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Time for vendors to stop foisting IE onto consumers

Adobe Systems has been force-feeding Microsoft's Web browser to its customers. Shouldn't Mozilla's Firefox and other browser makers get a say in the matter?

In a late-night Twitter rant, CNET's Stephen Shankland uncovers a significant error in judgment by software vendors like Adobe Systems: vendors continue to default to Internet Explorer, even as consumers increasingly do not:

Why the hell do Adobe CS4 help and Lightroom geotag links launch Internet Explorer? It's not even my secondary browser, much less default.

In other words, Adobe is trying to second-guess the consumer, presumably to favor either some preconceived notion of what its customers want or some revenue or partnership arrangement with Microsoft.

In either case, vendors like Adobe need to be thinking forward, not looking backward, and the writing is on the wall that Mozilla Firefox is becoming a new standard for Web browsing.

Sure, IE still commands a 68 percent global market share, according to Net Applications, but that share has been on a steady decline for years. Firefox? It has surpassed 21 percent global market share, and it claims more than 30 percent of the market in Europe, growing in popularity nearly every month.

Adobe and other vendors needn't prejudice their applications to Firefox in the way Google has--at least not yet--but they certainly shouldn't be force-feeding IE down customers' throats. An increasing number of people don't want it and, guess what? The customer is always right.