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Will Internet Explorer 7 Have Any Impact? 136

Posted by Cliff
from the speculations-welcome dept.
John Seyton asks: "A recent posting regarding Internet Explorer 7 has me pondering what impact this next release will have on the web market. Firefox has fought hard to make a small dent in Internet Explorer's armor, to the point that we can browse most of the web with no loss of functionality, yet if Internet Explorer 7 recaptures a sizable chunk of that market share, web authors might once again create offensive 'please upgrade to Internet Explorer' web pages. Based upon the known features, what does the Slashdot community think the impact of Internet Explorer 7 will be on the web in general? Will we be forced to live a two-browser life once again?"
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Will Internet Explorer 7 Have Any Impact?

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  • not this time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by yagu (721525) * <yayagu.gmail@com> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @06:17PM (#15030152) Journal

    I think by definition since IE7 comes from Microsoft IE7 must have an impact. But I think it will have less impact than Microsoft's original reaction to get back into the internet race.

    "Last" time Microsoft managed two things at one time by bringing their browser to the internet: they managed to cut off the air supply (never liked that group anyway) to Netscape long enough to make Netscape irrelevant competition, and they actually created a less buggy browser (Netscape 4, anybody?). I hated them for it, but it was the perfect storm that killed Netscape and made IE king.

    The net scape today is too different for Microsoft to pull this off again. Like before they're mostly playing catch up... seemingly lulled by their victory, virtually ALL other browsers surpassed IE in features, and even in reliability when you factor in the security issues.

    And, ahh yes, the security issues -- features Microsoft included in IE combined with their Windows platform to enhance the web and browsing experience were also their undoing. While Microsoft always had and will have their cadre of softies following and coding to all of the Microsoft whistles and bells, I think this time many middle-roaders feel stung by the crap that was IE and are more inclined to steer clear of gee-whiz stuff and cater more to globally accepted standards.

    I can hardly wait to see what IE7 brings in enhanced functionality, but I can hardly believe there's anything they can do to convince the world they're for real this time. (Though, I never cease to marvel at Lucy's ability to convince Charlie Brown to kick the football one more time.)

    So, yes there'll be impact, but I don't see IE7 as the bombshell that was IE classic (or am I just whistling past the CSS yard?).

    • >> While Microsoft always had and will have their cadre of softies following and coding to all of the Microsoft whistles and bells, I think this time many middle-roaders feel stung by the crap that was IE and are more inclined to steer clear of gee-whiz stuff and cater more to globally accepted standards.

      Add to that the fact that Microsoft now wants everybody to re-code their websites to work around the required EOLAS patch...
    • Re:not this time (Score:3, Insightful)

      by buddyglass (925859)

      I can see IE7 having a more substantial effect than you suggest. You're right in that MS is playing catchup, adding features to IE7 that have been in FireFox for a while, but that's precisely why I think it may be impactful. Except for the anti-MS zealots and users of nonWindows OSs, why does anyone switch to FireFox? Basically it's tabbed browsing and a decreased vulnerability to malware and similar exploits. What does IE7 offer? Tabbed browsing and decreased vulnerability to malware and similar explo

      • Re:not this time (Score:3, Informative)

        by br0ck (237309)
        what's my motivation for taking the time to download FireFox

        Extensions. IE 7 doesn't have AdBlock+, FlashBlock, Tab Mix +, session manager, live bookmarks, web developer toolbar, HTMLTidy source checker, HTTP live headers, Greasemonkey scripts, Slashdotter, or any number of a huge list of extremely handy utilities.
        • Firefox/Mozilla didnt have those to start with either, yet they came.
        • Re:not this time (Score:3, Interesting)

          by pugugly (152978)
          And what will kill IE, if MS goes true to form, is that they will look at the top 50 Firefox plugin, and code all of them into IE.

          *ALL* of them. Not the fiften I use, or the four you love, every last one. Corporate managers will love it, but the IT departments will stay on Firefox - .
      • Re:not this time (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Korgan (101803)
        You're going to have to download IE7 to use it before you get your hands on Vista. So I turn the question around on you.

        Whats the motivation to download IE7 for features I already have with Firefox? Why would my mother or my mothers friends want to use IE7 when they already have the features of IE7 and then some (such as extensions) simply by sticking with Firefox?

        IE7 is only going to get a massive user base if MS force it upon us through WindowsUpdate as a "critical update". Otherwise, I don't think we'll
        • Re:not this time (Score:2, Informative)

          by Peter Mork (951443)

          Whats the motivation to download IE7 for features I already have with Firefox?

          I can't speak for people in general; I can only describe why I switched to IE7. I primarily switched to Firefox for tabbed browsing. I endured Firefox frustrations that manifest on an XP machine, which include unreliable cut/paste and a frequent inability to scroll using arrow keys. I haven't seen this behavior on Linux, but it's much more convenient to run XP at work. So, when IE7 came out, I switched back because I got t

  • Not much (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jandrese (485) * <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @06:18PM (#15030161) Homepage Journal
    IE didn't capture massive market share because it was way better than Netscape (although it was better for quite some time), it captured the market share because it was the default browser of Windows. The kind of people who actually download and upgrade browsers are the kind of people who run Firefox for the most part. I don't think IE7 is going to put a major dent in the usage patterns of your typical website, and most of its gains will be from the IE6/5 crowd as they buy new computers that have IE7 preinstalled instead of IE5.
    • I.E. 3 was available with the Windows 95 Plus Pack, it wasn't until Win95 OSR2 that it was part of the default install iirc.

      • I think if you look at the history of it, you'll notice that IE didn't really take off until it was made part of the default install.
        • Yes I know this is Slashdot... however if you are going to make such a blanket assertion you should at least back it up.

          Granted I am doing little more than criticizing right now, I am at least digging for some browser statistics from 95 to 2000, might I suggest you do the same?
        • Actually IE was part of the "default install" for about three years with very little affect. It wasn't until IE4 came out with Windows 98 that IE started to take off.

          Personally, I think the "cutting off the airsupply" deals with ISPs had much larger effect than the default install issue. It wasn't so much the default install but making it more difficult to get Netscape.
          • Just for facts sake, IE4 was included as seperate CD with Windows 95C. Prior to that, IE3 was the version that came with Windows 95 and it wasn't installed by default. You had to select it during the installation process (or going back further, install it from the Plus pack.)

            Then in August 1998, all things went pear shaped and IE was supposedly built in as a core part of the Windows platform. Although, I'd dispute this saying that the Windows 98lite project managed to remove it completely by my recollection
            • rior to that, IE3 was the version that came with Windows 95 and it wasn't installed by default

              This is wrong. IE was installed by default on nearly every OEM system that shipped with Win95 B/C/D
            • Then in August 1998, all things went pear shaped and IE was supposedly built in as a core part of the Windows platform.

              Before this, IE4 - when installed - replaced several parts of the system (eg: explorer) with those that used the IE components as Windows 98 (and followers did). So, effectively, as soon as you installed IE4, IE was "part of the OS".

              Before this, IE3 was the first version to be of the "component" archtecture.

              Although, I'd dispute this saying that the Windows 98lite project managed to r

      • Interesting... everyone I knew didn't switch from Netscape or AOL (which their ISPs gave or sold to them) to IE until Windows 98... wonder why that might be?
      • NT4 came bundled with IE2. First thing you did with it was to get Netscape 3.1.
    • Yeah it's not going to make much of a difference. IE will just get upgraded and people will just use it like they do IE 6. IE gained as much ground as it did because it came by default, but there's other factors to consider:

      1) Netscape's browser was not keeping up with IE
      2) Not many people had the bandwidth to download a new browser (for all I love firefox I'd never encourage my friends with modems to try downloading it)

      Frankly I think this second part is not fully appreciated in the browser war history.
      • 2) Not many people had the bandwidth to download a new browser (for all I love firefox I'd never encourage my friends with modems to try downloading it)

        One of the few good things about IE is that when you download it, what you get is a very small program, easy to get even on dial-up. Then, when it installs, it goes out to the net and gets those parts it needs and only those parts it needs from the net. With Firefox, you get the complete install program, with everything included, even parts you don't hap

    • In my experience, start time was a major factor in IE's dominance.
    • Re:Not much (Score:5, Insightful)

      by drsmithy (35869) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .yhtimsrd.> on Friday March 31, 2006 @12:23AM (#15031876)
      IE didn't capture massive market share because it was way better than Netscape (although it was better for quite some time), it captured the market share because it was the default browser of Windows.

      This argument is common, but it doesn't hold water when you consider the largest growth in IE's marketshare was the period of time between IE4's first public beta until 6 - 12 months after Windows 98 was released.

      During this time, the vast bulk of end users were only able to get IE4 from either an internet download, or magazine cover CDs and the like.

      IE4 most certainly *did* "captured massive market share" because it was better. People sure as hell weren't manually installing it because it was worse.

      • To add to that, it also doesn't take into consideration the fact that IE became the most popular browser on Mac OS... not just Windows. And Apple shipped both Netscape and IE on the system CDs, neither of which was "default."

        The sad fact of the matter is that Netscape versions after about 4.0.8 completely sucked. It was impossible to get *just* a browser (like IE), you had to get a whole "Communicator" package full of crap you'd never use. Which of course was bloated as hell, slow, sucked memory, and cra
    • Well, after Netscape 4.x was released, Netscape really didn't do anything with their browser or suite. The updates came less and less frequently, and often introduced new bugs, etc. 5.0 was promised but never came out.

      And it took years for Mozilla to reach the 1.0 release. I know this, because I never used IE regularly. That period between Netscape 4.0something and Mozilla some stable 1.0 release was a loooong wait.

      Meanwhile, IE kept adding new features.

      It's as if two people are racing, and one person stood
  • Absolutely! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Foofoobar (318279) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @06:25PM (#15030212)
    Botnets will experience a large growth rate and virus manufacturers will recieve record growth.

    Will it have an impact? I can hear the impact of it hitting the fan as we speak... but it's not the impact that I'm worried about as much as the splatter.
  • by tepples (727027) <tepples@gmaiBLUEl.com minus berry> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @06:25PM (#15030214) Homepage Journal

    Unlike the features of Mozilla Firefox 2.0 (currently in development under the codename Bon Echo), the features of Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 do not include compatibility with obsolete operating systems such as Microsoft Windows 2000.

  • by thewiz (24994) * on Thursday March 30, 2006 @06:25PM (#15030215)
    Only if dropped from a really tall building.

    Seriously, IE7 will only have an impact if they can fix the security issues. Otherwise, Firefox, Opera and others will continue to gain share in the market.
  • is that I can use the correct XML DOM in my Javascript and other complex web applications. If people's stupid IE 5 and IE 6 can't handle it (because they only implement the proprietary MSHTML DOM), I can say stuff it to them.

    I always could before, but the fact that it's another Quality Microsoft Product (TM) means that folks who are unwilling to be persuaded by reason can still use the Internet when the Internet stops being proprietary.
  • Microsoft's refusal to come closer to a reasonable attempt at compliance with the latest accepted CSS standard will always create issues. What's astonishing to me is that they don't seem to realize that if they did, they could walk all over FF in the average consumer market (more than they are already, that is...).
    • Re:CSS... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TeraCo (410407)
      The average consumer market doesn't know what a CSS is, and wouldn't care if they did. All they care about is whether the site looks ok, and if it does, they'll keep using whatever they're using right now. (Be it FF, IE5, lynx.. )
      • On my non-tech website IE is down to under 60% browser market share. Firefox has 26%. That's pretty good for a site used mostly by non-techical older people.
        • Then the 26% was installed by someone who knows better. The very fact that someone has bothered to get educated takes them out of the ranks of the 'average consumer.
          • That still means that 26% of the average consumer either has done this themselves or has someone that did it for them. Either way it still looks like 40% of my customers are using non-IE, standards complaint, browsers.
    • Re:CSS... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Toby_Tyke (797359)
      Microsoft's refusal to come closer to a reasonable attempt at compliance with the latest accepted CSS standard will always create issues. What's astonishing to me is that they don't seem to realize that if they did, they could walk all over FF in the average consumer market (more than they are already, that is...).

      Oh, you're so, so wrong. I used to work for a major provider of online training courses. We made everything from accountancy to basic literacy courses, all delivered online through a web based
      • "And do you know how often someone complained to us that they couldn't access their course using firefox? Never. Not once. You know why?"

        yup, too lazy ;)

        Remember it takes a few minutes to tell you it looks funny, it takes a few seconds to poke an X then poke a big blue E.

        Sorry it was simpler to just close FF and open IE especially when the class time is in a few minutes. By the end of course, noone remembers to complain... :(

        Most FF user will have ran across this accessing their bank or something somewhere
  • My $0.02 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mattpointblank (936343) <mattpointblank.gmail@com> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @06:26PM (#15030225) Homepage
    "what does the Slashdot community think the impact of Internet Explorer 7 will be on the web in general? Will we be forced to live a two-browser life once again?"

    I think we never left the 'two-browser life' stage. As a developer, I obviously have both browsers installed and regularly use both to test designs, despite favouring Firefox for personal browsing. I think the competition is healthy, better to have people divided amongst 5 or 6 'core' browsers (IE, Opera, Firefox, Safari, Lynx maybe and Konqueror) is better than having everyone locked into one single program. It does make continuity and consistency an issue for web developers, but I'd still rather it was that way than have everyone using the same badly-written software.

    Regarding the topic at hand, I think the release of IE7 won't change too much. Probably everyone running XP now, unaware of the alternate options, will just get the XP "upgrade now!" bubble and download the newer version without really being aware of the differences. From my attempts to educate my spyware-ridden family regarding OSS, it seems that often, computer laymen aren't aware that there are other browsers, and just see IE as the abritrary, sole browser in existence. The biggest thing is educating them to their options then allowing them to freely choose. IE7 won't convert many Firefox users back, it'll just upgrade the IE6 and Vista-buying public who never really know the difference to start with.
    • the biggest thing is educating them to their options then allowing them to freely choose. IE7 won't convert many Firefox users back, it'll just upgrade the IE6 and Vista-buying public who never really know the difference to start with.

      You make a good point -- that the vast majority of the public doesn't even know that there are "other browsers". Take it a step further -- a large part of the surfing public doesn't even know what a "browser" is. They click on the big blue "E" to see Google, much like they

    • Re:My $0.02 (Score:2, Interesting)

      by xwipeoutx (964832)
      When the last IE flaw was announced, I asked a coworker if she uses Internet explorer, and she replied "I use the internet every day, yes". IE IS the internet to most (less tech-savvy) people. I installed firefox, put the icon in the same place as IE, told her to clicky that instead, and she's none the wiser now. Only problem I've had thus far is she wanted flash, so I had to install that. No worries...
  • Most of the 'new' features are not new in the browser market. Most of them are already available with Firefox and Opera and other browsers.

    As for the security, we all know how much improvement they have done in that area since Bill Gates' call to revamp IE (and Windows in general) security few years back. Few securities gaps have already been found in IE7 Beta.

    I think the damage done by security issues in IE6 and previous versions of IE has started the downhill, and its not gonna be reversed that soon, that
  • One: everyone who buys a PC from a vendor locked into shipping a Microsoft OS, will have this preinstalled.

    Two: All the rest of us will have to cope with any mistakes they make, no matter how much Firefox penetration there is.
  • by dduardo (592868) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @06:31PM (#15030266)
    As a web developer I'm interested to know if IE7 has broken all the IE6/5 hacks that I worked hard to put into my code. That's my major concern.
    • You can download a public beta of IE7, though of course you can't have both IE7 and IE6 on the same system at the same time. Time to start messing with VMWare/plex86/VirtualPC in that case...
    • From what I've heard

      Short answer: Yes

      Long answer: Yes, and they didn't fix the problems you needed the hacks to work around either.

      To it's credit, I did notice one new rendering feature I liked, now ANY element can support :hover and :active attributes, not just the a tag. Of course Firefox and Opera had this already...

      Again to be fair, I myself haven't dug deep into rendering changes.
    • by Kelson (129150) *
      I recommend checking out the IE Team Blog [msdn.com]. They regularly post on new features, changes to the rendering engine, etc.

      As for hacks specifically, a few months ago, they started recommending a shift away from using CSS hacks and toward using conditional comments. The latter can be used to target specific IE versions with intended functionality, rather than side effects.
      • As for hacks specifically, a few months ago, they started recommending a shift away from using CSS hacks and toward using conditional comments. The latter can be used to target specific IE versions with intended functionality, rather than side effects.

        I agree with them. Conditional comments kick ass!
      • As for hacks specifically, a few months ago, they started recommending a shift away from using CSS hacks and toward using conditional comments. The latter can be used to target specific IE versions with intended functionality, rather than side effects.

        That statement doesn't make much sense to me. Last time I did this (luckily I've gotten out of it) I used a conditional comment to include the CSS containing the IE hacks. That way my main design is 100% clean with no hacks. Not only that, but some of my origi
        • The "hacks" referred to here aren't work-arounds for bugs or missing features, they're techniques to target specific browsers (usually so that you can deliver said work-arounds).

          Things like prepending * html to a rule so that it will only apply in Internet Explorer (because technically, * html shouldn't match anything, but IE6 allows it), or using /*/*/ ... /* */ to hide a chunk of the stylesheet from Netscape 4.

          The hacks they recommend against are those that rely on bugs in the way browsers parse or implem
    • The voice-family hack was broken by SP2.

    • Call me crazy, but I just stopped supporting IE about 2 years ago. I test in Konq and Firefox. If 90% of the population is too dumb to follow the "worst viewed with Microsoft Internet Explorer" link at the bottom of each page, then they deserve to look at broken crap. Not my problem.

      Doing my part to right the wrongs as I see them.
  • 7.0 won't, 7.5 might (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bogtha (906264) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @06:36PM (#15030299)

    Let's face it, 7.0 is a hurried release to get the Internet Explorer brand going again. It doesn't even close the gap between it and last year's browsers, let alone this year's. Yes, it has a couple of interesting features, but nothing that really stands out. Furthermore, everybody still using Windows 2000 won't be able to use it.

    However Microsoft have indicated that they aren't going to let Internet Explorer rot for another four years after this release - there's likely to be a 7.5 and 8.0 in quick succession. These versions are likely to have an impact.

    They are likely to get the rendering engine into the kind of shape where they can make proper changes to it (think display: table, XHTML and the DOM event model) without massive regressions. If they do implement XHTML, they won't be limited by their requirement to keep bug-for-bug compatibility with earlier quirks because they can implement a new strict mode for application/xhtml+xml. They won't be fooling around with tabs for the interface, they'll be doing something new. Everybody using Windows 2000 will skip Internet Explorer 7.0 and get 7.5 or 8.0 when they upgrade.

    Apart from the year 2010 or so, when web developers will be able to use things like 1998's CSS 2 selectors and expect it to work for the majority of their visitors, 7.0 will have virtually no impact compared with the subsequent versions.

    • by Kelson (129150) * on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:24PM (#15030625) Homepage Journal
      I think you've hit it. IE7 is already far superior to IE6 in terms of what CSS it can handle (and how correctly it can handle it), but still far behind other browsers. If they manage to cath up with 7.5 or 8, even to where Firefox and Opera are today, then we'll have four classes of modern browsers, with the lowest common denominator finally at a level we would have liked to be able to use three years ago.

      But there will still be a lot of IE6 users a year, two years, three years after IE7 is released. And that will continue to hold back web development until IE6 goes the way of Netscape 4.

      As for marketshare, I suspect IE7 will get some of the people who were on the fence about switching. I don't think it'll stop or reverse the trend -- in other words, I expect few people will switch back, except under the circumstance that they get a new computer and don't want to bother migrating their settings.
  • ...yet if Internet Explorer 7 recaptures a sizable chunk of that market share...

    Heh. Hee hee. HAR!

    Oh sorry, I just love the fact that there's actually a nugget of truth to the implication that IE has lost tons of ground. Even given that IE still has the lion's share of the market, it has less than 5% of the market that affects my daily life now. I've converted 50+ employees to Firefox or Safari, as well as my closest friends and relatives. Bwahahahaha!
  • by secondsun (195377) <secondsun@gmail.com> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @06:39PM (#15030319) Journal
    Will IE 7 keep Microsofts brain damaged event model?
    Will IE 7 implement standard HTML dom methods?
    Will IE 7 implement standard HTML dom methods to the spec?

    The answer to this is a loud no from the IE team. They have already said that they know their scripting engine is woefully out of date and have no intention of fixing it in this release cycle. Something to look foward to in IE 9 then (since IE 8 will probably be a fix release like 2 was for 1 and 5 was for 4).

  • I use Firefox because it renders things slightly faster than Safari, and Safari for those weird websites that don't like Firefox for some reason. I haven't used IE for quite some time, even on my Windows machines.
  • by creimer (824291) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @06:51PM (#15030404) Homepage
    Microsoft could play both sides of the fence by releasing a buggy browser and then insist that developers upgrade to the newest development tools to compensate for the problems in the browser. Oh, wait a minute... they are already doing that.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    What is this "Internet Explorer"? Who makes it, what purpose does it have? You have to understand that not all /. readers can keep up with all the new applications out there.
  • by JustASlashDotGuy (905444) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @06:53PM (#15030419)

    Heh.. Asking Slashdot users what they think of IE is like asking the Chinese
    government what they think of free speech.
  • Well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) <john...oyler@@@comcast...net> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @06:59PM (#15030456) Journal
    I'm working on the most advanced pornsite ever contemplated, and it's only going to work in browsers other than IE. Firefox 1.5, Opera 9 both work fine, even Konqueror 4 looks to be in the picture, as well as Safari as soon as it gets SVG. But IE? Not a chance.

    Too many interactive diagrams both for the cataloging webapp and for the search webapp rely on SVG. If I have to convince people to install an Adobe plugin, I might as well do right by them, and convince them to use a real browser.
    • Yay, porn! Once again, it leads us out of the dark side!
    • You just brought up an interesting point: people have no problem installing plug-ins but refuse to upgrade to Firefox. The solution is obvious!

      The Firefox Plug-In!

      Seriously, that would be awesome. Switch out the rendering engine with a plug-in and save me (a web-developer) the pain in the ass of hacking my pages to work on the abomination that is IE. Tell the users that it comes with new emoticons and wallpapers and other equally worthless crap and they'll install in droves. SpreadFirefox.com wont know what
      • Once I'm ready, I will be posting some screenshots to show just what is possible with firefox on the front page.

        IE simply isn't anything that you can make decent webapps for. Seriously, try to code up something for everything but IE sometime, you'll be amazed... it all uses the same damn code. 90% of the cruft in anything like digg.com or whatever has to be IE-switching bullshit, is my guess (speculation, never bothered to view source on it).

        But even the plugin is a pain in the ass. I'm not going to bother
    • as well as Safari as soon as it gets SVG.

      Just so you know, it's in the nightlies [webkit.org].
  • IE7 will matter (to me at least) only when the following two things happen:
    • CSS support becomes reasonably good.
    • IE6 is not significantly used to an extent to warrant supporting it.

    In my opinion, #1 may actually happen. Beta2 is still a long way off from having "reasonable" CSS support, but they've got close to another year to pull it off, if I'm correct in assuming that IE7 will launch with Vista.

    The second item won't happen for at least four years, assuming IE7 comes out in one year. At this point we all

    • Apparently the current release (updated on March 20) is "layout complete" [msdn.com] -- i.e. all the new features intended for IE7 are present -- so aside from bugs that they decide to fix, websites should appear the same in the current release as they will in the final.

      Also, my understanding is that IE7 is still scheduled for sometime this year, which means it'll arrive before Vista.
  • by Nice2Cats (557310) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:25PM (#15030635)
    Maybe IE 7 will win back some market share for Microsoft, maybe not. The important thing in the larger scheme is that Firefox has broken through their "mental" monopoly: Even the most clueless of my Windows-using friends has now at least heard of it and knows that there is a viable alternative to the Internet Explorer. They know that there is something called "Open Source" and that free software can be at least as good as what Microsoft is offering, if not better. Use any metaphor you want -- the wall of ignorance is breached, the dictator's iron grip broken -- it comes down to the fact that Firefox has made it just that more likely that people will even look at OpenOffice.org, VLC or Linux. Firefox could lose all of its marketshare and this would still be the case. From Microsoft's point of view, the damage is done, and IE 7 is just an attempt to limit its spread -- too little, too late.

    Which seems to be Microsoft's company motto these days...

  • Of course it will! The real question is how much of an impact will it have? And that just depends on how fast it's moving when it hits the ground. :)

    -Twi1
  • by jmd! (111669) <jmd@NOSPaM.pobox.com> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:39PM (#15030721) Homepage
    There is no IE7 for Windows 98, ME, 2000, NT or anything but Windows XP.

    There is no IE7 for Linux or UNIX.

    And perhaps most significantly, there is no IE7 for Mac. Microsoft has totally abandoned the platform. Apple having the balls the ship their OS with a non-MS browser, at the risk of damaging their sacred user experience, is responsible for the impossibility of another Microsoft lock on the web in the medium-term. (Though Apple owes a debt of gratitude to the groundbreaking Mozilla evangelism work which began the conversion of the web away from IE-only).

    Every Mac that moves off the shelves of your local, brightly colored Apple store is not just a blow to Windows, but it's a win for the accessible web, the open, standardized office suite file format, etc.

    In fact, I encourage nerds of all colors to switch, even _away from_ Linux. Massing around Apple is, in my opinion, the best way to continue to chip away at Microsoft's broad monopoly over the next few years. Linux can't do it on its own... KDE, GNOME, and 3rd party apps are still (perpetually, seemingly) not ready yet for the masses. OS X is.

    Switch! And more importantly, keep OS X in mind during your UNIX development. (Props to the Firefox team; anti-props to the OpenOffice team).
    • There is no IE7 for Windows 98, ME, 2000, NT or anything but Windows XP....

      True, assuming you mean XP and later (Windows Server 2003 isn't a big platform for web browsing, but IE7 is supported on it). Based on my site's stats (hardly scientific, I know), that limits them to an 81% maximum for now. This will grow as the remaining Win2k-and-older users drop off the radar. Whether enough people switch to offset that growth remains to be seen.
    • wow a random apple advertisment moderated to 5 what insight

      Apple marketshare has dropped for six years in a row. Since *you* positioned this as a pure percentage game (see subject), you must acknowldege that Apple's market is increasing less important to the big picture. Especially compared the heydays of IE5/Mac. Now, mod me down like good zealots.
    • And perhaps most significantly, there is no IE7 for Mac. Microsoft has totally abandoned the platform. Apple having the balls the ship their OS with a non-MS browser, at the risk of damaging their sacred user experience, is responsible for the impossibility of another Microsoft lock on the web in the medium-term.

      Um, sorry, but this is not because Apple has "the balls" to do this; they had no choice. Microsoft stopped IE for Mac, not the other way around, so Apple can't do anything other than push their o
      • I agree with most of what you say. My proposal wasn't to encourage a new monopoly around Apple. Nor was it for anything else so absolutely, incredibly unlikely and regressive. I am just in favor of a temporary massing around Apple.

        Using, developing, and evangelizing for Linux right now, other than for your own personal fun, which I can't begrudge, is equivalent to voting for a third party candidate in the U.S. The best choice? Sure. But you're "throwing your vote away." With enough people "voting" for Apple
        • My proposal wasn't to encourage a new monopoly around Apple.

          You might not want an Apple monopoly, but guess who does? If you think that Apple will pass up any opportunity to lock people into Macs over alternative platforms, you're deluding yourself. The only reason they can get away with it now is that Apple has as little marketshare as Linux.

          Using, developing, and evangelizing for Linux right now, other than for your own personal fun, which I can't begrudge, is equivalent to voting for a third party
    • In fact, I encourage nerds of all colors to switch, even _away from_ Linux. Massing around Apple is, in my opinion, the best way to continue to chip away at Microsoft's broad monopoly over the next few years.

      Yes! Let's replace one abusive monopoly with another abusive monopoly! Let's not have just a software-monopoly, let's have a hardware-monopoly as well!

      I would encourage OS X-users to switch to Linux instead. That way you would make sure that no company could screw you over. And that includes Apple. Only

  • web authors might once again create offensive 'please upgrade to Internet Explorer' web pages

    I don't think you're going to see this again. We can't deny, of course, that it was once this way, but the internet is quickly moving away from the "wild cowboy" days and growing up. There is a much bigger focus in general for properly formed and designed web pages (at least, when you consider what the internet once was).

    I'm not saying that you won't see a loss of functionality by not using a specific browser,

  • by Dracos (107777) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @11:29PM (#15031745)

    IE7 will only be installable on Vista and XP+SP2. IE7 will also not be integrated into the underlying OS, so Joe Sixpack running XP likely won't just automagically get it as part of his bi-millenial visit to Windows Update.

    It appears that MS doesn't know how to sell Vista, and will probably have to rely on OEMs to just "make it available". The $500M marketing campaign might directly generate some retail sales, but I think it's likely that big business is starting to catch on to the FUD.

    IE7 is capable in 2006 of what most other modern browsers were capable of in 2002 (or earlier). Granted, that only means something to developers, but there are high profile ways that IE is behind the curve (tabs, anyone?).

    The fate of IE7 is directly tied to Vista, which more than likely will have a very slow uptake (slower than the 2k to XP conversion), and be based almost completely on new PC sales. I doubt is IE7 will have much more than 25% usage share 3 years after Vista is released sometime (not January... maybe June/July, in time for the back-to-school PC sales rush) next year.

    Unfortunately, this means that the decline of IE6 will be just as slow. Most developers I know now hate IE6 more than they ever hated Netscape 4. Firefox 2 is coming, Opera 9 is due soon, and Apple will likely update Safari, all before Vista is released. IE7 may get an independant release schedule, but I doubt it.

  • The rise of Firefox and other browsers has convinced most web developers that developing IE-specific sites is short-sighted and stupid. Sure, there are a handful who still don't get it, but they never will. IE 7 will get wide use, since many people will get it when they get a new computer. It doesn't really matter because it won't influence the work of web developers who understand the value of well made web sites.
  • by 4of12 (97621)

    New features, standards compliance, standards non-compliance, bugs fixed, new bugs exposed in Internet Explorer 7 will have a minimal impact on its rate of market penetration relative to Mozilla Firefox.

    More than anything else, the rate of adoption of new users of Internet Explorer 7 is closely correlated to the rate at which consumers buy new PCs with Microsoft operating systems and Internet Explorer pre-installed on them.

    That's the signal. Everything else is just noise by comparison.

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