December 19, 2005 6:33 AM PST

Microsoft drops Mac IE

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The minority of Mac users still browsing with Internet Explorer need to consider moving to another browser very quickly, as Microsoft plans to discontinue support for IE beginning Dec. 31.

The news, which came in a statement on Friday, may not have come as a complete surprise to Mac users: Microsoft announced back in June 2003 that it was ending Mac support for IE. Microsoft has not upgraded the software in three years, leaving IE 5--rather than version 6, which is available for Windows--as the most recent version available to Mac users.

While IE for Mac will continue to be available for another month after support ends, Microsoft is advising all users to move to "more recent browsing technology such as Apple's Safari."

The lack of support for IE is unlikely to be an issue for Apple users, most of whom already use alternatives. The only potential difficulty could lie with some sites that have been designed to work with IE only.

This affects a minority of sites, but the issue hasn't completely gone away. In June, for example, Web-testing company SciVisum said that one in 10 Web sites in the U.K. failed to work properly with Firefox, the popular open-source browser.

Firefox, Safari and other browsers such as Opera are available for Mac OS X.

Colin Barker of ZDNet UK reported from London.

72 comments

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About time.
Utterly useless browser.

Everyone should be using Safari or Firefox by now, and if you are not then shame on you.

2006 is almost here - prepare to have your eyes opened peecee weenies.
Posted by Ty Tyson (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Now if we can just get them to drop IE for Windows!
I know, I know, wishful thinking -- though that's basically what they're doing since IE7 when/if released will not be available to older versions of windows.
Posted by zizzybaloobah (218 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I won't miss it
Whenever I encounter a site that doesn't work in Safari, I can use Firefox, and vice versa. Internet Explorer 5 is the first thing I delete after installing my Mac.
Posted by MahRain (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Nothing like...
closing the barn door after the horse is already out. Good timing
Microsoft announce that a product is discontinued years after
nobody cares....
Posted by corelogik (680 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Finally
Apple don't deserve a great browser like IE. OSX make IE look bad with the buginess and unstability.
Good on you MS for letting that go!!
Posted by City_Of_LA (118 comments )
Reply Link Flag
IE wasn't doing anyone any favors
Let's face it  Internet Explorer was merely a crutch for Micro$oft
to show the DoJ that they were trying to play nice...which has all
the absurdity of Elton John marrying a supermodel rolled into a
nice, downloadable package.

Mac users were Microsoft's alibi, and evidently Redmond doesn't
feel like they need to lie any more.

Thanks, Microsoft. Don't let the screen door hit you in the hiney
on the way out. And take all the spam and virii you brought with
you, too.
Posted by mntechnogeek (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
IE for Windows was already discontinued.
Microsoft announced they were discontinuing IE for Windows in
May, 2003. They just seem to have forgotten&.
Posted by the Otter (247 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You don't have to use IE
You don't have to use IE
I use both myself but have been using Firefox more and more lately

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://sqlservercode.blogspot.com/" target="_newWindow">http://sqlservercode.blogspot.com/</a>
Posted by SqlserverCode (165 comments )
Reply Link Flag
IE is useless anyway
IE was a security threat anyway, I don't even see why Microsoft users still use IE. There's at least three "better" alternatives out there: Firefox, Netscape, Opera, etc...

lol I thought the "Now lets just get them to drop Windows", was funny XD
Posted by AimsAlpha (21 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why even announce it
Obviously support is low, Microsoft didn't need to even tell the Mac world to switch. Mac users are more trendy than that, and IE for Mac was downright awful from the start so there's no loss at all.
Posted by lonewolf367 (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bummmer...
My boss uses a Mac. Whenever something doesn't look right on Safari, he'll fire up IE and if it still looks odd, I have to say "It looks fine on the PC." That usually satisfies him, but now he won't be able to see for himself after he upgrades to a new machine that doesn't contain IE. (Is it me or do Mac people upgrade and/or reset their machines way more often than PC people in the corporate environment?)

Yeah, my woes simply indicate that my sites aren't 100% CSS/standards compliant. But when IE commands 90%+ of our the market share, and higher when it comes to our audience, that pretty much becomes the standard.

I've inherited and built onto these websites that have been around longer than CSS, but there's no time to just scrap everything and start over, and from what I've seen, some of the stuff we're doing can't even yet be duplicated by CSS because Microsoft went ahead and added stuff not (yet?) recognized by W3C.

So Macs finally move to Intel, suggesting an easier coding job for Microsoft and probably a bigger market-share in general for Macs, they finally decide to completely cut off IE? Ugh.

Thanks for nothing.
Posted by TV James (680 comments )
Reply Link Flag
IE & Yahoo
The only thing I use IE for is playing games on games.yahoo.com. So this is no big loss.
Posted by (10 comments )
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Drop IE for Windows please!!!
Do us all a favor Microsoft and discontinue IE for Windows....PLEASE!!! :-(
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What an ill-researched report
C|Net: anyone can copy Reuters; I expect SOME intelligence on your site.

Fact 1: current active users don't need to look for another browser (think Mac OS9 users); their current copy remains working fine. You won't get an answer anymore from Microsoft's helpdesk, but I'm pretty sure you won't get an answer right now if you would phone.

Fact 2: IE/Mac and IE/Win have different HTML engines. IE/Mac was at launch way ahead of every other browser in the field. Websites targeted at or using IE/Win specific code won't work in IE/Mac anyway. And if a website does work in IE/Mac, but not in any other browser on the mac platform, well, you still can use IE/Mac if you have a copy.

It IS the end of an era though: IE/Mac was the first poke at IE. IE/Mac was the proof of concept of what a browser could be, what IE could have been. Sadly, Microsoft saw better business in developing the windows version of IE and the Mac version became orphaned software. It's a miracle it has hold out so long.
Posted by tennapel (22 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This is old, old, old news.
Microsoft announced over a year ago that they were not going to extend any future versions to Mac. With this in mind, it was only a matter of time before they publicly stated that they would cease support for the product. IE5 on Mac was buggy to begin with, the fact that they weren't going any further with new versions essentially cut off the support chain over a year ago.
Posted by sumwatt (69 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No Mac IE Vista? DARN!
I've been holding my breath waiting for IE Vista for Mac to be released so I can see how much MS has ripped of Mac Safari 1.0 Browser...

Darn! Now I will never know...

GOOD RIDDENS IE!
Mac &#38; Open Source Community blew IE out of the water YEARS AGO.
Old news from a Jurassic Software Monopoly in Redmond, WA.
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Thank God
what a virus ridden P.O.S. that is - I'd never use it, doesn't have
tabs, and is slow as molasses.

Safari and FireFox baby
Posted by NeverFade (402 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Only problem I can think of...
since I don't use IE much, pertains to my neighbor's kid, who loves to play Disney's Toon Town MMORPG. You can only play it with IE, though. If you use a different browser, it won't even let you on the site.

A minor issue in the grand scheme, but it does irk me when someone with the resources of Disney doesn't take the time to make their product work on other browsers.
Posted by Musmanno (101 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What about Opera??
I ;m surprised Opera has been scarcely mentioned....
It works flawlessly....only a little trouble with some online-banking.
But those people only work with IE or netscape....(surprisingly still
out there)
Posted by efabo (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What is it good for...?
Lyrics:
What is it good for...Absolutely nuthin!

Macintosh now, Macintosh tomorrow and Macintosh forever!
Posted by BentonBear (18 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I Could Not Care Less
Of all the browsers that I have, I use IE the least. I find it crude. This announcement will only result in my deleating the program from my computer tomorrow!
Posted by biggarthomas (20 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Is Bill Gates getting stupid?
WOW what a decision, instead of expanding into other platforms, spacially with FireFox gaining huge ground on IE, the infinite wisdom of Bill Gates has decided to cut on the only other platform that IE support other than Windows. I give IE maximum two years and it will dissapear just like the old good Netscape.
Posted by chkaiban (20 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Live ...
I'm just guessing but this move is more about limiting the acess to
features like local.live.com.
Posted by iakor (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Life is good!
My iBook has been a Microsoft-free zone for about five years now. Ah, life is truly good!
Posted by Norseman (1319 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Resetting
My boss seems to get new Macs pretty frequently, but every few months he's standing around for half a day while formatting and reinstalling all his software.
Posted by TV James (680 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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