Perhaps you recall the furor a few weeks ago when a couple of new holes were discovered in Internet Explorer, causing security experts to squeal in dismay about its weaknesses. A few experts got their name in the news by recommending that consumers use an alternative to IE like Opera or Mozilla. Here’s my post about the hubbub on June 30.

Windows XP Service Pack 2 makes most of those criticisms moot – I don’t see anyone seriously suggesting that IE is less secure than Opera or Mozilla right now. But putting that aside – what’s the experience like for someone switching to one of the other programs?

Here’s an interesting followup from a tech writer who switched to Opera and bailed out after a few weeks. Recently a security flaw was discovered in Opera that exposes Windows, Apple and Linux systems to new risks, with a disturbing hint that Opera’s development team had dropped the ball and should have fixed it earlier. But that wasn’t all. As the columnist writes: “I’ve given up on using Opera. In my tests, Opera’s plethora of great features weren’t enough to overcome routine crashes, lack of support for certain HTML tags in often-visited Web pages (such as the authoring pages for this WordPress-based blog), and an annoying problem that kept the URL field from refreshing itself when I hit the back button. Ultimately, I had to fall back to IE several times a day. Uninstalling Opera – a process that forced me to update the registry – was a half-day nightmare too.”

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