When the majority of Japanese companies embraced Internet Explorer, it was widely considered to be the world’s most advanced web browser. Much has changed in the ensuing years, and now that once cutting-edge software is deemed to be a liability.
Yet, most Japanese firms appear to be remaining loyal to that increasingly obsolete application, even as much of the rest of the world has moved on to more secure systems like Google Chrome. The Japan
Times outlines the risks in Japan’s digital heel dragging, noting in a recent article that “Older versions of Internet Explorer date from before the age of organized cybercrime, cyberterrorism and online extortion, and are seen as particularly vulnerable to exploitation.”
This is especially true as of January 13, the deadline that Microsoft set to end its technical support, including security updates, for older versions of the browser. Despite that freshly gaping
vulnerability, many Japanese firms remain reluctant to switch to another browser or even the updated versions of Explorer that are readily available courtesy of Microsoft in both Japanese and English.
The reason for this sluggishness? Many firms may want to first “ensure their computer systems will operate smoothly” with this new systems. The risks that lie in such cautiousness may indeed be colossal for Japan, considering 80 percent of government and business office computers have Explorer. Hopefully the percentage of offices willing to at least upgrade to more secure version of the browser is equally high. Perhaps there’s something to Microsoft’s anime-inspired push to get to know the newest version of IE better.