IE 7 seems to be heading in the right direction, but one serious flaw in it is that it is not cross-platform, Firefox is.
I hate Microsoft specific stuff on the Internet, MSN Groups and the chat they have in it is one such example, I got it working eventually using Wine, but it only works occasionally.
Web pages that only work is IE are not W3C compliant and as such constitute shoddy programming.
As for being forced to use IE at work, your company techs must be gluttons for punishment, the amount of wasted bandwidth, plus all the spyware, malware and adware that IE lets in must create a serious workload for them.
If you use IE under windows, go to www.hitmanpro.nl
and click on the download link. Then run the program. It is 100% safe and it will download a number of programs if you do not already have them and then run them. This is perhaps the best way to run the spyware, malware and adware removal programs as it does them one after the other.
I use it to clean windows machines of crap and usually manage to scare the living crap out of companies when they see just how much crap they have on their systems. This stuff is worse than viruses.