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Microsoft Businesses

IE Standardization Fading Fast 176

alphadogg writes "Just as Internet users in general have defected in huge numbers from Microsoft Internet Explorer over the past several years, the business world, as well, is becoming less dependent on the venerable browser. Companies that used to mandate the use of IE for access to web resources are beginning to embrace a far more heterodox attitude toward web browsers. While it hasn't gone away, the experience of having to use IE 6 to access some legacy in-house web app is becoming less common. 'A lot of it has to do with the emergence of the modern web and the popularity of mobile. They have made it very different for companies to truly standardize on a browser,' says Gartner Research analyst David Mitchell Smith."
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IE Standardization Fading Fast

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  • shit (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 14, 2013 @09:27PM (#42904717)
    Without Microsoft nobody will be left to defend us from the Ubuntu £inux monopoly.
    • Re:shit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hairyfish ( 1653411 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @11:39PM (#42905807)
      Isn't it funny how all the hate and anger and lawsuits thrown at MS had pretty much zero affect on their market position, and what really made the most impact was innovation (ie the Mobile (r)evolution).
      • Re:shit (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Lotana ( 842533 ) on Friday February 15, 2013 @01:06AM (#42906387)

        Whatever the cause this trend is great news indeed. After all these years of painfully adding exceptions to our websites to deal with Microsoft's stubborn refusal to follow standards, there are finally signs of improvement. We are not out of this mess yet and things may get worse, but for now let us just be happy with the news.

        I propose all of us raise a glass of your favorite beverage to toast the beginning of the end of web's dominance by Microsoft!

      • Re:shit (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Friday February 15, 2013 @01:49AM (#42906737) Journal

        Isn't it funny how we are replacing one asshole company with one that is an even bigger asshole? I hates the way MSFT pushed IE onto everybody and frankly what we are seeing now is even worse, as at least before you could just lie with the UserAgent and get around a bunch of the bullshit, but now instead of Redmond dictating we got Cupertino and Apple makes MSFT look like big sweaty care bears by comparison.

        I mean we went from having an open format be the baseline in HTML V5 to patent troll MPEG-LA getting to stick a tollbooth with H.264, thanks to Apple making it clear "We don't give a fuck what YOU choose, its not running on iPhone/iPad PERIOD" and then to add insult to injury they also pretty much single handedly killed mobile flash where Adobe was at least nice enough to pay the license fees and let any browser or distro run H.264. Now try to bundle H.264 in a free product and see how quick you get a cease and desist, just ask Mozilla.

        So if you wanna cheer MSFT losing power? Right there with ya, in fact I championed breaking up the company when they lost the antitrust. But what we are seeing is we are kicking the old lame dog while ignoring the two fucking lions that are saying "kick the dog" while they get ready to take a bite out of our collective asses. say what you want about MSFT but I could take any laptop or desktop and have their shit gone and well on my way to installing any damned thing I wanted in minutes, try that with a Chromebook and see how far you get. The web won't fare any better thanks to Cupertino dictating everything, If Apple has their way the only browser will be Webkit and only Apple approved formats will be on the web and sadly? Its seriously looking like they are gonna get their wish, Flash gone, Opera dropping their engine so they can get on iToys (and I wouldn't be surprised if moz goes to as they won't get on the iPhone/iPad if they don't bow to Cupertino's wishes) and video controlled by a patent troll...where is things getting better again? This is like saying "Instead of the guy on the corner kicking us in the face the guy across the street just hits us with a brick!"...uhhh, how about neither guy hitting us at all? How about being able to choose none of the above? wouldn't that be better?

        If there is one thing we need to protect its an open web but all we are doing is replacing one master for another and that's just not the way we should be going, we should be trying for no masters at all.

        • Re:shit (Score:4, Insightful)

          by drcagn ( 715012 ) on Friday February 15, 2013 @04:00AM (#42907461) Homepage

          Microsoft: Develops proprietary non-standard browser set to default on their dominating operating system, takes over the web
          Apple: forks an open source browser project, develops Webkit out of it, gives it back to the community and works with the community, refuses to support proprietary buggy exploit-ridden browser plug-ins and helps kill it off from the web

          i'm not happy about the whole h.264 thing either, but at least we know they have a reason--their idevices are only capable of decoding h.264 in hardware. it doesn't really make it any better but what they have done isn't anything near what MSFT did 10+ years ago.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Hardware h.264 decoding is just code running on a DSP, it is quite possible for Apple to add support for HW decoding other codecs if they really wanted to.

        • Re:shit (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) on Friday February 15, 2013 @04:51AM (#42907671) Homepage Journal

          When Apple gets a 90% share of the browser market, and you routinely see sites telling users "You must be running Safari to access this site," let us know.

          • Straw man as the law doesn't say they need a specific number only that they are able to assert undue influence on other markets and WTF do you call dictating to the HTML V5 committee that the will be using H.264 whether they like it or not if not undue influence? They are already busted for trying to set prices in eBooks, We lost the open format video as a baseline due to Apple, I'm sorry but you are full of shit as they are undue influencing all over the damned place.

            Oh and just FYI in the PMP market, w

        • Wow -- that was an impressive rant. I fail to see how "webkit" and standards-based HTML is the same as what we dealt with from Internet Explorer. I've yet to see a "safari only" website.

          How are you PAYING for the tollbooth that is MPEG/LA when you visit a site? Probably the only time a fee comes up is if someone is asking you to purchase content. I'd love for there NOT to be some patent costs for video -- but can't you see why Apple went with MPEG4? The only other viable video codec at the time was WMV (Mic

          • Look above you, browsers are already using Safari prefixes just as Opera and other had to lie using the useragent to get sites built for IE to run. Also if you think there is no fees go ask Mozilla who wanted to bundle H.264 so that FOSS users could watch h.264 videos. They basically got told "pay your $699 license fee" which considering we are talking about one of the biggest patent trolls out there, one where they have patents so vague that you'd be hard pressed to make any video without tapdancing into t

      • Actually, this is poetic justice for the company that took down Netscape and made it a part of history
    • Re:shit (Score:5, Funny)

      by bidule ( 173941 ) on Friday February 15, 2013 @01:37AM (#42906641) Homepage

      Yeah. Micro$oft, £inux, Appl€. The Unholy Trinity.

      Now, if Son¥ was in there, we'd have the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 14, 2013 @09:29PM (#42904731)

    I've seen a lot of people start making this mistake again, but now it's the KHTML/Safari/Chrome/Opera engine, especially on mobile.

  • by Ichijo ( 607641 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @09:36PM (#42904805) Journal

    Let's hope companies also stop mandating the use of Shockwave and JavaScript, or at least let me use the web site without having to completely disable NoScript.

    • by Urd.Yggdrasil ( 1127899 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @09:49PM (#42904903)
      Shockwave hasn't been used much for a quite a while, unless you are referring to flash (but hopefully html video will kill that eventuall). Javascript on the other hand is going to be around for quite a while, what we are more likely to see will be things like signed javascript or some other security mechanism like that added to it.
    • by steelfood ( 895457 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @10:13PM (#42905105)

      I rather they do use Flash and Shockwave than put everything in HTML5. Then I would have even more trouble disabling everything.

    • The last time I saw a Shockwave app was back in the late 1990s.
      • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @10:43PM (#42905399)

        And it was probably the only good Shockwave app ever - Snowcraft.

      • Same here, it's been a while. I admit, I actually used to like those Radiskull & Devil Doll cartoons, and a lot of the stuff on Joe Cartoon. There were also some fun games on Newgrounds like Pico's School. Flash has since engulfed Shockwave (now including Shockwave functionality) and is now mostly used for web videos... the sooner Flash is gone, the better. It's always been a pain in the ass and its Linux support sucks. And does the damn thing even run on BSD? Also, I don't even think my phone has

    • by kcmastrpc ( 2818817 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @11:44PM (#42905849)
      no thanks. as a professional web developer I often have to let my clients know that to "do that fancy ajax stuff" I need to use JavaScript, and if they want to retain compatibility with non-JavaScript browsers then it will cost them significantly more for their project. i then show them how their favorite sites like amazon, ebay, etc. will simply refuse to work without JavaScript enabled and they opt to still use JavaScript but refuse to support non-JS browsers.

      If you did any sort of serious web development you'd also know how time consuming it is to include support for no-script crap.
      • Agreed here... why should I burden my server with a full page refresh just to display an error on one single field? For that matter a lot of things are more effective having rendered templates client-side... you can definitely use a mix. JS is very fast and capable.. why not use a little of the client browser's resources and save the server a bit.. it leads to better scaling.

        As a bonus, with the rise of tools like NodeJS and MongoDB, you can leverage JS much more broadly, and not have to completely swi
      • by HaZardman27 ( 1521119 ) on Friday February 15, 2013 @01:15AM (#42906469)
        This. The percentage of web users who are running non-JS browsers or have JS disabled is small enough not to matter for the people funding web development. As a developer, the best you can do, particularly in a project involving AJAX, is to have RESTful web services that allow a clever enough user to get the information they need without Javascript running, even if the site is as ugly as hell. They may have to parse some JSON or XML on their own, but that's their problem if they don't feel comfortable with their browsing executing JS.
      • no thanks. as a professional web developer I often have to let my clients know that to "do that fancy ajax stuff" I need to use JavaScript, and if they want to retain compatibility with non-JavaScript browsers then it will cost them significantly more for their project. i then show them how their favorite sites like amazon, ebay, etc. will simply refuse to work without JavaScript enabled and they opt to still use JavaScript but refuse to support non-JS browsers.

        If you did any sort of serious web development you'd also know how time consuming it is to include support for no-script crap.

        As someone who has been a professional web developer for a decade or so I mostly agree with you, but you are neglecting accessibility.

        Where I work we do a lot of work for government type organisations and they are not allowed to discriminate against people with disabilities. That means that they have to have sites that are usable by blind people using a screen reader (mostly jaws I believe). That means we waste thousands of pounds of taxpayers money on making amazing ajax websites that also degrade to a usa

  • Try finding a merchant account with a bank (not a new fangled Web 3.0 deal like Square) that doesn't specifically write their "web" app to specifically *only* work with IE on Windows. There are lots of other examples of extranet "applications" that are written w/ MS libraries that depend on IE .It's frustrating and depressing.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Try finding a merchant account with a bank (not a new fangled Web 3.0 deal like Square) that doesn't specifically write their "web" app to specifically *only* work with IE on Windows.


      In fact, none of the (Australian) banks I've used in the past few years has had that requirement. Does the US work differently?

      • Ditto for Canada

        Scotiabank mandates a certain minimum browser, but I do most of my banking on Scotiabank with Linux/Firefox

      • Re:I call BS (Score:4, Informative)

        by denmarkw00t ( 892627 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @10:11PM (#42905089) Homepage Journal

        No, and I'm not sure where he's from - I live in the US and none of the banks I've used in the last maybe 5 years have mandated IE 6 - at least not to the public. I worked for Big Ol' Bank for a spat and, up until recently, IE6 was the "must be compatible with" browser of choice, although not the only that we could use. So, our internal sites worked great on modern browsers, and maintained functionality in IE6 thanks to some good JS libraries and sacrificing some data-intensive tasks for people who couldn't get clearance to download a new browser. They've since done a push to install Windows 7 across the enterprise, but who knows when that will be done.

    • Mod parent up (Score:4, Interesting)

      by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @11:52PM (#42905921)

      There is in fact legislation in Korea requiring the use of an ActiveX control as an anti-Phishing measure, and there has been since the 1990's, in order to implement the SEED encryption algorithm in a captive frame; here is a report on it: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120507/12295718818/south-korea-still-paying-price-embracing-internet-explorer-decade-ago.shtml [techdirt.com]

      Similarly, Chinese banks implement an alternate ("software clipper chip") asymmetric key encryption, also in a captive browser frame.

      The software that initially implemented this was developed in Germany, and there are a number of major banks all over the world which require ActiveX controls to implement secure banking. This is why if you search for "banking activex firefox" or "banking activex safari" or "banking activex opera", you will see lively discussioms with people bitching about not being able to do banking.

      Now, there have been several researchers who have published exploits, which indicate, that it's possible to attck through the ActiveX control, and therefore this type of thing in reality provides no security any longer. But moving a bank or a government is like trying to move a mountain.

      Before you fault them, realize that when you are logging into your Google account, you are also doing so in a captive browser frame -- which is why there aren't programmatic ways to log into Google accounts.

      • So how do I log in to my google accounts through iOS apps, pop mail in a client, etc?

        Gmail in the browser used an iframe buffer for pseudo Ajax (not sure about now) both because it was easier for cross browser at the time and faster/more reliable. That's not the same as what you are stating though.

        I call shenanigans.

    • by Bombcar ( 16057 )

      https://stripe.com/ [stripe.com] ?

  • Not "venerable" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @09:51PM (#42904927)

    I don't believe IE ever deserved to be called venerable [merriam-webster.com].

    • Damn! Beat me by five minutes! But, yes, its been despised for as long as I can remember, and I've been hand coding HTML since 1993.
    • Re:Not "venerable" (Score:4, Insightful)

      by sdnoob ( 917382 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @10:22PM (#42905191)

      one of the definitions is.....

      impressive by reason of age

      how many other single versions of a web browser have had as long a supported lifespan as ie6?

      12 years 7 months and 15 days between rtm (24 aug 2001) and xp eol (8 apr 2014).

      as much as you and i, and pretty much everybody else, may dislike ie6, that IS impressive.

      • by yuhong ( 1378501 )

        Trivia: MS support lifecycle always rounds dates to the nearest quarter. I still remember when XP was to enter extended support on December 31, 2006.

      • by yuhong ( 1378501 )

        And BTW, even IE *5.01* on Win2000 was supported until July 2010 like Win2000 itself.

      • by yuhong ( 1378501 )

        And don't forget Server 2003 which actually ends support in July 2015.

    • That would be 'venerable' as in 'having the characteristics of a venerial disease'?

      Evidence: It is contracted as a reault of poor hygienic practices, is endemic among the poorly educated and areas of poor sanitation, it itches where you can't scratch, and may cause brain damage if left untreated.

    • I don't believe IE ever deserved to be called venerable [merriam-webster.com].

      venerable: No

      venereal [merriam-webster.com]: Maybe

  • by DontLickJesus ( 1141027 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @09:52PM (#42904937) Homepage Journal
    All of them specifically to convert IE only sites to support at least Firefox, Chrome, & IE. A few of them even specifically listed Safari. We may not have seen the cusp of the wave, but companies have definitely heard the message loud and clear, and are responding appropriately.
  • by multimediavt ( 965608 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @09:56PM (#42904967)
    I can't say when there was a time when "venerable" would describe Internet Explorer. It's pretty much been despised its whole existence.
    • by cffrost ( 885375 )

      I can't say when there was a time when "venerable" would describe Internet Explorer. It's pretty much been despised its whole existence.

      I'm guessing it was used sarcastically.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It was a typo. They meant to write 'vulnerable'.

      • by grcumb ( 781340 )

        It was a typo. They meant to write 'vulnerable'.

        I thought it was an autocorrect of 'venerial'.

    • I can't say when there was a time when "venerable" would describe Internet Explorer. It's pretty much been despised its whole existence.

      It's not any good by today's standards, or even those of 5 years ago, but let's not pretend the alternatives were any better, back then given the choice you wrote for IE6 not Netscape 4. We'd be in the same position of ass-backwards browser-specific hacks for NS4 had it been Netscape that won over IE.

      • by yuhong ( 1378501 )

        Yea, it is unfortunate that Netscape 5 "Mariner" was cancelled.

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        However, IE is only an option if you run Windows. You could get Netscape for a lot more OSes. Same is true today. Of the major browsers, you can only get IE fro Windows. The rest will run on nearly anything capable of running a browser at all.

        Meanwhile, web designers have hated IE for a very long time because it was the one browser that didn't stand a chance of doing something reasonable with a page not written specifically for it and pages written specifically for IE tended not to work on anything but IE.

  • by lucm ( 889690 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @10:00PM (#42904999)

    Today a client of mine bought a subscription to a web application (SaaS) and because they have Windows 8 workstations (IE10 built-in) they had to install Firefox, otherwise the web application would not work.

    In the last two versions or so of IE, Microsoft has taken a path of enforcing things prematurely. IE is the only browser where jQuery post is not working, and they also force CORS down the throat while many applications are built on jsonp solutions.

    I remember a long time ago where workarounds in CSS were mostly for Netscape. Now it's almost always for IE.

    • by ahabswhale ( 1189519 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @10:22PM (#42905201)

      Query post works in IE, it's just that IE was written by retards and will actually do something no browser written by intelligent humans would ever do: cache Ajax POST calls. Yes, they actually treat POSTs like they are fucking idempotent calls. I shit you not. I assume this was in some misguided attempt to make up for the shitty performance of their browser. This caused a problem in a web app we wrote and it took a while to figure out because it never occurred to us that any browser could be this fucking stupid, but IE managed to exceed our expectations. jQuery has built in cache busting for ajax calls but it only works for GET calls, so we had to add in our own to resolve it.

      I have not checked to see if this is something that has been resolved in recent iterations of IE (9 or 10).

      • I just experienced this issue today. Not jQuery, it was a regular XHR request.

        My work around was to force no-cache and way past expiry dates in the HTTP return headers.

        This was IE 8 or 9 on Win 7. (I don't know which version. I only boot it up in VirtualBox when someone complains)

  • by guttentag ( 313541 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @10:19PM (#42905177) Journal
    For every business that Gartner "knows" is dropping IE standardization, there are 100 it doesn't know about who are continuing to mandate IE use because they bought some legacy Web-based app that is only used internally, and the people who wrote that app were too lazy or incompetent to write it in actual HTML (as opposed to "we played with it until it worked in this browser, so this is what your users must use").

    My favorite example of a web-app developer who knew virtually nothing about HTML but shipped what "worked" had every single element on the page absolute-positioned with CSS. What looked like a simple table of 30 rows of data on the screen was actually hundreds of DIVs that had been rendered on the fly by the server with absolute position coordinates for each one. Even INPUT elements that were invisible had absolute positions calculated for them. Every time someone loaded a page, the server would calculate the offset for each "cell" in the table so it would look like a table, and for dozens of invisible form elements so they wouldn't collide with the table. The billion-dollar non-tech company that bought this couldn't figure out why the server frequently became unresponsive... They actually bought a second server from the developer and a load balancer to get around the fact that the developer didn't understand basic HTML, and have been using the app for 7 years. When I explained the problem to them, they reasoned that it would cost them more to ask the developer to do it properly that to just add additional servers as needed. They will probably be using it for the next 20 years. And the login page states that it requires IE.

    Often this type of app lives on an internal server that will never be updated because the company doesn't want to pay for something that works well enough, but serves some essential purpose that hundreds or thousands of employees are required to use daily. IE standardization will die out in consumer applications long before it goes away in businesses. Microsoft knew this is how most businesses approach computers, and it's the reason the Windows/Office/IE monopoly was so successful. It's the reason Microsoft is still successful despite the Ballmer decade.
  • by Alex Vulpes ( 2836855 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @10:45PM (#42905413)
    Mass Defections from IE? Steam for Linux? This will be the year of... no wait someone says that every year.

    So instead: this is hopefully a sign that, in the world of computing, monopolistic practices will give way to healthy competition.

    There we are, tentative but hopeful!

    • As a putative armchair economist, I have to say 'good luck with that'. The conflict between those who want to monopolize, those who want everyone to be a proletarian, and those who want a dynamic, chaotic, organic garden will never end.

      Free enterprise, free politics and ecosystems all have the characteristic some call "The Edge of Chaos" (there's a book. Some disagree with the principle, but it's a useful model) - that confusing, frustrating, infinitely complex, most adaptable and ever-changing middle gro

      • by Lotana ( 842533 )

        So why don't we all just roll over and die?!

        Slashdot these days is so extremely cynical. It has been said that behind every cynic is a disappointed idealist. Things will never be perfect and not everything we want will come true. But just for a moment put the pessimism on hold and just let yourself be happy with the good news.

        Because reporting of good news on this site is so extremely rare...

      • I prefer "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" by Eric Raymond. It quite eloquently describes how humans trend to one or the other.
  • Gratifying (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @10:53PM (#42905461) Homepage
    Nice to see that typical snide attitude of "but our site is certified for IE 6, so use it" that was so common among web developers getting its comeuppance by the CEO's latest smartphone. I would have given a dollar to be there every time one of them was told to his face that his site needed to become cross-platform, and pronto. I can only imagine the weeping and gnashing of teeth as the web developer fearfully installed Firefox and Opera and began to learn that awful vocabulary "cross-platform".
  • Sad, isn't it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by inode_buddha ( 576844 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @11:15PM (#42905589) Journal

    Sad, isn't it? People are *still* talking about standardizing on browsers instead of enforcing adherence to standardized markup languages.

    • I agree whole-heartedly, and have for a long time.

    • Guess who is panel-stuffing the W3C.
    • Sad, isn't it? People are *still* talking about standardizing on browsers instead of enforcing adherence to standardized markup languages.

      Maybe it would be different if the W3C hadn't sat around for years with their thumb up their ass. According to the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org], CSS 2.1 wasn't finalized by W3C until JUNE 2011! That's utterly insane. CSS 3 is still being kicked around by W3C, which seems to think they have all the time in the world to dot every i and cross every t. Guess what? They don't. The CSS

  • by funwithBSD ( 245349 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @11:19PM (#42905631)

    Require Firefox or Chrome, but will not run on IE.

    Of course, they are really pushing the Linux Desktop as well, they had a program recently where if you had an older laptop you could get a newer one if you went with a Linux based system.

    • I've been taking some online classes through http://coursera.org/ [coursera.org], when I log in from work where I'm only allowed to use IE on Win7 I get a big banner telling me to upgrade to a modern browser.
      I can stil view the site, access the video lectures, take multiple choice quizzes, and most everything else but for some reason it won't allow me to submit essay type quizzes.
  • IE is alive and well, and in fact our Oracle BI suite ONLY works in IE (how wack is that?!?!?)

    Wish I could believe this, but it is too soon to declare victory.
  • the big one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smash ( 1351 ) on Friday February 15, 2013 @02:41AM (#42907071) Homepage Journal

    .... is safari. the corp types are wanting to use apps on their i-devices, and IE doesn't run on them. iPad and other mobile device compatibility is essential.

    "We need to spend money to get rid of IE" doesn't fly with management.

    "You can't run that on your iPad because it needs IE" however, does.

  • Now it's all about bad devs working on a chrome monoculture. You get all the same problems plus a lack of privacy.
  • by Tom ( 822 )

    IE is pretty much a zombie browser outside the corporate environment.

    I run a couple online games and other sites. My browser stats:
    Android browser

    IE makes up 0.4% of my visitors. I am honestly surprised every time I learn that someone is actually using it. (and no, it's not because I run some freakish Linux-fanpage or something, 75% of my visitors use windows, 17% OS X, just 1% Linux, the rest is mostly mobile).

  • The companies still using training and ERP from places like skillport and Lawson....


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