Microsoft's new Internet Explorer 7 has a special bar that turns green when visiting "safe" sites, which it determines if it recieves a special strict security certificate from Microsoft. But, small business owners and corporations are worried that users will leave their sites feeling unsafe, as they are not eligable to smaller businesses.
A green bar isn't a seal of approval, it's just certification that the site is a legitimate business, says Microsoft. The bar also displays the name of company to further confirm with the user that they're at the site they intended to be at.
As Internet Explorer 7 usage increases, most significant will be after Windows Vista's launch, more people will trust those green bars that tell users that they're safe. Then they'll feel unsafe when they view "probable phishing" sites, and likely stop viewing them.
However, I think the prediction that traffic will be lost is partly untrue. For example, has anyone forgotten about all the other browsers that everyone uses? People using those browsers certainly won't stray away from sites that don't issue that special certificate. And there's a big chunk of users that don't use Internet Explorer: around 30%. So only 70% of the traffic could possibly be indangered.
Who is it that will most likely trust those green bars? Most likely older grannies and people that are over-concerned about their safety. And since those aren't in huge numbers, (just think about the number of people that get scammed everyday on the Internet) it's only going to be that small number that actually does and believes whatever the browser tells them.
Many people ignore IE's certificate warning on unsafe sites, and can get scammed. Those dumb people don't even deserve to be visitors on your site. Sorry if it sounds so harsh, but that's the way it is.
Another reason businesses don't have to be terribly concerned (yet) is that the green bar only goes into effect once Windows Vista is launched. And so then it will take a while for some people to switch to Vista, if ever. Windows XP is still pretty good, so they don't see a need to switch.
Lastly, I think it could work backwards in a negative way. If only large businesses will get these certificates, what does that mean for the rest of the web? That they will get no certificates, right. And I wonder how many people only visit large corporations/businesses when they surf the web. That's right, very few.
The rest will be constantly viewing sites without the green bar, and will soon get so used to it, they won't even notice it. I know that most sites you visit will not have SSL, but over time you will visit quite a number of sites that don't have a certificate. (Just a side thought: I wonder if DaniWeb will be eligable for this special strict Microsoft certificate... not that we actually need one ;)) There's so many e-commerce sites out there that aren't big enough, (more than 20 million) that it's inevitable you will need to buy from a site that doesn't issue a certificate.
So while many small corporations are worrying, I think it's Microsoft that should worry whether it's actually going to be that much good. And frustrated users may just go and switch web browsers. Who knows.