back to article It's official: IE users are dumb as a bag of hammers

Update: This survey discussed in this story was apparently a hoax. You can read more here. A comprehensive study of web users has determined that the dumber you are, the more likely you are to use Microsoft Internet Explorer. After measuring the IQs of exactly 101,326 users and correlating their scores with the browser they …


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  1. Ty Cobb


    Now I have to switch from Firefox to Opera so I can feel better about myself

    1. Pete 6

      I already use Opera

      Where's the "smug" icon?

    2. BDC

      Do it

      Come over to the light side, you won't regret it!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I tried it...

        ...and I didn't like it. Each to their own.

        1. breakfast


          That now tells us more about you than you might have wanted to let on...

    3. Steve Evans


      Don't switch, add!

      I use Firefox, Chrome and Opera, so by my calculations my IQ is about 350!

      Mines the one with the Spry Mosaic install floppy in the pocket.

      1. Steve Evans

        Re: Nooo!

        Would the humourless down-voter please stand up and make himself known... Or do you have something against Spry Mosaic?

        1. MarkieMark1

          FAKE STORY

          Even the Beeb has noticed

          PS written from Ubuntu so no realistic possibility of me being a fanboi :-D

    4. Arkasha


      Seriously: get Opera. It's very, very good. I started using it a couple of years ago when Firefox kept getting slower and slower and I've never looked back.

      Looks much better than FF in Linux too, IMHO. Also, I got rid of Dunderbird mail client and just use Opera's built in one which is more than adequate. Saves about 400MiB of memory.

    5. Rafael L


      The research is IQ test -> possibility to use the browser x, not "use browser x" -> have more IQ...

    6. Anonymous Coward

      Dunning–Kruger effect

      I know it might be hard to believe, but it's true, intelligent people are intelligent enough to explore alternatives, and understand the simple concept that the most POPULAR products are rarely also the BEST products...

      I'm guessing many here are suffering from the Dunning–Kruger Effect, where they are too stupid to realise how stupid they actually are, and vastly overrate their own intelligence.–Kruger_effect

      Clearly anyone thats bothered to fully explore alternatives to what their OS comes with, will come to likely conclusion that Opera is clearly the browser of choice based on performance, reliability, features and security track-record. You know tangible criteria to rate something against.

  2. Michael M

    Slow to change

    "Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative. "

    1. blem wit

      Damn commies

      I am sure the 100 million victims of comunist agree with you.

      1. yeahyeahno

        Dam right you fail

        @blem wit, are you saying that the "victims" as you describe them must be the dummies? Or that the communists must be the dummies?

        Because either way, your comment doesn't fit what its replying to.

        1. Morris Maynard

          Explanation required for leftist twit

          Nitwit, let me explain it for you.

          Whether conservatives are more likely to be dumb than leftists (such as Communists) or not, the outcome of the leftists "intelligence"+worldview is horrific compared to the much more congenial product of more conservative frameworks.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Damn industrialists

        And I'm sure the 100 million victims of capitalism agree with you.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Where are those, then?

          Really, I just want to know.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Where are those, then?

            Who? Anyone who classifies Obama as a Marxist, Fascist or Nazi . Or a tar baby.

            Where? I don't understand the question. Above their own shoes, but below their own hats. Am I expected to geoip the lot of them for you?

            Oh ... wait. You think the Tea Party are moderates? The people so far on the right that American conservatives are disowning them? The people whose only mission is to bring Obama down, no matter the cost to America or the wider world? Those people. They're not extremists?

      3. Tony Green

        Would that be... any way related to communists (with the correct spelling)?

    2. Ed Vim

      Regretfully in agreement

      There was a time when I would try to be more 'diplomatic' about such a statement and try to avoid the word, "stupid" in favor of, "ignorant." But watching America's crumbling infrastructure aided by the solid public support of the Bush administration and the current level of Tea Party extremists' control of Congress, I stand corrected. The word, "stupid" IS being diplomatic as it doesn't really represent what's actually going on.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        "Tea Party extremists' control of Congress"

        There is not enough Internet Explorer in the world for this statement.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          @Destroy All Monsters

          You're right. That should read "Grover Norquist's control of congress, as implemented by Tea Party extremists."

          1. toughluck

            @John Dee

            Yes, because as we all know, increasing debt limits and doing nothing about the spending is the right way to go wrt budgets.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward


              So end the Bush tax cuts. End corporate welfare. Cut congressional pensions and other benefits. Stop invading other countries.

              Et fucking cetera.

              Presto chango, budget balanced, and without all the theatrics and histrionics and other displays of advanced tea-baggery.

    3. Jim 59

      John Stuart Mill

      "Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative. "

      The originator of this soundbite was liberal MP John Stuart Mill. No doubt it came in handy for belittling his opponents.

    4. YARR

      I bow to your spiteful superior intellects...

      Given that this is a forum for an IT website, and in most surveys IT workers are shown to have a conservative bias, we must conclude that the majority of thumbs up votes here are by infiltrators from other professions. Probably Sociology and Political Science graduates employed in government non-jobs at great expense, with bags of time on their hands to spend commenting on forums all day while the rest of us do the real work.

      It would be interesting to see a graph showing time of day versus frequency of thumbs up and thumbs down votes, and whether they originate from .edu / / .gov / or .com / etc.

  3. Joe Montana


    Another thing worth considering, is that many users are forced to use IE at work or on public terminals while very few people are forced to use the other browsers. As such, most of the non-ie browser users explicitly chose to use their given browser, while a proportion of the ie-users don't have the choice.

    It would be interesting to see if the stats could be updated to see the IQ of people who chose to use IE, i imagine the average IQ would be even lower.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I bet they got that covered too...

      They'll just call you stupid for accepting a job before knowing if you have to use Explorer ;-)

      IMO "studies" like these tell us more about the "researchers" than anything else.

    2. Fuzz

      people at work

      Most people at work are working, rather than filling in IQ tests on the Internet.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Public sector?

        You obviously don't work in local government

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC - Public Sector

          Sounds just like the public sector to me.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      IE with Chrome Frame

      I'd think that the IE with Chrome Frame users are those who have to use IE(6) at work (undoubtedly for some horribly coded but business-critical web app) and have put Chrome Frame on to ease the pain.

      After all, Chrome Frame isn't very well advertised. If you don't keep up to date on the big G's blog and developments, it's highly likely you wouldn't have heard of it, so I'd say those users are more tech-savvy than your typical office grunt and are just trying to make IE a little less painful to live with.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        not really

        I force people onto IE here at work simply because of GPOs. Chrome frame has been beaten out of the network (it is a "virus" here according to the AV....). Sadly that is the way of the policy. (No you cant use pocket opera either).

        Internet is almost whitelisted too. Except for me, I use the unfiltered server proxy of course.

  4. blem wit

    Obvious enough

    And what else is new?

    -- from decade+ long Opera user.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      So ...

      You were using opera when it was the preserve of the witless. Sure, some smart people have now come on board, but that doesn't reflect on _your_ cognitive abilities.

      Decade plus? You were paying for that shit?

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge


        Blast appears using the ad supported version meant I was very dumb. But still tabbed browsing and session saves without some kak add-in back then was more important to me than some small banner ad. Although Netscape was around I didn't like it hence why I used Opera.

        Then again it doesn;t state if this was desktop browsers only or all browsers for devices such as mobile phones where Opera is a decent choice in my view.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Ad Support?

          BITD it was never hard to switch off the ads without having to pay for anything.

  5. Spanners Silver badge

    Reassuring for some of us

    Many of those who it would not be reassuring to either don't care or may not even undesatand the assertion.

    Of course, this does depend on the accuracy of it.

    Of course we may hear things like "I know someone with an IQ of 180 and they only use IE." It is a statistical correlation not straight either/or.

  6. Wisteela
    Thumb Up

    I like

    Seems about right really.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Work based PCs

    Unless I missed it - I see no comments about work based PCs. Users of those are often denied any choice about the browser and doing an IQ test might be a likely thing to do during boring day at work (I wonder how much being bored in office impacts IQ Tests)

    1. Nigel 11
      Thumb Up

      one from me further down ...

      ... pointing out that if you filtered out people responding from work computers and internet cafes, then you might lose a disproportionate part of the high-IQ IE users. Just as you say, they don't choose to use it, they are given no choice in those environments.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        or you might find

        disproportionate part of the high-IQ IE users - won't be using computer at work for such things

        but it really needs factoring into equation one way or other

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Please hurry up

    and forward the results of the study to Dell and Cisco who are forcing users of some of their products (web management interfaces of some switches or wireless equipments, SSL VPN etc.) to use IE only.

    In this case it's not only the users of IE but also the developers forcing us to use IE that are victims of low IQ scores.

    1. DRendar
      Paris Hilton

      You're using a Cisco GUI!?

      Be a man and use the CLI you wuss.

      No self respecting Cisco Engineer uses the GUI (except where there's no other option - e.g. ACS </digress>

      Paris, cos she loves graphically interfacing.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        Surely real hardcore Cisco engineers change their configs in binary and prefer CatOS to IOS?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    The really smart users...

    wouldn't be clicking on some random IQ test that popped up in ads!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Or they wouldn't even see the prompt, thanks to AdBlock.

      I expected El Reg to be able to see huge selection bias in this study...

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge


        or would pollute the data on purpose.

    2. ravenviz Silver badge

      Re: The really smart users...

      That's evident from the quartile graph, all the IQ's only go from 1 to 100!

      Er, OK....

  10. Mycho Silver badge

    Which IQ scale?

    It's not just the web where you can pick whichever standard you like.


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