IE/Mac team not disbanded.
May 13, 2000 6:03 PM   Subscribe

IE/Mac team not disbanded.
Just in case you didn't catch my comment in the previous thread about this topic. The same team is also working on IE for OSX and WebTV.
posted by daveadams (15 comments total)
> A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to MacCentral this afternoon that the development team for Internet Explorer 5 has not been disbanded.

Well. *That's* certainly reassuring.

Coming, I mean, as it does, from such a *reputable* source.
posted by baylink at 6:18 PM on May 13, 2000

Actually, you're wrong. MacCentral decided to believe the PR person that MacInTouch quoted (the details they give were given in the MacInTouch piece).

The sources at MacInTouch not only *confirmed* that the team had been disbanded, but essentially said that the PR person was prevaricating.
posted by oceanfrog at 6:40 PM on May 13, 2000

Read the more detailed confirmation on the MacInTouch home page (May 13th news), which dissects the spin of the Microsoft PR guy:
posted by oceanfrog at 6:43 PM on May 13, 2000

Mea culpa!
The one thing I will say is, when is Macintouch going to get permalinks?? :)
posted by daveadams at 9:04 PM on May 13, 2000

i'm still waiting to hear from my sources. (the fact that i'm still waiting may not be a good sign.)

if this rumor is true, it would suck for at least a dozen reasons. picture it: one browser for windows, a different browser for linux, macs, and unix? think web development is complicated now? imagine developing for a market like that.

i'd like to believe that the lack of response to this thread and its predecessor means developers are staying level-headed until they hear official confirmation or denial.

i'd like to believe it, but i don't.

i think a lot of people are going, "oh, some Mac problem," and tuning out.

no further comment.
posted by Zeldman at 9:06 PM on May 13, 2000

Well... would this be a good time for me to point out that Moz is shipping simultaneous builds for all three platforms...? Those are synchronized, no?
posted by baylink at 9:47 PM on May 13, 2000

Here's some news straight from the Mac IE5 Program Manager in MS's public newsgroups. Because of the pretty extensive discussion on MF, I'll indulge in my quoting from the article:


Lately, some Mac news sites have drawn the future of MacIE into question. They suggest that a recent internal re-org at Microsoft spells the end of MacIE development.

I want to be the first to say that the MacIE team has not been disbanded, and that MacIE development continues at Microsoft. In fact, we are working on a new release of MacIE that will ship on the MacOS X CD.

So, what is going on? Well, about a month ago, the Mac Internet Explorer team was moved from the Mac Business Unit to a division in WebTV. Re-orgs are VERY common at's a way of ensuring efficient use of resources and to allow teams to explore new markets and technologies. No one lost their job (as some have suggested), but rather we are now trying to hire MORE people to help us fill our expanded role. And that's what this whole thing is, an expanded role.

MacIE 5 was a huge effort. It took over 20 months to develop IE 5, specifically to design many new features, to develop a brand new rendering engine, and to polish are cool new UI. The next release or two of IE won't require us to re-do all of that work. We can leverage a lot of the work we did in IE 5 for future releases.

The MacIE team grew considerably during the development of the IE 5 release. We now have a very large team that really doesn't have a lot to do. Though everybody continues to play some role in the development of the next release of IE, many people have extra time on their hands.

At the same time, WebTV was in need of a complete team to work on an exciting new Personal Television product they are developing. It just so happens that we are on the same campus as WebTV in Mountain View, CA. It seemed like a perfect fit...they have a VERY cool new project without a team, and we have an accomplished team without a great deal to do.

I can't really talk about what we are working on at WebTV, but as you can imagine it must be pretty cool to get our team motivated enough to work on two projects at once. I can tell you that we are just about ready to show off some of the work we have done in MacIE over the past few months...but I'll let Steve Jobs do that on Monday. I got a chance to demo some of what we are doing to Bill Gates a couple of weeks ago and I can confirm that Microsoft plans to continue delivering awesome Mac products for many years to come.

Our team is committed to the Macintosh and to MacIE. We are really excited about MacOS X and think that IE will make the best browser for this awesome new OS. Again, you'll hear more about that next week. For the next week or two you won't be seeing me much in this forum. I'm going to be spending the entire week at WWDC and won't have much time to get on the newsgroups. There are plenty of experienced people here to handle most MacIE 5 related questions.


-- Jimmy Grewal Program Manager, Mac Internet Explorer 5 Microsoft Corporation (address omitted)

posted by tomalak at 9:55 PM on May 13, 2000

yes, mozilla is doing the right thing - and netscape has always been about multi-platform support. mosaic was developed on unix and first ported to mac os, and mosaic is the Adam that begot netscape's browsers. as we all know.

but explorer has huge marketshare, and for the market leader to go single-platform would be disastrous. what it would do is lead many commercial developers to build for IE/windows only.

this is not a new issue. it's an existing issue taking an even uglier spin. IF it is true.

again, officially, it has been denied. for what it's worth.
posted by Zeldman at 9:55 PM on May 13, 2000

thanks, tomalak.
posted by Zeldman at 9:58 PM on May 13, 2000

Here's Jimmy Grewal's statement on
posted by tomalak at 10:32 PM on May 13, 2000

Zeldman, you bring up an interesting point. How many designers out there actually bother to check and see how something looks on a Mac? That whole 72 ppi vs 96 ppi can ruin have the sites out on the net.

I try not to pay too much attention to the mac rumors sites, they are notorious for getting plain incorrect information. Also, it just didn't make sense for the Mac IE team to be disbanded; Microsoft has a lot of people and resources dedicated to Mac development (most of it located in the bay area), and I would say that cross-platform Office and IE are key parts of Microsoft's strategy. This is based on the fact that I don't think MS considers Apple a real competitor on the OS market; however, if they really think that OS X will do well, then maybe things could change. However, I really doubt it.
posted by fil! at 1:18 AM on May 14, 2000

Read Jimmy G.'s post again. It says essentially what the sources at MacInTouch say. Developers have been moved to the WebTV project. They're still doing some work for Mac (but he didn't say how much). He doesn't deny that they're stopping work on future versions of MacIE.

The key to his post is the line that the Mac IE developers "don't have a lot to do". They built up this team, and now they've moved parts of it to other projects because why? CSS is done? DOM Level 2 is done? A native UI is done? SVG is done?

The fact is, that as pleasant as his spin sounds, nothing in his post denies what was said by the *three* MacInTouch sources. It just makes it sound different.

In fact, it's the same kind of non-denial denial that the original PR person gave on MacInTouch.
posted by oceanfrog at 4:16 AM on May 14, 2000

thing is, i know jimmy grewal, and he's not a politician. he's an engineer and a straightforward guy. if microsoft had plans to discontinue support for any platform beside its own, and jimmy knew about it, he would not bother writing a carefully-worded spin piece. that's not his style. it's also not his job. in order to keep his job, he might say nothing at all. but he would never be called upon to cleverly spread disinformation.

it's true that XML is not done and the DOM is not done. so why does the IE5 team "not have a lot to do?" because microsoft has not yet publicly committed to delivering full support for those technologies in its browser. at the moment, the company line is "we make the most standards-compliant browser on the market," and that is as far as the discussion goes. when mozilla gets out of beta, microsoft (and the rest of the world) will be watching, and at that time we will probably hear something different.
posted by Zeldman at 7:50 AM on May 14, 2000

I agree. Microsoft is now acting with a complacency that belies their monopoly control over the browser space. Their "most standards-compliant browser" isn't compliant enough, by any means (the Mozilla beta's CSS support is better than Mac IE5's, according to Dave Baron's CSS tests). No other company in a position where it felt it had to reasonably defend its marketshare would be acting as Microsoft has been with Windows and Mac Internet Explorer.

According to Jimmy, developers *have* been taken off of the Mac IE project, and moved to the WebTV project. This is not even in question. Will they come back? Who knows? The fact is that Microsoft now has 3 development teams working on 3 different platforms (Mac, Windows, and WebTV), without any synching of feature development. How long can this continue?

They created the atmosphere in which browser development now occurs. Because of Microsoft, browsers generate no direct revenue for the developer. It seems that they are starting to feel the pinch. (Why else would they be shifting developers to a different project?) Maybe Microsoft believes that their position is secure enough that meeting the needs of their market ambitions outweighs the needs of web developers and their browser's users.
posted by oceanfrog at 10:29 AM on May 14, 2000

This is why I like Meta. I could get this thoughtful discussion on the topic on Slash, too... but I'd have to turn my filters (already set to +2, which makes it palatable) up to +3.
posted by baylink at 11:32 AM on May 14, 2000

« Older   |   Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments