The following is a guest post from Doug Glaston. Doug is a writer on social media and Internet marketing who also is a content provider forย Home Security Team.

It’s not very often that a federal government warns its citizens to refrain from using an Internet browser, but apparently the Federal Office for Information Security in Germany did exactly that. This past week, the federal organization which is called the BSI in German initials (Bundesamt fรผr Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik), warned users not to use Internet Explorer 9 in fear that people would be exposed to too many vulnerabilities due to a compromised server.

Why Did Germany Tell Citizens To Stop Using Internet Explorer?

According to ZDNet, this server, in which the problem is known as a zero-day (0day) exploit, which opens up a vulnerability hole when an HTML page contains video or a flash movie gets loaded, then another page gets dropped. With these certain files placed into a users computer, hackers can break in. The process is somewhat complicated, but concerned the German government enough (and only the German government, apparently) to try and convinced everyone to stay away from it.

Microsoft has moved quickly to repair these problems and the hole has now been closed up. For those who run on Windows, the next update (if it hasn’t happened already) should bring a permanent repair to the problem. Before that permanent update, users would be prompted to click a link that provides the temporary repair. Even after the repair, there doesn’t appear to have been any problems in the first place, with very few users being attacked on the basis of the security hole.

Here in the United States, there was very little outcry from anyone, excluding a brief announcement by Microsoft about the vulnerability. Even before this problem, Internet Explorer has experienced little share of the browsing market, especially in the shadow of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. There was an attempt at a branding turnaround with the release of Internet Explorer 9 that didn’t really look to make much of a difference.

There has often been talk of problems like PDF files not loading up correctly, or even pages themselves appearing off. You know it’s bad when Microsoft’s own forum has questions from customers like โ€œHow can I go back to Explorer 8?โ€

It might be time for Microsoft to leave their share power to products that have a bit more of a chance of getting ahead. The release of Windows 8 has showed some promise, and now Nokia is trying to break into the market with Windows Phone 8-based phones. Despite all of Microsoft’s accomplishments, Internet Explorer has never really been able to get the attention share.

Some people laugh and thumb their nose to others that use IE. As long as Google Chrome is in the hot seat, which it probably will be for a long time, nothing is going to change.

If you’ve had any experiences with IE9, share it in the comments below.

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26 Responses to Germany Tells Citizens To Stop Using Internet Explorer

  • I personally use Mac OS X myself, so Internet Explorer isn’t even an option for me. I recommend Windows users to download Google Chrome because Google tends to keep their technologies up to date. Firefox is also a good browser for Windows, but sometimes they take a while to release updates. Therefore, Chrome is the obvious winner.

    • The irony behind IE is that it was the one of the groundbreakers of browsing. Go back a few years, and the other options were meager. With Google being Google, they just figured it out much faster. It’s hard to say where IE went, but they haven’t really put much focus on the browser until recently with their sleek looking commercials.

      Ian is totally right that Google is just better with keeping everything up to date. There’s no mystery why they always win.

      • I think one of Microsoft’s problems is they fail to add features that users want. There’s no spell check feature in IE, but there is on every other browser, even Opera. They also have no add-ons, which is something that makes Firefox and Chrome so much better.

  • It can definitely be seen why internet marketers turn to Chrome with all of the SEO tools. When you’re trying to work with Google, you’re going to go with what Google gives you.

  • Bunch of Nazi’s! lol!

  • Hey Doug,
    I have not used IE for the past 1 and a half years. Google Chrome has been my environment and will always be. However, I do sometimes use Firefox for some reasons too

    • Same here, Enstine. Don’t plan on changing that anytime soon ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I bought my first Mac in January of 2010, but I believe that I used Internet Explorer back in like 2008. But since then, I haven’t touched IE. I use Safari for most of my browsing, but when I am doing web development and programming things, I switch over to Firefox.

  • I use both chrome and firefox but I prefer firefox as I have seen in some cases it is faster than chrome …..

    • Firefox is faster than Chrome in some cases. I use Macs, so I tend to use Safari for most of my browsing. Firefox on Mac OS X is choppy and doesn’t support Apple’s “smooth scrolling”, multi-touch gestures and other things. Like I said before, Firefox is a little slow at updating things. Safari and Chrome both support these things on Macs.

  • There is an error in this post in that Nokia is not introducing Windows 8 based phones, they’re introducing Windows Phone 8 based phones. The difference is important. Windows 8 based phones would be kind of cool. Windows Phone 8? Not so much..

    Other than that, even the most computer illiterate people are downloading alternative browsers. My own father being one of them. This, however doesn’t mean that the statement “Even before this problem, Internet Explorer has experienced little share of the browsing market, especially in the shadow of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.” is accurate.

    Worldwide, Internet Explorer still holds over 50% of the desktop browser marketshare. (http://arstechnica.com/business/2011/09/august-browser-stats-mobile-safari-on-top/) Both Chrome and Firefox are still in IE’s shadow, maybe not for long but for now.

    • Stephan, I have to agree with you about everything you just said. I go to school at Northwest Florida State College and most of my teachers there use IE 9 because that’s what comes preinstalled on Windows 7. This isn’t to say that they don’t use Firefox at home, but I know that they use IE at school because you can see on their projector. The only staff member that I know at school that uses Firefox is the IT guy. Another group of people spiking the Internet Explorer rankings is the military. My step father is in the Air Force and every time I visit his office, everyone is using IE because that’s what the government tells them to use. Most of the software that they use, such as their special version of Outlook Online, only works in IE. Because of this, my step dad also uses Internet Explorer at home. With all this being said, Google Chrome is starting to come pre-installed on most Windows-based PCs these days. I know for a fact that Toshiba installs Chrome before they ship every computer. If you ask anyone under the age of 18, they probably use something other than Explorer.

      Another thing worth noting is that I don’t think everyone knows what Firefox and Chrome do exactly. There was one time in my College Success class when somebody was having an issue downloading a PDF in Chrome (they didn’t know where it downloaded to) and my professor told them to open it up in “regular Internet”, meaning IE. This is a common example of an educated person not knowing exactly what Chrome and Firefox do. They first started using the Internet using Internet Explorer and have grown accustomed to the icon as being “THE Internet”. I definitely agree that Internet Explorer has the mass of Windows users, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best.

      Also, thanks for mentioning the error about Windows Phone 8. This was a guest post, so I didn’t write it myself. I’ve gone back and fixed the error.

  • IE Who? The only time I use IE is to test a blog. Other than that it’s Firefox.

  • For real? LOL! That really sucks. Who uses that? IE, the best browser to download a better one. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • I know my grandparents use IE. Some of my professors at school use it as well. Other than that, I’m not really sure. I think it’s safe to say that Internet Explorer is seen as trash to most of the population.

  • Its great that Toshiba is having Chrome pre-installed. Planning to ditch my current machine and get Toshiba. Thanks for this extremely informative post. Reminds me of the picture that went viral on Facebok showing all three browsers and the “war between them”.

  • I’m glad governments finally take a more pro-active stance to educate the general population about the dangers of the internet. The Dutch government has been doing the same thing the last few years through television and radio ads, to a lesser degree printed media.

    • I agree. It would be nice if the United States government would start doing something good with the Internet. The latest thing they have done is introduce SOPA which sparked an outrage across the Web.

  • I always use google chrome.although firefox is not bad but chrome is mre user friendly. internet explorer can not compete with these two…

    • Google Chrome is a great browser. The problem with Firefox is they are an open-source company, which means their browser is put together by people working for free. Google has the resources to invest millions of dollars into the development of Chrome.

  • Hi Ian,
    I never did like using Internet Explorer because it crashes many times when I used it 8 years ago. No one likes something that crashes especially if you are doing documents over them, and they just disappear when IE suddenly goes down. I use Safari, Firefox and Chrome right now and they are all okay.

    • Do you use a Mac or a PC? I don’t really recommend using Safari on Windows because Apple neglects it a lot. Safari on Mac is great, but on PC, not so much. Thanks for stopping by… I know you are a loyal commenter ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I’m glad to hear this. I had not heard of it, but lets face it we all knew that Internet Explorer was junk. I personally have not touched it in my everyday life for years. If it wasn’t for checking cross browser compatibility I don’t think I would ever use it. I’m just glad that the majority of my sites visitors aren’t using it either. Good for Germany.

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