And I quote
QUESTION:Can you please let the staff use an alternative web browser called Firefox? I just (applause) I just moved to the State Department from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and was surprised that State doesn’t use this browser. It was approved for the entire intelligence community, so I don’t understand why State can’t use it. It’s a much safer program. Thank you. (Applause.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, apparently, there’s a lot of support for this suggestion. (Laughter.) I don’t know the answer. Pat, do you know the answer? (Laughter.)
UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: The answer is at the moment, it’s an expense question. We can --
QUESTION: It’s free. (Laughter.)
UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: Nothing is free...
SECRETARY CLINTON: ... And it reminded me of what I occasionally sometimes do, which I call shopping in my closet, which means opening doors and seeing what I actually already have, which I really suggest to everybody, because it’s quite enlightening. (Laughter.) And so when you go to the store and you buy, let’s say, peanut butter and you don’t realize you’ve got two jars already at the back of the shelf – I mean, that sounds simplistic, but help us save money on stuff that we shouldn’t be wasting money on, and give us the chance to manage our resources to do more things like Firefox, okay?
Okay. Yes. I did cut some of the mid chatter out... but every technician worth his salt is having a big what the bloody hell moment after reading that. First of all, Mozilla FireFox is Open-Licensed software. It is both free of cost, and free of patent and licensing concerns. It also is amazingly simple to maintain. The update mechanism works just from within the application.
Where-as with Internet Explorer, you have to use Microsoft Windows Update to patch the application. You also have to make sure you read every single update because some updates contain submarine applications... like the .Net Plugin for FireFox that disables the uninstall option. A bit like any bit of legislation put forward by the Democrats that contains submarine spending and no way to say no to that spending.
... in that light, the Democrats might have a better handle on FireFox versus Internet Explorer than most technicians are giving them credit for right now. IE works like a Democrat political process. FireFox... doesn't.