An IE user?

In a survey that has set off heated conversations in the blogosphere, a Canadian research firm has concluded that consumers who use the Internet Explorer web browser have, on average, lower IQs than those who use Firefox, Chrome or other browsers.

AptiQuant Psychometric Consulting Co conducted free online IQ tests last month, with more than 100,000 people taking part. The company then recorded the scores and matched them up with the web browsers they used.

“A significant number of individuals with a low score on the cognitive test were found to be using Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) versions 6.0 to 9.0,” the company said. “There was no significant difference in the IQ scores between individuals using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple’s Safari; however, it was on an average higher than IE users.”

Smart people's browers?

Individuals using Opera, Camino and IE with Chrome Frame scored even higher.

“These data support the hypothesis that the IQ score and the choice of web browser are related,” the company said.

AptiQuant said its findings have “important implications and identify reasons behind the continuous use of outdated browsers, that has been bugging the web developers and IT companies since the last decade.”

Fighting words?

In other words, the firm seems to be suggesting, IE users aren't exactly the sharpest crayons in the box.

Those who are partial to Microsoft's web browser aren't taking this lying down. Within 24 hours of the survey's release, an IE users group has threated AptiQuant with a lawsuit. AptiQuant CEO Leonard However said his email inbox is jammed with hate mail.

Blogger Leo Sigh called the AptiQuant “an idiotic company” and that most studies of this nature “are a waste of money.”

In its press release, AptiQuant appeared to express some IT frustration with Microsoft's browser.

“Any IT company involved in web development will acknowledge the fact that millions of man hours are wasted each year to make otherwise perfectly functional websites work in Internet Explorer, because of its lack of compatibility with web standards,” the company said. “The continuous use of older versions of IE by millions of people around the world has often haunted web developers. This trend not only makes their job tougher, but has also pulled back innovation by at least a decade.”

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