Microsoft claims that Firefox is nothing compared to Internet Explorer. The Redmond company's proprietary browser, as well as Mozilla's open source competitor, are in a constant race for audience. In the browser world, the success of a product is measured ultimately in terms of market share. And in this respect, Internet Explorer, having benefited from the Windows near-monopoly, accounts for the lion's share of the browser market. And although Mozilla dropped Firefox just three years ago, the open source browser has been making headway, slowly eroding IE's domination and increasing its foothold on the market.
But at the same time, the race is on for delivering the most secure browser. And in this respect, the comparison does by no meas stop with Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2.0, the latest browser iterations from the two developers, but goes all the way to IE6, IE 5.01 and Firefox 1.5 and 1.0. Jeff Jones, Security Strategy Director in Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing group has released a comparison between the volume of vulnerabilities affecting Internet Explorer, from November 2004 to October 2007, and the number of flaws impacting Firefox.
While playing the vulnerability counting game as a measure of security is nothing new for Microsoft, the conclusion is similar to past examples involving Windows Vista, which put the Redmond company's products up on a pedestal of security and trash the competition. "Over the past 3 years, supported versions of Internet Explorer have experienced fewer vulnerabilities and fewer High severity vulnerabilities than Firefox, a result that stands in contrast to early assertions by Mozilla that Firefox "won't harbor nearly as many security flaws as those that have Microsoft's Internet Explorer," Jones revealed.
Firefox is a browser natively perceived as secure. More secure than Internet Explorer for that matter, and in fact, it is on this perception that Mozilla has grown its market share over the past three years. However, Jones claims that trust in Firefox's security is misplaced, and that IE is by far a more secure product.
"Since the release of Firefox 1.0 in November 2004, Mozilla has fixed 199 vulnerabilities in supported Firefox products – 75 HIGH severity, 100 MEDIUM severity and 24 LOW severity. In the same timeframe, Microsoft has fixed 87 total vulnerabilities affecting all supported versions of Internet Explorer – 54 HIGH severity, 28 MEDIUM severity, and 5 LOW severity," Jones added. (the emphasis is that of the author).Microsoft, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, IE, Firefox, Browser, Comparision