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no more browser wars?

The big news right now buzzing on tech blogs is that Microsoft and AOL have settled for $750 million and agreed to share knowledge. The TopStyle blog reports that AOL will have 7 years of free usage of IE as their internal browser. Since AOL owns Netscape, that could mean that IE6 stays around for much longer than anyone wants. Webgraphics says it could be till 2010 that a new OS-based browser (meaning you wouldn’t get an update until you upgraded to the next Windows evolution). And since AOL owns Netscape, they wouldn’t have much of an incentive to create Netscape 8. The two largest browsers just stay at their current version numbers, stagnant. And of course, there’s the issue of Mozilla being under the AOL/Netscape umbrella, too—if they take their $$ away from the project, where does that leave the Mozilla projects? That leaves us with Opera as the only major still-in-development browser?

Blooberry’s browser timeline shows that its been since October 2001 when IE6 came out and August 2002 when Netscape 7 came out (SillyDog had more on N7). If we are stuck with these browsers until 2010, can you imagine what this will do to anybody working with modifying and adding better web standards? It won’t do any good if there’s no new browsers to implement this stuff. And I read the CSS3 specs that are in process, and I can’t wait to be able to use some of these things; but who knows how long that’ll be.

Even though I don’t use IE much anymore (I’m a Firebird convert!), a lot of people do. That means it is a concern for designers like me, it means that we have to continue to do work around crap like things to account for the IE6 scrolling bug and the box model not working quite right and other bugs that they have yet to fix.

After all that, I read what Brad said and it was so much clearer than what I was trying to say. If you feel scattery after reading my post, go over and read his wink


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» AOL and Microsoft - A possible Internet revolution? from TripleB
This entry at kadyellebee dot com talks about the recent settlement of a court case between Micro$oft and AOL, where they agreed to share knowledge. This has meant that AOL now gets to integrate Internet Explorer into their software for... [Read More]


Wow, very interesting! I’m not too sure about all this, I heard about the AOL and IE thing on the radio yesterday I think it was and I couldn’t believe it. But wow, all these browsers staying stagnant! UGH! That’s gonna totally bite!

I don’t think it’s quite that bad. As I understand it, there should be a major upgrade to IE when Longhorn (the next version of Windows) ships in early 2005. However, I’m sure that not everyone will upgrade to it, meaning that we’re still stuck with IE6 - definitely not the best browser on the block.

Personally, I’m going to stick with Mozilla/Mozilla Firebird all the way. It works great for me, and does what I want. smile

So you recommend using Mozilla then?

Yes, I’ve heard, too, that IE will be getting a major overhaul for Longhorn; and let’s not forget the lovely service packs for IE that will come out.

This could give the other browsers that are better (Mozilla, Firebird, Opera) a chance to catch up in market share. Let’s face it, IE and NS both pretty much suck. Here’s to hoping this will be the death of IE/NS.

MS has stated that IE with Service Pack 2 has reached a 'zenith' as far as existing operating systems go. IE will continue to be updated but only as an integral part of the Windows platform.

Can’t say it bothers me much. I use Safari on my Mac. If I have to dip into Windows I use Mozilla. I’m really looking forward to see how Apple develop Safari.

I thought that quote was great, and am going to point out how great that quote was, because he didn’t say IE reached its zenith, he said "Legacy OSes have reached their zenith..."

The arrogance is simply overwhelming!

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