July 6th, 2004 9:18 AM

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There is a little trick you can use to open a new mail message in your default email application (at least it works under windows). It's not the same as starting an email client but it's all I usually need.

Just type mailto: in the address bar and hit enter. You could also make a bookmark of this 'link' and put it in your Toolbar Folder so it's always handy.

#2 FIrefox is a necessity

by NXprime

Monday July 5th, 2004 8:28 PM

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After spending several hours cleaning viruses off my parents PC & reinstalling all the software after a reformat, I had ZERO intention of letting them use IE anymore. The name (internet explorer) might be the same, the icon might be the same, but that's where the simlarities end. Hehehe. Gotta love that renaming extentsion for Firefox. :P

#3 Re: FIrefox is a necessity

by nentuaby

Monday July 5th, 2004 8:32 PM

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Hehe- evil. Evil, yet beautiful. Good job. :)

#9 Re: FIrefox is a necessity

by allen

Tuesday July 6th, 2004 1:33 AM

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I have to ask, what is the point?

This tactic doesn't do Firefox any good at all in the long run. We need to increase awareness of the product, not install it in such an insidious and anonymous way. If their browsing experience improves, they'll just assume that IE has got better.

Why not just tell them you've installed a better, more secure browser? That's what I did with my parents, and they've started telling their friends about Mozilla Firefox. Your parents won't be able to do that.

#11 Re: Re: FIrefox is a necessity

by mlefevre

Tuesday July 6th, 2004 5:33 AM

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The reasoning is that when they try, for example, to use a site written for IE and it doesn't work, they will blame Firefox and go back to IE (or demand that whoever changed it revert the change). If you do it without keeping them informed, they won't blame Firefox.

I'm not sure I agree with that reasoning though - it may or may not be successful in the short term, but it's not ideal in the long term, as you say...

#29 Re: Re: Re: FIrefox is a necessity

by janahan

Wednesday July 7th, 2004 11:36 AM

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you could try installing Netscape 7.1 (or 7.2 when it gets released).

Thats what i did for my parents... and i also painted such a bad picture of IE, that they woudlnt DARE go back! :)

#21 Re: Re: FIrefox is a necessity

by NXprime

Tuesday July 6th, 2004 11:20 PM

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Look, they *demand* to use the same crud. Plus they wouldn't know what this new firefox icon on their desktop is. They're familiar enough with the IE icon, so why make it harder on them than they should? IE = Internet. I even have the icon in the middle of the desktop screen just the way they like it. I had a hard of enough time trying to explain to my dad that there isn't search sidebar anymore. He likes MSN search results from the sidepanel. I tried like mad to find an extension that adds a search sidebar but couldn't find anything. There's this mycroft thing but all I want to do is change default setting to <http://www.msn.com.> Can't be that hard, can it? Oh btw, if there's a preference that clears the searchbox (navagation bar) once you hit enter, I'd be glad to know what that is.

And I REALLY doubt that these 65+ old geezers would promote Firefox. I mean, they barely know how to use the 'back' button in IE/Firefox. Dad likes to look up car info & gambling resorts and mom like to play <http://www.myway.com> mini flash games (for five hours). :)

The way they got the virus was through the local library website my mom uses as the homepage. It got hit with the viruses and it spread to their home pc. I know what kind of websites these folks go to so I never thought that they'd get hit with this kind of junk. Oh well, live and learn I guess. :)

#22 Re: Re: FIrefox is a necessity

by NXprime

Tuesday July 6th, 2004 11:23 PM

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Look, they *demand* to use the same crud. Plus they wouldn't know what this new firefox icon on their desktop is. They're familiar enough with the IE icon, so why make it harder on them than they should? IE = Internet. I even have the icon in the middle of the desktop screen just the way they like it. I had a hard of enough time trying to explain to my dad that there isn't search sidebar anymore. He likes MSN search results from the sidepanel. I tried like mad to find an extension that adds a search sidebar but couldn't find anything. There's this mycroft thing but all I want to do is change default setting to <http://www.msn.com.> Can't be that hard, can it? Oh btw, if there's a preference that clears the searchbox (navagation bar) once you hit enter, I'd be glad to know what that is.

And I REALLY doubt that these 65+ old geezers would promote Firefox. I mean, they barely know how to use the 'back' button in IE/Firefox. Dad likes to look up car info & gambling resorts and mom like to play <http://www.myway.com> mini flash games (for five hours). :)

The way they got the virus was through the local library website my mom uses as the homepage. It got hit with the viruses and it spread to their home pc. I know what kind of websites these folks go to so I never thought that they'd get hit with this kind of junk. Oh well, live and learn I guess. :)

#23 Re: Re: Re: FIrefox is a necessity

by Smigit

Wednesday July 7th, 2004 12:24 AM

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"And I REALLY doubt that these 65+ old geezers would promote Firefox"

I agree, I dont think its Firefox's users job to promote the browser or even recomend it. If the marketing sector of the group does its job well enough other people shouldnt have to be the ones promoting it. Sure, recomendations by friends go a long way but the project will survive if 1 person does chose not to promote it.

#24 Re: Re: Re: Re: FIrefox is a necessity

by NXprime

Wednesday July 7th, 2004 12:53 AM

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I am recommending whole-heartedly to my friend who works in the air-force. I emailed him that article saying that the government recommends using an alternative browswer than IE. I never cared to do any of this promoting stuff until I found out going to a rather plain jane website can cause you to get virus in oh.... 3 seconds. Now I'm going to convince my friend, my sister, and my brother to switch to Firefox. Like asap. :)

#31 Re: Re: Re: FIrefox is a necessity

by willlburr

Wednesday July 7th, 2004 10:23 PM

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I rember when I was a kid my parents would take the time to sit down and teach me things, and sometimes they would do this several times till I got it right. and now that I am a bit older now I do not mind sitting down with people that are older (60+), if they had the time to teach me when I was young, I should return the favor and take the time to teach them. After all the only thing you could gain from this is a little respect from the older generation. :-)

#10 100% reproducible hang opening this page w/ F0.9.1

by lacostej <coffeebreaks@hotmail.com>

Tuesday July 6th, 2004 2:48 AM

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Tried 3 times, 100% CPU 3 times. (with the package from debian experimental)

Anyone else seeing this?

Nor browing using M 1.7

#18 fix

by Asacarny

Tuesday July 6th, 2004 10:23 AM

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I had this problem with FF when I upgraded on Windows to .9. If you clean out your profile and just import what you need, it should go away.

Really annoying though.

Adam

#20 Re: 100% reproducible hang opening this page w/ F0

by WillyWonka

Tuesday July 6th, 2004 4:40 PM

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Try deleting the XUL cache. xul.mlf or something along those lines (It's in the profile). It will just recreate the file when you reload but it normally fixes hangs like that.

#12 Other Boutin Article

by remline <remline@hotmail.com>

Tuesday July 6th, 2004 6:28 AM

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From another article by Paul Boutin: ( <http://equipped.msn.com/article.aspx?aid=14> )

"Nowadays, the most common Web browser and e-mail clients Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Outlook, and Outlook Express (Disclosure: Microsoft owns Slate) are configured by default to be secure."

Yeah, right. Is MS making him clean up his act or something? :)

#13 Re: Other Boutin Article

by darnell

Tuesday July 6th, 2004 8:22 AM

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No matter how "independent" Slate claims to be I don't think Paul Boutin will be advancing with them if he keeps trashing IE. So of course he's going to do a CYA while taking a swipe at IE ;o) .

#26 Re: Re: Other Boutin Article

by Gnu

Wednesday July 7th, 2004 11:11 AM

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I wouldn't be too concerned with that from what I've seen of MSNBC, who isn't the least bit afraid of reporting bad tidings for Microsoft.

I mean, honestly, they understand that they wouldn't get very far if they were seen as some kind of mouthpiece for Microsoft rhetoric while claiming to be a legitimate news service. I have my own issues with MSNBC, but I'll certainly give them that much.

#14 Re: Other Boutin Article

by mlefevre

Tuesday July 6th, 2004 8:34 AM

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Unless he's invented the time machine, I don't see how that article from June 10th could be a "clean-up" after an article published on June 30th.

And the statement is true, the default IE and OE settings are more secure than older default settings, and some people do (for whatever reason) lower them. Whether or not there are security exploits, it's generally a good idea not to run with things set so that sites don't need an exploit to install things.

#16 Default Browser in new PCs

by PC1

Tuesday July 6th, 2004 9:20 AM

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As long as computers are shipped with IE as default, and as long as one cannot update windows with ease as with IE, their article may not result in any significant change in the browser market share.

Look at it this way. Most viruses and email worms come thru Outlook and yet most people still use it even afetr being infected more than once. Switching to other email cliets is also as easy as switching to another browser. Switching to Linux (since windows is less secure and more susceptable to viruses, etc...) is on the other hand more dificult.

I do not see a lot of people switching from IE unless FF and/or Opera are installed by default in new computers (with no IE).

#25 Re: Default Browser in new PCs

by bmacfarland

Wednesday July 7th, 2004 9:53 AM

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For what it's worth, it's not so easy to switch away from Outlook like it is IE. Outlook has the integrated meetings and other functionality that Thunderbird can't really match until it's paired with Sunbird and maybe even Address Book.

#17 Slightly OT: what should AOL users do?

by sab39

Tuesday July 6th, 2004 9:35 AM

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I have a lot of family that, no matter how I try, I cannot persuade to stop using AOL. Unfortunately this also means that I can't stop them using AOL's embedded IE browser.

Are AOL users just screwed, or does anyone know of a good hack for inserting Gecko as AOL's rendering engine?

#19 Re: Slightly OT: what should AOL users do?

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Tuesday July 6th, 2004 11:18 AM

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"Are AOL users just screwed, or does anyone know of a good hack for inserting Gecko as AOL's rendering engine?"

Buy a Mac: <http://store.apple.com/1-….1.0.6.21.1.2.1.1.0.0.1.0>

Download AOL for Mac OS X: <http://www.apple.com/macosx/applications/aol/>

Alex

#27 Re: Re: Slightly OT: what should AOL users do?

by Gnu

Wednesday July 7th, 2004 11:14 AM

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I think you're expecting a bit much in this case. If you can't steer someone away from AOL, you most certainly will have even more trouble trying to steer them away from Windows. It just can't be done.

#32 Re: Re: Slightly OT: what should AOL users do?

by Smigit

Thursday July 8th, 2004 7:46 AM

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you could get them to minimise the AOL browser and use FF instead. however that doesnt fix the problem, only a really loose way around and IE will still be open, but the less you do on it the less chance you have of being effected.

In any event i used to have AOL a long time ago and did this not for security reasons but because AOL browser is simply useless.

Rather than looking for somerthing to replace the IE aspect with gecko, perhaps you could find sopme tools that allow you to dialin to the AOL network without using the AOL browser. I dont know how AOL broaband operates but for dialup you had to have the browser open to be connected so if you could just remove the browser from the equation thatd be a good start. I doont however know of any apps that could do this, but i would bet my last dollar theres one or someone has at least tried

#34 ActiveX Mozilla control

by davidboydca

Thursday July 8th, 2004 6:43 PM

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You might want to look at the Mozilla Control. It's a drop-in replacement for the Microsoft ActiveX control that many applications use except it uses the Mozilla 1.7 rendering engine.

<http://www.iol.ie/~locka/mozilla/mozilla.htm>

There is a tool called IE Patcher that will fix up the AOL application (or any application) to use the Mozilla Control.

<http://www.iol.ie/~locka/mozilla/iepatcher.zip>

I don't know if it would actually work correctly with the AOL client but you can certainly try it at home first to verify.

#33 Speaking of trumping...

by treego

Thursday July 8th, 2004 5:37 PM

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Opera trumps Firefox/Thunderbird/Mozilla, etc. ... maybe Slate will issue another article to reflect this?