Are you a secret IE abuser?

Many of you claim to have sworn off Internet Explorer, yet statistics tell a different story

It's the secret craving you don't talk about, the shameful act that you keep hidden from your peers. You've tried to quit, but something keeps pulling you back, click after unsavory click.

I'm referring, of course, to IE abuse: the illicit launching of, and surfing with, Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser. As social diseases go, this one is pandemic. Look around you right now. Chances are that, as you're reading this blog entry, someone in your immediate vicinity is abusing IE.

[ How secure is Internet Explorer? The InfoWorld Test Center finds out. | Also in the Test Center: IE vs. Firefox and IE vs. Chrome. Who wins? ]

I know what you're going to say: that it's all nonsense, that Internet Explorer's market share is falling faster than D.B. Cooper with a torn parachute. You? You're a loyal Firefox user. Or Chrome aficionado. Or Opera lover. You wouldn't even think of clicking on the IE icon on any of your myriad PCs, let alone actually using it to browse someplace. And though you can't speak for them, you're confident that your dearest friends and closest colleagues feel the same.

Then perhaps you can explain these statistics from the exo.repository, which tracks the real-world usage data from more than 20,000 Windows PCs: According to the most recent sampling of running applications from our nearly 22,000 Windows Sentinel member sites, fully 87 percent of you still run Internet Explorer at least two hours each day, while nearly half as many of you run IE for six hours a day or more.

More disturbingly, more than 56 percent of you also run Firefox regularly, which means that, though you may outwardly profess your disdain for Microsoft's browser -- even going so far as installing a third-party alternative to mask your abuse -- the fact remains that the vast majority of your still abuse IE.

It truly is a sad state of affairs, one that gives the lie to our conventional wisdom about normalcy and just what defines healthy browsing behavior. And don't get me started on plug-ins (one addiction at a time, please)!

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