News.com's John Borland lays out the issues with shelving Microsoft's insecure Internet Explorer with a non-MS brower, such as Firefox...
The problem is that many Web developers create their sites so they work best with Internet Explorer (IE), but not to work as well with browser software used by relatively tiny groups of potential visitors.
Sites subject to complaints from Firefox users include Web travel site Expedia and Microsoft's MSNBC news site. Even Shutterfly, the online photo service backed by Netscape Communications co-founder Jim Clark, warns visitors that it supports only a limited set of browsers.
The biggest reason why most people can't dump IE, however, is Microsoft itself: The software giant's Windows Update site blocks out non-IE browsers completely. That means anyone running Windows who wants to download and install the latest security updates from the Web will have to keep IE close at hand. Some consider that ironic or worse, given that authoritative groups such as Carnegie Mellon University's Computer Emergency Response Team now warn people to stay away from IE because of its myriad security problems.
Microsoft insists the it hasn't lost interest in Web browsers, and will unveil dramatic new features in the next version (Longhorn) of Windows.