Ever since Mozilla’s Firefox appeared on the scene and ignited renewed competition, development and innovation of browsers, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has been loosing market share to its competitors. Depending on the source for browser statistics, the Explorer’s market share went anywhere from over 90% in the early years of this decade down to 68% and only just 40%. Nevertheless, the little “e” icon on the many Windows desktops is sometimes simply known as the Internet - it remains even with a capped market share highly relevant. Specially also at corporations and work-places, the Explorer is many times the only browser available due to restrictive company policies.
For me as the operator and head of the StartCom Certification Authority, every computer application making use of SSL and cryptography is of importance, specially those of the various platforms from the house of Microsoft. That’s one of the reasons why I’m today extremely pleased to announce the upcoming default support of the StartCom Authority by Microsoft. Starting approximately the 22nd of September, Microsoft intends to distribute a non-security update package to the Windows operating systems which includes the trusted StartCom root certificate and the automatic root certificate update service will update the cryptographic certificates root store on those systems whenever a StartCom issued certificate is encountered.
This not only means that Internet Explorer will finally support web sites secured with StartCom issued certificates by default, the implications for SSL security and the Internet at large are potentially reaching further than that:
StartCom is the only public certification authority providing digital certificates for free!
For many web sites owners, but also mail server operators and other network based service providers, securing the traffic and data by encryption is highly important. However with lacking support by the most widely used browser, some opted in the past for a different solution or refrained from securing their web sites and services altogether. That’s obviously very unfortunate because phishing, data interception and fraud is ever increasing these days - leaving the users exposed to such potential compromise of their private information and data.
With the advent of the full support by Microsoft, StartCom is more than ever committed to provide its StartSSL™ low-assurance certificates for free - now and in the future. StartCom aims to provide all its other services and products for affordable, reasonable fees and even the high-assurance EV SSL certificates which provoke the green address-bar in modern browsers are available at StartSSL™ today for an incredible price. By making digital certification highly accessible and widely trusted by the major software vendors, the Internet may become a securer and better place today!
I wish all users of Internet Explorer a pleasant experience when visiting StartCom secured web sites and thank Microsoft for extending their trust to the StartCom Certification Authority.
Update: For some readers it’s not obvious that the StartCom CA is already supported by Mozilla (Firefox) and Apple (Safari) for years. I thought it worthwhile to add this message.