My colleague in New York, Peter Laudati, just alerted me to this report in which IE8 was found to be more than twice as effective as Firefox (and even more so than Opera, Safari, and Chrome) in blocking malware sites. The study was carried out by NSS Labs, an independent security product testing and certification organization, earlier this year.
IE 8 was found to have correctly blocked 69% of the sites, and the runner-up, Firefox, only 30%. Safari came in at 20% (note, however, a newer version of Safari has since been released). Chrome and Opera did not fare well, but at the bottom of the list is… IE7! [For info on what makes helps IE8 rise so far above IE7, check out the IE team’s blog post on SmartScreen Filter in IE8]
While there are already attempts to impugn the results, and yes, Microsoft did sponsor the study, I’m not a big believer in conspiracy theories. Just the fact alone that IE 8 blows its predecessor out of the water is pretty clear indication that we’ve put a significant effort in addressing one of the primary pain points of the Web, head-on.