Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Internet Explorer Microsoft

Microsoft Busting Its Own Browser+OS Myth 204

Posted by timothy
from the in-sepa-rable dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Longtime Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley used her Redmond magazine column this month to point out that after years of arguing that the browser is 'inextricably linked' to the operating system, the company's current push to get users to drop IE 6 for newer versions, plus IE's separate release schedule, are disproving its own argument. From the article: 'Microsoft has insisted that its browser is part of Windows, and, ironically, that's coming back to haunt the company. Customers can mix and match different versions of IE with different versions of Windows. ... But Microsoft has done very little to get this message out there. I'd argue this is because it makes plain the absurdity of the company's claims that IE is part of Windows.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Busting Its Own Browser+OS Myth

Comments Filter:
  • by nebaz (453974)

    Damage has been done. Sure Firefox, Chrome, Opera and the lot are slowly regaining market share, but that was a tactic they needed when they wanted to drive Netscape out of the market, which they ultimately did. Companies like this don't create arguments that hold up to long term scrutiny, they don't need to.

    • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @03:49PM (#32762484) Journal

      What does this prove? Different versions of IE's can obviously provide the system and application wide libraries too, but there has to be at least one of them installed for it to work.

      Then there is also the fact that countless amount of software uses IE's rendering engine, which has to be present in the system for those to work. Which again works with different versions of it.

      I'm happy Steam changed to it's own WebKit, but it was just a few months ago and there still are thousands of other software that uses it.

      • by Qwell (684661)

        It's almost like there's some kind of Application Programming Interface layer there. Wouldn't that be new and interesting?

      • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@ g m a i l.com> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @04:20PM (#32763048) Journal

        Exactly. As a greybeard old enough to have used 98Lite to "hot rod" systems I can say that even back then you could remove it easy enough, but without MSHTML.dll and related files on the system many programs that were not made by MSFT simply wouldn't run or would die hard. In the days of dialup it was simply better to have a rendering engine built into the OS because as anyone on the dialup back then would tell you, even small downloads were slooooow buddy.

        I frankly never understood why so much focus was on IE during the trail, when IMHO there were much better smoking guns, such as tying OEM licenses to PCs sold, not copies of Windows sold. That little trick effectively killed BeOS and made sure the only thing you were getting from an OEM was Windows. Now that they can no longer do that trick (and I personally hope Intel gets busted for their OEMs backroom dealing) frankly I think MSFT should be able to put whatever programs they want into their OS. After all it isn't like you have to buy Windows, there is OSX, Linux, BSD, etc, and plenty of places like System76 that will be happy to sell non-MSFT equipment to you, just as there is FF, Chrome, Opera, Safari, Kmeleon, Flock, etc.

        I'm just glad the days of "This site requires IE" are dying hard IE6 can't die fast enough IMHO. The only nice thing I can say about IE is it makes switching people to FF that much easier. Just an hour ago I finished up a service call to the nice retired NASA engineer down the hall. After using IE since Win95 I switched him over to FF. After seeing how easy it was to block ads and add specialized searches he was sold. BTW does anyone know of any good "deep web" search engines I can point him towards? He is doing geology research and needs to get more "off the beaten path" to find the kind of data he requires for the paper he's working on. I'm afraid geology and deep web isn't something I have experience in, so any pointers would be helpful.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2010 @04:27PM (#32763170)

          I'm afraid geology and deep web isn't something I have experience in, so any pointers would be helpful.

          0x3859FA23 0xDE29018E 0xB538DD86 0x76A1FFFF

          You're welcome.

        • by poetmatt (793785)

          scholar.google.com is as straightforward as it can get.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by BZ (40346)

          They're not dying; they just moved. Quite a number of mobile sites do the same thing with Safari instead of IE, and Apple pushes its proprietary -webkit things as hard as MS ever did theirs (see the recent fiasco when MS felt like it had to implement -webkit-text-size-adjust, which is otherwise only implemented in Mobile Safari and apparently widely used to make web pages which will only render correctly in Mobile Safari, in its mobile browser...)

          Different big company, slightly different technologies, same

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Runaway1956 (1322357)

        I don't know about all that. I've been using Nlited versions of Windows for quite a long while now. IE is ripped out by the roots, before the installation media is burnt. No IE at all. It works well on XP and Windows7. Had I ever bothered with Vista, I'm certain it would have worked there as well. (Vista was just to big a POS to ever bother Nliting) Sure, a lot of software may look for that rendering engine, but in my experience, for home use, the software that I use works just fine if the only rende

  • by 91degrees (207121) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @03:50PM (#32762486) Journal
    And nobody believes it now.

    A possible alternative headline could be "Obvious lie from MS turns out to be a lie"
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2010 @03:57PM (#32762646)
      Actually, few people care or listened at the time. Anybody who is still using IE6 does not give a rat's ass what MS has claimed about the ties between IE and the OS. Very few civilians paid attention to the details of the anti-trust case, and they are not convinced that they cannot upgrade their browser because of something MS lawyers claimed in a court room a decade ago.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by KiloByte (825081)

      Just wait until Google says it can't unbundle Chrome from the Chrome OS...

    • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @07:35PM (#32766322)

      It was true when they said it, about Windows 98. Windows 98 couldn't (for all practical purposes) be run without IE-- even drawing the desktop depended on it. Moreover, there would have been no way for MS to remove the IE integration within the ridiculous time frame the court was asking about. (90 days, if I recall correctly.)

      Here's a secret, one the article writer didn't tell you, that I'm about to reveal. You may want to sit down for this... ready? Ok, here goes:

      THINGS CHANGE OVER TIME

      Shocking, I know.

      The reason IE isn't integrated into Windows anymore is because every version of Windows, from XP to 7, has been working to remove the integration that was previously present.

      And you know what? IE aside, a HTML renderer of some sort *is* required by Windows-- just as it's required by OS X, most Linux distributions, and Chrome OS. So if you take IE to mean "iexplore.exe", then no it's no longer required. If you take it to mean "the Trident HTML rendering component", then yes it is required-- exactly as required as WebKit is in OS X.

      • by Yaa 101 (664725)

        uhm... Sorry to disturb your worldview, but no HTML renderer is needed by Linux, every one of them out there is optional.

        A HTML renderer is only needed to browse the web, people do other things besides browsing on Linux...

      • by shaitand (626655) on Friday July 02, 2010 @02:21AM (#32769426) Journal

        "It was true when they said it, about Windows 98. Windows 98 couldn't (for all practical purposes) be run without IE-- even drawing the desktop depended on it."

        That argument would be more convincing if Windows 98 hadn't been made that way for the purpose of making the argument in the first place.

  • Um no... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dynedain (141758) <slashdot2@NOspaM.anthonymclin.com> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @03:50PM (#32762494) Homepage

    It's not a myth. After that valid argument was deemed insufficient to get out of the anti-trust lawsuits, Microsoft has made a concerted effort to detach IE from the OS.

    For example, since IE7, attempts at FTP gets shunted to Windows Explorer. Windows Update on Vista and Windows 7 no longer use IE. The help system uses Trident, but not IExplore.exe. Windows in the EU now prompts the user for which browser to install.

    IE is not inextricably bound to the OS because MS has intentionally been keeping it split. However, just because you can get IE removed/disabled, doesn't mean you can remove the HTML rendering engine (Trident). Just like stripping Safari out of OSX, doesn't completely remove WebKit (used in iTunes and a lot of other things).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by StormReaver (59959)

      IE is not inextricably bound to the OS because MS has intentionally been keeping it split.

      Which is the very thing that Microsoft told the court was not possible. So...ummm....yes, Microsoft lied.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Did they tell the court that the browser is inextricably bound to the CURRENT OS or to future OS's?

        • Re:Um no... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @04:30PM (#32763204) Journal

          Good question.

          At the time Microsoft was defending Windows 98, claiming their browser was integrated with it (which was true). Of course that OS was retired in 2001 (me was the last version). We now use a completely different OS called Windows NT 5.x (XP) or 6.x (Vista/Seven) so the old argument that IE is integrated no longer applies.

        • by elrous0 (869638) *
          Unless John Titor was on the dev team, I'm pretty sure they were limited to speaking of existing OS's.
      • Re:Um no... (Score:5, Informative)

        by xavierpayne (697081) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @04:02PM (#32762710)
        Microsoft told the court it was not possible in the retarded 30-90 timeframe the court demanded. It's taken years and at least 1 whole new OS cycle to get the level of detachment they have now.
      • by guruevi (827432)

        Even before the Microsoft trial there was software out there that replaced the Microsoft Explorer engine which resulted in a really nifty desktop environment. I forgot the name of the software but I believe it has disappeared since. The problem was stability of course since not all API's that MSHTML provides are openly available and thus could not be implemented. Heck, we made Windows 95 through 98 work with the DR-DOS kernel resulting in a very fast and stable system. If you ever tried OS/2 Merlin, you kno

    • Re:Um no... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @04:06PM (#32762804) Homepage

      I don't think that anyone disbelieved Microsoft when they claimed that IE had been made part of the OS. No one is really calling that a myth. The supposed myth is that it had to be part of the OS, and that Microsoft could not make a meaningful distinction between the browser and the OS.

      Still, we can argue about whether Microsoft claimed such a thing or whether it really is a "myth".

      • by Joe U (443617)

        The supposed myth is that it had to be part of the OS, and that Microsoft could not make a meaningful distinction between the browser and the OS.

        In Windows 98/Me, it did have to be part of the OS. MS built most of the visual part of the OS around the browser control, which was IE.

        • by yuhong (1378501)
          To be more precise, it was the shell, and the integrated shell in Windows 98 was originally part of the optional Windows Desktop Update that you could install together with IE4. Remember Active Desktop?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by linebackn (131821)

      If it is a myth or not depends on how you look at it. Back in the day I was able to run Windows 98 (98Lite) without any trace of IE and at the same time run IE 4 under Wine without Windows.

      But the catch was IE is heavily made up of components that other applications could make use of (and too often did regardless if it made sense or not). In fact, the entire Windows 98 "integrated" shell depended on many of these components and would fail to run if IE was removed in its entirety. (In that case the Windows 9

  • Doesn't Matter (Score:2, Redundant)

    by StormReaver (59959)

    It doesn't matter anymore. The argument was only important long enough to bamboozle the court system. After that, Microsoft could scream the truth from the highest mountain top with impunity. It's not like the court system is going to admit to its own incompetence, and punish Microsoft for lying.

    • Re:Doesn't Matter (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ptomblin (1378) <ptomblin@xcski.com> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @04:00PM (#32762688) Homepage Journal

      Funny thing is, I have a quote from a Microsoft patent application that occurred around the same time they were arguing in court that the browser was part of the OS: "It should be understood by those skilled in the art that a Web browser, such as Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer, ... is separate from the operating system." Man, I wish I'd recorded the patent application number when I put that in my quotes file.

    • Re:Doesn't Matter (Score:5, Informative)

      by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @04:04PM (#32762758) Homepage

      It wasn't court system incompetence that caused Microsoft to get away with its antitrust practices. Far from it - they had gotten to the point of starting to decide sanctions.

      The thing was, shortly after the 2000 election cycle, the Justice Department decided to stop pursuing the court case, for some reason [opensecrets.org], and settled for a slap on the wrist.

      • Re:Doesn't Matter (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Nimey (114278) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @04:10PM (#32762882) Homepage Journal

        More to the point, the Justice Dept pulled the experienced lawyers off the case once the Bush Administration took over in 2001.

        One suspects it was for ideological reasons, Republicans being known for favoring big business.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by bonch (38532)

        With the rise of Apple and Google signaling Microsoft's natural decline, the Justice Department's actions have turned out to be correct. The free market rejected the monopoly on its own without the need for government intervention like splitting up the company and other ridiculous solutions being thrown around back then.

    • Re:Doesn't Matter (Score:5, Insightful)

      by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @04:07PM (#32762826) Journal
      And their argument didn't even work at the time [wikipedia.org]. Their own video tapes showed that it worked fine without IE. It was pretty hilarious, actually.

      Furthermore I don't think the author's argument makes any sense; she is not a programmer, she is an author and analyst. Any programmer will know that even if the browser were an integral part of the OS, it could still be replaced as long as those parts that are used by the OS remain (which can obviously happen when you upgrade your own browser).

      She also tries to claim that Microsoft is trying to be consistent in its arguments, but Microsoft (like any competent spin-doctor) doesn't care if their arguments are consistent, they only care if they convince at the moment. Unlike geeks they feel no need to be consistent with arguments from 10 years ago that no one remembers.
    • by bonch (38532)

      Did you forget that Microsoft was found guilty?

  • What "Part of the OS" means, and what are the effects?

    Arguabilly, a perl distro is part of most Linux distros, since key parts of the distro are written in Perl. A "Perl-less" version of the distro is maybe possible, simply removing perl, and replacing all these parts by other modules that don't need it.

    So something can be "part of the OS", and at the same type, can be replaced?

    MSHTML.dll seems part of XP the same way a Hard-Disk is *not* part of the console XBox360. This is because all the XP have this DL

    • Arguabilly, a perl distro is part of most Linux distros, since key parts of the distro are written in Perl.

      But a machine's administrator can easily replace /usr/bin/perl with any binary that implements a compatible interface. Any /usr/bin/perl that parses and runs the same language will do, even if it has third-party defect fixes applied to it. Microsoft doesn't make that so easy with mshtml.dll: either you use Microsoft's mshtml.dll, or you don't use Windows.

      and consoles suck.

      True, HTPCs are better in theory, but in practice, consoles have far more local-multiplayer games.

      • by drsmithy (35869)

        But a machine's administrator can easily replace /usr/bin/perl with any binary that implements a compatible interface.

        As you could with IE.

        Any /usr/bin/perl that parses and runs the same language will do, even if it has third-party defect fixes applied to it.

        Unless, of course, there are programs that depend on some buggy behaviour a third-party replacement doesn't have.

        Microsoft doesn't make that so easy with mshtml.dll: either you use Microsoft's mshtml.dll, or you don't use Windows.

        Whether they ma

      • Any /usr/bin/perl that parses and runs the same language will do, even if it has third-party defect fixes applied to it. Microsoft doesn't make that so easy with mshtml.dll: either you use Microsoft's mshtml.dll, or you don't use Windows.

        Actually, you can do that to mshtml.dll. So long as it provides the same API, which is documented [microsoft.com], and can instantiate the same object (identified by GUID) via DllGetClassObject, it should work, though I'm not sure about any licensing issues (or applicability thereof in sane jurisdictions).

        Furthermore, since IE rendering engine is actually a properly registered COM component, you could hijack that registration without even touching mshtml.dll - just patch the corresponding entries under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT to

        • by tepples (727027)

          Of course, this all isn't officially supported in any way. But then, in the hypothetical case presented by GP, neither would be running the Linux distro with your own Perl replacement - if it doesn't work, you're on your own.

          Another difference is that with Linux, someone can make, distribute, and support a distro that includes this hardened Perl by default.

          • Well, yes, but's that openness in a sense of "open source", which is an angle somewhat different from extensibility vs monolithic design.

            I think, however, that if you go the CLSID hijacking route, you could still legally distribute an installer for your own DLL that'd rewrite the registry as needed.

  • ILLOGICAL (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    'Microsoft has insisted that its browser is part of Windows, and, ironically, that's coming back to haunt the company. Customers can mix and match different versions of IE with different versions of Windows.....But Microsoft has done very little to get this message out there. I'd argue this is because it makes plain the absurdity of the company's claims that IE is part of Windows.'"

    Fallacious logic!
    Internet Explorer is part of Windows and not Internet Explorer 6 is part of Windows.
    Customers are just plain

  • by in10se (472253) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @04:05PM (#32762766) Homepage

    Um, when Microsoft made that claim, they were referring to Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6 which are both almost 9 years old. At that time, IE6 was very likely tightly linked to the OS. They slowly "unlinked" it over the years which I'm sure was a lot of work. You can argue that they shouldn't have linked it in the first place (you may or may not be right). The fact that you could upgrade from IE6 to IE7 or 8 does not mean it was not linked - can you not upgrade certain pieces of the OS on Linux, Unix, or MacOS in small pieces? Isn't that what a patch is?

    We are now to MAJOR OS versions later and Microsoft doesn't claim the OS and the browser are linked anymore.

    • by KiloByte (825081)

      Well, then how would you explain why it works on Wine?

    • the trial was about the linking of the Microsoft's browser to their monopoly OS. that they did it in a way that made it hard to undo does not make it less anti-competitive.

      the argument that Microsoft made at the trial was that a web browser was then and always would be a crucial part of the OS. to a technical person, this argument makes no sense -- as it's just a matter of programming. which is why you (and many others) have chosen to defend a weaker formulation of Microsoft's argument (that they only sa

    • by cdrguru (88047)

      Most of the newer displays that show links in Vista and Windows 7 are in fact rendered with an HTML renderer that is built into the operating system. IE uses the same HTML rendering engine.

      I'd say that is pretty much a complete linkage between the OS and an HTML rendering engine with IE being a simple user interface that exposes the rendering of HTML pages. The fact that the Control Panel, Personalize and about 100 other displays now are also constructed from HTML pretty much means they are very tightly c

    • by drsmithy (35869)

      Um, when Microsoft made that claim, they were referring to Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6 which are both almost 9 years old.

      Actually it was about Windows 98 and IE4.

      At that time, IE6 was very likely tightly linked to the OS.

      It was no more "linked" then than it is now.

      The argument is, and has always been, that the integration of IE into Windows resulted in various other parts of the system being dependent on the shared IE components to work. This statement is 100% true, and the subsequent emulatio

  • IIRC (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Cro Magnon (467622)

    Microsoft released a version of Windows without IE, and it was unstable, erratic, and unreliable.

    IOW, indistinguishable from the regular version.

  • The problem for Microsoft is that IE6 really is part of Windows XP. The code of IE was split up amongst various DLLs which also do other things. IE was tied into other functions and deliberately made difficult to remove. And, of course, the "File" menu on IE6 has no "Exit" option.

    While IE is less integrated into Microsoft's OS than it used to be, Microsoft's Media Player is now tied into the OS even more tightly. Microsoft is no longer afraid of Netscape. They're afraid of Apple iTunes.

  • I recall part of the argument at the time being that the Windows (File system) Explorer and Internet Explorer had converged / were intertwined / had more or less become two parts of the same thing.

    But I can't remember the details or if it was even a valid argument at the time, so maybe someone who was paying more attention can fill that in.

    • by cdrguru (88047)

      If you type http://slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org] into the address bar of a Windows Explorer window it will display the web page right there in that window using the MSHTML renderer.

      Also, if you move from the "classic" window display you are actually displaying it with HTML, so again MSHTML is used.

      There are many HTML displays in Windows that you would not suspect are done with MSHTML. This is pretty much the reason why MSHTML is part of the operating system - a decision was made in 1995 to use HTML for displaying stuff bu

  • by fermion (181285) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @04:34PM (#32763260) Homepage Journal
    Here is my take. MS makes a profit by controlling the computer market. They mark up products in such a way, and provide strategic discounts, so most of the profits in the desktop computer industry goes to them. This is why Dell has a gross profit of around 10% and MS has a gross profit of 80%. Apple, who manufacturers computer but does not pay the MS tax has a gross profit of around 40%. Obviously any computer manufacturer would want to have a gross profit more in line with Apple. MS would hate that because assuming the price of the computer is fixed, and profit to the OEM will cut into the MS profit. In this screwed up market, it is a zero sum game, which is the death of any free market.

    The web would have resulted in the loss of MS profit if it had been allowed to grow freely. At that time many production machines were still using very simple systems that could be implemented on web based interface. Companies like Compaq were still competing hard and had non-MS offering that were less complex and more reliable than the PC. MS Office was not quite everywhere, and options existed. The fight was going over who controlled the application front end. If the application front end was platform independent, then people could run software on MS servers, but the desktop could be anything for the average worker drone.

    This could not happen. So MS made IE into a application front end that would only run on windows. This meant that the servers and desktop had to run MS software. OEM could not develop intelligent terminals that would have saved huge amounts of administrative costs. OEM could not sell this intelligent terminal for the same price as a MS PC and pocket the profit.

    In reality what happened, the lie that MS could make people believe, no matter who much they said it, is that there is a real benefit to having the server run the same software as the desktop. So people continued to use MS desktops, but many switched to linux servers. This meant the bombs that MS put in IE to connect it to MS Windows became a liability. They tried to stop *nix with ad campiagns, in the courts, but with IE 8, even if the propaganda continues, the effect is clear.

    Which is also why there is so much activities over phones and tablets. The OEM is nevery going to make a fair profit with MS, neither are developers. That is why most of the cool stuff have been developed in places outside of the US. Google is sharing profits, and, no matter what any says, so is Apple. The App store has made it possible to make money. MS is now where Unix was in the 80's. An expensive albeit still relevant dinosaur. It is a matter of time until people look on our old desktop like we looked at IBM 360 of VAX. A little nostalgic, but happy we have something bette.

  • by BUL2294 (1081735) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @04:57PM (#32763670)
    I'm curious to know if anyone has tried IE7 or IE8 on an older computer running XP that has less than 256MB RAM? Such PCs (barely) meet the requirements for XP, and since IE is "inextricably part of the OS", Microsoft is IMHO on the hook to come up with a solution for such users...

    For example, I have an old Toshiba Libretto 110CT. The specs: Pentium-MMX, 233MHz, 64MB RAM, 160GB PATA HD (I upgraded for the better access rate, since it only supports PIO mode), 802.11b WiFi... Going above 64MB RAM is not an option (excluding one hack that requires soldering and could bring it up to a massive 96MB). It's a neat little toy, especially for DOS games, and works reasonably well with XP Pro, Office XP, WordPerfect 11, etc.--especially after I disable 7 unnecessary services. Firefox 3.6 is painful on it, but it runs better than earlier versions of Firefox due to improvements in Javascript. IE6 runs reasonably well--better than Firefox. So, I'm curious--is IE7 or IE8 worth a try on this thing?

    I know IE7 sucks with Javascript, so should I just go to IE8? Has anyone even tried IE7/8 on a very low end PC that barely meets XP & IE specs? Even IE8 says it needs only 64MB RAM. (I still need access to Windows Update and the occasional website...)
  • The problem is that everything to do with help and a bunch of the new Vista/7 displays are rendered using HTML. It is presumed that there will be something called MSHTML.DLL around which will do this rendering and have the COM/COM+ interfaces that are required.

    Guess what? That pretty much limits it to the IE browser. Especially considering the level of documentation available about all the COM interfaces that are required for the HTML rendering object.

    Take out that renderer and the OS is non-functional.

  • The last time I installed Windows 95 (the first release, which did not yet have IE) I then tried to get a browser onto it.

    Since I was tech-savvy enough to know about FTP, I tried FTP'ing to various browser-software sites, including Microsoft and (iirc)Netscape. I was not successful, and could not get directions from any web sites, since there was no browser to get to the web sites with. I eventually was able to telnet to a *nix shell account, and use a text-based browser (lynx, iirc) to get a windows-compat

  • Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Device666 (901563) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @06:42PM (#32765514)
    Who cares if Microsoft lies, they don't know what they are doing, anyway. Their long term vision lacks anyway. Apple has a store MW wants a store. Apple has an App store, Microsoft wants an App store, Apple has Ipod, Microsoft wants an Ipod. Etc. They want to be the best, but each time they just give up. If Microsoft ever had the edge of vision, they have lost in anyways. They are already have become the boring IBM Gates never wanted to be. And Gates is gone. There is no leadership, there is no focus. They just want to do everything, and they do everything.... Poorly
  • Microsoft illegally leveraged their monopoly at the time. Including a competitive browser for "Free" with Windows was the downfall for Netscape. The browser did have a cost but it was blended in with the cost of Windows which almost everyone run. Netscape could no longer sell their browser and the rest is history. The browser was never a part of the operating system and really never needed to be. It just was Microsofts way of protecting its monopoly. I think what most people miss is that Microsoft ne
    • by Eskarel (565631)

      And if browsers still cost $60-100 there wouldn't be 90% of the web we have today.

  • Explorer and IE use the same underlying libraries, and the help system(among other things) uses the HTML engine provided by IE to function. IE is definitely integrated into the OS(which was what Microsoft always claimed). Whether it should be or not is another matter, but there is a certain amount of logic in having only one html engine, and the file/web browser combo isn't exactly unknown in the open source world either (Konqueror).

    Just because Microsoft can replace an existing version of IE with another o

  • Back when IE4 came out, MS claimed that it became irretrievably bound to Windows 95. .... To prove this, machines which installed IE4 and then tried to uninstall it became (more) unusable.

    But my roommate, at the time, did Windows installations on grey boxes full-time. He discovered that if you used the IE3 uninstaller, IE4 would uninstall just fine, leaving a completely usable system (as far as Win95 was concerned). This means that Microsoft added something to the IE4 uninstaller to willfully break ma

"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world." -- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS

Working...