Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 19th Mar 2006 01:44 UTC
Internet Explorer At its Mix '06 designer confab next week, Microsoft will distribute a 'layout-complete' IE 7.0 test build, yet another step along the way toward the final IE 7.0 release, and talk IE futures, too.
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What kind of future
by remerico on Sun 19th Mar 2006 02:09 UTC
remerico
Member since:
2005-07-06

Firefox has a future too, isn't it?

Reply Score: 0

RE: What kind of future
by sappyvcv on Sun 19th Mar 2006 02:58 UTC in reply to "What kind of future"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Sure. This article is not about Firefox though.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What kind of future
by dylansmrjones on Mon 20th Mar 2006 15:19 UTC in reply to "RE: What kind of future"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Everything has a future, even Commodore 64 and DOS and OpenGEM and Syllable and SkyOS and Haiku OS and ... you get the idea... another news item posted on a sunday ;)

Reply Score: 1

IE is needed because of diversity
by eivind on Sun 19th Mar 2006 02:13 UTC
eivind
Member since:
2005-11-09

I think we need many different browsers. Through competition, the browsers evolve and enhance themselves. So in this respect new versions of IE are not only welcome, they are needed to maintain healthy competition.

What we *don't* need, is Microsoft to exploit their near monopoly to kill the browser market once again. How can we avoid that?

Edited 2006-03-19 02:13

Reply Score: 4

ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

What we *don't* need, is Microsoft to exploit their near monopoly to kill the browser market once again. How can we avoid that?

*yawn*

MS or it's "monopoly" didn't kill the browser market.

Netscape made a crappy web browser. Everybody hated that buggy NS Communicator. Everyone wanted just the browser part and not the emailer nor the newsgroup. In the end, Internet Explorer won because it was better product. End of story.

Reply Score: 2

ApproachingZero Member since:
2005-11-10

Everybody hated that buggy NS Communicator.

Agreed. Communicator was very, very slow, and didn't look as "pretty" as IE did at the time. And back then, ActiveX meant cool, rich web pages, it didn't mean spyware. I don't remember spyware becoming a problem until around 2001.

Everyone wanted just the browser part and not the emailer nor the newsgroup.

At the time of the browser wars with Netscape, you couldn't download IE without "Microsoft Internet Mail and News" coming with it. They later renamed it to Outlook Express (though the Outlook Express executable is still called msimn.exe to this day), but it's still an email program and newsreader that comes bundled with every download of IE. I think people did want those functions, they just didn't want them slowing down the browser. Microsoft's design looked lighter, and it felt snappier to use.

However, nowadays IE looks very stale, feels stale, and is a virus and spyware magnet. My preferred browser is Camino, but Firefox, Safari, Konqueror and Opera have all evolved into much better browsers than IE.

IE will always have a significant marketshare just because it comes bundled with windows, but the alternabrowsers are going to continue to chisel at IE's share until it's around 60%, and we will all be better off for it.

Edited 2006-03-19 03:10

Reply Score: 4

Peragrin Member since:
2006-01-05

Agreed. Communicator was very, very slow, and didn't look as "pretty" as IE did at the time. And back then, ActiveX meant cool, rich web pages, it didn't mean spyware. I don't remember spyware becoming a problem until around 2001.

Back then the security guys were telling everyone that ActiveX was a security nightmare and bad things would come from it. But MSFT said not to worry that it would be fixed before then.

In the end MSFT didn't keep it's promise, it still hasn't and it's been nearly a decade. Maybe with Vista,

Reply Score: 2

werpu Member since:
2006-01-18

Actually around 1997 all security guys said, that ActiveX was a security nightmare coming true. I even can remember being around 97 at a javaone, where they showcased this.
Microsofts standpoint back then was, we do not design our software with security in mind (there was an interview where exactly this line was quoted)

Reply Score: 1

Rafal_Glazar Member since:
2006-01-01

In the end, Internet Explorer won because it was better product.

I'm not saing that I'm right but maybe IE won because it was bundled with Windows and people were to lazy to install another browser?

Edited 2006-03-19 03:24

Reply Score: 5

CPUGuy Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm gonna say that you are wrong here, and here's why.


IE has come bundled with Windows since the first release of Win95 (it came with IE2). Then OSR2 came out and that came with IE3. At this point, IE still had something like 15% market share. When IE4 came out that market share skyrocketed (before Win98 even came out). IE5 sealed Netscape's fate, as Communicator was just purely crap from 4.0 on (never really got past 4.0, really).

Hell, Netscape would develop standards (DHTML) and not even fully support it, while IE (and all of Microsoft's websites) took advantage of it.

Netscape really really screwed up big time to try and compete, and just really started mis-stepping all the way along until its own demise.

Reply Score: 4

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Microsoft used illegal means to destroy a competitor. This is clear from the leaked Microsoft mails, and the Judge ruled so.

Reply Score: 1

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

And again we go through this.

The ruling that included IE being bundled with Windows as illegal was ruled to be VOID by an appeals (I believe) court later on.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

It still doesn't change the contents of the leaked mails, nor does it change the fact the Bill Gates was ready to use illegal means to destroy competition.

Reply Score: 1

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

It does change the fact that it was ruled illegal in courts though. Just trying to keep you honest here.

Reply Score: 1

jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

Netscape should have bundled an OS with their browser, though it probably would have been just as awful of an OS as IE is a browser.

Companies can "bundle" whatever they want, in the end it's up to the user to decide what they want to use.

Reply Score: 2

eivind Member since:
2005-11-09

MS or it's "monopoly" didn't kill the browser market.

This is what happened: MS made a better product and improved IE. But when IE's position and market share grew, the development of browser technology for most people paused for a while. That's what I meant with "kill the browser market". They did it for a while.

Now, there were always competitors that were technologically superior to IE, but they were never a threat. I think that the period from 2000~2003 was really standing still because of lack of competition.

The only thin MS was interested in back then was maintaining its position, *not* taking the world forward. So to be more precise, *that* is what I hope won't happen again. ;)

Reply Score: 5

ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

The only thin MS was interested in back then was maintaining its position, *not* taking the world forward. So to be more precise, *that* is what I hope won't happen again. ;)

MS is interested in taking the world forward. Only that MS had/has other plans (Tablet PC, etc...) ;)

Edited 2006-03-19 05:20

Reply Score: 1

MysterMask Member since:
2005-07-12

Oh, come on! Not again "the better product won" bullshit.

There are numerous examples that "the better product" has nothing to do with market success.

When Apple came out with the GUI for the masses, it was lightyears ahead of everything MS offered at that time (which MS admitted by making a third-class copy of it called Windows)
Did Betamax win against VHS. Does anybody talk about the "better product" when it comes to Blue-Ray vs. HD DVD?

Your logic also neglects the fact that there were more than just two browsers..

Reply Score: 5

ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

There are numerous examples that "the better product" has nothing to do with market success.

In the case I mentionned (NC4 vs IE4), the it was the better product and not about popularity. IE before 4.0 wasn't very good. No one used IE2 and IE3.

WinAMP still is very popular. Even though MS still bundles WMP with Windows Guess why? Could it be that WMP makes a crappy MP3 player?

Your logic also neglects the fact that there were more than just two browsers..

More than just two browsers? There was no others in the 4.0 era. Mosaic? ICab? Tell us who was the other web browser.

Reply Score: 0

Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

More than just two browsers? There was no others in the 4.0 era. Mosaic? ICab? Tell us who was the other web browser.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opera_%28web_browser%29 :

The browser was, until version 2.0, called MultiTorg Opera and was not available to the public although online documents show it at The Third International WWW Conference in 1995.[...]

The first public release was Opera 2.1 for Windows, released as shareware in 1996 [2].


And from the wikipedia Netscape article:

After releasing 5 preview releases from 1996 - 1997, Netscape Corp. released the final version of Netscape Communicator in June 1997. This new version, more or less based on Netscape Navigator 3 Code, updated and added new features (such as support of certain CSS1 elements, minimal dynamic font support and the proprietary object element). The new suite was successful, despite increasing competition from Internet Explorer 4.0 (which had, at that time, a far better HTML engine) and problems with the outdated browser core.

Reply Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Netscape made a crappy web browser. Everybody hated that buggy NS Communicator. Everyone wanted just the browser part and not the emailer nor the newsgroup. In the end, Internet Explorer won because it was better product. End of story.

Not entirely true; NS Communicator, the idea of it, was good, all your communication needs in one location - what stuffed it up was the constantly instability, lack of conformance to standards and their (they made the first move, remember) of including proprietary NS only extensions to HTML and Javascript (IE countered it, by including extensions that were actually USEFUL to developers).

They did off a stand alone browser as well, Netscape Navigator, and even that was an unstable POS that kept locking up when a Java Applet loaded, or worse, you would have a couple of different windows open, and find that a flash applet had locked up the whole application.

It was Netscape and their general shithouse quality that put the nail in the coffin for Netscape, nothing to do with the idea of communicator.

When IE4 came out, it was BIG leap forward, and IE5 was even bigger - fast loading, compact, very stable when compared to Netscape - and people moved. Couple that with a good SDK and enhancements that allowed intranet services to be easily developed and deployed over the web browser, I wasn't surprised to see Netscape gradually dying the death it has.

As for Firefox - its ok, but I've since uninstalled it; it was ok for a couple of weeks, then when visiting websites recently, the graphics were all corrupted (arstechnica it occured, perfectly rendered on IE) or incorrect graphics shown on another forum I visit (again, IE rendered it perfectly) - have I reported a bug? of course not, the last time I reported a bug, I was abused to buggery by Firefox developers with their ivory tower complex of 'we can do no wrong! we're always right!' chant.

Reply Score: 1

porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

Your bit of revisionist history is historically inacurate, factually lacking and legally uninformed.

IE ended up as the default browser of millions of pc users because that's what Microsoft tied into its operating system, where it already had a monopoly, thereby making it impossible for any other company to compete with IE by selling a browser.

The fact that IE encouraged the use of all kinds of extraneous and proprietary extensions to html development attests to the real reasons why other browsers were displaced. Hell, this remains a problem to this very day.

Please spare us your propaganda. The public simply knows better.

Reply Score: 1

vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

Boy oh boy, did this thread bring out the MS apologists. Not even getting paid for your nonsense, instead you just take what MS shovels your way with a smile whether it's roses or it's shit, and somehow thinking it's a good thing to not be able to make choices. Really, it's astonishing to see that people can still be such mindless followers, not of an idea, but followers of a multi-colored butterfly icon. Or maybe a nice red, white and blue elephant.

Reply Score: 1

ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

Moonfire PEW PEW!

Open Sauce Fanatics: The IT industries' own fundamentalists. lol

Reply Score: 0

the__dude Member since:
2006-02-27

Netscape made a crappy web browser.
--------

Darn straight. I used to love Netscape and detest IE when IE first came out. Finally around IE 3.0 or 4.0 I noticed that IE started to really improve while with every release of Netscape, it seemed to get worse and worse for me...

Reply Score: 1

Pretty good.
by Nelson on Sun 19th Mar 2006 03:02 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

I think it's a good thing but they need to do more than just make something "Layout Complete". Don't get me wrong, IE7 is pretty awesome but it could be better provided the time they have left to work on it. So to sum it all up they should stop releasing versions until some more work is done, a demo would have been fine.

Reply Score: 3

In the beginning
by azazel on Sun 19th Mar 2006 13:23 UTC
azazel
Member since:
2006-01-06

I remember back when Netscape was king. I knew plenty of people switching to IE because it was "better" than Netscape. Even friends of mine that hate MS with a passion used IE in those times. Nutscrape really did suck back then, I'm sorry to say.

Reply Score: 1

RE: In the beginning
by WorknMan on Sun 19th Mar 2006 15:54 UTC in reply to "In the beginning"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I remember back when Netscape was king. I knew plenty of people switching to IE because it was "better" than Netscape. Even friends of mine that hate MS with a passion used IE in those times. Nutscrape really did suck back then, I'm sorry to say.

I remember when Communicator 4 came out - vs IE4, it was really an even race. But when IE5 came out, that pretty much sealed Netscape's fate. And what does Netscape do? Instead of trying to build a better mouse trap, they went whinning to the government. Of COURSE nbody wanted to pay for it, because it sucked ass.

After IE5, MS pretty much went to sleep until recently, as Firefox was starting to eat away at IE's marketshare.

Thing is though, it is a good thing it happened this way. Why? Because one of two things would've probably happened otherwise:

a) All the things we see going into IE7 - improved security, RSS, tabbed browsing (plus pop-up blocking in IE6 SP2), etc ... all these features would've happened 4-5 years had MS continued to develop IE. Know what that means? An even bigger stranglehold on the browser market - everyone who is currently using Firefox on Windows would be using IE right now. Because if IE had all of Firefox's features years ago, who would have bothered to switch? Only those who are 'politically' motivated, which means very few.

b) If Netscape had won the browser wars, it probably would have never been open sourced, and we'd probably be up to Communicator 5 or 6, with only incremental improvements and a non-standard Netscape browser (anybody remember the LAYER tag)? Netscape would be just like IE is now. Hell, Mozilla would never have existed to begin with it.

The fact that Microsoft basically quit developing Internet Explorer after IE5 is the very reason why we now have Firefox, so we should thank them for sitting on their laurels all this time ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: In the beginning
by edwdig on Sun 19th Mar 2006 20:06 UTC in reply to "RE: In the beginning"
edwdig Member since:
2005-08-22

If Netscape had won the browser wars, it probably would have never been open sourced, and we'd probably be up to Communicator 5 or 6, with only incremental improvements and a non-standard Netscape browser (anybody remember the LAYER tag)?

Let's not forget why LAYER wasn't standard. Netscape came up with the idea and started working on it, intending to go present it to the W3C with a working demo. Microsoft saw it and did something similar but different (DIV) and went to the W3C before Netscape did.

DIV and LAYER really aren't that different, so the W3C just went along with the first one that was presented to it. The faults with layers were in the implementation, not the concept.

Reply Score: 2

People are forgetting one thing..
by Ronald Vos on Sun 19th Mar 2006 16:19 UTC
Ronald Vos
Member since:
2005-07-06

..and that is that MS found a way to force people to BUY MSIE, and that was 'bundling'. Even if it was free to download upgrades, you payed for the developer costs when you bought a PC, since you automatically bought Windows with your PC, and automatically bought MSIE (and WMP, and Outlook, and..) together with it.

Which meant noone could compete by offering a browser you had to pay for.

That the biggest competitor also delivered a sucky product only acerbated things (and let's not forget that before a number of patches were released MSIE was in all respects ALSO a sucky browser, just one that crashed a lot less making you lose all your work).

There's a reason Opera didn't become as big either: you had to pay for it or suffer ads.

Reply Score: 1

Why IE Won
by MadDwarf on Mon 20th Mar 2006 03:26 UTC
MadDwarf
Member since:
2005-07-07

It was not just because IE was a better product.

It was not just because IE got bundled with Windows.

For some strange reason, a lot of people miss the fact that the _combination_ of the two factors led to IE getting the lions share of the browser market.

Why do such discusions always become polarised dichotomies?

"If IE was a better product, then bundling makes no difference"
"no, if bundling was the reason, it makes no difference which was better!"

Please! Either one without the other would have probably led to Netscape holding a major share, but with the default (bundled) being good enough (possibly better than the competition), people saw no reason to change.

Reply Score: 1