Info World reports that a group of self-titled “political activists” in Massachusetts has started an aggressive campaign to get browser users to switch from Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Explorer to Mozilla Corp.’s Firefox.
The group offers Web-site owners scripting technology that will detect if a visitor is running IE. If so, an alert will appear directing them to download Firefox either to view the site better or at all. Whenever a visitor to a Web site using the group’s technology switches to Firefox from IE, the owner of the Web site will get the referral fee if they have signed up for Google’s AdSense program.
There are three types of alerts site owners can put on their page — “gentle encouragement,” “semi-serious” or “dead serious.”
If a Web site owner chooses “gentle encouragement,” visitors to a site who are using IE will see a banner across the top of the page that encourages them to download Firefox. A “semi-serious” site will put up a splash page encouraging a user to download Firefox, with a link for downloading Mozilla’s browser as well as a link to the Web site. Those who choose the “dead serious” rating actually block users with IE from viewing the page, informing them they must install Firefox to view the site.
Political activists? I don’t see how switching one’s browser qualifies as a political act. It may be giving the finger to THE MAN, but that does not make it political. It simply means you’re an informed consumer, who as acted on the best information available.