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Mozilla 1.6

The latest version of Mozilla, the open-source browser, has been released. Version 1.6 is just a minor upgrade, and people who already use it should pick it up for the bug fixes. If you are still using Microsoft Internet Explorer, it's time you gave Mozilla some serious thought. Here's why.

Security: It only seems like a new security problem with IE is announced weekly. The one this week, already covered by Blogcritic Ken Edwards and InfoWorld, shows how someone could link together a couple of previously-known unpatched flaws of IE. The results could be devastating. The author of the InfoWorld article, Kieren McCarthy, makes the assumption that because these exploits have been known so long, and have gone unfixed by Microsoft, that MS can't figure out how to fix them. I'll then pile my own assumption on top of this one -- The reason they can't be fixed is because IE is so deeply embedded into Windows, you can't fix them without re-writing Windows. (Note that this is just a guess on my part.) Not nearly as many security problems have been found in Mozilla, which is the open-source version of Netscape.

Privacy: in previous computer tips, I've already pointed out that Mozilla can crush pop up ads, without the need of third-party add-ins, and it also has a workable anti-spam feature.

Standards: Mozilla also more closely matches the standards of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) than IE. That's because it's not written in a way to make you more dependent on an operating system. There are some places, such as in the Movable Type authoring system, where you may lose some features, but those places are rare.

Mozilla is just a free download away at http://www.mozilla.org/products/mozilla1.x/. There are versions for Windows Win 95 and higher, Mac OS X 10.1.x or later, and Linux (Linux kernel 2.2.14 or later.) The hardware requirements are not very high at all. It co-exists on the same computer with IE, so you can try it without having to uninstall IE.

(This review also ran in Blogcritics)