The early word on Internet Explorer 7 doesn't look good.

Originally, Microsoft had stated that IE6 was the last standalone version of their browser, which, as a statement sounded too much like "We've won the browser wars. Game Over." Still it made me question what Microsoft's future plans were. Surely they were not considering the world of web applications as a dead space. Ever since their mis-calculation of the importance of the internet I don't think Microsoft is a company that would ever turn a blind eye on any technology space. So I don't think Microsoft was planning to stop participating in the web browsing space, I think they just meant that the web browser would become even more tightly integrated into the next version of their Windows OS.

Then the next version of Windows continued to get delayed. And Mozilla's Firefox began to make headways into the web browsing space, slowly stealing Microsoft's share that Microsoft originally stole from Netscape.

So Microsoft changed their plans and announced they would have Microsoft Internet Explorer 7. It was always stated that the top priority would be security for this release with a few user-interface things thrown in (tabbed browsing, integrated search) and some CSS rendering bugs. And it would only work on Windows XP and Windows Vista, not any earlier versions of the Windows OS due to the security fixes. To me, it was obvious that they were never trying to please developers with IE7, but it was an attempt to stem the flow of users away from IE and to Firefox until Vista makes its debut by adding tabbed browsing and stressing the security angle.

So now the first Beta of IE7 is here and available only to MSDN subscribers. A public Beta is supposed to happen by end of summer, we'll see if that gets pushed off or not. We get to hear the pathetic whining and crying of kiddies who think that IE7 should be available to them immediately. We get to hear that the Beta 1 doesn't have any significant rendering improvements over the two CSS bugs previously announced as fixed. We get to hear how Microsoft hates developers by not complying to web standards. We get to hear wailing and see gnashing of teeth. All this over a web browser. Time to get some perspective folks.

Sometimes I wish there was a stupidity filter on RSS feeds.

§130 · July 28, 2005 · Software, Technology, Web · · [Print]

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