and dislike the fact that for the first time since Windows 3.1, MS actually is giving security a real thought by introducing MSE
Ooh, no. I think you need a history lesson. Microsoft tried to get into security but was ordered out!
There were 4 HUGE factors that destroyed Microsoft's reputation with XP, unfairly, in my opinion.
1. The corporate world (by FAR, Microsoft's biggest client base) was fed up with having to retool (buy new computers and hire programmers to port their customized applications) every time there was a new OS change. They had to do it with CP/M to DOS, then again to Windows 3.x, then again, to some extent with Win95/98. They demanded Microsoft XP support all their expensive legacy hardware and software. So XP was designed to meet user demands by supporting less secure, DOS era stuff.
2. No one, I say again, no one predicted the explosive growth of the Internet, and no one anticipated how explosive the growth in the number and ferocity of badguys who exploited its weaknesses.
Here's the BIGGIE:
3. Norton, McAfee, CA, Trend Micro and the others went crying and whining to Congress and the EU crying it was their job to rid the world of malware and that Microsoft was trying to monopolize and rule the world!! They were right but that's not the point. Congress heard the word "monopoly" and that was it. Microsoft was ordered not to include an anti-virus applet in Windows or else Congress would step in and split up Microsoft up into several tiny companies.
Of course that was just a ploy by Norton and the others. Right? Really, what incentive does Norton, McAfee and the others have to rid the world of malware? That would put them out of business. Microsoft has every incentive - because they keep getting blamed for the actions of the badguys, and the impotent actions of the anti-malware industry.
4. Almost as big as 3. The biased IT media and Windows bashers relentlessly took every opportunistic bash Microsoft and Bill Gates for the next 10 years, blaming Microsoft for all the world's computer security woes, when in fact it is the badguys, not Microsoft who put us, and keeps us in this security state we are in.
So yeah, I defend Microsoft (or anyone) who is unjustly blamed for something they had no responsibility for. An OS, after all (at least at the time) was only supposed to make all your hardware components work together, and provide a UI to it.
Now if you want to criticize Microsoft for some of their past
lousy business practices, to include small independent builders like me, then I'll bash right there with you. But the fact remains, they made and make great software. Or else they would not be where they are.
And for the record, Microsoft started getting serious with security long before MSE. It started with XPSP3 actually, then they bought Giant Anti-spyware, at the time, one of the best anti-spyware products, rebranded it to Windows Defender, then gave it away. IE7, then IE8, and now IE9, each more secure than the previous. MSE is huge because it is a complete anti-malware solution, it's free, but most importantly, it works great.
Digerati, how did you come to the conclusion IE is safe enough to advice it to other people and even defend it's saftey?
Huh? That's easy. There's no other better. I defend its safety because it is unjustly criticized. It has proven itself, hands down. How did I come to that conclusion? I read reports. I test. I look. Perhaps you need to go back to the beginning of this thread and start reading from the beginning and you will see how easy it is to come to that conclusion. But do note, I have no problem with the alternatives. I am just saying you cannot use security as an excuse not to use IE.
I note too that even IE6 was perfectly safe. 100s of Millions of XP users used it for years with never a problem. Why? Because they kept Windows patched and updated, they used a current anti-malware solution, and a software based firewall, perhaps Windows Firewall - which is and always was perfectly fine for most users. They did all the things anyone needs to do, REGARDLESS THEIR BROWSER OF CHOICE, to keep their systems safe.
It was never IE6 that was the problem. It is always the user who is the weakest link.