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"It's where you put your search terms. Correct?"
June 18, 2009 9:58 AM   Subscribe

What is a browser? Nobody seems to be sure.

Whatever one is, Microsoft are convinced that Internet Explorer 8 is the best of the lot: if you disagree, you might like to get the facts. After all, only the best browser could offer you potential winnings of $10,000 for using it (unlike 'old Firefox', 'tarnished Chrome', or 'boring Safari'). It looks like Internet Explorer isn't willing to be bullied anymore.
posted by chorltonmeateater (81 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Prediction: this thread will not wendell.
posted by ericb at 10:09 AM on June 18, 2009


MetaFilter is my browser.
posted by fontophilic at 10:10 AM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


That comparison chart is so horrible. Who made that in good conscience?
posted by GuyZero at 10:11 AM on June 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


The browser I use is my mind and I use it to conduct searches in the library. I don't even have to type anything in! No keyboard. I just think, "hey, that book looks interesting, I'll read it." I also use it for social networking. Just walk up to a friend and say, "hello, what are you doing today?"

I will admit that Mister Cheese 2.37 does not have ad blocking capabilities. I'm working on it.
posted by Mister Cheese at 10:12 AM on June 18, 2009 [10 favorites]


Screencap of "potential winnings" website, which seems to load for me every other time on Firefox with NoScript.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:15 AM on June 18, 2009


That comparison chart is so horrible. Who made that in good conscience?

Marketers, the turds of the planet, that's who.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:16 AM on June 18, 2009


The rules of the "Ten Grand is Buried Here" competition state only residents of Australia can claim the prize. Why are they so desperate to get Aussies using IE8?
posted by filthy light thief at 10:17 AM on June 18, 2009


Performance: Knowing the top speed of a car doesn't tell you how fast you can drive in rush hour. To actually see the difference in page loads between all three browsers, you need slow-motion video. This one’s also a tie.

This one's my favorite. "Hey, we know Firefox and Chrome are like a Ferrari and a Beemer, but buy our Kia, because, let's be honest, you're not going to be driving 140 MPH anyway."
posted by explosion at 10:18 AM on June 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


As a one-time marketer and maker of checklist comparison charts, I took great pride in kicking my competition's ass. Did I maybe omit a feature once in a while? Sure. But I never lied and said the competition didn't have something they actually had. That browser comparison table is straight-up lying.
posted by GuyZero at 10:19 AM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


That comparison chart is so horrible. Who made that in good conscience?

Lord have mercy...I can feel their soul dying, from across the miles...and I hear someone's bewildered and indignant response to their pleas... :(
posted by rahnefan at 10:19 AM on June 18, 2009


You remember when "browser" was the slang used by bookstore clerks to describe people who came in and read the books but never bought them?

No you don't, because I just made that up.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:22 AM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


This kind of marketing smacks of desperation. They're acting like a dominant market player that's starting to lose market share.

Which they are, of course. But I'm surprised to see them acting like it.
posted by gurple at 10:23 AM on June 18, 2009


That comparison chart is so horrible. Who made that in good conscience?

It's not just horrible; it seems to be mostly false.
posted by HumanComplex at 10:24 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


"It's not as stupid as it sounds".

Oh, all right then, that settled it- I don't have any more questions.

>: Marketers, the turds of the planet, that's who.

When I become Generalissimo of North America, marketers will be the first ones to get it. An entire profession dedicated to getting people to buy things they don't need to. What scum.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:31 AM on June 18, 2009


filthy light thief: "The rules of the "Ten Grand is Buried Here" competition state only residents of Australia can claim the prize. Why are they so desperate to get Aussies using IE8?"

It's a Microsoft Australia contest. I wouldn't be surprised if the limitation is purely legal in nature. International lotteries are probably a big huge in the ass to do.
posted by Plutor at 10:32 AM on June 18, 2009


Plutor: "big huge in the ass"

You heard me.
posted by Plutor at 10:32 AM on June 18, 2009 [17 favorites]


A browser is something that browses. QED.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:37 AM on June 18, 2009


Short sighted.

The browser wars don't matter anymore. They're over. They're irrelevant.

CSS resets.
Javascript libraries. Prototyped functions. Cross-browser selectors and DOM manipulation.
Mostly-semantic HTML and declarative CSS layouts.
Browser quirks for everything but the most minute bugs have all been abstracted away.

Google and Apple (and Firefox, to a point, and even IE8 or IE9) are going down the right track. The future of the browser-- rather, the future of the html and javascript rendering kit is all about speed, speed, speed, and to a lesser degree additional functionality. The faster you can run Javascript, the better your "browser" will be.

Nobody gives a damn about the native widgets that make up your back button or your URL location bar. People want their pages to render, and run, faster.
posted by mark242 at 10:38 AM on June 18, 2009


This video made me oddly uncomfortable.
posted by swift at 10:43 AM on June 18, 2009


I like the older couple - it never dawns on them that they're not answering these questions correctly and they take themselves SO seriously.
posted by PuppyCat at 10:45 AM on June 18, 2009


Oh, that's the part that made me uncomfortable.
posted by swift at 10:46 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I become Generalissimo of North America, marketers will be the first ones to get it. An entire profession dedicated to getting people to buy things they don't need to. What scum.

So what you're saying is that they're a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes?

But seriously the IE8 contest is dumb. If I, the hypothetical Australian Firefox user, really wanted to play the game, I could just use IE8 for that purpose and then never use it again except for Microsoft Update. I doubt it'll win many converts.
posted by jedicus at 10:47 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


bb;dr

(boring browser;didn't read)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:48 AM on June 18, 2009


An entire profession dedicated to getting people to buy things they don't need to. What scum.

Let's not be too hasty. You could have the greatest idea in the world, but without effective marketing, you won't be able to sell it to the company that will put that idea into action. You could have the greatest product in the world, but without marketing, no one will know about it.

Sometimes it also takes proper marketing to get people into the right mindset. You could invent a car that runs on poop, and gets 200 miles to the bowl-load, has zero (further) emissions, and has exhaust that smells like daisies. Without marketing, you'd never get people to take the step to get over themselves and give it a try, and it'd be derided as a "shitbox" by frightened competitors.

The fact is, brilliant engineers seldom are also exceptional salesmen, and marketing is necessary. Too bad Microsoft's business model is often more akin to mobsters bullying people into paying protection money instead of hiring brilliant engineers and doing proper testing.
posted by explosion at 10:49 AM on June 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


The ridiculous Microsoft chart is getting the ink, but the interesting thing about the Times Square video is that it's Google conducting it. It makes my crazy conspiracy ears perk right up.

I'm not saying this is evil, but it's interesting: from a marketing and branding standpoint, Google has a strong self-interest in people forgetting about the browser and concentrating on "the Google" and the other apps and things that live inside. Google benefits when the browser vanishes, and people start to think of it as "just the menus and buttons and stuff", as if it's the OS itself. Once an OS is good enough, you don't think about it much. So it's almost in Google's best interest if people are confused or forget about what a browser is.

"The menus and buttons and stuff" is also known in the UI business as "chrome", of course.
posted by rokusan at 10:51 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Let's not be too hasty. You could have the greatest idea in the world, but without effective marketing, you won't be able to sell it to the company.

You might be the best future-husband in the world, but you should probably still wear deodorant when dating.
posted by rokusan at 10:52 AM on June 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


If I... really wanted to play the game, I could just use IE8 for that purpose

I use IE often. Every single time I reinstall Windows, I need something to download Firefox with.
posted by rokusan at 10:54 AM on June 18, 2009 [8 favorites]


Welp, User Agent Switching makes this adorable.
posted by boo_radley at 10:54 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


There was once a time where people paid good money to use the Netscape browser.

Then Microsoft gave away a different browser, for free. It wasn't necessarily better but it cut into the Netscape market share enough that they had to go free as well to compete.

Then the Netscape people opened up their source and begat a fresh new browser, which became Firefox. It was also free.

The free Firefox was so successful that Microsoft is now resorting to reversing the Netscape plan - by holding a contest to pay people to use their browser.

There's some delicious irony in there somewhere.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:55 AM on June 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


> When I become Generalissimo of North America, marketers will be the first ones to get it.

Heavy-handed persuasion through media control is more economical and effective than person-to-person persuasion through hired goons and blunt instruments. I'm sure your propagandists will stay safe and well cared-for.
posted by ardgedee at 10:55 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Customizability: Sure, Firefox may win in sheer number of add-ons, but many of the customizations you'd want to download for Firefox are already a part of Internet Explorer 8 – right out of the box.

"Hi, I'm curious what benefits your gym offers in comparison to the place down the street."

"Great question. We offer all the amenities you could ever want, minus the ones they have. Sign here."

"Well, I mean, the other place has a swimming pool, racquetball courts, towel service--"

"Superfluous. We're on equal footing."

"But all I see is a couple dumbbells and a broken treadmill."

"Exactly. Full body workout. We're all about options, here. You have the choice to either work out -- or not."

"...how do you live with yourself?"

"I'm not a pedophile."
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 10:56 AM on June 18, 2009 [14 favorites]


The Microsoft marketing for IE8 is by turns embarassing and disgusting. Paying people to install your browser? Really? That's the best they can do? At least that's better than lying to people about standards conformance, which is really funny because the only people who give a shit about standards are going to know they're lying.

Then again, Microsoft has a long history of paying people to use their lousy products.
posted by Nelson at 10:57 AM on June 18, 2009


I like the older couple - it never dawns on them that they're not answering these questions correctly and they take themselves SO seriously.

How odd to run into someone like that in New York City.
posted by XMLicious at 10:57 AM on June 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


There was once a time where people paid good money to use the Netscape browser.

Incorrect. Netscape never charged for their browser. There model was to charge for the servers and give the browsers away for free.

The slow motion video comparing page load times is bonkers. They show you three tests. Firefox wins one and they say "yeah, but they only won by .02 of a second". Then IE8 wins one by that same amount and they say "yippee, IE won!"

And they were testing against Firefox 3.05. In two weeks Mozilla will release the (faster) 3.5. Where will your speed test be then, IE?
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:02 AM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Actually, I take back what I said about Netscape always being free. I think they charged enterprises.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:09 AM on June 18, 2009


marketing is necessary

What's being derided here is marketing in the Edward Bernays / "engineering of consent" sense. Convincing people that they want something that solves a problem they don't actually have is not necessary, nor is claiming that buying something will make people happy, healthy, or successful when it won't. In fact, usually that kind of thing is called lying or fraud, but 'advertising puffery' gets a (in my opinion unwarranted) pass.
posted by jedicus at 11:11 AM on June 18, 2009


explosion: "Let's not be too hasty. You could have the greatest idea in the world, but without effective marketing, you won't be able to sell it to the company that will put that idea into action. You could have the greatest product in the world, but without marketing, no one will know about it."

A lot of that is due to the static produced by competing advertisers. People could very well know about your product if they read about it in a journal instead of you having to spend money to annoy them.
posted by JHarris at 11:13 AM on June 18, 2009


InPrivate Browsing and InPrivate Filtering help Internet Explorer 8 claim privacy victory.

"We call it something different, so technically we're the only ones with it."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:15 AM on June 18, 2009


The fact is, brilliant engineers seldom are also exceptional salesmen

Let me tell you about this shitbox I just designed...
posted by backseatpilot at 11:16 AM on June 18, 2009


Microsoft uses their products to lock in the customers. So why do they need marketing? To make everyone else run so far away that we can't help the customers escape.
posted by DU at 11:17 AM on June 18, 2009


Here's a page that is only visible to Firefox users. Suck on that, IE8!
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:18 AM on June 18, 2009


Google has a strong self-interest in people forgetting about the browser and concentrating on "the Google" and the other apps and things that live inside. Google benefits when the browser vanishes, and people start to think of it as "just the menus and buttons and stuff", as if it's the OS itself.

Actually, the video seemed like it's the other way around. It's all about pointing out that people know and love Google, but don't even realize what a browser is. They're trying to sell people on Chrome, and it's tough when they don't realize that there's a choice in browser. Once you get people's awareness up, make them realize that IE is an option rather than an extension of their OS, then you can get them to switch.
posted by explosion at 11:19 AM on June 18, 2009


I like going to about:robots in Firefox:

Robots have shiny metal posteriors which should not be bitten.
posted by explosion at 11:20 AM on June 18, 2009 [9 favorites]


You might be the best future-husband in the world, but you should probably still wear deodorant when dating.

You might be the best chef in the world, but if you make even one of those cookies with arsenic, you're probably going to end up in a lot of trouble.
posted by sexyrobot at 11:23 AM on June 18, 2009


twoleftfeet - Really? I always thought Netscape charged, but I didn't care because I was at a university and thus qualified for the free for education version. This 1998 CNet article reports that Netscape recently stopped charging for the browsers, making the standard editions of Communicator and Navigator free, which seems to imply that prior to that article they did charge. Here's a copy of the press release stating thye will no longer carge for the browsers. So, was the browser free, or not? Sounds like it was not, which is what I remembered about it. It was big news, and signaled the beginning of the end for Netscape (as if NN 4.x hadn't done enough damage already)
posted by caution live frogs at 11:24 AM on June 18, 2009


wait, what's this thread about again? where am I? can i have my ten thousand dollars now?
posted by sexyrobot at 11:24 AM on June 18, 2009


I like going to about:robots in Firefox

Don't press that button!
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:26 AM on June 18, 2009


Seems like they would market more heavily to the European Union than to Australia.
posted by Houstonian at 11:29 AM on June 18, 2009


caution live frogs: According to the relevant Wikipedia page, Netscape did indeed charge commercial users. But hell, that was over ten years ago. Who can remember that far back?
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:30 AM on June 18, 2009


> I take back what I said about Netscape always being free. I think they charged enterprises.

All versions of Netscape Navigator were available for free online. For a while you could buy a standalone shrinkwrapped version of Netscape Navigator, but most of the money probably went toward the package and media and associated other included software, not the web browser alone.

Before Internet Explorer, Netscape made noises several times about wanting to charge for Navigator but never enforced it: 'The first few releases of the product were made available in "commercial" and "evaluation" versions; for example, version "1.0" and version "1.0N". The "N" evaluation versions were completely identical to the commercial versions; the letter was there to remind people to pay for the browser once they felt they had tried it long enough and were satisfied with it.'

Officially it was only free for noncommercial use. But in retrospect it was always proprietary freeware that a few people paid for. I'd be surprised if Netscape earned as much on sales of Navigator as it cost to develop and distribute. To those of us standing outside the Netscape community, the announcement of the Mozilla project seemed as much throwing in the towel on the idea of ever becoming profitable as it was a principled experiment in open-source software.
posted by ardgedee at 11:30 AM on June 18, 2009



Whenever I see interviews like this I always wonder if I am seeing all of the respondent responses or if there is some selectivity going on. For example. If a number of people answered answered with a wiki. type answer:

A web browser is a software application for retrieving, presenting, and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web.

Would those answeres be included in the video also?
posted by notreally at 11:32 AM on June 18, 2009


twoleftfeet - you don't remember that? Man, I remember downloading the first public Gecko engine builds... gosh those sucked. Crashed every thirty seconds but somehow I knew it was going to be interesting once it got going. Used to be able to fit the entire rendering engine on a floppy disk. (Remember floppy disks?)

I also remember learning to write HTML using a pencil and paper, then laboriously typing it into an uploadable file using a text editor on a Mac running System 7 or some such. (That was right after I finished hunting down a brontosaurus for lunch.)
posted by caution live frogs at 11:40 AM on June 18, 2009


"Browser" is a server that allows me to see the best of the web and that "Metafilter" is a "hack" that allows me to see the random crap too.
posted by Free word order! at 11:53 AM on June 18, 2009


Browser is that turtle guy with the spikes that kidnapped the princess.
posted by DU at 12:10 PM on June 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


I recall that Netscape's home page asked you whether you wanted to download the browser for free or buy it online. Whenever I was helping someone get their internets set up, I would be sure to ask which they preferred.
posted by jewzilla at 12:27 PM on June 18, 2009


I love how they just flat out admit that IE8 does not conform to web standards.

"You'll never find it using old Firefox."

Of course not. That's because MS wrote IE to it's own "EEE" standards.
posted by Xoebe at 12:32 PM on June 18, 2009


Okay, so I was reading that istartedsomething.com link, and in it, when explaining the contest, a massive bug is exposed and then it is expalined that said bug 'cannot be overcome'. Way to go guys! Now everyone exposed to your promo also gets exposed to the frustration of having to deal with the bug!

(I'm cranky today)
posted by sandraregina at 12:48 PM on June 18, 2009


For those in Singapore, there's a different contest.
posted by Houstonian at 12:49 PM on June 18, 2009


How odd to run into someone like that in New York City Times Square, where you find lots of tourists willing to be interviewed by anyone with a microphone and a camera.

FT [generalization] FY, now go home.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 12:49 PM on June 18, 2009


So, they are supposed to follow the tweets to find the clues. When I go to there, the profile points me to a website that doesn't exist (or does it, and only in the MS IE world?)
posted by Houstonian at 12:58 PM on June 18, 2009


Such a great idea! Conduct a marketing campaign illustrate the fact your product is going out of its way to break compatibility with everybody else, but you're going to use your pile of cash to make sure people use it anyway! I bet it will go down great with EU regulators.

Cowardly MS marketing didn't even dare put Opera on their puny chart.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:23 PM on June 18, 2009


I read that comparison chart, and I laughed, and laughed, and laughed...

and then I threw up in my mouth a little
posted by davejay at 1:41 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Tell your friends. It's not as stupid as it sounds."

Oh, I dunno; running around the internet chasing the money with IE8 sounds pretty stupid to me.
posted by davejay at 1:46 PM on June 18, 2009


New Trick for Old Firefox:

about:config
(right click, then) new->string->general.useragent.override->Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.0)
then go visit that ten grand is buried here page again.
posted by davejay at 1:53 PM on June 18, 2009


Jesus, Microsoft. You're the largest software company in the world. How is it that you resort to slimy marketing tactics instead of, I don't know, using some of your untold resources to build a halfway competent browser—arguably the most important piece of software on a computer?

The most appalling thing: the dominance of IE relies entirely on the ignorance of people like the ones in this video. If you don't even know what a browser is, you certainly aren't going to switch from the one that's installed on your computer by default, labeled "The Internet".

You're supposed to excel in a marketplace by creating a superior product, not by exploiting the ignorance of your customers. Not that I'm shocked that Microsoft does this, or that they're the first company to do it. I just don't know how they sleep at night. It's just douchey.

Anyway, they could just as well build a decent browser and engage in slimy marketing practices, if they really must. But apparently professional pride never enters the equation.

Wake me up when we finally have that so-easy-your-grandma-can-use-it/Windows-killer version of Linux everyone keeps talking about.
posted by ixohoxi at 2:10 PM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Actually, I teach adult literacy/intro computer skills on a volunteer basis and when I try to teach my students about the concept of a browser, it hurts their heads to some extent. To explain that a browser is just another application like MS Word or Adobe Reader seems to be hard to drive home. They seem to feel that their desktop IE shortcut = THE INTERNET. So I spend at least 2 sessions teaching that a browser is just an application and I also have an exercise we go through were they learn about search engines being just another website they can view with their browser, and how all search sites mostly do the same thing, with everyone intent on mirroring the Google model. It wouldn't seem like very important stuff to teach them in the grand scheme of what all they need to learn, but it does eliminate some really odd questions later in the classes.
posted by PuppyCat at 2:54 PM on June 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


I love how a big part of their advertising for ie8 on this list is "Hey guys, we finally caught up with the other browsers! (sort of)."

Its kind of like Bing - which is really not any better than google. Once again I feel like MS is saying "Hey Guys! We're a lot like google - so you should totally switch."

Is this really their new marketing? When advertising for windows 7 comes out, will they start exclaiming how their os is finally comparable to apple?

"Hey guys, i know we used to suck, but we're really better this time."
posted by [insert clever name here] at 4:49 PM on June 18, 2009


Of course Internet Explorer 8 wins this one. There's no need to install tools separately, and it offers better features like JavaScript profiling.

'profiling' is not defined

'separately' is not an object

unspecified error
posted by mattoxic at 5:04 PM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


The 10k on offer- I bet it's hidden behind an MS only CSS hack
posted by mattoxic at 5:08 PM on June 18, 2009


From the chart: Neither Firefox nor Chrome provide guidance or enterprise tools. That's just not nice.

Really Microsoft? Just not nice? What is this, Mrs. Johnson's third grade classroom?
posted by librarylis at 5:48 PM on June 18, 2009


Then the Netscape people opened up their source and begat a fresh new browser, which became Firefox.

You skipped the part where Netscape 4 sucked and was the worst POS around. IE was actually better for a while until Microsoft won the browser wars and then stopped updating.

Internet Explorer 8 is more compatible with more sites on the Internet than any other browser.

1. Make piece-of-shit browsers that ignore (now decade+ old) standards.
2. Make piece-of-shit software that generates code that only your piece-of-shit browser can interpret.
3. Make a new, marginally-less-shitty browser that has built-in code to interpret the piece-of-shit code your piece-of-shit software made for the previous piece-of-shit browser.
4. Rock out with your caulk out.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:56 PM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


notreally: "Would those answeres be included in the video also?"

Eponymous.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 8:19 PM on June 18, 2009


I don't understand why Microsoft doesn't just build a browser around Webkit with a IE reverse compatibility layer on top and just call it a day.
posted by signalnine at 8:24 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


"This video made me oddly uncomfortable."

agreed - but for me it was because they didn't include a fundamental ingredient of the "stupid man on the street interview compilations: you leave in the pauses and the background noises. The traffic noises and hiss that becomes louder in the dead space between simple question and incorrect answer are the effective crickets chirp of the genre - the audio cues hinting at the hamsters being dead on the wheels while the operator fruitlessly queries the database.

Instead, they have the peppy, motivational tape, "take home message" music running through the whole thing - this should have been saved for the concluding image saying less than 8% knew what a browser was. However, kudos to them for including the overall statistic - as segments like this are so selectively edited, I always find it worthless without the stats of how many of the total respondents answered correctly.

Also, did they catch Santa in the midst of an act of public nudity?
posted by sloe at 9:17 PM on June 18, 2009


I just don't know how they sleep at night.

On huge piles of money, I guess.
posted by harriet vane at 10:22 PM on June 18, 2009


Why are they so desperate to get Aussies using IE8?

Because in the scheme of things Australia doesn't matter. If this turns into a pile of shit no one notices.

But what is a browser - we have a client and we've educated them on what is a browser- it's the Blue E.

"Click on the Blue E "

"Have you opened the Blue E?"

Seriously they are dumb, we had their project manager in our office the other day, and we were discussing something to do with their business, so I googles a term- she said- and she's an IT project manager - "Oh, you can use the internet for that?" For them the browser is the Blue E that hosts our application.

I feel like taking a Blue E
posted by mattoxic at 4:55 AM on June 19, 2009


On huge piles of money, I guess.

With many beautiful ladies.
posted by mippy at 7:11 AM on June 19, 2009


It's the bad guy in Super Mario, right?
posted by chrismear at 9:41 AM on June 19, 2009


Well, I buckled to the pressure and decided to install the browser. Got to the part where it said "Select your Operating System from the list, and click the link to access your download" but I didn't see OS X 10.5 anywhere! What gives, Microsoft?
posted by caution live frogs at 10:54 AM on June 19, 2009


Also, "You skipped the part where Netscape 4 sucked": No, just threw that into a second comment a bit further down the thread, in response to twoleftfeet. NN 4 did indeed suck balls. I still used it though, simply because it wasn't IE.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:55 AM on June 19, 2009


I don't understand why Microsoft doesn't just build a browser around Webkit with a IE reverse compatibility layer on top and just call it a day.

For many, many years they (and consultancies/software companies that are their customers) have been building software applications that rely on non-standard stuff they do/allow in their browser platform. That's why migration (in the corporate world) to IE7 has been relatively slow and poor -- it simply broke too many legacy applications out there.

Granted, it's their made bed and they have to lay in it, but that doesn't change the fact of it. If they want people in corporate settings to upgrade to the latest/greatest, it's going to have to be backwards compatible in tons of ways your average person doesn't know/care about. Hence no webkit.
posted by davejay at 5:07 PM on June 19, 2009


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