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Microsoft Caves to Internet Explorer Critics

February 15, 2005

During his keynote address at the annual RSA Conference today, Bill Gates announced that Microsoft would ship the next version of Internet Explorer (IE) before the new Windows version, Longhorn, becomes available.

In announcing the plan, Gates acknowledged something that many outside the company had been arguing for some time, that the browser itself has become a security risk.

Dean Hachamovitch, who heads Microsoft’s IE team, said, “we listened to customers, analysts, and business partners. We heard a clear message: ‘Yes, XP SP2 makes the situation better. We want more, sooner. We want security on top of the compatibility and extensibility IE gives us, and we want it on XP. Microsoft, show us your commitment.'”

Though Microsoft is claiming the update is in response to “listening” to their customers, analysts attribute Microsoft’s change of heart to the recent success of Firefox and other alternative browsers.

The beta will be available to users with Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. February 15, 2005 at 5:10 pm

    I think MS and IE are doing a fine job. It is Firefox and Opera trying to catch up. IE is easily the most extensible of all … not to mention the most compatible of all for viewing a wide variety of webpages.

  2. February 15, 2005 at 5:16 pm

    Firefox and Opera are indeed trying to catch up, but not with features and security, rather with the market share.

    Firefox and Opera are by far more extensible when you talk about features, security, and speed.

    It’s true that IE is most compatible for view a wide variety of webpages, but is because those web authors use IE specific (non-standard, read: ActiveX) extensions.

  3. February 15, 2005 at 5:45 pm


    Just the tip of the iceberg for extensibility ….

  4. February 15, 2005 at 6:05 pm

    But what exactly can we expect from IE7? The announcement mentioned better security and compability – nothing about full PNG-support, or full CSS2 support, or XHTML, or …

    I have however read in the blog by those IE developers how difficult it is to start fully support the standards without breaking the compability with older browsers and solutions/programs that use that rendering engine. Makes me wonder what Bill Gates had in mind when he mentioned compability; compatible with what?

  5. February 16, 2005 at 8:15 am
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