You know, for years people have complained about Microsoft including IE with Windows, wanting them to stop.
But they fail to consider this:
If Microsoft didn't include a browser with their OS, then what would you use to visit a site and download your browser of choice?
How do you visit a site and download Chrome, Firefox, K-Meleon, Opera, Safari, or any other browser if you don't have a browser to begin with?
I do agree that IE shouldn't be so deeply integrated into the OS, and it should be completely removable, but the idea of requiring Microsoft to get rid of it entirely is just crazy and not well thought out.
What would be the alternative to Microsoft including IE? Would it be better to include a bundle of every browser in creation for the user to choose from? How would this be any different than a bloated OEM crapware bundle? And you just know if they did that, that some browser developer somewhere would cry foul because his wasn't included in the bundle. Before you know it, you'll need an extra 8G of space just for the browser bundle or Microsoft will have to toss in another 2 DVD disks with the setup files for all of them.
And why target Microsoft and nobody else? Does Apple's OSX come with a browser? Who made that browser? How is it really any different? Why doesn't anyone cry about Apple doing it, like they cry about Microsoft?
I haven't had a single malware issue that wasn't due to a user just clicking "install". That is not IE's fault. IE provides a mechanism which provides great functionality. What we really need, rather than removing IE from Windows, is to educate the userbase so they know better. That is what I do and 9 times out of 10, I never have the same user back for the same problem.
Since the release of IE6 SP2, I have not seen a single issue with drive-by malware installs that was the fault of IE. Just like you, the issues I have seen were the results of the user clicking install.
In the case of the drive-by installs I have seen, they were the fault of another company's software, mostly Flash and Java, which are not exclusive to IE, nor are they Microsoft's products.
Or they were IE based browsers like AOL, or the one that was once included with Ares Galaxy, or an IE based RSS reader, none of which included the extra safeguards built into the Microsoft supplied IE user interface. Again, not the fault of Microsoft if another developer gets lazy and skimps or takes shortcuts on their own product.
One of the nastiest pieces of malware I have had to remove was Winfixer/Virtumundo, which gets on a system by exploiting a vulnerability in an older version of Sun's JRE. The problem is that Sun doesn't uninstall the old vulnerable versions when you upgrade your JRE. They leave them on your system to be exploited. So just because you have everything up to date, you can still be a sitting duck to the drive-by malware attacks that the older stuff is vulnerable to.
And most people don't know this and don't know they have to remove the older JRE versions. I sure didn't before I got hit with the first attack (for the record, the browser used was Firefox). I thought the newer versions of JRE that I was installing required the older ones to stay on my machine. I thought they were installed as patches on top of the older version, like some other software I have does. I thought the extra entries in add/remove programs was so I could roll back if I had any problems with the newer version. I never for one moment thought that Sun was doing something so stupid as leaving multiple exploitable individual versions on my machine.
And I am sure most users are as oblivious to that issue as I was. And you don't have to be a stupid newbie to think that. I know plenty of experienced knowledgeable power users that don't know.
And this is not the fault of Microsoft, and not related to IE.