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Amid reports of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer losing market share to Firefox comes a preview of IE 7, which is to include tabbed browsing, built-in RSS news aggregator and support for transparent PNG files.

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

5 Comments on IE7

  1. The more I read the comments of open source developers (such as those by Asa Dotzler on his blog and quoted in this news article) the more they concern me. His argument is that Microsoft is adding the tab feature to IE to preserve its monoploy rather than for the benefit of users. Uh, hello? What the heck else are they supposed to do? They have a product; they want people to use it. They will therefore listen to customers and add features that the customers want. This in turn helps them maintain the market position they are in. I fail to see the bad in this. Oh, except that Microsoft charges money for IE (indirectly through Windows) and the Firefox guys are doing it altruistically (insert your own opinion on psychological egoism here.)

    Let me simplify – because IE costs money, anything they do to improve it is bad. Because Firefox is free, anything they do to improve it is good. Asa might be a good developer but he’s talking out his butt here. The fact that he can feed his family developing Firefox speaks volumes that he does expect to be paid for his efforts and that by adding features that people want, he’s likely to continue to be paid. In other words, both Asa and Microsoft want people to use their software so they can collect money. Microsoft does so indirectly through Windows, Asa does so indirectly through the Mozilla Foundation (an organization funded by corporations whose sole purpose to to try to break Microsoft’s monopoly in a very creative manner.)

    I applaud the companies funding Mozilla to give us choices! That they do so in a way that keeps the investment off their balance sheets (as AOL is doing rather than holding those resources in-house) is even better. But follow this to its logical conclusion – let’s say that this all works – that IE is no longer used by anybody, that Firefox is the browser king, and that its superior in every way. What then? New companies would spring up to compete in its place – heck in Firefox’s place – hoping to dethrone the new king. Or maybe nobody gets a foothold, instead there are 3 or 4 browsers out there – each interpreting the HTML standards in their own way so as web designers we’re forced to build to the lowest common denominator. Wee – the web sure will look good then, won’t it. Power to the people!

    As I’ve said numerous times, Microsoft needs a compeitor – they need somebody to run against or they start to stagnate. I’d argue this is true for anybody that no longer has an advesary, but it is especially true for them. So I’m glad to see Firefox garner support and add features that Microsoft will copy (and I believe improve and overwhelm with creative ideas as they’ve done time and time again.) But it’s crass to denegrate their efforts under the cloak of your altruism!

    And in case you forgot – Microsoft doesn’t HOLD monopoly power – we (the people) have GIVEN it to them. I’d like to believe we’ve given it to them for a damn good reason – that we like the products they produce. Besides, where else can you get over 10 million lines of code for $99?

  2. Oh and did I mention that I hate tabs? I sure hope I have the option of turning them off in IE7.

  3. Luddite!

  4. Personally, I love tabbed browsing. Its great for those with limited window space. I will somewhat agree with Scott in as much as what Apple did with Safari (which nobody cried foul there). I live to bash MS as much as the next guy, but in this case they are grabbing features seen as key selling points for Mozilla and other browser competitors. I still think Scott is a Luddite, but a darned nice one 🙂

  5. FYI – if you need them, tabs are available for IE6 by installing the MSN Search toolbar.–in+IE+6/2100-1032_3-5738037.html?

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