November 17, 2004 5:40 PM PST

Microsoft says IE updates possible

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Microsoft, under pressure to add new features to Internet Explorer, said it might do so by way of the browser's add-on mechanism.

The company has been steadfast in its insistence that it won't issue a new standalone IE, which saw its last major upgrade in August 2001. After sustaining a series of security crises with IE, Microsoft issued a major upgrade with the Windows XP Service Pack 2. But that IE update is available only to people who use Windows XP--about half the Windows world.

Microsoft has insisted that all hands are too busy working on the much-delayed operating system under development--called Longhorn--to revisit the browser. But now the company says that through the browser's add-on capability, it might add IE features that customers deemed a "super high priority."

"That's an avenue for Microsoft to add to IE," said Gary Schare, Microsoft's director of product management for Windows. "Longhorn is the primary focus, and anything that detracts from it is looked at with a lot of scrutiny. That said, the add-on mechanism is pretty robust and pretty easy to develop to. It's an option, though we have no specific plans to do it."

Schare, who has made prior comments on the add-on possibility first reported by Microsoft Watch, said not all features could work as IE add-ons. Tabbed browsing, for example, wouldn't qualify.

The company's Windows Marketplace recently launched a section devoted to IE add-ons. Only one of those--the MSN Toolbar--is a Microsoft product, though the outdated Service Pack 1 is also listed.

Schare said activity was brisk at the new add-on site, with about 1,000 add-ons listed since the site launched.

11 comments

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But like they said
"Firefox is no threat to IE"

Who do they think they are kidding? They are running scared and are about to be steamrolled into oblivion.
Posted by (242 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So true....
Definately, why else the sudden news to add features? They havn't done that either in quite awhile (well withall the security holes they have to fix, what time is left). Although Mozilla has been around forever, Firefox is just barely beginning and already 10 times better in my opinion, and tabbed browsing should have been added to IE years ago.
Posted by wesblake (7 comments )
Link Flag
what???
"They are running scared and are about to be steamrolled into oblivion."

Let me see if I understand what you are saying... Microsoft is about to be "steamrolled into oblivion" by the FireFox web browser.

Excuse me for a minute...
HAHAHAHAHAHAAH!
HAHAHAHAHA AHHHH HAHAHAHAHA!!!

*whew* sry bout that
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
dream on
wow the naivety of people is amazing. Remember some of the other products that were going to send MS to oblivion. Apple Mac, OS/2, Netscape, Java. Firefox isn't even close to being as capable or competive as those guys were.
Posted by (16 comments )
Link Flag
I hope you're happy.
It's not like Microsoft isn't busy with its world-dominating and legal-maneuvering activity, you know. Now they have to take time out to deal with customers -- CUSTOMERS!
I hope you people are happy -- what with your Internet browsing and your open sourcing and your freedom of choice. You should be ashamed of yourselves for bringing Microsoft down to have to deal with us -- the lowest rung on the economic ladder.
Posted by nealda (105 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Keep the Pressure on
It's sad that M$, with their huge R&D budget, has to be pushed
(kicking and screaming) into any sort of innovation where they
have already cornered a market. As more and more customers
look for viable alternatives to M$ and their market share starts
to dwindle, it will only mean good things for the public. As we
have seen time and time again, competition breeds innovation.
Where people allow Microsoft to maintain dominance they
effectively choose a path that leads to stagnation. Can you
imagine what would happen if Microsoft had 95% market share
with the XBox or any other of their business units?
Posted by (26 comments )
Reply Link Flag
IE no competition to Firefox
We all know that Internet Explorer automatically becomes the standard web browsing tool since its integrated into MS Windows. However, the questions that most PC users are waiting to be answered are:

1) Why does it crashes so often?
2) Why is it so susceptible to spyware?
3) Why is it so slow?

The aftermath of the "browser lawsuit" has lead Netscape to go back to its lab and rekindle new and innovative ideas in creating a new browser that solves the above problems. The new browser is Mozilla Firefox!

Firefox is way more faster than Internet Explorer and crashes half as often as IE (Internet Explorer) does. Could it be that Microsoft is spreading its wings too thin that is forgetting about the basic needs of the everyday PC user?


Orane Franklin
Orane Productions Multimedia
www.oraneproductions.com
Posted by Orane Productions (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Oh how nice!
So let me see if I have this straight. Firefox is no threat so now they are going to probably add new features to IE in the hopes of stopping the slide in IE uses.

However, they are going to add these "new features" on as add-ons also known as plug-ins. The interesting thing about this is isn't it their plug-in architecture part of the problem when it comes to security issues? So not only do we get half as*ed features added on in a half as*ed manor but we get new security holes too!

Wow this sounds like a real winner to me.

Hey, Microsoft how about doing the job right for once. Give us all a heart attack!

Robert
Posted by (336 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft: Such a www.fudfactory.com
MS have become such a F.U.D. Factory.

You could also protest: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.fudfactory.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.fudfactory.com</a>

--Ruud
Posted by (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I E Updates
Just spent nearly an hour trying to upgrade I E, I need it to install some programs, Don't know what I am going to do, Damned if I do, damned if I don't!!
Posted by crastell (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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