My relationship with Internet Explorer has been a tedious and tenuous one at best. After years of stubbornness, I switched to Firefox and have never looked back. On the other hand, Internet Explorer has been always lurking in the background, waiting to be used when absolutely necessary.
On the other hand, don't think you can escape Internet Explorer for ever. Universities will continue to use Internet Explorer for Windows machines over Firefox, and after ringing round a number of university IT departments from around the UK and US.
The reason is updating and security. Updating Internet Explorer is far simpler for university departments which control the IT systems, because it can be updated using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) with little effort. Updating Firefox or other browsers isn't as easy due to the lack of installation files (apparently).
Then there's security. Ironically, Firefox is "less secure" in a university environment due to the amount of add-ons and installations which can be added to the browser. Internet Explorer is much more safe because of the group policy settings which can be applied to it. Although Firefox and other browsers don't support ActiveX controls, it's easy for system administrators to disable them running using group policy settings.
Universities and students are stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment, finding the balance of ease-of-use, user satisfaction, their own networks and security. But as most universities have chosen to stay with Windows XP due to the massive licence costs associated with Windows Vista; if something isn't broken - why fix it?
Firefox as the primary browser in a university environment? Internet Explorer being hung out to dry? Leave your comments below; it'd be interesting to see what stirs up.