Thoughts on the .net Firefox plugin saga


Microsoft installing Firefox extension without permission.

With Mozilla's recent blocking of Microsoft's vulnerable .NET plugin for Firefox on Windows I've mostly read positive comments from people on blogs, news sites, Twitter and so forth, but there are a few who it seems the move has rubbed the wrong way.

The most comment complaint seems to be that the Firefox crowd would be crying foul if Microsoft only made .NET available to Internet Explorer users. This of course a complete non sequiter, the fact stands that Microsoft deliberately installed a mandatory Firefox extension that could not be easily removed, and by doing so introduced a new vulnerability that lowered the security and privacy of Firefox. If Microsoft wanted Firefox users to use .NET, they would be more than welcome to provide it to users who wanted it, and make the case for it's installation.

The important thing to remember here is Microsoft desperately wants their .NET framework installed on as many of their client's machines as possible so they can start implementing sites using them and put pressure on others to do so, which will in turn help to solidify their platform in a fluid environment where more content and applications are moving towards being browser and OS agnostic. Microsoft knows even with 8.0 IE has all but lost the tech savvy and power user markets, so they figure specifically targeting and installing these plugins in Firefox will help to offset the flight from IE.

I first posted about this issue in May.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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