Britain refuses to pile pressure on IE

Wed 20th of January 2010, filed under Internet News

Britain will not follow EU neighbours

The British government will not follow the lead of Germany and France by advising computer users to abandon Internet Explorer.

Last week, Microsoft admitted that a vulnerability in its browser was exploited during the Chinese cyber attacks against Google and other companies. That prompted the Federal Office for Information Security to recommend that Germans switch away from Internet Explorer. And Certa, a French government security agency, quickly followed suit by issuing an advisory stating: "While waiting for a patch from the publisher, Certa recommends the use of an alternative browser."

However, the British government will not be issuing a similar warning, a spokesman for the British Cabinet Office has told the Telegraph. Users will instead be encouraged to visit Get Safe Online, which was co-founded by the government, Microsoft and others.

The Internet Explorer flaw explained

The Internet Explorer flaw enables cyber criminals to remotely extract the personal details of users. Microsoft has promised to tackle the problem when it next updates the browser's security settings in the second week of February. But it has also hinted that a special patch could be rushed out in the interim.

Internet Explorer is the world's largest browser in terms of overall market share. Yet a series of high-profile security alerts have dented its reputation while many designers have complained that the browser is difficult to code for.

Its nearest rival is Mozilla Firefox, which passed one million downloads last year. Meanwhile, Google Chrome has gained market share following a major marketing campaign and Opera is increasingly popular with mobile users.

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