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IE 8 as Security Update

Microsoft delivered IE 8 to IT shops using Windows Server Update Services yesterday. Of course, you didn't ask for it. It just arrived, like a security update.

Some IT shops may still be using IE 6, but Microsoft doesn't really encourage it. IE 6 isn't standards-based like IE 8, nor does it provide the same level of security. For those still using IE 7, Microsoft tried to ease the transition by adding a Compatibility View function in the browser that switches from IE 8 to IE 7 rendering.

Security certainly seems like a compelling reason for any organization to select a browser, and Microsoft cited two NSS Labs studies that demonstrated IE 8 to be a top performer in thwarting malware and phishing attacks. What Microsoft failed to mention, however, is that it paid for those two studies. What's worse, the studies themselves don't indicate Microsoft's sponsorship.

Is Microsoft's IE 8 the most secure browser? Maybe. Unfortunately, Microsoft may have blown some credibility by not ensuring that its sponsorship was properly declared in the NSS Labs studies. In the research and publishing world, this is a major no-no.

Will your IT shop switch to IE 8 in the near future? Is security a compelling reason to make the switch, or are you more worried about breaking apps? Tell Doug at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Kurt Mackie on August 26, 2009 at 11:53 AM