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AOL 6.0 Bundled with Windows XP? 247

mizhi writes: "MSNBC reports that AOL6.0 will be bundled with Windows XP and given prominent placement on the desktop in exchange for exclusive Internet Explorer support. They're also talking about making Windows Media Player the exclusive player for AOL. No monopoly here... keep moving along..." What about MSN? Mozilla? If AOL isn't going to switch to a new Netscape or Mozilla browser to base their client upon, what happens to Netscape?
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AOL 6.0 Bundled with Windows XP?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Netscape was killed off by the evil Microsoft empire.

    Microsoft gave away for free the products that Netscape was making its biggest revenues on: web browsers and web servers. This left Netscape without the capital and market share needed to properly improve and market its products.

    So you're right, Netscape Communicator was really poor quality and the bugs weren't fixed, but this was because Netscape had limited resources to use. If Netscape *had* focused on releasing a stable version of Communicator rather than adding extras, then right now you'd be accusing Netscape of having died because it didn't keep pace with IE.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's being worked on..... http://winxplite.cjb.net [cjb.net]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I just bought Win2k less than a month ago; the Dos/command-line window works fine and is REQUIRED to preform some of the more advanced operating system administration. Actually, if MS will offer Win2002, etc., as an alternative to subscription-based XP, I will certainly stay with MS. Win2k is a very good system, at least for what I want/need to do; the only way I'd even consider a complete move is if Adobe gave me free copies of Photoshop/Illustrator for Linux (getting the Windows copies was too expen$ive to replace).

    Also, I am a webdeveloper with a non-tech-savy mother. I've found Mozilla STILL isn't as reliable for CSS/DHTML as I.E. is, and I have a hard enough time getting my mom to run I.E. -- she'd be lost if I told her to check her Mozilla build everynight, let alone if she didn't have the hand-holding features that I.E. excels in providing. The "unwashed" whom you claim WANT/NEED to tinker with the insides of their system will prob get Linux, or stick with Win2k (which is very configurable/get-your-hands-dirty, maybe you should try and USE Win2k BEFORE YOU FUD-lump it into the same category as XP). My point here is that computers are too usefull to be given ONLY to those who fully understand them -- I.E.+AOL VS Mozilla+Plain_Vanilla_ISP is almost like Automatic_Transmission VS Manual_Clutch; sure the clutch offers better preformance and "user" control -- but there are some people who just want to drive/websurf+email, and don't care that they're not using the most breathtakingly engineered way to do it.

    You heard a rumor about WinXP? I heard a rumor that, late at night, WinXP will secretly start reading text from "Mein Kampf" to try and brainwash you into a Nazi while you sleep. Oh, let's DO discuss rumors, it's not like the TRUTH about WinXP is daming enough. No, I'm NOT going to put my torch away -- if it's a rumor than bringing it up is wrong, even if you say "it's just a rumor!" -- if it's just a rumor is it worth bringing up? Or do you just like to frett, worry, and namecall with Microsoft BEFORE you know that you have good reason to do so? Maybe WinXP WON'T force you to re-buy it when you upgrade your CPU; MS has been famous for coming out with a HORDE of bad ideas with each new operating system, few of which actually MAKE it to release (or make it past initial release -- channel bar). And your FUD-point makes no sense: if you're having to constantly subscribe to XP, you'll NEVER have to make a singular purchase for the system.

    If XP DOES decide it needs to charge you a little more for your latest update because it has to upgrade itself to include suppport for your new processor, is that so bad? Does Win95 support all the new gadgets and things that Win98 does? Win2k? The only real difference would be that the update would happen automatically, as opposed to you flocking down to your puter store . . .

    Again, it's POINTLESS to make a criticism about this unless/until we can actually SEE how it works AFTER RELEASE. I, frankly, would be glad to pay MS, say, $10/yr -- Win2k is $120, that's 12 years! Even at $20/yr, I've NEVER kept an OS for longer than 6 years! It's likely your "rumor" is true, except that its facts are a GREATLY distorted version of what, in reality, is a much more acceptable upgrade policy than your description of your rumor paints -- I heard a rumor that my Uncle died but he *really* was only very sick and is better now. See the distinction?!

    There are enough problems with the subscription model of XP without having to worry about your FUD over new CPUs/disk-drives. . . Indeed, I wish someone would keep a laundry list as to what parts of XP are bad and are CONFIRMED (like cutting off support, system-wide, for MP3s by giving MS-MediaPlayer priveldged access to system multimedia) -- I have heard a lot of rumors and a few items which I can only assume are truths; I'd sure love a website that keeps track of the sins of XP yet filters out the FUD of "Oh no! It's Microsoft!"
  • Oh. This really is choice. Netscape is losing the Linux desktop (there is a good article about that [mozillaquest.com] and why the Linux distributors are rejecting Netscape on mozillaquest.com [mozillaquest.com]). Now AOL is rejecting Netscape and crawling in bed with Microsoft. Greed and stupidity rule at AOL.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    what, kindof like why would a company pay millions of dollars for a weblog for pimply faced geeks that masturbate to natalie portman and richard stallman that has no source of sustaining revenue?

    Who cares why they pay me? The $$$ attracts chicks. Money. A home. A car. Sex. What else matters?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    You can get around this by overriding Mozilla's user-agent string. I use the following in my prefs.js file under Mozilla 0.9:

    user_pref("general.useragent.override", "Mozilla/4.77 (X11; I; FreeBSD 4.3; en)");

    For you FreeBSD fans, there's a recent port for Mozilla 0.9. The only thing I'm awaiting for is LDAP auto completion.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    No, it is because MS does not longer feel AOL's browser as a threat. Well, I have to agree a bloated, hoggy browser based on mozilla cannot threaden MS' internet explorer. I am sorry, no matter how much you say about the hard working done at mozilla.org to make it leaner and faster, I don't think they archived anything. The nightly built is still bloat that make my linux machine's free memory dropped from 160MB -> 30MB once I browsed 3 or 4 Chinese pages. Yes, that is minus cache/buffer thing. Damn, I can run IE smoothly with 10s of windows open before I upgrade my machine from 64MB ram to 192MB. Well, I throw in the extra 128MB partily due to the dirt cheap price but meanly I heard so many people scream mozilla runs well with 128MB. Well, damn, mozilla nightly don't run well on 192MB of RAM on a due celeron box. Don't both with your ram upgrading plane. Now I have to believe mozilla has some design flaw make it totally hopeless on footprint and the speed departments.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Netscape and Mozilla are no match for IE and AOL knows it. Duh! Netscape is dead. When are you people going to realize that?????!!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I don't get it. Is there a problem here? Companies bundle products together all the time. Didn't Windows95 come with AOL, Compuserve and other clients?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    MS was killed off by the evil Linux empire.

    Linux gave away for free the products that MS was making its biggest revenues on: Operating systems and Office software. This left MS without the capital and market share needed to properly improve and market its products.

    So you're right, MS Office was really poor quality and the bugs weren't fixed, but this was because MS had limited resources to use. If MS *had* focused on releasing a stable version of Office rather than adding extras, then right now you'd be accusing MS of having died because it didn't keep pace with Linux .

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yes, AOL, Compuserve and others had to sue to get their clients into Windows _95_. You see way back Microsoft was even going to only have Microsoft Network on its operating system. The DOJ had to step in & Microsoft signed a consent decree - meaning Microsoft agreed under penalty of law - not to use anti-trust, monopolistic, anti-competitive tactics to stifle competition, such as soley bundling your own software (from a different market), placing it in a prominent place (like MSN exclusively on the desktop), and integrating this separate product so that users if Windows have to use it (Windows 98 & Internet Explorer). Of course, Microsoft has done all of these things and continues to do so. This is why there is NOT a free market in software that runs on Windows.
  • Well, they could have made it cross platform without designing a whole new freeking platform that is ITSELF cross platform.

    However, their new cross-platform platform DOES have a big advantage -- XUL. If XUL would be widely used, it would prove itself quickly. It alone could be a powerful weapon against IE.

    So we have to decide if XUL was worth creating a new platform and lots of bloat for. Maybe ... the jury is still out.
  • Um, guess.

    Like it matters anymore, anyway. Netscape is a non-issue now with Mozilla being more useful and stable than Netscape could ever hope to be. Don't believe me? Grab a nightly and see for yourself. It doesn't suck as much as it used to, and it sucks a lot less than Netscape ever did.

    Or am I the only one that's had to write a script to killall -9 dead netscape processes and rm ~/.netscape/lock?


    Forget Napster. Why not really break the law?

  • I'm Netscape's (well actually, Mozilla's) biggest supporter, and this really sucks, but it's just business. Everyone seems to have the solution for Mozilla, but how about this: Drop the cross-platform bull shit. "Winning the browser war" and "cross-platform browser" are mutually exclusive, because you can NEVER make a cross-platform app as fast as it would be if it was only developed for one platform.

    Truely spoken by someone who uses windows :)

    Seriously though, if they were to drop the "cross platform" thing that would really suck for a lot of people, and probably most of the mozilla advocates would stop being mozilla advocates. Lets be honest, IE is a good browser. When I'm in windows, I use it because it's fast, renders well, and is compatible.

    However, 99% of my time (that is, when I'm not playing blackandwhite) is spent in linux. Having the best choice for a browser so far (IMHO anyway, please don't start the konq vs opera, vs ... flames) suddenly be dropped from my platform would make me loose a lot of respect for the mozilla team.

    I think that probably (and this is a pure guess) 80% of their use is by linux people who want something that doesn't suck as bad as netscape 4.x. Dropping cross platform in mozilla might be fine for windows people, but as a linux person, I really would like a browser that is great.
  • That you assume that Orwell's tale was applicable *only* to those given the moniker of 'government' is a sure sign of your own shallow understanding of that which you read ...

  • by strredwolf ( 532 ) on Friday May 25, 2001 @11:46AM (#198082) Homepage Journal
    I seriously doubt they can shoehorn two bloated peices of software on one CD.

    WolfSkunks for a better Linux Kernel

  • I'm distinctly reminded of this:

    http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/nazsov/nonagres. htm [yale.edu]
  • What about MSN? Mozilla?

    I think you answer your own question there michael. If Microsoft switches from AOL to MSN as the default internet provider in Windows, then AOL retaliates by switching from IE to Mozilla. But if AOL switches from IE to Mozilla first, then Microsoft retaliates by switching from AOL to MSN as the default internet software that comes with Windows. The inter-relationship is too important for either of those scenarios to happen.
  • IE has one major feature that Netscape still doesn't even come close to approaching -- an API that can be used to make a custom browser (which is just a shell over the HTML/Script parsing engine that offers most of the functions of a web browser).

    Um [mozilla.org]. Perhaps you haven't been paying attention? Mozilla (and therefore Netscape 6+) is easily embedded [mozilla.org].

  • If Netscape had actually put some effort and planning into Mozilla, then you wouldn't have to ask 'What about Netscape'. They designed an entire fucking cross-platform toolkit instead of focusing on the real point--a good rendering engine and a good browser FIRST, then all the extras like mail, news and AOL/NSCP Instant Messenger.

    I've heard this bit of wisdom bandied about quite a bit -- only problem with it is: it's not true. The Mozilla project is based around the core Gecko engine, which has been a good solid product for some time. They're also working on the extras, because without them, they really are dead. If you want just a good solid browser, check out K-meleon or Skipstone.

  • MS talking to AOL...

    Hey, since the Justice Dept. would never allow us to do it, why don't you go buy up our competition(netscape, winamp, etc..) and we will cut you a sweet deal on the desktop.
  • Moderators should have moderated this as redundant. ;)

  • go ahead and moderate this down, and i'm sure there's a million people that will swear to their dying day that mozilla kicks any browser's ass, but the latest version of MSIE does not crash, is stable, stable, stable, does not waste resources with stupid themable interface, does not have major parts of the browser written in java script, does not require 128 megs of ram to run and also does not include stupidity such as AIM clients and IRC clients. if I was AOL, i would have included MSIE too. at some point mozilla may become a better browser, but right now it is not. it is behind. you can either moderate me down and ignore the truth, or you can stop reading slashdot all day, learn some c/c++ and help out the mozilla.org crew. god knows they need it.
    a funny comment: 1 karma
    an insightful comment: 1 karma
    a good old-fashioned flame: priceless
  • actually, i have used Mozilla 0.9, and some of the latest nightlies. i'm not an idiot, and i don't really care which browser i use, just the best one. so i can say that i have no bias whatsoever when i say mozilla is as _of right now_ an inferior browser compared to MSIE. if the mozilla developers would work more on the browser and less on stupid glitz that seems to impress the same kind of people that desktop themes impress, mozilla would be a much better browser than MSIE.


    >>does not have major parts of the browser written in java script

    >Just the UI.

    isn't it bad enough that the UI is written in JAVASCRIPT!? am i the only one that is bothered by this? the UI is one of the most important parts of the browser, and they wrote it in a slow language.

    a funny comment: 1 karma
    an insightful comment: 1 karma
    a good old-fashioned flame: priceless
  • Being cross-platform and providing those other functions is vital to the Mozilla project. If they'd just done a simple, Windows-only, WWW-only program, what incentive would there be for people to use it, when IE is already there?

    No, the true value of Mozilla (and the Communicator suite which preceded it) is that you have a consistent set of tools available on all platforms -- including future embedded boxes. Netscape knows that trying to compete with Microsoft on the Windows platform is suicide due to Microsoft's bundle-opoly. They control the integration framework and have the power to marginalize anyone who they consider a threat. By providing a complete Internet communication suite, Netscape can provide access to the Web and email (and now, instant messaging) on Windows, and then provide a consistent experience for those users who choose to migrate to another platform. That's been the Netscape vision from the beginning -- only Microsoft caught on to their game a bit too early for them to complete it, and took steps to grind them into dust.

    The Mozilla project is still meaningful, and I believe it is one of perhaps three or four programs whose continued existence are absolutely crucial to the preservation of a world in which Microsoft does not have 100 percent market share of all three major sectors (desktop, server, and embedded).

    This message has been proudly posted using Mozilla.
  • so remove the ads and turn of auto update..is a very simple process involving 3 dll's and 1 core file. Instructions can be found via a google search on remove adds from ICQ :)
  • Ok.. so AOL wants to have AOL 6.0 bundled with WindowsXP, but AOL refuses to spend the cash on Exchange/Outlook for mail? IS it just me or is this really odd?

    AOL Time/Warner: We want to go back 4 years in email/imap technology and use AOLMail for email because we don't want to spend the cash on Exchange Servers and Outlook clients.

    BUT, we want AOL in WindowsXP and Internet Explorer as the web browser.

    My question is, what's in it for Microsoft? Browser users? I guess the AOL sheep will use whatever is put in front of them..

    I really dont get AOL Time/Warner. I think the higher ups are on crack.

    Use the best tool for the job. I don't care what OS or if its open or closed source, just hte best tool for the job. AOL Time/Warner doesn't. AOL mail for crying out loud. Outlook kicks its ass.
  • Except for those of us who use Opera. Except for a bunch of proprietory MSIE extensions that I wouldn't allow to run in any case, Opera kicks ass.

    For one thing, it's got a helluva great UI. Saves a lotta time in browsing. Makes me more efficient.

  • SSL Support alone isn't the whole story.

    If the site you want to connect to only accepts
    keys from certain browsers, it does not matter
    what your other browser can do.

    Try to connect to the wells fargo online bank
    with anything but an "approved browser" and
    get back with me about SSL support.


    I've asked for a way to make Konqueror fool this
    site into working, but I guess it isn't a
    problem for anyone else.

  • I've usually had to include rm ~/core, as well, and call it from my .login file, as Netscape had a bad habit of crashing X on Linux and IRIX 5.

    I think the really odd thing is that Netscape is very stable on the Macintosh. It sucked on IRIX, Solaris, Linux, Win32, Win16 (what didn't?), and Digital UNIX, but it really ran well on MacOS--better than your average Mac application.

    ....anyway.... I think the "What happens to Netscape" was intended to mean "Does this mean that AOL is no-longer supporting Netscape?". What about AOL/Macintosh, does it demand IE, as well? I know a lot of Mac users who won't even install Office because it's a Microsoft product--you think they'd install the program that they're convinced "killed the only decent web browser by playing dirty"?

    Then again, there's really no reason they can't support Netscape 4 or Mozilla on platforms that don't yet have IE. Maybe this is just overblown like they typical Slashdot fare.
    Linux Is Not UniX

  • Dear AOL,

    Do me a favor? Buy Netscape / Mozilla. Pretend to develop it. Pretend to care. Let it die after about a year. In exchange for this we will put AOL X.0 on the next version of Windows. Cool?

  • You're right on the money. Windows XP is yet another attempt at wiring the Windows interface for MSN access.

    The last time MS tried this (with Windows 95), they had to face a fairly long federal trade commission investigation, and while no charges were filed, it started the log-rolling towards the anti-trust case.

    By including the AOL software, they've basically bought off the only business with stature to file suit against them for extending their monopoly.

    Besides, anyone remember the Bill Gates comment about including a can of Pepsi in every six pack of Coke/ That's exactly what they are doing now!

  • the latest version of MSIE does not crash

    Are you sure about this? I've had IE crash a fair amount of times recently. Of course, being a web developer, I also know what kind of stuff will make almost any browser crash. I just love getting the "Internet Explorer has crashed" dialog box.

    is stable, stable, stable

    You haven't used Mozilla 0.9 yet. That's all I can say.

    does not waste resources with stupid themable interface

    I don't see it as a waste of resources -- it has to load a set of pixmaps/bmps/etc whether it's using a single "theme" that's part of the browser in the first place (see MSIE, Netscape 4.x), or loading multiple "themes" out of files (see WinAmp, XMMS, etc).

    does not have major parts of the browser written in java script

    Just the UI.

    does not require 128 megs of ram to run

    Mozilla-0.8.1 embedded on a Pentium/120 with 48M ram. It flew. Repeat that please?

    does not include stupidity such as AIM clients and IRC clients

    Both of which are fully optional if I'm not mistaken? Some people like doing everything out of one interface. Live with it.

    at some point mozilla may become a better browser, but right now it is not. it is behind.

    Try it [mozilla.org] before you knock it. Sure, it has it's bugs, but so does MSIE.

    The primary reason that I see for AOL including MSIE over Mozilla (which, BTW, has been stated many times over on this article by other people) is for getting their icon on the WinXP desktop. It's all a marketing ploy to get people to sign up with them -- if you didn't know anything about the internet or anything else, but found an AOL icon sitting on your desktop, would you be more likely to call your local ISP, install the insert-service-provider-name-here cd that showed up in your mail the day before, or use what was already there? Considering that my mother used AOL for a while.. I think it's that much more likely that they'll use what already exists on their system before installing something else or getting online with a real ISP.

    Just my 0.02.

  • Didn't AOL just make a deal with Sony and their Playstation 2, which is in direct competition with Microsoft's new console?

    These monoplies confuse me...

  • Well, seeing as Ashcroft, the AG, is firmly in MS's pocket (http://www.opensecrets.org/)...

  • by sterno ( 16320 ) on Friday May 25, 2001 @10:29AM (#198110) Homepage
    AOL isn't stupid, they are hedging their bets and doing what they can to put themselves in an effective position to compete. The fact of the matter is that right now Microsoft runs the desktop of most consumers and so AOL is willing to make the sacrifice to go with IE in exchange for favorable positioning up front.

    Now, at the same time, they fund the Mozilla effort, which as time goes on, should probably be little drain on their resources due to increasing community involvement. So overall investment there is small and it continues to give them a platform to work with on Embedded devices and non-windows desktops. As the market share of Embedded devices vs. Desktops shifts, AOL will have mozilla there to fill that need.


  • Where have you been PSM2.0 came out over a month ago, and fixed almost all of Mozilla's SSL problems.
  • To saturate the market, ms had bundled IE with everything from ITmagazine cd's, to computers, to even peripherals.

    Sheesh, I remember that time. It was almost impossible to get any CD that didn't have Internet Explorer bundled into it. Everyone I know was up to their flippin ears in spare IE CDs. I'm surprised they didn't give IE CDs away in cereal boxes too.


  • by BeanThere ( 28381 ) on Friday May 25, 2001 @07:10PM (#198119)

    "It hasn't really improved, while Internet Explorer has made leaps and bounds, coming from behind, overtaking, and leaving the Netscape crowd in the dust"

    I hate to point out the gaping flaw in your reasoning here, but of course Netscape got left in the dust - that is exactly what happens when a competitor cuts off your distribution channels - you can no longer afford to improve the product - helloooo, thats exactly what Microsoft did to Netscape, that is actually called "killing them off". How do you improve your product when you've been cut out of the market?

    How short our memories are. IE3 and IE 4, the "competition" for NN4 at the time, were also crap products, incredibly unstable and buggy. Now a couple of years later everyone seems to have forgotten that, and now everyone compares the Netscape of 2 to 3 years ago to the Internet Explorer of today. Hardly a fair comparison.


  • Bingo! Glad I searched for the word "bargaining" before I posted. I think that they were prepared to go with Netscape for the client, but if they were going to get a better deal with Microsoft, they're going to take it. I don't think Sun would be particularly pleased, though.
  • by SpinyNorman ( 33776 ) on Friday May 25, 2001 @10:36AM (#198123)
    I imagine they were prepared to go either way - to use it as a bargaining chip to keep AOL on the desktop, or to attempt to make AOL/Netscape the desktop for internet appliances.

    Since AOL is the money maker, not netscape, it does of course make a lot of sense.

    Of course logically they will need to maintain Netscape as a viable threat in order not to get expunged from the Windows desktop at some point in the future.
  • Now that the "We'll make money from our automatic update service!" Eazel/Ximian mentality is collapsing, hopefully there'll be more clever angles like this to work.

    I take it you have not been following Ximian recently? Their partners include HP [slashdot.org], not to mention the fact that Sun and Compaq have joined Ximian's GNOME Foundation [ximian.com]. There are some VERY heavy players backing Ximian GNOME as the next generation UNIX desktop, and they're in the prime position to (as they currently are with HP) get development contracts for new features and provide support to the large UNIX players.

    I'd say that their business model has never wavered from reasonable. People poo-poo Ximian because they do not understand it, and they associate the failure of Eazel with Ximian.

    There's always talk about how "we" certainly aren't going to pay but "Joe Sixpack" will cover the cost of our free lunch.

    The desktop consumers of UNIX have always been the financial, educational and scientific communities. Mozilla, Ximian and Linux have been quickly or slowly, but always steadily converting each of those markets (or, as with Ximian, converting the market leaders in those areas).
  • It may be AOL's view that Mozilla has done it's job by forcing Microsoft's hand. MS wants to keep it's lead in the browser world, and if threatinging them with AOL conversion to Mozilla get AOL placement on the XP desktop, well it was worth the money they paid....

    I'm not saying that I would be happy with that attitude, but is there any business reason for them to not think this way?
  • The bundle-opoly is probably true to some extent (actually it's quite true) but it doesn't explain why so many people use IE 5.5, which isn't bundled with anything. Also, it doesn't explain why more people use IE 6.0 beta than Mozilla and Netscape 6 *combined*. This is only explained by people CHOOSING to download IE over Mozilla / Netscape 6.

    Mozilla + Netscape 6 still have less than 0.5% of market share. If that doesn't get your attention about Netscape being dead, what does?
  • Looks like Microsoft is getting a little smarter about taking actions to keep future antitrust actions at bay. With some helpful "suggestions" from AOL's lawyers, no doubt.

    But the real battle takes place with the "last mile" to consumers. As long as there is a truly open Internet accessible to all, there's a limit to how much damage these kinds of consolidations can do.

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • It's helpful for them... I don't claim that it won't be a raw deal for consumers.

    Monopolies in different fields cooperating isn't much different than a small group of competitors cooperating to screw their consumers, e.g. airlines, RIAA labels, California electricity providers.

    AOL-Time-Warner is a weirder beast than a straight monopoly, however. They have enough clout to dictate certain things, within limits, and in a Microsoftian way, their power in one area can be used to force their hand in others. Putting them together has consequences I don't want to see.

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • Didn't apple agree to make IE the default browser on macs for a fistful of dollars and a promise from MS to keep office for Mac?
  • That is now. When that piece of crap called IE3.o was on the market nobody would choose it over NS3.0 which rocked. Back then MS gave apple a bunch of money and promised they would "continue developing office for the mac" (which is a mafia protection scheme) and Jobs agreed to make IE the default browser on the Mac.

    Really go read about it.
  • It (Open Source) has produced some pretty good stuff in it's day... Does Mozilla need AOL? If AOL drop Mozilla, aren't there enough skilled Open Source developers out there with an interest to take it over?

    In fact it might be a good thing... I find Mozilla too big and cumbersome, maybe someone with a different focus might decide to split it into its component parts and we could even get a nice lightweight, standards compliant and stable browser out of it.

    This doesn't NEED to be a Bad Thing(tm). Open Source has a way of coming up with the goods.
  • First of all, if IE is really a superior product to Netscape, and AOL is a fine ISP for most people's need, and if you have an option to use something else in either category if you so choose, then I don't see this as being anti-competitive... it's benefitting normal consumers. This is in the same vein as MS's consumer OS virtual monopoly being a lot more beneficial to consumers than having 10 different popular OSes with lesser features - as long as you can choose to use another operating system at any time. (When motherboard chipsets and hard drives begin to support only Windows and AOL, then I'll worry)

    Second, Netscape is not dead, as long as AOL doesn't kill them off. Of course, this is virtually what's happening here, but neither AOL nor Netscape itself (pre-merger) showed any serious committment to providing consumers with something better... they were sitting on top of their own monopoly on the browser scene. Even now, Netscape and Operal are the popular options for non-Microsoft (or Apple) operating systems. They're not eliminating competition, they're simply taking the fight a step further. There's still a market for the other browsers, though.

    Third, none of you people use Windows or AOL anyway. This helps all the people that use AOL and Windows. And it doesn't hurt anyone that doesn't. This does not affect the Linux crowd at all.

    Finally, this saves me a step in reformatting... now I don't have to go in the junk mail pile for an AOL cd anymore. And it saves trees and plastic.

    Then again, I've already been assimilated, so it's too late for me.
  • I don't even proof for Netscape anymore. Our pages work in Netscape 6, Mozilla, IE and Lynx.

    If someone is still using Netscape 4.x, that's fine, but I'm not going to write two fifty-page web sites, one of which is a hacked, broken, non-standard monstrosity just so those people can see our site without a bunch of errors.

    ..and I'm *certainly* not going to waste time on two sets of stylesheets, Javascripts, etc. Every minor update to the site would take days.

    Server-side includes and shell/sed/awk scripts are your friends. :-) You can structure a site so that it spits out standards-compliant code for real browsers, yet is able to hack a page on-the-fly to deal with Nutscrape's borkenness.

    If it were entirely up to me, I'd tell the Nutscrape users to bugger off, but I had to put together a corporate website that had to be viewable with the widest range of browsers. I've since adapted the code to my homepage [dyndns.org] as well. View it with IE/Mozilla/Opera/Lynx/iCab/whatever and you get standard HTML 4.01 and CSS 2 (or is it 1?). View it with Nutscrape and you get a hack job that looks more or less like what real browsers produce with standard code.

    (As an aside, iCab renders the page incorrectly. The funny thing is that it doesn't complain about invalid HTML or CSS. Given that it's a beta, it's more than likely a bug that'll get worked out. IE and Opera render the page correctly. Last time I checked it (which was some time ago), Mozilla worked OK as well.)

  • If AOL isn't going to switch to a new Netscape or Mozilla browser to base their client upon, what happens to Netscape?
    Simple. AOL will continue to use Netscape for what they always have - a bargaining weapon when they negotiate with Microsoft.

    If you look at the way AOL positions/uses Netscape, this become obvious. AOL is not a software company (even though they write software), their only real product is their service (exempting the large Time-Warner chunk, of course).

  • Indeed. It's not an obvious monopoly if no one was FORCED to do something. So it's helpful for monopolies in different fields to cooperate with each other?
  • by TheTomcat ( 53158 ) on Friday May 25, 2001 @11:18AM (#198142) Homepage
    I don't mean to sound too much like a compsiracy theorist, but...

    MS sets conditions, including IE (which I don't understand since the browser is no charge anyway-- I suppose this helps sell IIS on NT for the server side)

    The biggest problem with IE dominance is this:
    If the day ever comes that [someone like] MS controls [almost] 100% of the browser market, that puts them effectively also in control of the web server market, the content authoring market, the browser plugin market, etc.

    Case in point: [Someone like] Microsoft controls [almost] all browsers. They decide to implement encryption/authentication in their browsers that only accept data from certain servers (ie, [something like] Microsoft IIS), effectively putting server authors who don't pay the [someone like] Microsoft Tax out of business. After all, who wants to run a server that won't talk to most browsers?

    But there will always be open source projects that will be able to emulate these "privileged" servers, right? This situation is starting to remind me of the whole DeCSS debacle. The DMCA would protect [someone like] Microsoft's servers from being emulated.

    It's only a theory, and not ENTIRELY possible, but definitely food for thought.
  • "Gee, that's funny, the NT box I use at work has a selection on the Start menu called "Command Prompt" and it has the MSDOS logo next to it."

    Yeah, too bad it's not DOS. NT has never ever ever never not ever had DOS in it.

    What it does have is -- and if you'd read that label again you'd see this -- a command prompt which looks and acts like a DOS shell. This command prompt, however, isn't DOS any more than running Bash on a Win98 machine makes it Linux.


  • - You can write your own mozila GUI using XUL
    - You can embed mozzilla in your C++ application
    - there is an Mozilla ActiveX component
    - Mozilla can be embedded in Java applications.

  • A) Netscape, as a whole, never had any interest for AOL. They were not going to include an entire Netscape install in their clients. (Why would they want 2 different email clients to confuse the user?) It was ALL about the layout engine for them to embed in their AOL client, and I agree that there's a lot of smack to be talked about Netscape 6 as a whole, but the layout engine is actually very smooth and very fast. For proof, try a windows mozilla build, and then click on the MFCembed.exe, or whatever it is called. It's just the layout engine embedded in a tiny MFC app. It's faster than hell!! Even without IE's preloaded DLL shinanigans, it loads and renders VERY fast. That's an amazing accomplishment.

    B) Do you really think the quality of Netscape had anything to do with this decision? This is pure marketing, people. Microsoft has all the power in the world, and AOL NEEDS to be right there on the desktop when Joe User turns on his new Gateway, or they're history. If Microsoft had said "Sure we'll put it on the desktop, but you have to dance on your head." AOL would have to comply.

    I'm Netscape's (well actually, Mozilla's) biggest supporter, and this really sucks, but it's just business. Everyone seems to have the solution for Mozilla, but how about this: Drop the cross-platform bull shit. "Winning the browser war" and "cross-platform browser" are mutually exclusive, because you can NEVER make a cross-platform app as fast as it would be if it was only developed for one platform.

    Oh well... I think the AOL linux dumb terminal thing (that I've actually seen and played with) will still work out, and it uses mozilla's layout engine. This deal doesn't say anything about AOL not trying anything else like this, so maybe it will take off.

  • Yes, this is true. Windows Media Player is slow, bloated, and hogs resources. Winamp is still a far superior player than WMP. MusicMatch Jukebox is the only thing that competes with Winamp on my desktop, but that can seem rather bloated at times as well; it does, however, manage my mp3 library much better, and utilizes ID3 tags much more than Winamp. But Winamp will always hold a special place in my heart. *insert dreamy sigh*
  • AOL 6.0 bundled into Windows XP... sigh. As if all the shit crammed into Windows 2000 wasn't enough. I hope they at least only put it into the consumer version and not the server releases as well.

    "If AOL isn't going to switch to a new Netscape or Mozilla browser to base their client upon, what happens to Netscape?"

    Netscape will continue to be annoying, bloated, unstable, crappy, etc. AOL will keep supporting it at the behest of Microsoft, which wants to look competitive. Eventually AOL will let Netscape proper fade away as Mozilla and its derivatives continue to get better and more popular.
  • It's a verrry bad move for AOL, because in doing so they are exposing themselves to the "I hate XP and therefore I hate AOL" mentality. Childish if you ask me, but then we're talking about the general public.

    Really, though, when you think about it...what group of people are most likely to say "I hate XP"? Now, isn't that the group most likely not to use AOL in the first place?

    Conversly, arn't the people that are most likely to roll over and take what Microsoft gives them also more likely to just accept that AOL is part of their "computer experience".

    I'm not necessarily calling the average computer user stupid, just...inexperienced. Nieve is more like it. They don't know any better, so they get taken advantage of by computer companies. Microsoft and AOL arn't the only ones, but they are the biggest.

    So is it a bad move by AOL? Probably not. AOL has proved that it doesn't value customer retention half as much as it values new customers. If it did, we wouldn't use AOL CDs like Legos. By the time these users "graduate" to MSN, there will be a whole new set of nieve users to fill their coffers.

  • by _egg ( 86248 ) on Friday May 25, 2001 @11:17AM (#198161)
    The FULL quote excerpted in the story is this:

    The five-year contract between the two companies that guaranteed AOL prominent placing on Microsoft's Windows operating system in exchange for exclusive support for Internet Explorer on AOL's online service expired in January.

    In other words, the story as posted to Slashdot skews the perception AWAY from the actual events. The deal is to put the AOL installer on the XP install disc... Nothing more. AOL can use Komodo/Gecko in their next revision, but it's not ready in time for XP's launch, so they're using their current installer. We should still expect to see Komodo in the future, and the article says absolutely nothing to indicate otherwise.

  • What about that marvellous (Windows) media player Winamp? Nullsoft are owned by AOL!
  • I can't believe you guys are still concerned about the business dealings of M$. I am not going to sit here and bitch about them, or AOL, etc. Why? Because my bitching does no good. Instead, I customize my system the way I want. Yes I run 98 SE (the best desktop OS in terms of overal, for me that is, games, IE, etc), but I run Linux, Mac OS ancient through OSX, Solaris, etc. Never has it mattered what is packaged with a system, ever. If I want something else, download it, or create your own! If you took the time it takes all the /. crowd to sit and bitch about M$ this and that, you could have saved the world by now! Well not really, but you get my point. And to counter the already coming "Its not the choir, its the non-computer literate users who choice is stifled." Whatever, you think they give a damn whether its Mozilla, Netscape, IE, etc? No, they just want something that gets the job done, period.

    And sorry, from a technical standpoint, IE is king of the browswer world right now. I recently go the latest Opera, and I *really* like it, but it does have some issues, but its well on its way. Netscape has sucked the past 3 years. Lynx is great for what it is (but I am hardly on a unix console anymore, so no reason to go text only in the land of Fat Pipes (tm)).

    Anyway, less bitching, more coding. If you don't like it, go fix it. Seriously, all huge companies have to start somewhere, go create a software juggernaut that can fight these bad boys. Upstarts win in the end, but like science vs. the Church, it takes hundreds of years. So why fight the system as a hacking punk when you can do it much better as a businessman on their terms?

  • ...someone comes out with a patch for XP Lite, a la 98lite [98lite.net]?
  • what happens to Netscape?

    Netscape 4.x? Hopefully it dies and is no longer packaged with stuff.

    Netscape 6... hopefully it becomes much better, tightens up, etc, so that it's good enough that people would rather use it then IE.

    This is, of course, all in my own little idealistic world free of monopolies and other bad things. Well, I can dream, can't I?

  • I think the news just mixed two things. The real deal is bound to the recent article about AOL threatening to start PR campaign which dumps XP and send them into dust. They said that they will not support XP and suggest all their customers not to buy it since its (a lot of made up reasons here).

    So the deal basicly is:

    Microsoft will work with AOL to make it possible for AOL 6.0 to run on XP as they come out and even put AOL 6.0 on the install CD.

    AOL will not launch an attack against XP, but will support it and the fact that AOL 6.0 is running on XP and even bundled to it will help Microsoft to launch WinXP effectively. Something that otherwise might not happen at all.

    What is at stake here? Why is Microsoft dumping MSN's business in favor of AOL? Because they make a shortterm sacrifice for a long term gain!

    • MSN will lose some client to AOL.
    • Microsoft gets Win XP in every household.
    • XP is a basis for their subscription oriented business and also for .NET
    • If XP fails, .NET will get delayed by one or two years at least.
    • Also no one will really want subscribtion for Office XP.
    • Windows XP can leverage use of Office XP by intentional incompatibilities with Office 2000. Its all very easy.
      • In other words, Microsoft is trading its future and maybe even survival for just dumping MSN business a bit in favor of AOL.

  • If Microsoft crosses them then voila, the switch browsers in AOL 7.0. If not, they just use the threat of it to get concessions from Microsoft.

    Microsoft has negotiated better end of the deal though, because of the exit price. When Microsoft it wants to back out, they simply delete an icon on their desktop. When AOL wants to back out, they have to retest/redo all their content and interoperability with the broswer or platform with which they replace IE. With time, the investment will become so large that AOL will be handcuffed to whatever terms Redmond demands.

    But I wouldn't worry AOL, its not like Microsoft to take advantage of another company. "Hello, broker? Sell AOL!"

  • One of the issues currently facing AOL is the fact that the English language bundling of its client on XP requires about 84 MB

    Good Lordy, whatever happened to the day when the whole AOL thing fit on one little floppy that was easily removed from the magazine shrink-wrap?

    But Steppenwolf will apparently not include Komodo, AOL's new software currently in alpha testing

    I trust they're not referring to Activestate's Komodo [activestate.com] IDE, and that Komodo is merely a project name. It would be a shame to have one Microsoft partner sue another.

  • Well, seeing as Ashcroft, the AG, is firmly in MS's pocket (http://www.opensecrets.org/)...
    I followed the link you gave to Ashcroft's page [opensecrets.org]. A $10,000 donation to his campaign hardly indicates he's in Microsoft's pocket, even less, firmly so. In fact that $10k is paltry compared to Microsoft's total contributions [opensecrets.org] in the last election cycle (which did favor Rep's 59% to Dems %41).

    Thanks for the link, but hold off on the rhetoric unless you have something a bit more substantial to back it up.

  • by Chagrin ( 128939 ) on Friday May 25, 2001 @12:58PM (#198187) Homepage
    • They designed an entire fucking cross-platform toolkit instead of focusing on the real point--
    Precisely! Generally, when I build houses I like to pour the foundation last.
  • AOL/Time Warner should merge with Microsoft. Then have Intel join the bunch, and while they are at it, throw in Standard Oil and all those older guys. This all reminds me of Dune (by Frank Herbert), where one company, CHOAM, runs all legit business, or how about William Gibson's sprawl series (Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive), where a few extremely large companies absolutely control people's lives. You are born into a company and stay with them until you die. All other business, no matter how small or big has been deemed illegal or black market in William Gibson's world. So, why not just fast foward to what all of the controlling super powers in the world want: a few really really big companies should be formed after behind-closed-doors mergers, and make scary demonizing commie stuff like Linux, the FSF, and GPL style open source - make it all illegal.
    Don't mod me down, I am just the messenger of future times.
  • Yes, this has me worried. Even if Winamp is not bundled along with AOL or Netscape or anything else, I hope they at least allow it to continue to be developed. It would be a real shame to see it go. For audio-only purposes, it really is a better player that Windows Media Player. I haven't tried WMP 8 yet, but I suspect this is still true.
  • Microsoft has pulled another genius maneuver out of its proverbial ass! They do this, and since AOL is competing with MSN's service and browser, it isn't seen as attempting to use a monopoly to their advantage. They're hurting from this, right? Wrong! They do this, and everybody who uses AOL (granted, that's a crapload of people who otherwise wouldn't want XP) gets a computer with Windows XP on it. Not only that, but Microsoft has the upper hand for the future with this deal too. Since AOL converts to IE, absolutely EVERY SINGLE STANDARD WILL BE DEVELOPED FOR IE! Because now the critical mass uses it. Don't be too quick to say that AOL is using Microsoft and keeping them honest by funding Mozilla. Microsoft knows Mozilla is inadequate, and as long as they know, they can let AOL threaten them all they want. In fact, good ol' Billy might hope to force AOL's guard down long enough to stop the funding of Mozilla, and once that happens, IE is the only browser there is.

    Not to mention the fact that AOL just got trapped behind a big old fence of their own contraption. If they try to continue their current business tactics (which, by the way, are much worse than Microsoft's), Microsoft can let them go ahead and do it, and then when the deal breaks down (and it will), Microsoft has the perfect scapegoat: AOL doesn't want to play nice (and they don't).

    Congratulations Billy and Steve, you guys win again.
  • by startled ( 144833 ) on Friday May 25, 2001 @11:09AM (#198198)
    The problem is not this: that AOL6.0 will be bundled with Windows XP.

    The problem is this: in exchange for exclusive Internet Explorer support.

    Why is that a problem? Because of this: what happens to Netscape?

    This is one of those rare times that the summary got all the important stuff. :)
  • I'm not sure, but I think I may be missing something, so I want to list off what I see going on...(these are in no particular order, except as they come to mind)

    1. AOL is the most expensive national dialup ISP going.
    2. XP, according to rumor, is time-limited, so the user has to pretty much re-purchase it every so often, or their box quits running XP.
    3. (this is one of the things I'm not sure of) AOL at one time was in the process of switching to Netscape/Mozilla as their embedded browser; at least, until this "agreement" came along.
    4. AOL and Time-Warner currently constitute one of the biggest home-entertainment conglomerates going.
    5. Microsoft and AOL are buddying up on software and content provision.
    6. Starting with Win2k/ME, Microsoft has been working to isolate the functions of the operating system from the user, the most obvious of these attempts being the removal of the option to boot to a DOS prompt and the loss of a DOS window in the OS as shipped.
    7. Another rumor has it that once XP is installed on a machine and registered to it, if the user upgrades either the HD or the CPU they have to buy another copy of XP, because theirs won't work and can't be reinstalled. (Yes, I did say this was a rumor. Put the torches away.)

    What does all this add up to? IMO it's a combined attempt to make sure of three things: the general user base doesn't ever get its unwashed fingers inside the workings of either their machine or the fancy, overpriced and oversized OS that Microsoft demands drive it; the user only can use the software and content that Microsoft (with AOL at its side) approves of; and no matter what happens, both Microsoft and AOL are guaranteed their revenue streams pretty much in perpetuity.

    Would someone please tell Microsoft and AOL that they're about 17 years too late for this crap? And all the FUD they can spread won't change the fact that some of the "unwashed" they want to protect from such things as working code can, in fact, make their own good decisions? AND this is really the worst time for them to be trying this, with the (admittedly myopic) eyes of the USDOJ, among others, gazing down upon them?

    Okay, that's my rant for the day. Thanks for paying attention...I'll be here until Saturday. Don't forget to tip your waiter.

  • Of a merger between AOLTW and MS.

    Check in...(OK!) Check out...(OK!)
  • IE has one major feature that Netscape still doesn't even come close to approaching -- an API that can be used to make a custom browser (which is just a shell over the HTML/Script parsing engine that offers most of the functions of a web browser).

    Actually, one of the coolest things about Mozilla is it's Gecko rendering subsystem, which CAN be used just like the IE API to create, say a custom browser. NeoPlanet, one of the custom browsers designed around IE's API actually had available a "Tech Preview" that used the gecko renderer instead of the IE one.
  • SSL's been working in Mozilla for a damn long time now. Make sure you're downloading the right build (some don't come with the PSM(==Personal Security Manager) installed -- but even then you can do it seperately by just grabbing psm.xpi from netscape's or mozilla's ftp sites. I generally grab the build labeled mozilla-i686-pc-linux-gnu-sea.tar.gz [mozilla.org]

    !!Damn I can't believe I just typed that url from memory, and I think it's right too.
  • After all my comments about the Illuminati, its about time I tell everyone who they really are...BTW - this will be my last post, for I'm sure they'll come after me for releasing the truth...

    The illuminati is.... Disney, AOLTW, and M$. They've been working together for a long, long time, but are slowly becoming a force that the world will see, but by the time everyone realizes it, it will be too late. They will control everything (they already control everything, but when they are one company, you won't be able to live without their products and support).
  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Friday May 25, 2001 @10:28AM (#198215)
    Could it be that AOL never really intended to actually use Netscape/Mozilla? Perhaps they simply are developing it as a big stick to prod Microsoft into giving them a better deal. After all, 20+ million users switching browsers takes a huge chunk of the browser marketshare away from Microsoft. If Microsoft crosses them then voila, the switch browsers in AOL 7.0. If not, they just use the threat of it to get concessions from Microsoft.

    It makes a certain amount of sense. (to me at least) It even makes sense that AOL will keep funding development it to keep Microsoft honest.

    Of course this does make it a little tough to figure out who the good guy is here...

  • I can see this

    They get Aol 6 incorporated into XP.

    Then the AOL 6.1 upgrade option has "Do you want to upgrade to browser to the superior performance of the Latest Browser?" with the options:

    "yes I want to upgrade"
    "No thanks, I'm happy with inferior performance"

    In other words, borrow a page from the MS upgrade language handbook.

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

  • Exploder rocks. plain and simple. I hope people quit using netscape soon so i can quit setting up extra style sheets.

    I understand and appreciate that point of view. I've done my fair share of web development with netscape and have been just as fed up as others with all of it's crap.

    However, I can't agree with that point of view simply because I don't use windows. I have used IE on friends and familly's windows machines and I agree that it rocks. But the more I see web pages come up with messages that say "Get with it! Netscape is dead! Switch to IE like the rest of the world!" the more angry I get.

    You see, I can't switch to IE because I choose to not use a system on which IE is available. I agree that this is my choice and I have to live with the consequences. But please realize that not everyone can "get with it" because not everyone uses winblows. Maybe 95% do, but I am in that 5% that actually likes to get some work done. If you don't want to support me that's your choice, just realize that I can't "get with it" like you suggest I do.

    And I realize that you personally have probably not done something like what I have mentioned. I just felt that this was an appropriate opportunity to express how I feel on that issue :O)

    However, the desire for an IE for Linux has encouraged me to start the Cheetah Web Browser [sourceforge.net] project.


  • I'd think Netscape 6 is more likely to have an impact. What this really seems to be about is the fact that AOL needs to make sure they are on the desktops as shipped-- easiest way to do that is to make a deal with MS, as most desktops ship with MS Windows. MS sets conditions, including IE (which I don't understand since the browser is no charge anyway-- I suppose this helps sell IIS on NT for the server side) and media player, for such inclusion.

    It may be that in this case there is nothing tipping MS's hand and that AOL recognizes that they need to be on the desktop from first boot and that their CD-mania is not a primary driver in sales. I can't imagine that OEM's are telling MS that they won't ship Windows if they don't have AOL-- especially since the OEMs could add it. So this is all about AOL making concessions-- probably they noticed that sales of Netscape server software was pathetic compared to AOL subscription fees.
  • by sulli ( 195030 ) on Friday May 25, 2001 @11:32AM (#198223) Journal
    AOL has been bundled with Windows since 1996 [sfgate.com]. Why is this news now? AOL 6.0 and XP are just upgrades.
  • Perhaps AOL isn't switching to Netscape/Mozilla because it simply isn't good enough, and they realize it?

    Compare Mozilla against IE, the current browser AOL supplies. Their customers would revolt if forced to switch.

    The fact is, Mozilla is bloated, slow, and unstable, and even though I'm rooting for them, even an AOLer can see that IE is better. Maybe AOL just doesn't want to deal with a bunch of support calls...

  • anyone even casually invloved in web design (who's tried to code cross-platform sites) knows more then they'd ever want to about Netscape bugs and annoyances.
  • Now, that's two of my convictions Mozilla has recently caused me to rethink:

    • Mozilla irreparably sucks.
    • Free software development is hopelessly unprofitable. (I said developing software is, not packaging or supporting other people's work, which is obviously plausible.)
    Now, Mozilla still isn't replacing IE or Konqueror on my desktops, but it's definitely climbed out of "sucks" territory. And now AOL may be showing us a novel angle to making free software development profitable -- as a bargaining chip you can't directly earn revenue from anyway. Now that the "We'll make money from our automatic update service!" Eazel/Ximian mentality is collapsing, hopefully there'll be more clever angles like this to work.

    There's always talk about how "we" certainly aren't going to pay but "Joe Sixpack" will cover the cost of our free lunch. (It was never clear why Joe Sixpack was so hungry for updates of libtermcap that he'd spend money on such a service but..) In this case, it looks like Joe really is going to pick up the tab for Mozilla and Galeon users.

    Of course, it helps if you're AOL, or IBM or Sun and you can afford to throw millions at a minor strategic maneuver.

    Unsettling MOTD at my ISP.

  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Friday May 25, 2001 @10:49AM (#198239) Homepage Journal
    There was some article I read a while back, I think on The Register [theregister.co.uk] that AOL was looking to actually marginalize Windows & Microsoft. Their reasoning was that many home users didn't really need anything more than a smart terminal and an application server. Perhaps recent softness in the Appserver business would seem to counter that, yet Microsoft does have big plans for Office XP to be licensed (by larger customers initially). Leave Microsoft to that market and they'd AOL could quietly slip into the home market and replace Microsoft. Seems a bit farfetched, but this smells as strong as the conspiracy theory of the Big 3 automakers and Big oil.

    Last I looked it was the system builders who bundled the online goodies on the desktop (just before it put them all in the recycle bin.)

    All your .sig are belong to us!

  • There was some noise a while back about AOL having Linux based (or other OS based) devices that were terminals for accessing AOL services.

    Seems to me this announcement would pretty much shoot that all to SBN (some burning netherworld), what with IE for UNIX being a complete myth (other than an early bad version for Solaris and the Carbonized Mac OS X port which won't run anywhere else).

  • by bdlinux13 ( 232862 ) on Friday May 25, 2001 @10:32AM (#198254)
    AOL knows their customers pretty well. The average AOL user is stuck with a sub 200 MHZ machine with about 32 megs of ram. Can you imagine running Mozilla on that? I have a 800 with 756 megs of ram and it clunks along when I try to use Mozilla. Also, AOL knows that their most avid and populous users are not computer literate. They would not want a drastic change in browser or functionality. KISS has made AOL billions and IE as much as I hate to say so is the best browser around.
  • KISS has made AOL billions? Y'know I've never been a big fan of their music, but Gene Simmons is such a cool guy I can't believe he'd be involved with AOL. ;)
  • by chris_mahan ( 256577 ) <chris.mahan@gmail.com> on Friday May 25, 2001 @10:31AM (#198261) Homepage
    Sounds like Microsoft is going to tie AOL into their system to suck them in. Then as people "graduate" to the real internet, it'll be an easy transition to MSN.

    It's a good move for Microsoft, because AOL users would more likely get XP, since there would be no need for them to install the AOL client.

    It's a verrry bad move for AOL, because in doing so they are exposing themselves to the "I hate XP and therefore I hate AOL" mentality. Childish if you ask me, but then we're talking about the general public.

    As far as the other stuff AOL owns (Winamp and the like), I don't see AOL pulling the plug. AOL will feel it needs to remain more than a virtual subdivision of MS on the XP desktop.

    For Netscape, couldn't care less, since Netscape no longer exists as an independant company.

    As far as Mozilla is concerned, they need to ink a deal with SONY to be on the playstation.

    That'll mean that every (nearly) 10-14 years old will get the Mozilla browser along with their game box (and isn't that what most home PCs are for these days?

  • Anyone else surprised by the size of the AOL install? I have never used AOL, so maybe it has a lot of nifty features, but that seems incredibly large. I still remember when AOL was distributed on floppy disks.

    Yes, but that was in the Windows 3.1 days. And even then it would download additional artwork and other "features" when necessary. I recall back in the days there being several areas of AOL that would take 30 minutes or more to access for the first time because it had to download all the information for that area. In today's world of big hard disks and CD-ROM distributions, it makes sense to distribute as much of the data as possible on media instead of downloading it, especially when you remember that the overwhelming majority of AOL users are still using dial-up access instead of broadband.

    Besides, IE5.5 by itself is a 20-30 MB download (depending on options installed). How big do you think that un-compresses to?
  • by Burgundy Advocate ( 313960 ) on Friday May 25, 2001 @10:26AM (#198274) Homepage
    Netscape is dead. Get over it. And not only that, they weren't killed off by some evil Microsoft empire--they were killed off because they released a shitty product and then let it stagnate. Netscape 4 was decent, years ago when it came out. It hasn't really improved, while Internet Explorer has made leaps and bounds, coming from behind, overtaking, and leaving the Netscape crowd in the dust.

    If Netscape had actually put some effort and planning into Mozilla, then you wouldn't have to ask 'What about Netscape'. They designed an entire fucking cross-platform toolkit instead of focusing on the real point--a good rendering engine and a good browser FIRST, then all the extras like mail, news and AOL/NSCP Instant Messenger.


  • The thing with style sheets, it that they keep things consistent when you want it, alow you to give more control to you users, and give you tools to be able to sperate style from content.

    That's the theory. The practice is that if a user tries to override or turn off style sheets many sites fall apart.

    I find you statement a bit unrealistic anyway. Even slashdot have customised colors.

    Not if you choose "Light" mode. You see, Slashdot does give users this option, and, unlike style sheets, it works. More sites should do that.

    The W3C is is not responsible for bad web-designers.

    No, but the W3C is responsible for the standards it releases and when it releases them.

  • by janpod66 ( 323734 ) on Friday May 25, 2001 @12:48PM (#198284)
    setting up style sheets at all? Trust me, your users don't like it when you replace their color, font, and link preferences with yours.

    Better yet, just turn away anybody who isn't using your favorite browser from your sites. It saves both you and the web browsing public a lot of trouble.

  • by janpod66 ( 323734 ) on Friday May 25, 2001 @12:52PM (#198285)
    I have used IE on friends and familly's windows machines and I agree that it rocks.

    I don't think it's much better than Konqueror or the latest releases of Mozilla. IE is faster on low-end hardware, but that's easy to fix, and IE has its own set of really annoying behaviors.

  • Microsoft is king of the home user desktop, while AOL is king of home user internet. With each subsequent version, AOL is becoming less service-like and more like a OS. And now that Microsoft is making their OS more like a service in XP, M$ and AOL and virtually merging their products.

    Microsoft and AOL/Time Warner have equivalent products on many fronts:

    • Internet Explorer vs. Netscape
    • MSN vs. AOL dialup
    • AIM vs. MSN Messenger
    • Media Player vs. Winamp
    • and in XP - Outlook vs. AOL's e-mail and calendar(?)

    It would seem to be only a matter of time before we have a Micro$oft AOL/Time Warner merger. Or some sketchy deal that essentially does the same thing. Embedding AOL 6 into XP is only the first step.

    I believe this is what M$ calls innovation????


  • AOL has been bundling their product with nearly any company who will accept their money, except for Linux. It was just a matter of time before Microsoft did the same.
  • by dick980 ( 455036 ) on Friday May 25, 2001 @11:32AM (#198312)
    >why did AOL buy Netscape unless simply to scuttle it completely??

    There's actually an interesting strategic reason that they purchased Netscape--so that AOL could couple advertising with its browser:

    AOL shelled out 4.2 billion for Netscape (in a common stock transactaion). At the time of the acquisition, Netscape had an installed user base of 28 million users worldwide. Divide that and you come out with $150 per person. They couple the browser with AIM--whose user base had exploded to 35 million users, and was rising fast--in order to attract more users to AIM. Stick the ads for AOL on those and in Netscape, and you have one very large way of putting eyeballs on your advertisements, at a very low dollar per capita rate.

    Interesting that it all comes down to marketing your product.

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire