Killing Bill’s Browser Myths

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A tongue-in-cheek parody of Quentin Tarantino’s sword-swinging films encourages users to switch to Firefox, but maybe it serves better as an object lesson in browser mythology.

Kill Bill’s Browser brings a couple of mild chuckles out in citing 13 reasons why people should make the switch from Internet Explorer to Firefox. Besides the obvious profit motivation in getting a Google dollar from each Firefox download that starts from a button on the site, Kill Bill’s Browser’s creators cite a laundry list of complaints about IE as a rationale for creating the parody:

We’ve personally spent countless hours struggling to make our standards-compliant websites display correctly on standards-bashing Internet Explorer. We’ve spent days fixing computers of our family members that have been hobbled by spyware that Internet Explorer allowed in. These annoyances alone more than justify a aggressive campaign to switch people to Firefox. But what really matters is putting the internet back in the hands of the public and ensuring that the technology that will remake so much of our world in the next 30 years is a public resource not a corporate one.

The for-profit Mozilla Foundation is preferable to the for-profit Microsoft Corporation, it seems. Firefox is open source, and benefits from the review its source code can get from skilled programmers world wide. How valid are the complaints the Kill Bill’s Browser site makes?

Let’s go down the list. Numbers one and two cites Firefox’s built-in popup blocking. IE has had that since version 6 became available.

Number 3 said computers will get hacked less if users use Firefox, and noted how much of the world’s spam comes from compromised PCs. That’s more of an OS issue, and blame for this more likely falls on Outlook rather than IE, since phishing scams start in email. And if someone willingly downloads a Trojaned program, it doesn’t matter which browser is in place; the PC still gets compromised.

Point 4 gives Bill Gates credit for using his wealth to wage war on childhood diseases, while 5 humorously blames IE lack of rigid standards compatibility as contributing to “hundreds of web designers” leaping off the Golden Gate Bridge.

Number 6 credits Firefox for having a keyboard shortcut in place to adjust font size. Does the typical non-techie web visitor use keyboard shortcuts? Now that would be an interesting study to make. As someone who’s supported hundreds of non-technical PC users, I’d be surprised to see more than 1 in 100 who do.

Seven said switching will make Gates mad. Probably not, if those Firefox downloads end up running on licensed copies of Windows. And 9 gives Mozilla props for making tabbed browsing a Firefox feature; Microsoft won’t match that by default until IE 7 arrives.

Numbers 8 and 10-13 don’t touch on browser features, just general complaints and Microsoft bashing. Kill Bill’s Browser elicits a giggle or two, but the arguments it makes in favor of Firefox just aren’t very compelling.

For the record, I prefer the Opera browser. Firefox versus IE? Meh.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Killing Bill’s Browser Myths
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