Monday, September 19, 2005

In Defense of Internet Explorer

When you are running 90% of all the PCs in the world, it can be expected that all the ill-willed hackers in the world will be after you, searching into all your possible weaknesses and unattended backdoors, and exploiting them to try to bring you down. For this reason, Bill Gates is one big unloved person in the world.

This unfortunately is the case with Microsoft’s best-selling main products.

I have always used IE, since I broke away from the original and pioneering Netscape. And I have weathered through all the “slings and arrows” hurled at my uses of different versions of IE over the years, ably assisted by my trusty and always updated anti-virus, Norton. I do confess that I have not used the open-source alternatives.

To be fair then, IE has served me well over the years from the time it got bundled up with Win95, and thus assured the demise of Netscape.

One little detail I need to reveal. For my PC (from all the PCs that I have connected to my home LAN) that connects to the net, I have stayed with Win98, Second Edition, arguably considered the hardiest of all the WinXX versions.

My rationale has been quite simple. Like open-source whose penetration at present is still quite miniscule compared to Windows, active hackers of the world will not pay too much attention to the older Versions of WinXX knowing that most active PCs are now running the newer versions. Thus, in a very real way, most infections are now directed against PCs running WinXP and the immediately preceding version.

And lastly, for this PC I have kept its configuration as simple, as lean, and as an uncluttered as possible, leaving only the applications and add-ons needed for the purposes why one goes to the internet.

This option is practicable, of course, if you simply have to use, or stay with, Windows. Or you may at present not have the time or inclination or expense to try and go through the learning curve of an entirely new OS.