Late last week in an online article The OmniGroup president, William Shipley (makers of OmniWeb for MacOSX) opined that Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) would eventually stop development of Internet Explorer for the Macintosh.“Once they’ve killed off the competition in the Mac market, their best move is to start ignoring or wounding IE for the Mac, so that Mac users have a reason to switch to Windows,” Shipley said. “Remember, Microsoft is in the business of selling Windows,” he added. “That’s what they do. Right now, they’re writing free system software for Apple. In fact, it’s less than free; they paid a large sum to force Apple to make IE the browser of choice for the last five years. Why would they do this? To kill Netscape. What happens when Netscape is dead? They bail.”
The MacBU’s General Manager Kevin Browne says that work on Internet Explorer is ongoing and that Shipley’s comments are wrong. Fact is though, the Mac users are stuck for a long time now with IE 5.1 while its Windows counterpart is now preparing for its first 6.0 SP1. In fact, IE 5.1 under Macintosh is still below par when compared to IE for Windows or even other browsers, with many important rendering and other bugs that still have to get fixed.
In addition we should not be forgetting the rumors that want Apple to try to use Mozilla’s Gecko HTML engine and create a new default browser for the Macintosh platform.