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South Shields premier political blog

Forget the patches and repairs

with 3 comments

Time to get rid of Internet Explorer

Once more the chinks in Microsoft’s armour have been cruelly exposed after a large scale hacking of Google and Google Mail and some journalists have at last found out that Internet Explorer is really not all that secure. The French and German governments have even advised that people should not use it but look for alternatives, there has been no so such advice from our own government, probably because they have been tied up in so many big money deals with Microsoft Corporation, their products have become the virtual norm in public life, yet I can remember many years ago when South Tyneside College first started experimenting with an internet cafe, and our library services in South Shields  first got their hands on an internet connection that they used the old Netscape Navigator browser, what made them move back towards Internet Explorer?

As the world’s market leader in browsers it has become the No.1 target for hackers, script kiddies, crooks, phishers, and large scale Chinese infiltrations  it really is time to put it away folks, the patches and repairs sent out by Microsoft on a monthly basis are no more than wallpaper to cover the cracks, if you have just a little bit of value for your personal security, and personal data, and don’t wish your browsing habits to be on show for the world to know about then get rid of it.

I personally favour Mozilla’s open source Firefox browser which automatically loads security updates and is almost infinitely configurable and customisable, another good alternative is Apple’s Safari browser which is also available for Macs and PCs, there is also Google’s Chrome browser for PCs (which I have not tried).

Wouldn’t it be great if government and local government could persuade all of it’s users to ditch expensive arrangements with Microsoft and switch over to open source software as a great money saver, come on guys, think about it.

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Written by curly

January 24, 2010 at 12:02 pm

3 Responses

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  1. “Wouldn’t it be great if government and local government could persuade all of it’s users to ditch expensive arrangements with Microsoft and switch over to open source software as a great money saver, come on guys, think about it.”

    So speaks someone who has clearly never worked in the industry…

    Peter Smith

    January 25, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    • I guess that won’t include over two years experience of installing Linux solutions to a network servicing over 4500 terminals then? However, you are right in as much as it was not in the public sector.

      curly

      January 26, 2010 at 11:02 am

      • No it wouldn’t. 2 years playing tech support to thin clients means nothing.

        I’ve designed networks for tens of thousands of users for multinational corporations and government bodies for over twenty years. That counts as experience.

        For one thing, the actual cost of software is negligible compared to actually running and supporting it. Any medium sized organisation of a few thousand users might save a few hundred grand pa from an enterprise license agreement which would immediately be eaten up in loss of productivity, training and consultancy costs by converting your Sage corporate accounts package to ERP (for one example).

        Then there is the simple fact that most organisations have loads of niche applications designed around a MS infrastructure. If you can find a replacement open source application for your minor application (unlikely), regression testing alone will likely cost in to six figures.

        And of course there’s the applications that simply won’t run on anything other than Windows – a BlackBerry BES for example.

        Then there’s the functionality that OS simply doesn’t provide. Even basic stuff like MS Active Directory GPO is at best very poorly implemented. If you start looking at stuff like virtualisation then it simply isn’t available (and before you mention Xen, I’m talking about the management tools, not just the hypervisor). For example, SCOM and SCCM simply aren’t there in OS.

        By all means, tinker about with Open Office and Ubuntu on your laptop (and personally I run OSX) but please don’t pretend that because you know how to partition a hard disk you somehow know everything about running a large network.

        Peter Smith

        January 27, 2010 at 8:48 pm


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