Update: The BBC has raised questions about AptiQuant's IE users survey and concluded it has been a hoax. Read further at your own risk -- or for your own amusement.
It's a question I've often asked myself: Why would anyone in their right mind continue to use Internet Explorer when so many better and free options are available? Now we have an answer, of sorts.
Vancouver-based testing firm AptiQuant Psychometric recently polled more than 100,000 English-speaking adults in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australasia. They were asked what version of browser they used, then asked to take a standard IQ test.
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The results: People who use Opera are most likely brainiacs; those who prefer Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Camino are, while not exactly Einstein, still smarter than your average bear; and those who use any flavor of Internet Explorer probably could not find their mouse with both hands and need help tying their shoes.
According to AptiQuant, IQs for IE users ranged from barely above 80 (for IE6) to about 95 (for IE8); the IQ of your average schmoe is 100. Even the smartest IE users are most likely dumber on average than somebody you happened to run into at Wal-Mart.
Worse, the average IQ for IE users has dropped by roughly 20 percent since AptiQuant's previous survey in 2006. Either IE users are getting dimmer each year or all the smart ones left for better options.
(For the record, I stopped using IE as my regular browser a few days after Firefox 1.0 came out. That was in late 2004. I've felt smarter ever since.)
One bright point for Microsofties: People who use IE with a Chrome frame plug-in are among the best and brightest. AptiQuant doesn't say how many people that group comprises, but I'd be surprised if it were more than a handful.