AptiQuant is now claiming IE users have threatened to sue the company over this report, though I have yet to see any independent reports confirming that; AptiQuant could just be making that bit up to capitalize on the attention it's suddenly getting.
AptiQuant CEO Leonard Howard was quick to point out that the act of using IE is not, by itself, proof you're an idiot; but if you happen to be an idiot, you're much more likely to use IE. Per the AptiQuant site:
[Howard] further went on to say that the company did not feel threatened at all by the lawsuit threats because they have all the scientific data and logs to back their claims. "A win in a court would only give a stamp of approval and more credibility to our report," he quipped.
The company spokesman said that they are really surprised by the unexpected attention that their study got. He said that the company first thought of doing this study when they were trying to add some new features to the website and found IE versions 6.0 and 7.0 extremely difficult to work with.
I can totally see the genesis of this survey: "What kind of moron would use this infernal browser? Let's find out."
To be fair, what this report really means is that people who buy a computer and never think to upgrade or switch browsers tend to be dumber than your average geek. Most of them probably aren't even aware of a browser being something separate from the Internet or the Google, for that matter. They turn the thing on, they type something into the search window, they click. And that's as much brain matter as they're willing to devote to it.
If all computers shipped with Chrome or Firefox as the default browser, they might fill the bottom spot just as easily as IE does.
A more reasonable experiment: Set a bunch of people loose in a room filled with computers, make them choose a browser from a drop-down list, then measure their IQs. I bet the results would skew much closer to the mean.
But IE users would still be dumber. Just my humble anti-Microsoft opinion.
Are IE users really not playing with a full deck? Toss your opinions into the hopper below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article, "Just how stupid are Internet Explorer users?," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.