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Internet Explorer The Internet Software

Plugin Lets Users Turn IE into Firefox 542

An anonymous reader writes "There is a new plugin available for IE that can make Internet Explorer resemble Firefox by adding tabbed browsing capabilities and an integrated search box. Moreover, the plugin improves IE's privacy and security by integrating a firewall designed to block out Internet exploits, phishing sites, spammers, spyware and worms, with a special HTTP filter that removes private data, and an anti-spyware tool that can identify and remove all pests in less then 10 seconds"
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Plugin Lets Users Turn IE into Firefox

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  • Wrong Way (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fembots ( 753724 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @04:50PM (#13448811) Homepage
    What I need is a Firefox-plugin that looks exactly like IE (including the lack of tabs and search box) while still providing the same level of security.
    • Re:Wrong Way (Score:5, Informative)

      by locokamil ( 850008 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @05:02PM (#13448883) Homepage
      Try Maxthon.

      It's not half bad... and it can be configured to use either the IE or Gecko engine (which, unless I'm completely mistaken, is at the heart of Firefox).
      • by duguk ( 589689 ) <dug@frag.DEBIANco.uk minus distro> on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @05:32PM (#13449162) Homepage Journal
        Not even heard of Maxthon [maxthon.com] (by the makers of MyIE2 apparently) - I've just tried it for a good hour or so and its actually quite slick.

        Supports multiple proxies, autorefresh (these are available as addons to firefox), and has tabs (inc undo), switchable disable of activex, download and ad managers.

        Took me a while to find the Gecko engine, but there's details at their forums [maxthon.com]. Unfortuately its a bloody ActiveX plugin with the Gecko engine in, and its huge!

        I'm impressed - Its certainly better than IE - and suitable as a replacement for it, and very quick. Surprisingly, it actually runs WindowsUpdate faster than IE6 does on my PC [after Disabling Windows Advantage [derp.co.uk], naturally] :)

        There's some faults that let it down but working with IE, its probably the best they could do :) - and its good! [although theres no close button the right, which confused me somewhat :)]

        Having said that and having used it, I'm still going to stick with Firefox!

        Though I am going to keep it installed along with OffByOne [offbyone.com] - [thanks to Artifakt [slashdot.org] who i saw mentioned it yesterday] not many features (no iframes, even!) but small enough to run on a floppy! Comes in very useful occassionally!

        Duguk
        • by MixPix ( 819835 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @06:38PM (#13449642) Homepage
          Are you talking about the close button on the tab bar? Maxthon does have that. Actually it has "close tab" and a "close all tabs" button. (Right click the maxthon window and enable the System Bar)

          Or you can just double click a tab to close it. That's a big seller for me. I hate having to right click just to close a tab.

          Maxthon also has the ability to open the last page that was viewed or if the brower crashes you can resume all of the paegs your were looking at!

          Just a question. Why not turn off active X and scripts if you want IE to be more secure??
        • Unfortuately its a bloody ActiveX plugin with the Gecko engine in, and its huge!

          That's what she said.... :P
        • Please explain to a luddite like me why you would want a bloaty browser that contains two other browsers' engines (one of which is guaranteed to be installed with the OS) when you could much more easily install those 2 browsers side-by-side?
      • I love Maxthon! (Score:3, Informative)

        by MtViewGuy ( 197597 )
        Having using Maxthon since version 1.14 (they're now up to Version 1.3.3), I actually really like this program, mostly because they include a lot of stuff in the program such as the very nice AD Hunter function that blocks most popups, popunders, Flash animation ads, many online ads in general and even ActiveX objects! Since running Maxthon I've had very little (if any) spyware/adware loaded on my system. :-) Also, Maxthon includes mouse gestures, which makes even a cheap two-button plus scroll wheel mouse
    • How's this skin [spreadfirefox.com]?
    • Merry Christmas (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @05:12PM (#13448991)
      Ho ho ho!

      http://www.websitepromotion.ws/firefoxie/ [websitepromotion.ws]
    • by Vadim Grinshpun ( 31 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @05:24PM (#13449096) Homepage
      ... while providing the same level of security ...

      as IE??? That's how I read it at first :)
    • Re:Wrong Way (Score:3, Insightful)

      by b17bmbr ( 608864 )
      none of the features, all of the problems.
    • Re:Wrong Way (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jozer99 ( 693146 )
      I have a solution, download "Firefox Setup 1.0.6.exe" from www.mozilla.org and install it. Then launch the default browser from the start menu, and voila, IE looks and acts just like firefox, with all the features and even the bugs!

      Mod me -1, I dare you!
  • right... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by silverkniveshotmail. ( 713965 ) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [3fpttereve]> on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @04:50PM (#13448815) Journal
    or they could just use firefox.
    • Re:right... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by linguae ( 763922 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @05:09PM (#13448961)

      Yeah, but there are certain occasions where Firefox is of no help (e.g., IE-only web pages, ActiveX stuff, etc.). An IE plugin with these security features would tremendously cut down on some of the major malware problems that many people are currently facing. All without having to switch browsers, too.

      Don't get me wrong, I love Firefox as much as the next Slashdotter, but don't we all want a more secure Internet Explorer for our Windows-using friends as well?

      • Re:right... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @05:30PM (#13449136)
        Don't get me wrong, I love Firefox as much as the next Slashdotter, but don't we all want a more secure Internet Explorer for our Windows-using friends as well?

        This is going to sound completely selfish but I say no - because in the longterm, I want people to have more of an incentive to turn away from Microsoft - not keep using it. Or at least not give companies an excuse to design IE-only compatible websites.

        I think any other free alternative is better than a MS dominated future. Hell, MS didn't even make this plug-in so how can I trust them to secure the rest of their apps?
      • by Draconix ( 653959 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @05:39PM (#13449204)
        Encouragement to use IE is the last thing we want to give Windows users. If IE weren't the dominant browser, web designers couldn't get away with making pages that only work in IE. If a web page uses ActiveX, and you're not using IE and Windows, you're out of luck.
    • Re:right... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by lambent ( 234167 )
      I know a number of people who refuse to use Firefox. I fought the good fight, told them they were being foolish, promised them newer and better capabilities ... but they simply refuse. One person simply refuses to switch because the browsers 'just don't look the same'.

      I know what's good for them, so if I could conceivably trick them into using a better tool, we can chalk up another victory for (more) secure browsing.
    • Re:right... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by truesaer ( 135079 )
      Actually, every fucking internal webpage in my company doesn't work with firefox. I really can't even explain how they've done it. They're not using ActiveX or other complex technologies, they've just managed to write such terrible code that it flat out doesn't work.

      So I have to use two browsers, one for regular browsing and one for internal website (expense reports, hr, timesheet, etc. etc). I'd love to be able to have tabs for IE so that I don't end up with multiple windows for intranet sites. I'll pr

  • by Drooling Iguana ( 61479 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @04:51PM (#13448818)
    In case the main site is slashdotted, you can also download the program in question here [mozilla.org].
    • The main site is slashdotted, and you could try here [nyud.net] instead.

      The web page looks very much like a Mozilla Foundation/Corporation page. I wonder what their intentions really are?
      • To reply to my own post, check out their knowledge base [foxiekb.com].

        Foxie is not a Firefox "rip-off". On the contrary, the Foxie Project was originally designed to bring all the great functionality of Firefox to Internet Explorer users. The fact is that the overwhelming majority of web users still use Internet Explorer as their default web browser.

        The reasons a person might choose IE over Firefox can vary from reluctance to switch browsers, imposed restrictions, personal preference, or the inherit problems of Firefox (
    • Coral cache link. [nyud.net]
      Really, would it be so hard to add a "Coralize Links" button to the Story Submission form?
  • Why would I want to use this plugin to mimick FF, when I could just use the real thing?

    • by m50d ( 797211 )
      Faster startup and rendering. It's not worth it to me - better to render it slowly and correctly than fast and wrong, and I won't even start on security - but firefox can be a real dog on older machines.
    • Because people LOVE their software. Actually, some of them are afraid of using new software. I've seen people use DeadAIM instead of Gaim and other such modified programs instead of using the program its trying to mimic.


      Not that I need for firefox to "take over the browser market," but it'd be nice if people would just take a chance.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I hear you, borther.

      It's like... like... choosing a guy over a girl for rough anal sex.

      Sure, with the guy you get the job done, but sheesh, you feel dirty afterwards.

      The latter, however, gets the job done AND makes you feel like a man.

      --
      Laugh, damn it! It's a joke!
  • Sounds like it has a bit more features and perhaps some better security enhancements than the vanilla Firefox installation.
    • Well, it is for Windows users. The rest of the features, spyware and malware blocking and etc, are needed to simulate running Firefox on.. well... any other operating system but Windows.
  • by notdanielp ( 244035 ) <dpritchettNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @04:55PM (#13448836)
    The article's claims of "and an anti-spyware tool that can identify and remove all pests in less then 10 seconds" are exceedingly hard to swallow.

    What heuristics are they using that can find and zap all unmentionables in 10 seconds? Has "anonymous reader" ever run a virus/spyware scan before?
  • So I can make best use of my favorite Active X webapp... RemotelyAnywhere. (and yes, I know that RA uses Java as well, but the ActiveX interface is SO much nicer!)
  • Misleading title. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RealisticCanadian ( 850967 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @04:58PM (#13448840) Journal

    Mods be damned, Scuttlemonkey's submissions are getting more and more similar to mass-media headlines. This title has the express purpose of starting a flamewar on the world's most popular anti-ms site.

    It makes IE look somewhat like firefox, and adds some lacking functionality that makes it work somewhat like firefox. The two are neither identical nor interchangable.

  • ;).

    Kind of silly not to just use Firefox, eh?
  • Nice, but (Score:2, Funny)

    by jcrash ( 516507 ) *
    any chance this has spyware, etc?
  • to just install Firefox?
  • by ack154 ( 591432 )
    500 Internal Server Error.

    That didn't take long at all...
  • by badmammajamma ( 171260 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @05:00PM (#13448856)
    What's the point? There's numerous add-ons for IE that have been around for a long time now that give this kind of functionality. The only difference is that they don't try to emulate the look of firefox
  • by Recovering Hater ( 833107 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @05:00PM (#13448863)
    that you can't polish a turd. I guess somebody thinks you can.
  • There's more to FF than just tabbed browsing. I like the security.
  • yeah its called firefox. It even adds an nifty little fox icon so you can start browsing in firefox mode right away. Simply delete the redundant blue 'e' from the desktop if it confuses you.
  • Returning to IE (Score:2, Insightful)

    by QuantumPion ( 805098 )
    I used FireFox for a while, but I recently returned to using IE. The reason is that there were too many websites that displayed incorrectly or used plug-ins that weren't supported by FireFox. Also there were a lot of minor annoyances that weren't fixable with plug-ins alone.

    As a tech-savvy net browser, I am able to avoid/repair any spam or malware I might pick up with IE, so displaying pages correctly and avoiding the various small bugs of FireFox was what led me back to Microsoft. I'm sure there are many p
    • by PIPBoy3000 ( 619296 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @06:45PM (#13449689)
      Sunday night, I was browsing the web in IE via my Windows 2003 Server that hosts my web site (and is conveniently located next to my main computer). I had turned on JavaScript, ActiveX, and a few other things to make the browsing experience less annoying (I hated having to put every site I visited into the list of Trusted Domains). Since there's no free AV software for Windows 2003, I was running with a firewall, fully patched, but with no anti-virus running.

      Well, fate finally caught up to me. I was browsing a Google cache of a discussion group. Within seconds, the IE toolbar had been taken over, icons were installing on the desktop, and my computer rebooted, only to never come up again.

      The aftermath was really messy. I got about four hours of sleep that night, trying to clean and fix things. By the next day, I'd mounted the drives on another computer and cleaned it, but it still wouldn't boot. I then had massive problems with Windows Activation, getting stuck in Microsoft call center Hell. Eventually I managed to install the Windows 2003 Server setup from an inactivated Windows XP Pro installation and it worked.

      Needless to say, I've added additional security, as well as switching to Firefox. Going through that level of pain and suffering is the biggest motivator to moving away from Microsoft that I've experienced in a long time. My guess is that since the Windows 2003 Server browser is so locked down, they don't bother fixing holes.
  • ...that makes my WinXP resemble my Linux box...but without all of those neat little security features and everything.
  • Does it remove the vulnerabilities and other bugs ?
  • by stevejsmith ( 614145 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @05:02PM (#13448880) Homepage
    Did anyone else see that for a second (or maybe longer?) the format of Slashdot changed? "Read more" was replaced by the headline title, the right sidebars were gone...?

    I don't think it could have been a glitch in the rendering; it looked too orderly and intentioned. ...even, good!
  • So, it's actually just another alternative IE shell, with the slight difference that it's loaded by the IE executable rather than being a separate executable and using the IE rendering dll. Tabbed browsing etc. can be had in plenty of such shells, e.g. slimbrowser, and most will include a "firewall" or similar, not that they're usually effective at stopping all the malware IE is all too happy to run but it's better than nothing if the user is an idiot. It doesn't fix the most fundamental problem with IE, it
  • Why bother? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FireFlie ( 850716 ) * on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @05:02PM (#13448885)
    I don't see the point. If you want it to look, feel, and act like firefox, why not get firefox. Yes that is the redundant part. As for the office (scuttlemonkey's idea for a place where this can be useful): if you're equipment is being held so tightly that you can't install firefox, don't you think installing this will get you fired? Many companies keep really tight control over such equipment. Seriously, this is interesting for any ie fanboys, but I don't see any practical application for such an extension (nor do I envision a market for such a thing).
  • by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @05:03PM (#13448891)
    Will it remove disable all the plugins that were installed without my permission, including Genuine Advantage?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @05:03PM (#13448892)
    A big part of what makes Firefox good is its Gecko rendering engine, which happens to be much better at rendering web content according to w3c specifications than IE does.

    Does this plugin address any of that? I'm guessing not, since it wouldn't likely be possible to do that with IE through a simple plugin. At any rate, that makes this thing much less interesting IMO.
  • Can it... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SharpFang ( 651121 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @05:04PM (#13448899) Homepage Journal
    Can it replace the broken rendering engine with Gecko too? Simple PNG transparency support, unbroken absolute positioning, this kind of stuff?
    Does it support popup blocking? Find-as-you-type?
    well...
  • It's working already! I just tried to go to a site called "http://www.getfoxie.com/" and instead of a dangerous web site, I got a harmless "Internal Server Error" instead. Woot! Woot!
  • Who is going to use this? What demographic is this targetting? There's not a platform out there that supports IE but not FF. People who can't install Firefox on public/work machines due to lowered permissions won't be able to install this either. People who want Firefox will use Firefox. This plugin serves no purpose, and the "gets rid of ALL spyware in TEN seconds" line sounds like magical marketing-speak.
  • I am the only hacker I know who actually prefers IE (security zones are a killer feature once you fix the stupid defaults), but I do miss tabbed browsing. A while ago, I went looking for tabbed browsing for IE and came across Avant Browser [avantbrowser.com]. It's an MDI interface for IE, each tab containing an IE web browser control. My only complaint is a user interface bug where it loses focus in the browser control itself when I alt-tab to a different application. I'll have to try this new plug-in and see if it's any

  • Does it include automatic BugMeNot [bugmenot.com] capability?
  • Ok the slashdot effect is well known but Google has only three pages cached and there isn't anything elsewhere.

    What would Admiral Ackbar do?

    Yell: It's a Trap!
  • All right, for all you "just use firefox" idiots, there are unfortunately times when you need to use IE (like for some non-standard compliant web based software - hell there are times when I need to fire up IE under wine on my main box, a debian machine). This is a nice compromise.
  • unless it fixes the (bad) rendering and let's me use firefox plugins, i don't want it!

  • Cross-dressing is nothing to be ashamed of. Plug-in the real you here [wigworld.com].
  • by Niten ( 201835 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @05:14PM (#13449009)

    Trademark infringement, anyone? Did you see their logo? And the layout of their web page is clearly designed to blur the distinction between the Mozilla Foundation and whatever organization or company owns this project.

    It appears to me that this group is trying to piggy-back on the success of the Firefox name and image in order to further their own product.

  • by winkydink ( 650484 ) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @05:14PM (#13449010) Homepage Journal
    here [networkmirror.com]

    It wasn't obvious to me if you needed to be admin to install. If so, it kind of blows the argument of giving corporate types who are locked to IE an alternative.
  • This is nothing new... Maxthon [maxthon.com] (formerly known as myIE2) has been doing everything but the "firewall" for years. It uses the IE engine, but behaves like a separate browser.
  • Poor server never saw it coming... :(
  • by Plug ( 14127 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @05:18PM (#13449052) Homepage
    There appears to be nothing in the EULA that makes it claim to be spyware/adware.

    It's heavily tied in with Ask Jeeves; it comes bundled with their desktop search, and you can't change the search button to go anywhere else.

    It comes with a desktop firewall, spyware cleaner and privacy shredder (cookie/temp files deleter) but I'll leave someone with a clean VM image to try those things on thankyou!

    While it would be nice to have tabs and a search box in IE, those are not the features of Firefox that make me use it. If you did something like "block ActiveX in IE", you'd get close, but then all those things that require IE wouldn't work.

    The adblocker works. It displays boxes with "Ad blocked" rather than no ad at all, and lets you show them by clicking on them.

    I look after a lot of people who need to keep using IE for various sites, but I still think that Firefox for general browsing and icons on the desktop for broken sites is the best option.

    Hats off to the Foxie people though; it's not OSS and it's likely to be funded/sponsored by a search engine, but will be interesting to see if it gets better. It might be worth throwing on the PCs of people who need to use IE for regular browsing.
    • Have now run the spyware sweeper. Damned right it's fast; came up in 2 seconds, and with four hits. Asking for details on them included "host redirector" (windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts) and "search redirector" (registry entries, shown without values, probably as a result of installing Google Toolbar).

      Nothing at all like a "full" antispyware scanner like Spybot or MS/Giant AntiSpyware.
    • While it would be nice to have tabs and a search box in IE, those are not the features of Firefox that make me use it. If you did something like "block ActiveX in IE", you'd get close, but then all those things that require IE wouldn't work.

      Copy the MS HTML control, binary patch the copy so it has its own registry keys and profile and doesn't get confused with the original. That includes its own HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT!

      Using these patched keys, configure it so it will ONLY run ActiveX controls from %SYSTEMROOT%\s
  • Enough!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by seriesrover ( 867969 ) <seriesrover2@yahoo.com> on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @05:26PM (#13449108)
    of the "just use Firefox" comments. I pressume using this train on thought we should scrap WINE, OpenOffice and other "Linux emulating Windows" software.

    Just for one second PLEASE realize that there are legitimate reasons for this plugin. They might not be reasons you would choose, or it could be that are forced on you (businesses), but they are valid nonetheless.

  • Variant Trials (Score:2, Informative)

    by WED Fan ( 911325 )

    I've tried FireFox and Moz flavors, Opera, Maxthon, IE 7, and IE6 with MSN tabs.

    • FireFox - Nice, does most of what I want, some plug ins tend to fight one another and pop up blocking stopped working for me.
    • Opera - Sloooooow, and not entirely a nice UI for my tastes.
    • Maxton - (IE based) Fun, pop up blocking was erratic, and did not like to work with SharePoint in a page design mode.
    • IE 7 - Barebones. UI is currently crap, but it works with SharePoint.
    • IE 6 w/MSN Tabs - Almost good, but closing a single tab
  • and what is the name of this plugin that provides all the features of firefox?

    [drumroll............]

    It's name is... ahem... Firefox....
  • by Drake42 ( 4074 ) * on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @05:34PM (#13449173) Homepage
    1) create an IE plugin. In side of this plugin put a full, decompressed, working firefox install
    2) when your site detects IE, try sending your page as data for the plugin you just had the user install.
    3) the plugin passes the rendering of the HTML to firefox which renders inside of the IE window. Your IE window appears to have all of the benefits of firefox while your users still think they're using IE.

    You laugh, but I've done it before and it works. The only problem is the big install and making sure that your site uses the plugin if its available.
  • by Leffe ( 686621 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @05:58PM (#13449359)
    Why just modify the GUI when you can replace it entirely and still use the Worst Rendering Engine(tm) ever? Oh, wait, that is Lynx.

    Internet Explorer rendering in Firefox [mozillazine.org].

    NOTE: I haven't tried it out or anything (you'd probably have to read the entire thread and use the unstable branch of Firefox -- 1.0.5), so I can not guarantee anything.
  • Virus?!? (Score:3, Informative)

    by pacoboyd ( 643563 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @06:41PM (#13449654)
    Just wanted to let you all know that when I went to install this plugin to test it out, Anti-Vir definitely found a deleted a Keylogger. WARNING: Contains suspicious code HEURISTIC/Trojan.Keylogger! C:\PROGRAM FILES\FOXIE SUITE\SWEEPER.EXE File has been overwritten and deleted! No thanks, I'll pass.
  • by jgallagher ( 854363 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @07:33PM (#13450008)
    This "foxie" installs iun6002.exe (desktop surveillance personal spyware) on your computer. I just ran Ad-Aware SE with the latest difinitions. Before I had installed this program I didn't have this nasty spyware installed. I could be worng but I don't think I am. Following links: http://www.lavasoftnews.com/ms/display_main.php?ta c=Favoriteman [lavasoftnews.com] http://www.auditmypc.com/process/iun6002.asp [auditmypc.com] http://www.derkeiler.com/Newsgroups/microsoft.publ ic.inetserver.iis.security/2004-06/0260.html [derkeiler.com]
  • by cra ( 172225 ) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:12AM (#13452180) Homepage
    Saying that the tabbed windows make IE into FireFox is like saying that a fat guy's man-tits makes him a woman. It doesn't, although in both cases some twisted people might think otherwise.

Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley

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