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A Modest Proposal

... For Preventing the Users of Microsoft Internet Explorer From Being a Burden to Other Users of the Internet and for Making Them Beneficial to Internet Security. With many apologies to Jonathan Swift.

It is frustrating to see Web sites designed to work only with Microsoft Internet Explorer. Likewise, systems administrators gnash their teeth at seeing their precious bandwidth eaten alive by extraneous e-mail and attacks on their Web servers spewed from the systems on which IE is used on a daily basis. These users of IE and Outlook, dependent on Microsoft for their technology and ignorant of the ways of standards compliance, are compelled by Microsoft's marketing engine to continue to use substandard, insecure products and thus wreak havoc on the entire Internet.

I have long considered the problem and, while there are less drastic measures that could conceivably provide the desired results, they are unlikely to be considered reasonable. Thus, it falls to me to present a somewhat modest proposal, which, if implemented correctly, will save the Internet from the horror of poorly designed sites and rampant viruses running amok interminably.

Each and every IE user, who must be masochistic to enjoy being infected and exploited so often, should cut out the middleman. Simply double click on "My Computer," and find the "C:\windows" or "c:\winnt" directory. Select the appropriately named location and hit the "delete" button. When you are presented with the question "Are you sure?" select "Yes." Then sit back and enjoy the horrific disorder that will undoubtedly ensue when you try to reboot your machine. It will be quite destructive, and you should derive much pleasure from this action. But more important, from this point on, you will no longer be in danger of a malicious virus, nor will you be able to consume the bandwidth of others who have already determined that running a Microsoft OS on a publicly accessible machine is a very bad thing. After some time, Web site designers will realize that standards-compliant browsers do indeed exist and we will no longer need to mask ourselves as an inferior product to surf the Internet.

IE users, please join in and save the Internet by destroying your own machine. I assure you this action will be recognized in years to come as one of the most generous and intelligent acts ever performed.