Computer Crime Research Center


Internet Explorer Targeted

Date: March 07, 2005
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: CCRC staff

Since 1998, malicious hackers have had a long time to work on attacking vulnerabilities of Internet Explorer starting with version 4.0 and above, so there have been repeated security and privacy scares.

Surely, Microsoft hasn’t always responded to those problems in a timely manner and, simply from a product-marketing standpoint, Explorer has become a bit stale: same look, same features, a drab and unexciting interface.

Every now and then new browsers were introduced by other companies (such as Opera and Apple’s own Safari), but none has ever achieved more than niche success. For the past couple of years, Explorer has consistently held 95 percent or more of browser market share. But not now. Things move fast on the Web.

But lately, many alternative browsers have been launched, but it seems like Mozilla Firefox is the first to be close on the heels of Miscrosoft child. One million copies were downloaded on the day of release, and more than 25 million copies have gone out since. In February, Firefox was accorded the cover of Wired magazine. How long did all that success take to unfold? Less than three months from the November 9 launch to newsstand fame.

Another "new" browser attempts to combine the best of its two biggest competitors, IE and Firefox. Netscape releases beta 8.0, this version release was originally scheduled for last month, is important for Netscape, whose share of the browser market is now just over 3 percent, according to a recent study from research firm Janco Associates. Internet Explorer is still the leader with almost 85 percent of the market, even though experts say it is slowly losing market share to Mozilla’s browser, Firefox, due to security concerns.

Netscape’s previous release, Netscape 7.2, had about 4 million downloads within the first two months of its August 2004 launch, indicating, according to the company, a loyal following that would return for new enhancements.

This new Netscape 8.0 version promises several improvements, including the strongest security of any browser and a capability to add RSS feeds. Netscape said it plans to launch the final version of the browser after "several weeks of testing."

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