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Microsoft Wins Browser War, Abandons 'Innovation'

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the freedom-to-stagnate dept.

Internet Explorer 794

rocketjam writes "Web developers are expressing frustration with Microsoft's apparent abandonment of its 'operating-system-integrated' Internet Explorer web browser. An article on C-Net points up the efforts of the Web Standards Project as well as Adobe Systems to prompt Microsoft to fix long-standing Cascading Style Sheet bugs in IE as well as continuing to add other improvements which have virtually ceased since Microsoft won the browser war. While alternatives such as the Mozilla Project and the Opera browser still exist, their marketshare is miniscule." In a related story, an anonymous reader points out that the bugs aren't just in rendering, they're security holes as well: "iDefense and eEye have basically said that Internet Explorer is full of holes and just surfing the Web using it is "unsafe". There's 31 un-patched holes in IE, but MS won't talk about it... It took them nearly a month to roll out a new patch after this one was found to be more or less useless."

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794 comments

fuck (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7172082)

microsoft

Re:fuck (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7172119)

Re:Microsoft

In other news... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7172096)

Anonymous cowards avoid "Innovation" in their First Posts!

Trollkore Wins Goatse War, Abandons 'Penisbird' (-1)

(TK)Dessimat0r (668222) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172099)

-PENIS--PENIS--PENIS--PENIS-
P_______________________8..P
E__Bow down to the_____#~..E
N__Lord's penis_______8.',-N
I_____________________#',-.I
S__Jesus wants your__8',-..S
-__anus, and he_____#~',-..-
P__wants it NOW! ___8_',-..P
E__________________##',-',-E
N__An original_____8',-',";N
I__TrollKore______##',-',";I
S__work of art.___8',-',";.S
-__By Dessimat0r ##',-',";.-
P________________8',-',";,.P
E_______________#'',-',";,.E
N______________8(',-',";,..N
I_____________#(',-',";,.,.I
S__________#8#8_',-',";,.,.S
-_________#',-.8',-',";,.,.-
P________8~',-..#',-',";,..P
E_______#'',-',";8_',-',";.E
N_____8=',-',";.+#+',-',";.N
I____#=',-',";,._8',-',";,.I
S___#=',-',";,..(#',-',";.8S
-__8(',-',CMDR,.(8',-',";s#-
P_8(',-',.TACO.";#',-',-s8_P
E_#z',-','WOZ',";8',-..s#__E
N_8_.,#',"ERE',";~#,..88___N
I_#.##',-,',',,";~8,8#_____I
S_8##',-+~'',-',-~#'8______S
-_#.,..-',-',";.'=8#_______-
P_.8+_',-',";,.'88_________P
E___888',-',";~8___________E
N______8#888#88____________N
I__________________________I
S____.oO TrollKore Oo._____S
-_At the head of the game._-
P__________________________P
E___irc.freedomirc.net_____E
N_______#trollkore_________N
I__________________________I
S__________________________S
-PENIS--PENIS--PENIS--PENIS-

Get the code to the TrollKore ASCII penis here... [slashdot.org]

All you cock-loving fuckers out there, here is a special treat for you bastards, take a look at this knob. NOW SUCK IT, MOTHERFUCKERS!

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Episode 13: The Lucky Number (-1)

Walmart Security (570281) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172110)

I settled into the therapeutic leather seat, watching the road as our vehicle pushed through the fog, soft blue low beams charging forth into the night. Off the cool concrete before us there lay an occasional abandoned farm, overgrown grass swaying softly in the darkness. In the moonlight, run-down trailer homes sat unoccupied, windows shattered and doors boarded. A harsh flicker as lightning struck far to the south.

A soft, synthesized female voice spoke to us as the navigation console suddenly came to life. "Left turn ahead," it said. I turned my head briefly to a sleeping Robert as I committed the turn. The screen returned to its overhead perspective. A red triangle set against a simulation of a map indicated our current position. I looked up, biting my tongue to avoid falling asleep, and watched carefully for deer.

My throat felt swollen as I thought of Paul Cryer, whose lifeless body was floating aimlessly in the black waters of Steinhagen Lake. My throat felt swollen, but I could never pity him. Nor could I afford to lament his demise. Hundreds like him were searching for me, searching for me in order to avenge his death.

The harsh railroad track shook Robert awake. "Where are we?" he asked, eyes half-shut. What seemed like a river of blood ran through one, perhaps the result of sleep deprivation. In that case, mine probably resembled cherries.

The navigation system instructed us to turn right onto a dirt road that led into a darkened alley. At the end of the road, two faint taillights beckoned. As we drove nearer, the car's well maintained jet-black paint glistened with the reflection of our headlights. My eyes were drawn to the silver three-pointed star attached to its trunk. A man dressed in an expensive suit approached our vehicle as we slowed.

He looked inside as I retracted the automatic window. "Are you Cryer?"

"Yes," I said, with a slight hesitation. "I am Cryer. That's me."

"All right," he said. "Blake told me not to give it to you tonight. Said he'd hold it until you saw him. I made an appointment for you. It's at 10:30. Be there tomorrow morning."

"Be where?"

"Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. I keep forgetting to give away the new address. It's the thirteenth location in two years. Guy's a nomad, man." He handed me a creased piece of plain copy paper, which I refolded promptly and placed on my lap.

The man then walked silently to his car. Robert and I sat together, alone and exhausted, watching as the lights became faint, then finally disappear altogether. "Peter," he said, "unfold the paper. I thought that I saw something. A logo, maybe."

As I opened the document, I shuddered with fright. I stared at the paper, and our corporate logo stared back into my eyes...

Can't say I have much sympathy for them. (3, Insightful)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172112)

Maybe said developers will start coding more standards-compliant webpages.

Huh. I wish.

Re:Can't say I have much sympathy for them. (3, Insightful)

Transient0 (175617) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172147)

of course few people are producing fully standards compliant web pages. the reason is that there is little motivation to do so when the browser with the majority of market share won't display them properly.

Re:Can't say I have much sympathy for them. (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172149)

The problem is that IE isn't standards compliant.

Purists (2, Interesting)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172159)

According to the purists, some effete board such as the W3C sets the standards instead of the market leader Microsoft Corporation (who really sets the standards).

Re:Purists (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7172361)

Published standards are legitimate; anybody can implement them. Nobody but Microsoft can implement Internet Exploiter's soi-disant "standards".

Re:Can't say I have much sympathy for them. (5, Insightful)

kontos (560271) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172180)

No, their problem is that they have a choice to make: a standards compliant website that doesn't look right in IE, or an IE compliant website that is not standsrds complaint, but looks good to 90 percent of their users.

Re:Can't say I have much sympathy for them. (1)

Cat_Byte (621676) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172312)

Thats an excuse website designers use when they can't make something work right or didn't take the time to check browser compatibility. Whether designers like it or not, they have to consider the massive % of surfers who use IE. It's like designing a fuel that doesn't work in import cars but does in domestic. It's not going to force people to buy a new car, it's going to make them quit buying gas from you.

Re:Can't say I have much sympathy for them. (1)

Davak (526912) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172216)

Heck, I would just be happy if they would quit using flash-like crap for vital parts of the web structure. If a table is 1mm off, I'm not going to cry about it.

Davak

Hey Dumbass (5, Insightful)

GusCubed (619933) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172386)

What?

The developers are complaining that they have to create non-standards compliant websites because 95% of the userbase use a non-standards compliant browser.

You make it sound like it's the web developer's fault that MicroSoft have produced a crappy browser.

To belabour the point: developers produce sites that work best with the most widely used browser - if the browser doesn't work in the logical and 'correct' manner, then a lot of time is spent hacking and trial-and-erroring trying to get the effect that the client wants. Clients aren't going to give a sh*t whether their site is fully W3C compliant and looks exactly as it should in Opera, Mozilla, Safari, Konqueror or whatever if it doesn't look as promised in IE

Innovation with plugins (4, Funny)

jolyonr (560227) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172118)

Wait - Microsoft are going to be the first browser developers to release the new innovative "Do you want to run this plugin? [OK]" pop-up technology! They're way ahead of the game!

Jolyon

Be patriotic. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7172120)

Join the army. [informatio...house.info]

can you say 'monopoly?' (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7172121)

this is a classic sign of monopoly. no incentive to change, no incentive to repair, no incentive to improve, no incentive to innovate.

Re:can you say 'monopoly?' (-1)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172200)

Another classic sign of a monopoly is exclusivity, which IE doesn't have, dickbrain.

Re:can you say 'monopoly?' (0)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172318)

a monopoly doesn't have to have 100% of the market share, its usually defined as around 90% which M$ clearly has

Re:can you say 'monopoly?' (1)

bmyers (643397) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172328)

What do you mean by "Exclusivity"? There's two meanings that I can think of:

1) Excludes others from the market.

Microsoft has been found legally culpable by a real, live judge of excluding others from the browser market, using its monopoly powers.

2) Owns 100% of the market.

Monopolies hardly ever have 100% of the market, because it's almost impossible. They just have to have a supermajority so that they can keep others from joining. I'd say it's hard to argue that Microsoft doesn't have a supermajority of the browser market right now.

Re:can you say 'monopoly?' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7172348)

Hmm, lets just check with the United States shall we?

Oh hey, yup! Its a monopoly alright. Handed down by a Court of law and everything.

Re:can you say 'monopoly?' (0)

Dead_Medic (662827) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172402)

Of course they have a monopoly, and now that they have no incentive to make the browser competitive, they less likely to improve, or fix such problems. In theory IE is a free software that one can use for their computer, so there is no financial advantage of them updating it.

surprise surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7172136)

Microsoft not leading the way in innovation? What else is new. Too bad they don't make Safari for PCs, then the other 95% of the population can have a more enjoyable surfing experience.

Re:surprise surprise (1)

PierceLabs (549351) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172156)

Safari has its fair share of bugs - just to keep things properly in perspective. There are many sites that simply don't even work on Safari and many rendering issues.

Re:surprise surprise (1)

Nexum (516661) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172217)

I do agree...

Buuuut, Safari is only a few weeks out of beta.

Lets give it some time, it sure is shaping up veeery nicely.

-Nex

Safari is in for a rude shock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7172205)

"Too bad they don't make Safari for PCs, then the other 95% of the population can have a more enjoyable surfing experience."

If Safari went to the PC world and the user base multiplied by 2000% as you describe, there's a good chance all these users hammering at it and all the hackers released upon it would find holes and bugs that you could not even imagine with Safari right now having so few using it.

Re:Safari is in for a rude shock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7172381)

all the hackers released upon it would find holes

Except Safari doesn't have unpublished hooks into the operating system. My hard drive can't be erased by simply going to a web page.

Rendering bugs and quirks are one thing, having more holes than the red light district in the Netherlands is another.

No big surprise (3, Insightful)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172139)

Integrate browser into OS. Continue working on OS, ignore browser.

Would work fine if the browser wasn't a point of failure for the OS. How do they expect to secure the entire package when pieces of it are so full of holes?

Just an honest question.

MS needs to either secure IE, or remove it from their core OS installation (make it an addon) if they're really serious about security IMO.

Re:No big surprise (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172189)

Every bit of file browsing you see in Windows is through IE. Everything from the Desktop to the view inside folders. And I wouldn't be surprised if XP's floating taskbar was part of IE.

Just cause it's there don't mean im using it... (0, Flamebait)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172140)

Sure, Microsoft got it's browser on a ton of computers, but I would argue that not that many people that have IE are using it regularly. I know a ton of people that will use IE for a little while, and then when it locks up on a page (inevitably), they switch to another browser. Anyone got the stats on the # of hits / percentages from different browsers, versus the # of actual PC's with IE?

Re:Just cause it's there don't mean im using it... (1)

andih8u (639841) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172223)

On my site maybe 1% of users use something other than IE. And this is an anime site with users from all over the world, so I think its a fairly decent cross section. Most ppl use whatever Dell or Sony or whoever put on their desktop and don't know that there are other browsers out there. So...pretty much just IE.

Re:Just cause it's there don't mean im using it... (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172233)

I envy you. I wish I could surround myself with the same type of people you do.

The average person I'm familiar with doesn't know there are alternatives to IE. But then, I'm in tech support, so my idea of the "average person" is probably pretty low compared to most /. addicts.

Re:Just cause it's there don't mean im using it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7172257)


a ton of people that will use IE for a little while, and then when it locks up on a page (inevitably), they switch to another browser.


hehehe.
hahaha.
HOHOHOHO!
ROFLMAO

A "ton" of people have no idea that there is any alternative to putting up with IE.

Only geeks and misfits know tham Mozilla exists (Yes, I'm typing this in Mozilla) Opera is even more obscure.

Don't imagine that the view from slashdot has any resemblance to the big picture

Re:Just cause it's there don't mean im using it... (2, Insightful)

rocketjam (696072) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172268)

While a lot of slashdot readers probably don't use IE as a main browser, your average Joe Blow isn't going to download and install an alternative. He probably doesn't even know what a web browser is. IE is his "internet". Take a look at Google's latest zeitgeist [google.com] and you can see that IE 6 is way ahead of other browsers for Google hits.

Re:Just cause it's there don't mean im using it... (2, Insightful)

red floyd (220712) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172282)

Remember, IE picks up a ton of users via AOL. AOL uses the IE rendering engine.

Re:Just cause it's there don't mean im using it... (1)

meatball_mulligan (633993) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172299)


I only wish that this were true (IE installed but not used). Unfortunately outside of the geek corps, IE is about all that Windows folks use. Our website has about 75 registered users and 3 times that number of unregistered users. Sadly 95% of them use IE. It's getting harder and harder to convince our web developers not to code to IE specific specs, or even to test for compatability with other browsers. It's quite depressing.

Re:Just cause it's there don't mean im using it... (1)

charleste (537078) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172311)

I try to stick with the W3C standards to make sure the sites are ADA/Section 508 compliant... DHTML, Flash, etc... make a website worthless when users are visually impaired...
Stats for users:
74% IE 6
16% IE 5
10% Netscape/Mozilla Flavors (all over v. 4)

Re:Just cause it's there don't mean im using it... (1)

believekevin (701120) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172332)

From 98-Present, the overriding number of visitors to my weblog have been on IE (and for a time, AOL browser.)

However, on a site for a performing group I was in, the dominant browsers were a combination of Mac browsers- Safari, Mozilla, OmniWeb, IE Mac.

My conclusion was that general audiences use the default browser on wintel machines while the arts audience is using newer Macs which allow them more freedom of choice in their browser.

Re:Just cause it's there don't mean im using it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7172340)

Yes and No....I know a lot of Linux users that set their browser string to mimic IE so that more pages work for them.

I also know a few sorority girls that have successfully downloaded and are currently running Netscape on their own :)

Re:Just cause it's there don't mean im using it... (1)

trash eighty (457611) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172351)

umm everyone i know who uses a PC either for work or personal stuff uses IE (probably around 30 people all in all), most of them don't even know there are alternatives!


the website i am responsible for is fairly busy (half a million homepage hits a month) and over 70% uses IE to visit it last month. i don't know how many of these were other browsers pretending to be IE admittedly.


so i have to keep the site looking good for that piece of crap browser! luckily being an academic site it has to meet accessibility guidelines so if the design doesn't look perfect on IE but passes the accessibility test then the managers can't moan (too much) ;)

Do the norm. (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172150)

Start planting sites that root peoples MS boxes and there will be a huge outcry on CNN or something.

Like the blaster worm, code red, etc, etc, etc.

The problem is manifold.

1. even when MS patches bugs people don't care

2. If people don't care why would they waste money patching things

So, if you're this pissed off, make them care. Show how you root the machine of some joe-smoes computer with a simple gif or something...

Tom

Re:Do the norm. (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172267)

Right...and have Linux advocates all painted as malicous "hacker zealots."

Way to alienate the more intelligent of those you're trying to reach.

I'm not sure about "Microsoft wins"... (4, Interesting)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172163)

...but "winning" seems to be accurate if the stats at thecounter.com [thecounter.com] and W3Schools [w3schools.com] are at all trustworthy.

On the other hand, I'm not sure if, in these numbers, "Netscape" includes "Mozilla".

P.S. This HTTP POST request sent by Mozilla.

Re:I'm not sure about "Microsoft wins"... (1)

unapersson (38207) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172245)

The stats at the thecounter.com are broken (unless there are in fact 153 days in September). They've not been updated for at least 122-ish days.

Re:I'm not sure about "Microsoft wins"... (1)

beady (710116) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172258)

While I hate to bring into disrepute TheCounter, may I please draw your attention to This Page [thecounter.com] .
Notice anything interesting there? Thought so.

Re:I'm not sure about "Microsoft wins"... (1)

Henk Poley (308046) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172259)

You should know that most users browse with their browsers useagent string set to look like IE. Most of these stats pages will show them as IE.

For example at my uni the exams subscription (sp?) page can't be viewed with the default Opera string, you get a warning about unsupported browsers. So I set it (temporarily) to IE and use the page anyways.

Re:I'm not sure about "Microsoft wins"... (1)

myspys (204685) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172371)

how can a 94% marketshare NOT be winning?

There is a reason it's called Internet EXPLODER (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7172164)

There is a reason it's called Internet EXPLODER.
Natalie Portman, on a trip to Soviet Russia, examined a Beowulf cluster of hot grits and stated "I for one welcome our new BSD overlords"
and then quickly restated for the soviets: "in Soviet Russia ... ...ahhhh...crap...I got nothin'

TDz.

Safari (3, Funny)

Nexum (516661) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172169)

Let's get Apple to port Safari to Windows just like it is doing with iTunes.

It's a bloody great browser... although having thought about it, theres no reason for Apple to let the hoardes have its pretty software for nothing...

I can tell you this though... if you think your browsing and computing experience is slowing down in terms of innovation and invention, switch to the OSX platform... my god, there's enough new stuff every week to make you do a sex wee.

-Nex

Re:Safari (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172229)

The Safari engine is KHTML. There already are several KDE on Windows projects which will get you what you want.

Re:Safari sex wee (1)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172277)

I just got my new PB - let me tell you, it has sex wee all over it. I mean, it's really cool.

If everyone got to use a mac for a week, then had to go back to windows, I don't think we'd have much of a problem - OS X is sweet to geek, and easy to Mom.

Ease (0)

Davak (526912) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172178)


IE is the lesser of several evils.

It is quicker and more stable than netscape.
It is most familiar because it looks/acts like windows.
It is better known than mozilla, opera, and clones.

The only way to stop the cycle is to enforce the ruling to have Microsoft remove the browser from the OS.

That's it. Until then, they win.

Davak

Re:Ease (2, Interesting)

LPetrazickis (557952) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172275)

It is better known than mozilla, opera, and clones.

Obscurity is an evil now?

The only way to stop the cycle is to enforce the ruling to have Microsoft remove the browser from the OS.

Alternatively, the OEMs could start placing icons for Firebird and the free version of Opera on the desktops. Unfortunately, Microsoft would make their lives difficult if they tried the way things stand.

Re:Ease (1)

ToadSprocket (628571) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172303)

The only way to stop the cycle is to enforce the ruling to have Microsoft remove the browser from the OS.

Maybe there's a logical step I can't think of that will occur the moment after MS removes the browser from the OS. How again does this make it standards compliant? I don't disagree that it should be removed, mind you, I just don't think this has anything to do with making it standards compliant.

Let's wait a year (3, Insightful)

chia_monkey (593501) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172179)

Let's see what happens after a year or so. First, the whole security thing is a BIG issue now. It's no longer a discussion amongst geeks. As more and more companies and the government buckle down on their security initiatives, they will either force Microsoft to have a secure browser (anyone want to predict the probability this will happen?) or they will abandon IE for more secure browsers.

Safari is making (understatement?) inroads on the Mac side and Macs are picking up momentum. Safari can tandem on that aspect alone.

Let's not forget...the tide really can change. Remember when Netscape was the undeniable champion? Look where they are now. Who's to say this can't happen to IE?

the big mo (5, Informative)

sstory (538486) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172184)

I switched to Mozilla a few months ago. Not out of zeal, but because Mozilla's better software. And it's hard to beat that native pop-up blocking. Using Mozilla, I forget that the web is infested with pop-up ads. When I have to use IE for some reason, I'm quickly reminded.

Re:the big mo (2, Interesting)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172384)

I find the Proxomitron to be a far better pop-up blocker, and it's VERY useful for other things as well.

For instance, on the VBulletin forums I frequent, I've added a search box to the top of every page, a quick reply to the bottom of each thread, a sliding sidebar for a quick-jump to each forum, blocked the "edit" button for any post that's not mine, made it stand out more when people are quoting me, and a bunch of other little things.

It's really nice to be able to change any web page to suit my needs/wants.

Hell, you could even set it up so that when it runs across Goatse, it'll change it into a cute kitten. Now THAT's useful.

-- Dr. Eldarion --

Not very surprising (4, Insightful)

jmo_jon (253460) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172186)

Really, why should they add more feauters now when they've won. It's sad but still true, average Jennie won't download a 5-15MB browser when she gets it with her 'internet ready' computer, esepcially not when most large websites 'optimize for ie'. The users thinks the problems is with opera/mozilla/ns when they can't use sites they've always been able to access with their beloved explorer

Re:Not very surprising (4, Insightful)

Soulfader (527299) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172338)

It's sad but still true, average Jennie won't download a 5-15MB browser when she gets it with her 'internet ready' computer, esepcially not when most large websites 'optimize for ie'. The users thinks the problems is with opera/mozilla/ns when they can't use sites they've always been able to access with their beloved explorer
That's odd; the hassle of downloading a setup package doesn't stop such people from downloading new media players, Kazaa, and all of the other garbage that I'm always finding on people's systems. In my experience, the real problem is just that people don't seem to know that any viable option exists. The last time they used Netscape was 4.0, and they've never heard of anything else.

My father-in-law runs into problems with IE all of the time, but he just considers it part of the computer-using experience. He is very suspicious of the fact that I use something not-Windows on our computers; I think he thinks I'm a closet commie or something...

"Innovation" in a business sense (4, Insightful)

mopslik (688435) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172188)

...other improvements which have virtually ceased since Microsoft won the browser war.

This is hardly surprising. Microsoft's intention was never to build the greatest browser, but to simply build a browser that would net them the largest market share. With the other big player out of the way now, there's little incentive for further "innovation".

IMO, this is one of the fundamental differences between Open Source and commercial standard development. OS projects are often made "for fun" or "for advancement of technology X", whereas commercial projects are usually (!) made "for profit". Both have their places, they just use different mind-sets: academic or business.

Like woah (1)

starmang (661689) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172197)

Holy crap! This is old news. They are not abandoning the browser, they just can't be ar$ed to fix the holes in it.

Browser Wars Over? (4, Interesting)

Kandel (624601) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172201)

"While alternatives such as the Mozilla Project and the Opera browser still exist, their marketshare is miniscule."
A small current marketshare can in no way infer that "The Browser Wars are Over" and that Internet Explorer will ALWAYS be the de-facto standard. Sure, Mozilla may have not have a huge marketshare at the moment, but then again, neither does Linux in terms of common Desktop usage to the average user.
I feel that when Linux really takes off as a real Windows alternative to the average user, Mozilla will really begin to shine, and it's market share will increase as Linux's market share increases.
The Browser Wars are certainly not over yet...they are just being postponed for a little while. :P

Re:Browser Wars Over? (-1)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172287)

I feel that when Linux really takes off as a real Windows alternative to the average user, there will be many more plane / bacon collisions.

Re:Browser Wars Over? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7172369)

A small current marketshare can in no way infer that "The Browser Wars are Over" and that Internet Explorer will ALWAYS be the de-facto standard. Sure, Mozilla may have not have a huge marketshare at the moment, but then again, neither does Linux in terms of common Desktop usage to the average user.

Uhhh, yeah. QED.

What? A monopoly that doesn't innovate? (4, Funny)

TimTheFoolMan (656432) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172204)

In related news, ruthless dictators neglect the human rights of their people.

Phlegm at 11.

Tim

If only we could say goodbye (1)

Telex4 (265980) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172206)

It's such a pain that IE has such a gigantic marketshare, because if it didn't, we would see a huge migration amongst the web development community towards Mozilla (and derivitives), Opera, Konqueror, etc. which would inevitably, over time, mean a similar migration amongst users.

Unfortunately, I don't suppose developers can afford to ignore IE's lack of support for basic standards like CSS. Damn monopoly.

If only they could, we could finally start to see the web returning to using standardised, open technologies and innovating in a way that will benefit us all. Mozilla has shown us what funky stuff you can do with SVG, CSS and other more current technologies; let's hope web developers start picking these up.

It'd be ironic to see pages that say: "Best viewed in Netscape 7, Mozilla, Opera or better" or "IE users may not be able to use these pages" :-)

Non-Standard Web Pages (1)

RuB1X (707519) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172209)

I don't run IE anymore, but you can't expect people to switch to a new browser like opera when it crashes everytime you try to access espn.com! So, for right now, its Firebird for me.

Re:Non-Standard Web Pages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7172353)

That's your punishment for visiting ESPN.com - go to SI.com and it works great :)

Quick Solution - Everybody wins! (4, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172210)

Use the holes in IE to create a worm that installs Firebird, and removes IE with litePC.com's XPlite.

(Most) People only use IE because they are scared to install some software (I don't want to break my computer!) or they don't know there are options (What are you using - why do I get all these pop-ups?)

Use MS tactics! Force a new browser on them!

Re:Quick Solution - Everybody wins! (1)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172292)

Of course then you could be prosecuted and sent to prison. Imagine if you did this to Ashcroft's PC... damn, you'd be in Guantanamo and nobody would know you were gone.

Re:Quick Solution - Everybody wins! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7172296)

I use Mozilla. Tell me again about this "pop-ups" thing?

First... (1)

Anonym1ty (534715) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172228)

First we take over the world

Then we allow it to fall into chaos

um... 3. PROFIT!!!!! (sorry couldn't help it)

Microsoft "wins", (1)

pb (1020) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172236)

and their customers lose. Surprise, surprise.

Here's to hoping they lose some of their latest lawsuits, and start being held responsible for the incredibly shoddy quality of their software, so the people can benefit. After all, it isn't like MS has been helping anyone else--including their shareholders--with that gigantic lump of cash they've been hoarding, illegally obtained through their extortive monopoly practices.

I blame the anit-trust lawsuits (0, Flamebait)

Utopia (149375) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172237)

IE development is still going on -- Looking at the Loghorn builds. There are several new improvements .
But Microsoft won't release the changes as a new version because of the whole anti-trust bullshit.

Re:I blame the anit-trust lawsuits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7172392)

Nice troll you shill!

As we all know MS recently has announced the end-of-life of several of their browser products, including IE for Mac. In addition, they somewhat recently signed an agreement with AOL to keep MS in AOL builds.

This is not about Microsoft fear, it is about apathy now that they have market dominance.

Next time you troll, please at least make it a little informed.

So? (1)

Chromal (56550) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172240)

Well, sure, I came to this conclusion and switched to Mozilla [mozilla.org] v1.0 when it came out. Having a solid multiplatform browser like Mozilla also ment that I could ditch Win2K at work and run Linux instead. I haven't looked back. Really, I just got tired of getting pr0n windows popping up at random when I went to download emulator ROMs and such at home and feeling extra vulnerable on my workstation at work.

Why anyone would run a browser that effectively gives more control to the world at large than the actual user is beyond me.

Conspiracy! (1)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172241)

The flaws are not being patched since the Government want the option of installing backdoors on all active computers by coercing the commercial sites into being viral infection centers.. Basically, the Government is instructing Microsoft to go slow on the security updates. That way, they can effectively shut down the internet or install back-doors at will.

IE is loosing market share (1)

workindev (607574) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172247)

At least from the statistics of my site [devsdeals.com] , IE has dropped from 95% to around 75% in the last year and a half. Netscape varients are up to about 20%.

Maybe this means we will start to see some more innovations to recapture market share.

Finally, now they have time to fix the bugs... (1)

creamcracker (132568) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172255)

Now that MS doesn't have to compete anymore with others on the number of (useless) features, they now have time to fix the problems and make something good and stable. But then again where is the profit in that?

Where do you want to go today? (1)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172261)

Where else? [spray.se]

When you understand that MS "innovation" ... (1)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172262)

is legal (e.g. EULA components where you agree to be harvested for your organs if you die or are incapacitated or in the vicinity of a hospital or if Bill needs/wants them) and financial (e.g. charging you a separate licensing fee for each organ harvested), then you stop wondering about those pesky "standards".

Tell your friends about Firebird (3, Insightful)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172269)

Tell your friends about Firebird. If anyone ever voices a complaint about IE or any other browser for that matter, i point them in Firebirds direction.

It really is a wonderful browser that is lightweight, fast and it has a host of cool features like popup blocking, password manager (for the less paranoid), tabbed browsing.

Their market share is miniscule because no one knows about it!

This is nothing new (5, Insightful)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172273)

As someone who has been following the computer industry since the late 70s, and thus has seen Microsoft's actions from their earliest days, this is hardly new behavior:

  • Word Processors: When WordStar was king and WordPerfect came along and dominated, Word was the upstart. Microsoft kept throwing more and more features into the product. Fast forward a few years: Word is king, innovation slows to a trickle. The Word you use today is like the Word you used half-a-decade ago.
  • Programming Tools: When Borland was kicking Microsoft's butt in IDEs and compiler technology, Microsoft had to add features like mad to get their market share back. Fast forward a few years: The Visual IDEs are king, innovation slows to a trickle.
  • Web browsers: When Netscape was king, blah, blah blah. The IE you use today, blah, blah, blah.
Monopolies traditionally stagnate as often as they can get away with. Ain't nothing new here. Move along.

Simple: Improve alternatives (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172280)

I'm using mozilla firebird. When I submit a comment here on slashdot, it doesn't render the comment approved page correctly. Sometimes it just shows the background, and never loads the text. When it does show the text, it's overlapping the toolbar on the side.

Is this a slashdot problem or a mozilla problem?

Anyways, improve mozilla, and get the word out, and people *will* use it. Developers - stop kludging your sites for IE, stop putting "this site is best viewed by IE" on your front page, put "this site is best viewed by mozilla firebird or Opera" instead. Tell people why, give them sensible logical reasons, not a rant about MS world domination and capital F Free.

Firebird seems the best hope, since it's nice and robust, and pops up almost as fast as IE does, and doesnt make you dizzy with feature bloat.

OT: In fact, slashdot is the only site I browse that has any real problems being rendered by firebird. What the hell is the deal with that? This would be the last website I would expect to work properly only with IE.

Re:Simple: Improve alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7172383)

Developers - stop kludging your sites for IE

Yes, absolutely. All too many sites are kludged for Netscape 4 or even more Neanderthal stuff, let alone IE.

Maybe it's time... (4, Interesting)

MP3Chuck (652277) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172285)

... to go back to the "Page best viewd in" messages on the bottom of pages. But this time with a little link to Firebird. If people start coding for the standards-complient browsers instead of IE, people might realize what they're missing out on. Or just get frustrated (and/or curious) to the point of installing it.

Innovation, MS... MS...? (3, Insightful)

KarmaOverDogma (681451) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172288)

I remember very well the MS site reading in bold headlines "U.S. Department of Justice Vs. The Freedom To Innovate" when they were in the thick
of their Anti-Trust lawsuit with the USDOJ.

I guess this is Microsoft's new form of "Innovation."

Proof positive of the negative impact of Microsoft's monopoly in the browser market coupled with the fact that they received little more than a slap on the wrist from the USDOJ in the end.

Use IE only when you *have* to.

.

Why should they improve IE ? (5, Insightful)

Krapangor (533950) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172301)

Microsoft is a company, not a carity organisation. Improving IE would cost them money without getting any revenues - they are giving IE away for free.
Innovation and improvement made only sense when they had something to achieve: pushing Netscape out of the market. But this is no longer the case.
I would not even blame them. If the customers were keen on good browsers, they would rush to pay money for better versions like Opera. But they aren't. They are simply whining that MS is not innovating, but they won't do anything themselves.

slashdotters unite to teach about alternatives (1)

bushboy (112290) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172304)

If every regular slashdotter were to introduce 5 people to the wonders of choice and get them using mozilla or opera on thier windows platforms and then ask those 5 people to introduce 5 more, the word would get out that there is an alternative.

The fact is, 90% of people who surf the net consider that iexplore is the only option - they consider it as being 'the world wide web', rather than software used to access it.

You don't need to educate them too much - just say "hey, try this alternative software that allows you to surf the web safely"

Perhaps this is a case for a bit of decent spamming - fire of a million spam mails advertising the choices that people have when it comes to surfing the web and indicate how unsafe it is to use iexplore.

Surely that would swing the market share a bit more in the right direction and away from a company that certainly doesn't give a damn about anything but profit.

Stupid IE tricks (3, Informative)

kurosawdust (654754) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172317)

my personal favorite is when you send a form request via a submit button that uses a specified image (instead of the ubiquitous grey button), IE for some reason will totally ignore the "submit" POST request. I have long since stopped trying to understand why, and thus chalk it up to a master plan that will not be fulfilled until my pants are running Windows CE.

(PS - you can still get your page to work with IE if that situatioin applies to you, you just have to get the submit button title from the x and y click coordinates titles [which IE is so thoughtful not to ignore])

Big surprise... (0, Redundant)

sterno (16320) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172355)

Monopolies stifle innovation.
The sky is blue.

Tell me something I didn't know :)

Let's all join the class action on security (1)

RZeno (599572) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172356)

Or at least make people aware of Microsoft's hypocrisy (lies?). The EU still has their antitrust case pending...

Maybe we should all whine and complain instead? ;)

Plethora=? (1)

craw (6958) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172370)

The self styled 'chief hacking officer' of U.S.-based eEye Digital Security, which has been responsible for the discovery of a plethora of vulnerabilities in Microsoft products, says that Internet Explorer has been insecure for a long time.

How does this sequence go now?
One, a couple, few, some, many, a whole lot, sh*tload, f*cking unbelievable amount, ...then plethora? I think that's it.

Full of security holes - but ppl use it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7172372)

Well, why do ppl use IE when it's full of security holes? I'd say that until they get hit by'em they wont care! So what are all the 3v1l haxx0rs doin out there? We need anonymous shells for the caped Haxx0rs!! Come to think about it, we allready have it ;)

Smile upon M$'s mistakes (1)

YinYang69 (560918) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172376)

I've been using IE *gulp* for years and years now. Browsing using the program has gotten to the point where its so frustrating and pathetic due to all the bugs that I've downloaded Mozilla and started using it more and more often.

As much as I despise M$, everyone coded for IE, so I gave in. Now Mozilla is making ground in my mind if I want to get stuff done and that can only mean good things if I'm not the only one (and I don't think I am).

A possible simple solution (1)

FooMasterZero (515781) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172377)

Simply beat IE at it's own such companies like Dell, HP, and the other PC vendors to have mozilla,opera or whatever pre-installed such that users feel that this is part of the operating system and won't have that typical reservations that installing other web browsers will break the operating system. Opera, Mozilla, and netscape especially could leverage something out of basic PC vendors to have their software part of the package.

The average user simply wants to open their computer and have it work, kind of like Apple's approach to computing even though Safari isn't mentioned Apple users are more inclined to use Safari simply because it is there. This is why IE won the browser war; if you do indeed consider it over ?

Resources vs Innovation vs *your* time (4, Insightful)

weston (16146) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172385)

This is a central question that I've been asking in every "What makes you think MS is evil?" discussion I've had lately:

Why is Microsoft, the player in the browser market with the most resources by an insane margin, have the piece of software that's the most egregious offender in terms of standards compliance?

You can come up with a lot of answers, but I've come to believe that it's because they understand something:

(1) The lock in principles that we're all familiar with

(2) You more easily make money by letting others waste their time making things work than by wasting your own resources

(3) It's possible the IE 6 codebase really is hard to polish and move forward at this point.

Focus on #2 for a moment. They steal time from every single developer who has to use their products to deliver a product -- and that's everyone who's delivering a web application, at least. How do they steal it? Just recently I lost hours of my time (and possibly business) because of some bug that makes images that display all right and proper in every browser -- except IE. You just had to know that in certain situations involving nested, CSS positioned divs, unless you set the most immediately containing div to position: relative, the images would not render. Anyone here who's ever tried CSS positioning and the accompanying loosely semantic markup knows what I'm talking about. This happens in a hundred small ways.

It's not just IE, either. I have to use MS Word XP at work to occasionally do *page layout*. Nevermind that it's the wrong tool for the job, we know that, it's just that sometimes our customers demand stuff in that format. The gyrations necessary to do things in those programs are ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. I've used two other word processors who make it an order of magnitude easier -- hell, sometimes I'd rather do page layout in the same bug-ridden CSS/XHTML combo I mentioned above. Again, who is the player with the most resources? Who does not have the easiest or most powerful toolset?

Seriously, someday I think people will wake up and realize that Bill has been wasting several GDPs worth of people's time, and that's how he's amased his wealth -- Microsoft would much rather let customers and developers waste their time than spend their own dimes creating truly effective software.

For partial improvements: (5, Informative)

mblase (200735) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172390)

Try Avant Browser [avantbrowser.com] if you must use IE. It adds a shell around the browser for tab integration, popup blocking, and all those other goodies you like best about Opera and Mozilla.

Sadly, it can't do anything for IE's HTML or CSS support....

Slashdot Lacks Clue, Abandons "Reporting" (1)

Canthros (5769) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172397)

*sigh*

Real world Mozilla Success story (1)

doublem (118724) | more than 10 years ago | (#7172404)

I now have a few members of sales using Mozilla's Firebird for a lot of things, as well as our content development staff.

One guy's IE install was corrupt, and since we're a web based company, this was a serious issue for him. I installed Firebird as a stop gap measure until IE was working again. Set up tabbed browsing, showed him how to block pop ups and went on my merry way. I had IE fixed later that day.

Thing is, he's still using Firebird as much as he can. He came down later that day, AFTER IE was fixed, and thanked me for setting him up with an alternative. He was amazed at how much faster it is.

The content management team loves it because by using Mozilla, Opera and IE they can be logged into three different accounts on the same site without the session data conflicting. This means they can edit content in the Instructor accounts and proof it in a student account.

And if course, Firebird is my main browser at work.

By the way, I found out form one of the developers, that the Boston Glove's online site is maintained using a custom Content Management System that requires Mozilla to operate. The superior options for development and customization make it very attractive to technology firms.
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