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Longhorn & the Future of IE and Mozilla

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  • Longhorn & the Future of IE and Mozilla

    Bill Gates in his keynote speech at PDC:
    We've integrated more and more capabilities. You don't have to think, 'I'm going to the Internet to get this' versus 'I'm going to the local disk', 'I'm going to the local network'. That was our philosophy with the browser from the very beginning. We're going to take that to a whole new levl in terms of going out to get such a way that you know whether you're getting secure information, and that the right things can happen even if you're going out to the Internet
    This poses three main problems for Mozilla, that I can immediately see.
    1. How can Mozilla fight an invisible enemy? With more integration, people aren't even going to realise they're using IE. Getting them to switch would be hell.
    2. How do I get rid of IE? With such integration, rooting out IE from Longhorn's inner workings may be damn near impossible. We may not be able to Firefox even if we wanted to.
    3. More IE-only sites If this boosts IE's popularity, inevitably more and more 'Designed for IE' sites (read: standarless) are going to pop up.
    How could we counter this? We'll obviously need new evangelistic techniques.
    David House - Perfect is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. (Antoine de St. Exupery).
    W3Schools | XHTML Validator | CSS Validator | Colours | Typography | HTML&CSS FAQ | Go get Mozilla Now | I blog!

  • #2
    I doubt that you can really prevent something like that from making users use what they have.

    Quite frankly, the option to switch to another browser is always there, its whether the user thinks that it is worth the effort of downloading, installing, and opening it it up to browse the internet.

    Saying that you'd want to counter it is a no-hoper, you'd be climbing uphill from the start, and then you'd have to get across mine fields, and shedfulls of barbed wire, and get past a team of professional snipers to get to the top.

    It is no different from the current situation, most are happy using what they have. They need a reason to change, and well just because Mozilla/Opera are standard compliant will make no difference to the user who simply browses the site.

    Just my $0.02c.
    http://www.mudsplat.com - Web design, print, and marketing solutions.


    • #3
      Remember that in todays world you can sue for anything and everything (hint hint Windows Media Player case)


      • #4
        But also remember, M$ isn't going to release their new version of IE for previous versions of windows. So basically that means for at least a year and half after Longhorn is released, you couldn't use any of the new functionality added with IE7 for your website since most users wouldn't have the support for it. Obviously, this is mainly a concern with commercial websites.

        I guess M$ also expects people to upgrade so they can get the new IE, and they are going to suffer from the same problems we have getting people to switch, people don't realize what their using or the differences between versions or products.

        M$'s influence also is shown like with Epic Games, they relased new maps for Unreal Tournament 2004 but the setup program will only install them on Windows XP. I have heard that someone has already made a new distro that will allow other users to install them. I bet M$ paid them off for that one.
        Last edited by oracleguy; Apr 12, 2004, 11:31 PM.


        • #5
          But also remember, M$ isn't going to release their new version of IE for previous versions of windows. So basically that means for at least a year and half after Longhorn is released, you couldn't use any of the new functionality added with IE7 for your website since most users wouldn't have the support for it. Obviously, this is mainly a concern with commercial websites.
          I don’t agree with the whole $ thing but I do agree with your point. I find this and things like this annoying in the IT industry. Why not fix something that is currently broke? So lets wait until the next version and by then a whole new set of standards will be out. I have always been unclear on why you have to pay or upgrade (to new version) since the current version wasn’t written right. For the few .net developers here its the same thing...lets not fix 1.1 lets release 2.0 in a year or so and then it will be fixed. Well in my work environment we don’t flip a switch and move to new versions.

          For the topic of the thread I don’t think you have much to worry about. 2 years is a lifetime and a lot can happen. I personally think longhorn is pretty sweet but I am not one to have bias. I agree with SURGE on its a users choice.

          If you are interested check out this thread:

          And also this wiki:

          Channel9 is a place for MS developers to chat with ms employees about products and stuff. I was kind of surprised of the MS employees replies to this topic.
          does this sig match?


          • #6
            my view is that people will not upgrade, why do i need to? also they are trying to rip off the development community in that to test your site in the new IE you have to get longhorn which means we (all the developers) will have to shell out for it.

            I don't see people upgrading at college they run windows 98SE and it works, and they feel no need to upgrade to some new piece of junk that fails to function properly.

            All i can say is that people who don't want to shell out for longhorn will boycott the new IE, the developers of major sites will put up an error message saying you need a decent browser to view this site (basically thouse cruddy IE only sites that say a similair message to opera users that are then fooled by the spoof).

            I think if they charge for it people who run website should charge for the privleage for it to be accessable using the new IE.

            just my 2p
            Spammers next time you spam me consider the implications:
            (1) that you will be persuaded by me(in a legitimate mannor)
            (2)It is worthless to you, when i have finished


            • #7
              I agree with you scoots. As developers, we have the power I mean, all those new fancy proprietary features they'll likely include in IE7 are ones we don't have to use. If there is an act of god, Microsoft might get the idea and stop supporting them in their software.

              When the news first broke that IE7 would be Longhorn only, there was an good article on ZDNet about it and they talked to lead developers of several large commerial websites such as banks and stores. And basically they said for several years they couldn't risk using the new support added in IE7 because a huge ammount of their user base isn't going to be able to use IE7.

              I believe in that article they even had an unnamed M$ VP say it was a mistake.


              • #8
                and considering a lot of people use AOL, which has IE integrated inside. Most people don't really have a reason to change, your average internet users, except for designers who go by web standards for their sites.
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                • #9
                  Really, the ie that is in Longhorn is rather weak. It's basically the same as that in current windowses. The enhancements lies in other areas than in the browser - in the networking system, in the file system, in the XML engine, in the Avalon system (XAML), in the .NET framework and notably in the case of ie, the JScript.NET engine and in the OS APIs. In short, they are improving everything but the browser part of ie. The HTML, CSS and JScript engines of ie are pretty much left as before. Also, you are forgetting something: Longhorn/ie cannot be targetted specifically until it's a major platform. And now I don't think that even a 50% prevalence of Longhorn would be enough for any Longhorn specific web technologies to really take hold of the web. No, we'll not see the improvements Microsoft have been doing on the web - we'll see them in the web applications, in the small utilities and tools, in the easy creation of professional-looking program components. What Microsoft have done is an improvements of the OS APIs, a component factory that merges the equivalent features of CSS, XBL, RDF, XUL and JavaScript in Mozilla into a single language. They have made the OS more network oriented, and made the network take a more prominent place, more like what you can see in Mac OS X or other Unix environments. They have revamped the file system to be far better that that of NTFS (and, I believe, better than ext2, ext3, ReiserFS, UFS and HFS+), more oriented to modern hardware. And they have finally take the step from the old 2D rendering system of older widowses, to DirectDraw and Direct3D, in the same way that Looking Glass and Mac OS X are OpenGL based.

                  And that's only their advancements from the desktop and workstation direction.

                  They and Interop have done a rather lot job on SFU lately. For you that don't know what SFU is, it's Microsofts Services for Unix. You see, Microsoft were long ago forced to make their OS partly POSIX compliant for the US Government to use it. Plugging in to that POSIX compliancy and enhancing it to the level of a full Unix we have SFU and Interix. Now SFU and Interix are at the level that if you just install an X server, you can actually run most Unix and Linux software with little or no change. It lies on top of the Windows kernel, but below the Windows layer. In a way, it's Microsoft Unix.
                  And guess what? There's a real possibility that we might see SFU in Longhorn by default. That means that the same advantages that Mac OS X has had from being a Unix at core will be given to Longhorn. In fact, as an example of the completeness of this system, NTFS is currently better supported by SFU than it is by Windows 2003 Server.

                  If anything, I think you're afraid of the wrong thing. It's not the web that is Microsoft's chosen battlefield this time. In fact, that's probably the calm corner of an upset ocean.
                  liorean <[[email protected]]>
                  Articles: RegEx evolt wsabstract , Named Arguments
                  Useful Threads: JavaScript Docs & Refs, FAQ - HTML & CSS Docs, FAQ - XML Doc & Refs
                  Moz: JavaScript DOM Interfaces MSDN: JScript DHTML KDE: KJS KHTML Opera: Standards


                  • #10
                    ...and that's how you earnt the nickname of "The Thread Killer"

                    I take no responsibility for the above nonsense.

                    Left Justified


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mindlessLemming
                      ...and that's how you earnt the nickname of "The Thread Killer"
                      Lol, yeah. Yesterday I sat looking at your post for 3 minutes trying to think of something to say and couldn't.


                      • #12
                        In this case though what Liorean's seeing in Longhorn may not be IE 7 at all, during previous MS alpha and beta releases the newest version of IE didn't make the code until very, very late in the beta process. What's there right now probably has no resemblance to what you'll see in the final version.
                        Check out the Forum Search. It's the short path to getting great results from this forum.


                        • #13
                          You might be right in that. Microsoft still have people working in the W3C groups and ECMA, though they have been cutting down their activity in W3C lately (they're still active in the old groups, but they aren't on the large taking part of any new WGs or TRs around). So, they might still be interested in web standards, but they are no longer a driving force, as they were with CSS. Especially the Office developers seem to be interested in XML and related technologies. However, there has not been any improvements to speak of in ie versions displayed in Longhorn since the very first public glance we had. One would think that they had at least added 'application/xhtml+xml' support and fixed the XML prolog throwing it into quirks mode, but no, they have only been doing security and extension system improvements. (As well as some work on the other engines that HTML, CSS and JScript.). Also, we haven't seen any improvements to ie in Win3k server nor have we seen any in the 64 bit version supplied with WinXP 64. (which seems to be based on Win2k3 and not WinXP, despite it's name...)

                          However, my argument still stands. We didn't see an emergence of XUL on the web when Mozilla went gold, and in the same way we won't see much of an emergence of XAML for the web. Ie might be improved further, but unless Microsoft takes it far farther than it's competitors (including their own Tasman for the Mac) I can't see them making any advances on the web.

                          No, the next battle will be one of easily created programs, small utilities and web applications (add to that the basic set of Unix tools), as well as radically improved network and media support. Microsoft are for the first time in a position to take on three other companies for internet software at the same time: Adobe, Macromedia and Sun. SVG, PDF, Flash (and to a lesser extent Shockwave) and Java are all players in the same field as .NET and XAML.
                          liorean <[[email protected]]>
                          Articles: RegEx evolt wsabstract , Named Arguments
                          Useful Threads: JavaScript Docs & Refs, FAQ - HTML & CSS Docs, FAQ - XML Doc & Refs
                          Moz: JavaScript DOM Interfaces MSDN: JScript DHTML KDE: KJS KHTML Opera: Standards


                          • #14
                            Just to pour some gasoline on the flame: Have a look at my recent post at Webgraphics <http://web-graphics.com/mtarchive/001204.php>. I'm sure you can follow links from there. Especially the entire usenet thread that Brendan's post comes from is of interest.
                            liorean <[[email protected]]>
                            Articles: RegEx evolt wsabstract , Named Arguments
                            Useful Threads: JavaScript Docs & Refs, FAQ - HTML & CSS Docs, FAQ - XML Doc & Refs
                            Moz: JavaScript DOM Interfaces MSDN: JScript DHTML KDE: KJS KHTML Opera: Standards


                            • #15
                              I found this to be interesting, on several levels: How Microsoft Lost the API War
                              for instance,
                              So the Web user interface is about 80% there, and even without new web browsers we can probably get 95% there. This is Good Enough for most people and it's certainly good enough for developers, who have voted to develop almost every significant new application as a web application.

                              Which means, suddenly, Microsoft's API doesn't matter so much. Web applications don't require Windows.

                              It's not that Microsoft didn't notice this was happening. Of course they did, and when the implications became clear, they slammed on the brakes. Promising new technologies like HTAs and DHTML were stopped in their tracks. The Internet Explorer team seems to have disappeared; they have been completely missing in action for several years. There's no way Microsoft is going to allow DHTML to get any better than it already is: it's just too dangerous to their core business, the rich client. The big meme at Microsoft these days is: "Microsoft is betting the company on the rich client." You'll see that somewhere in every slide presentation about Longhorn. Joe Beda, from the Avalon team, says that "Avalon, and Longhorn in general, is Microsoft's stake in the ground, saying that we believe power on your desktop, locally sitting there doing cool stuff, is here to stay. We're investing on the desktop, we think it's a good place to be, and we hope we're going to start a wave of excitement..."

                              The trouble is: it's too late.
                              *this message will self destruct in n-seconds*