Internet Explorer required: Your comments

Last week's column discussing how the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Individual Assistance Center Web site required people filing claims to use Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6.0 generated a lot of feedback.

Forum: IE required

Read comments, jump in with your thoughts.

Reader Gary McMillian wrote that this obsession with Internet Explorer isn't restricted to FEMA: "The [Department of Defense] insists on [Internet Explorer] to submit invoices through their new Wide Area Work Flow [WAWF] system. At some point in the future [the original deadline has passed], if you don't use WAWF [and Internet Explorer] then you won't be able to invoice the [Defense Department] and receive payment for work done."

But that's not all. McMillian continued: "To add to the insult, the group responsible for payments, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, requires [Internet Explorer] to access their invoice inquiry system."

He agrees that legislation is required to keep the federal government from mandating use of a particular vendor's browser. Me, I think this requirement should extend to all federal and state government departments as part of a larger strategy that makes government information and services as widely accessible as possible to Internet users.

But not all readers agreed. David Gray wrote, "I'm not a big fan of government, but as a Webmaster and developer, I have to disagree with your comments regarding government requiring [Internet Explorer]. What would you say if they postponed having a Web site to make sure it was compatible with the 10% to 15% of the other users? I'm sure you'd complain that they don't have a Web site!"

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