Firefox backers aim to 'destroy' IE with campaign

A group of self-titled "political activists" has started an aggressive campaign to get browser users to switch from Internet Explorer to Firefox.

A group of self-titled "political activists" in Massachusetts has started an aggressive campaign to get browser users to switch from Microsoft's Internet Explorer to Mozilla's Firefox.

The campaign, called Explorer Destroyer, takes advantage of a new program by Google to pay users US$1 for each referral to Firefox made through Google Toolbar, according to the group's Web site.

"You already want people to switch to Firefox. Now's the time to get serious about it," according to the site. "Google is paying US$1 for each new Firefox user you refer. ... Now you can advance your ideals, save people from popups and spyware hell, and make some serious money."

Google did not return calls seeking comment for this story, but the search giant offers a standard US$1 per user referral fee to Web sites that generate new downloads of Firefox with the Google Toolbar.

According to the Explorer Destroyer Web site, 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. A demo of what happens when a user clicks on a site with this rating can be found at http://explorerdestroyer.com/demo3.html

In addition to the Explorer Destroyer Web site, where users can download the scripts for their sites and learn more information, the group also has launched another Web site that parodies IE and provides users with reasons why they should switch to Firefox at http://www.killbillsbrowser.com.

One reasons for switching, according to the site? "It will make Bill Gates soooooooooo mad." "Seriously-- super, super mad," the site goes on to say. "And even more than Bill, let's think about Steve 'I'm going to ... kill Google' Ballmer for a second. If there's anyone that's going to absolutely blow a gasket when they see this Web site, it will be him."

Other reasons the site offers for switching from IE to Firefox include, "Reduce your weekly family and friends tech support load to eight hours" -- a reason that pokes fun at various problems users encounter when using IE -- and "If we knew Web designers would hurl themselves off it, we wouldn't have put the Golden Gate bridge so close to San Francisco," which cites developer difficulties in making Web sites IE-compatible.

The Explorer Destroyer group did not immediately respond to an e-mail requesting an interview Tuesday. An open letter about the campaign can be found at http://www.explorerdestroyer.com/open_letter.php

A Mozilla spokeswoman declined to comment on the group's efforts and Microsoft did not immediately return requests for comment.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?