February 15, 2005 12:46 PM PST

Reversal: Next IE divorced from new Windows

(continued from previous page)

benefit only those people who either already owned XP or who had paid for an operating system upgrade, leaving about half the Windows world out in the cold.

Microsoft on Tuesday acknowledged that those complaints about XP exclusivity lingered, particularly among enterprise users of Windows 2000.

"Right now, we're focused on XP SP2," Dean Hachamovitch, who heads Microsoft's IE team, wrote in the company's IE blog, in a posting dated Tuesday. "We're actively listening to our major Windows 2000 customers about what they want and comparing that to the engineering and logistical complexity of that work. That's all I can say on that topic."

But IE 6 has earned enmity among developers, and not only for its security lapses. Web authors have long complained about Microsoft's spotty implementation of various Web standards including Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), the Portable Network Graphics (PNG) image format, Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML) and Extensible Markup Language (XML).

As the company reversed itself on issuing a standalone IE, Web authors wondered aloud whether version 7 would fix those bugs along with the security holes.

"Any released information stating your commitment to modern coding practices--meaning XHTML, CSS, XML, not to mention full PNG support?" asked Web designer Brady Frey in response to Hachamovitch's blog posting. "Aside from security, this has been the reason why we've dropped IE's usage company wide--I have the choice of building one Internet application for all users, or one for IE users. We don't want to waste money doing both anymore."

Microsoft's Nash declined to shed any light on the question of features in the IE update, restricting his comments to planned security enhancements such as better defenses against phishing scams and improved spyware protection.

"Right now, the focus is security," Nash said. "There may be other things that are in there, but the goal is on security."

Nash said the shift in IE release plans was a response to customer pressure. Demand for the antiphishing features, Nash said, came not only from individual customers but also from companies that deal with a lot of personal information over the Internet--businesses like financial institutions and Web retailers.

"They had a lot of influence as well," Nash said.

The company plans to target phishing scams in two main ways. First, the new browser will look for techniques commonly used by such scams, such as having Web links that don't match the text of the hyperlink, as well as links that point to numeric Web addresses. Microsoft also plans the equivalent of a blacklist, which would identify and call out URLs associated with known scams.

Apart from promising a test version by summer, Microsoft remained coy about its plans for releasing the final standalone IE 7.

"Yes, we have a date in mind," Hachamovitch wrote in the IE blog. "I'll talk about the date after we get feedback from customers and partners. We're going to release a beta and listen, then refresh the beta and listen some more. We'll ship when the product is ready."

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Add your comment
Missing the target
I'm (sort of) surprised only XP will get IE 7. If Gates thinks people will purchase a new OS just for a new IE, he's not thinking clearly.

Furthermore, as long as only XP gets the new version, people with other version of MS's OS will be turning to Firefox and other browsers, if anything more so since I'd guess MS will stop paying attention to IE 6 problems once they have 7 out and running.
Posted by rshew (44 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Better CSS support on the way, too?
Priority #1:
Better security in IE.

Priority #1.1:
Decent CSS support! PLEASE!
Posted by (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Too little too late?
Actually I will be surprised if by release time it doesn't work on at least Windows 2000 and possibly even NT 4.0 (though probably not)

If the new browser doesn't support tabs it may slow down the defection from IE to Firefox but it won't win any users back. Tabbed browsing is someing that people can't do without once they have it.

In any case, following the even versions suck (IE4, IE6) and odd versions not so much (IE3, IE5) rule it should be at least somewhat better :-)
Posted by raitchison (103 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Disagree with one point
<<Tabbed browsing is someing that people can't do without once they have it.>>

I have to voice my disagreement with this statement. I, for one, absolutely HATE those stupid tabs. With ample screen real-estate, I prefer multiple windows any day over tabs. My taskbar provides me with enough tabs to keep me busy all day, and if I'm comparing any two 'anythings' in a browser, its much nicer to have the 2 windows side by side. Tabs take up screen real estate and require additional clicks. They are a UI fad that has little to nothing to do with with the popularity of FireFox. I personally don't care if IE includes tabs in the future or not... so long as I can shut them off. Like I said, I already have a taskbar.... one that auto-hides even.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
the even versions suck
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/volvo_xc90_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/volvo_xc90_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Al Johnsons (157 comments )
Link Flag
even versions suck
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/alfa_romeo_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/alfa_romeo_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by George Cole (314 comments )
Link Flag
from IE to Firefox
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/vauxhall_monaro_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/vauxhall_monaro_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Thunder Johny (200 comments )
Link Flag
I'm a bit surprised
I really didn't expect Microsoft to release IE as a standalone ever again. But I agree with the move, from a business standpoint. From a personal standpoint, I am on my knees beggin Microsoft to implement the full W3C standards. I have been using Mozilla for years, so IE 7 will not have any effect on my browsing habits. But I am also a professional web developer, and I can't stand to have to code my sites at a sub standard level, just so it will work in IE. Microsoft, if you are listening, PLEASE support the latest version of CSS/XHTML in IE 7!
Posted by (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/chrysler_concorde_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/chrysler_concorde_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Thunder Johny (200 comments )
Link Flag
CNET technical writers prove themselves idiots. Again
I honestly think CNET should try and rebrand itself as a tech tabloid, because it's not reliable anymore as a source of information. A good source of misinformation, maybe, but I hoped it would raise itself above the level of slashdot.
Posted by ovidiupl (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Where's the beef?!
I read your post, expecting to find something to base your
subject line on. You provided none. If you could please clarify, I
am really interested in why you think this announcement is
"tabloid" in nature.

Keep in mind I am fully aware of the bias the writers have, and
flaunt. But there was nothing in your remarks to indicate this
was not a valid report. So if you know otherwise, please provide
the info. Many of us would be interested.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
An example
I agree wholeheartedly. The contradictory statements in this article alone make it quite clear that the writers are not in touch with the subject at hand. Let's look...

First, the article suggests that IE still has over 90% of the browser market. Firefox has 5%.

Then they claim that IE doesn't work with certain "standards." (lets never mind that a 90% install base pretty much dictates standards)

Then, they support and publish a quote like this:

"Aside from security, this has been the reason why we've dropped IE's usage company wide--I have the choice of building one Internet application for all users, or one for IE users. We don't want to waste money doing both anymore."

Did the writer use ANY critical thinking at ALL?

If IE doesn't work with "Standards" than this person is making up a whole lot of hogwash, aren't they? Complete lies. In other words, the quoted person is saying, "We adopted standards and rejected IE so that we could only write one version of our software." Yeah... good one, buddy... one version that runs in 5% of all web browsers. This person is either making up BS to support their anti-MS position, or they are a complete idiot of a business leader, eliminating over 90% of their available market.

Why can't the paid writers for CNet see through this kind of crap instead of publishing it?
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
Hooray for vaporware!
Until they actually ship something, it's vaporware. Microsoft has used vaporware for the last 20 years, with great success. They are vaporware pros.

I know there are a lot of MS fanboys out there that would like to tout the latest non-existant MS product for their favorite company, but I'll believe IE 7 is so great when I actually see it.

If IE7 is anything like longhorn, it'll be delayed a few times, and arrive late with a lot of promised features missing. So come 2006, expect an improved IE with almost as many useful features as other browsers.
Posted by chris_d (195 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Avalon - Microsoft's XAML will make browsers a thing of the past
MS should wait for Longhorn.
A release of IE 7 is a bad idea. The browsers (IE, Firefox, Opera... etc) days are numbered.
Posted by CoachWT (42 comments )
Link Flag
True enough. The details are really iffy for something that is supposedly going to be coming out "in the summer", which I assume means between May and August.

This version is going to have to have some serious features if Microsoft expects people that know whats available in Firefox or Opera to take it seriously. IE 6 is frankly like a lump of gray rock compared with the features and extensions that are available for free in Firefox. From mouse-gesture extensions to PNG alpha-channel support.

Of course, there aren't any details about that either really.
Posted by (29 comments )
Link Flag
If You Divide One Buggy App Into Two - Does That Make Two Non Buggy Apps ?
Microsoft must be feeling the bit as they are finally reacting to the Foxfire phenonmenon.

Some ideas to think about:

Will this reverse their declining reputation for quality products ?

Will the millions of users of Foxfire and other browsers switch back to IE or do they even care ?

How many patches will this version go through before it is solid ?

How long will it be before the virus and other scumware writers key in on this version ?

Will MS use the same tactics they used to kill Netscape the first time ?

Do you think it is a good thing for one company to control an entire industry, do you think this stiffles innovation and consumer choice ?

Will this product be offered free to a huge number of non XP users or is this just a way to force them to upgrade ?

Will the new browser be a Firefox knockoff ?

Sit back an relax, it ought to be great fun watching this unfold.
Posted by (17 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No, not two
It means there will have to be at least 3 sets of patches - one for Windows XP users of IE 7, one for Longhorn users of IE 7 and another for the Windows XP users who used IE 7 and then upgraded to Longhorn. Not to mention the cascade of patches necessary after initially installing IE 7, Longhorn or both.
Posted by (1 comment )
Link Flag
declining reputation
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/infiniti_qx56_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/infiniti_qx56_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by George Cole (314 comments )
Link Flag
users of Foxfire
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/porsche_cayenne_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/porsche_cayenne_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Thunder Johny (200 comments )
Link Flag
What this really means...
Is that it underscores Microsoft's feckless policy for security in
it's software.

Here's the policy as it appears upon reading this article: Scream
in agony for a long long time, and maybe...just maybe daddy will
decide to help you
Posted by Terry Murphy (82 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So nothing for Windows 2000?
Is this just going to be on XP? Considering that I have over 80% of my computers at work still on 2000. That sucks!
Posted by DustoMan (77 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Of course not
MS needs to force people to upgrade and since they can't use features and quality as a reason, they have to use sleazy tactics. But why would you want to use a browser that will likely be underfeatured with useful features, yet bloated with crap no one uses and a massive security hole?

MS thought that people who use older OS shouldn't get anymore security patches for IE, which was a fantastic idea ya know. Why should they care about 50% of their installed base being exposed to vulnerabilites because of microsofts mistakes when their is money to be made. Money is more important then customer service or even making a high quality product, at least according to a person that has more money then he could ever use. Winning an imaginary pissing contest is the most important part about life.
Posted by (28 comments )
Link Flag
RE: So nothing for Windows 2000?
THIS DOSE SUCKS!!!! I just upgraded all our computers to 2000 and now MicroSloth is saying if you want a more secure operating environment you must use XP?. This is just another marketing scheme to get people who still use 2000 and 98 to upgrade to XP.

Posted by frazzledsuzy (2 comments )
Link Flag
Windows 2000 is End of Lifed in June
You'd best get to upgrading as IE7 support will be the least of your worries.
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
work still on 2000
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/infiniti_i30_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/infiniti_i30_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Al Johnsons (157 comments )
Link Flag
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/oldsmobile_bravada_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/oldsmobile_bravada_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Ubber geek (325 comments )
Link Flag
Break free of Windows?
Until Microsoft offers an actual cross platform product, IE can hardly be said to be "broken free of Windows". Linux and OS X would be a good start. Solaris and FreeBSD would be a good followup.
Posted by Not Bugged (195 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Cross Platform IE
I suspect Microsoft knows better than to waste
their time producing Internet Explorer for other
operating systems. I've never heard anyone say
they were forced to use Linux for work or OS X
at home or that they have to run BSD on their
laptop because it's the only way they're allowed
to connect to particular wireless networks. I
hear it a lot with Windows. People choose other
operating systems because they want to. When
they make the choice to not use Microsoft's
operating system, they're not very likely to
choose Microsoft's other products.
Posted by MasonMouse (4 comments )
Link Flag
Does this mean the Dept of Justice...
...will be reopening the anti-trust trial? I thought MS said the browser couldn't be divorced from the OS?
Posted by ordaj (338 comments )
Reply Link Flag
MS did say that...
... but that's just one more smokescreen from MS to hide their
OS marketing maneuvers. Windows itself was gutted out and the
extracted code was placed in IE. Ergo, to run a full Windows OS,
you had to also install IE.

That was a bogus claim then, and it still is. So MS has some egg
on their face to now come out with an 'independant' version of IE
(which probably still does not follow established HTML etc.

But that's okay. Firefox, Mozilla, and Safari are all better
browsers, depending oin your platform.

And MS is still focused on predatory marketeering... one of Bill's
two skills.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
IE7 won't convert Firefox users, microsoft=distrust
I think too many people are starting to not trust microsoft and looking for alternatives. Browsers are like a comfortable chair. Once you get use to one, you stick with it if it has good features and you enjoy using it. Firefox is pretty comfortable, so IE7 shouldn't hit them hard. In fact, I bet more patches will be required of IE7 than all the other browsers out there, once it runs a while and hackers discover its vonerabilities.
Posted by gtmiller (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
looking for alternatives
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/oldsmobile_88_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/oldsmobile_88_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Thunder Johny (200 comments )
Link Flag
Industry Standards probably won't be met.
Will there be tabs? Will there be compatibility spoofing? How about a customizable search bar that can switch from multiple search engines in just a click? And finally, will this browser REALLY be built around the OS this time, instead of the OS built around the browser?

I've played with many browsers over the years. OmniWeb 4.5 was my absolute favorite, but I've played with Opera, Safari (my new fav), Firefox, and even add-ons to Internet Exploiter like Avant Browser.

Honestly, how long can it take to make a decent browser when you have billions of dollars and millions of drones programming for you, all at your disposal?!

Wake up Bill. Your losing grip of the masses! Oh, wait, that's not such a bad thing.
Posted by (461 comments )
Reply Link Flag
customizable search
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/skoda_fabia_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/skoda_fabia_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Thunder Johny (200 comments )
Link Flag
Bluff and fluff.
MS is bluffing. Or at least they are hoping just the announcement of an IE7 will stall companies from jumping ship.

MS doesn't innovate on the fly well at all, and they are being pushed well outside of their zone of comfort. There isn't anything they can buy off of the shelf this time, they have not serious internal solutions for most of their self-created problems, and the list goes on and on.

Even if they do get something on the market, they are simply harvesting what the planted. I won't use IE 7 because I don't trust MS to create anything right the first time through. The hackers will pounce on IE 7 like flies on rotting beef. It will be a year before they get it right.

If they play it safe and add not features people actually want, or force a lot of people to make upgrades that screw their system like SP2, they'll only compound the problem.

Besides, IE will never match the wonder of the Abe Vigoda extension for Firefox!

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.nwlbnet.blogspot.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.nwlbnet.blogspot.com</a>
Posted by NWLB (326 comments )
Reply Link Flag
jumping ship
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/volvo_v70_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/volvo_v70_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Al Johnsons (157 comments )
Link Flag
like flies on rotting beef
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/alfa_romeo_166_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/alfa_romeo_166_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Thunder Johny (200 comments )
Link Flag
A few points worth mentioning...
(Ina Fried's viewpoint on Microsoft is always amusing to read...;))


"In announcing the plan, Gates acknowledged something that many outside the company had been arguing for some time--that the browser itself has become a security risk.

"Browsing is definitely a point of vulnerability," Gates said."

Gates isn't quoted saying that brows-ers themselves are security risks, but merely that the act of brows-ing creates a point of potential vulnerability for everyone who browses the Internet--regardless of brows-er used in the process.


"As recently as August, Microsoft said that no new stand-alone version was planned before Longhorn, and the company reiterated back then that its plan was to make new IE features available with major Windows releases. "At this time, there are no plans to release a new stand-alone version of IE," a Microsoft representative said."

I cannot find a single quote from a Microsoft employee quoted in this article which indicates that IE7 will ship as a stand-alone product. Hint: is SP2 a "stand-alone" product? Therefore, shipping IE7 inside a WinXP update is not the same as to say it will be distributed independently of the OS, imo.

"In November, Microsoft opened the door slightly to improving IE before Longhorn, though it indicated that improvements might come through add-ons to the browser, rather than through an updated version of IE."

Again we see alarming evidence that Ina Fried is unfamiliar with the Windows update site and oblivious to its function: IE6 has been "improved" and "updated" many, many times through the WinXP Update site since it shipped with XP in '01, and has also received updates since SP2 was made available, in fact--which are universally available and free of charge through the WinXP update site.

"Analysts attributed Microsoft's change of heart to the progress of the Mozilla Foundation's Firefox browser, which has made incremental but steady market share gains against IE in recent months. In a survey conducted late last year, Firefox nudged IE below the 90 percent mark for the first time since the height of the browser wars in the 1990s."

I wish Ina Fried was also not oblivious to the fact that for years prior to IE version 5.x, Netscape browsers (which are the foundation of FireFox) owned the lion's share of the x86-Windows browser market, with percentages as high as 100% domination at times, IIRC. It would be nice not to constantly have slog through revisionist histories at CNet...;)

""I think it's a response to both the delay of Longhorn and the challenge of Firefox," said NPD Group analyst Ross Rubin, who added that Firefox was probably the sharper spur. "Were there no Firefox, they'd have more leeway to sit on it until Longhorn."

Bart Decrem, a founding member of the Mozilla Foundation, former head of its marketing and business development and current volunteer, said that Microsoft clearly was responding to the group's work.

"I can't think of a better validation of the success of Firefox," said Decrem. "The success of Firefox is forcing Microsoft to improve IE. The only surprise is that it took them this long to make that announcement.""

But the reverse is also true, it seems to me--as in would there even be a FireFox today if not for the success of IE...? I imagine that much within the current FireFox browser is modeled on the success of IE. I rather think the equation is more two-sided than Ina Fried would like (but that's what's fun about looking at Fried's generally imbalanced editorial opinions...;))

As someone who is using FireFox as his default browser at the moment in preference to IE, because I think it's just as good in many respects and because I enjoy software variety, I have no trouble contrasting the two browsers in that way. I have often wondered what a Netscape browser would look like today had MS never bothered to do a browser of its own. I believe it would be quite different from FireFox today, without a doubt.

"Nash would not say whether Microsoft hopes to stem defections or gain back share lost to Firefox."

Heh...;) Is this to say that Nash was actually asked this question and refused to answer, or to say that Nash was never asked this question in the first place--which of course would explain why he "would not" answer it...;) (I'm betting it was the latter.)

"Bitten by bugs"

Heh-Heh...;) In Ina Fried's vernacular, a hole exploited by a hacker is only a "bug" when it occurs in a Microsoft browser; when it occurs in FireFox it is always whitewashed as something far less sinister--although it is exactly the same thing...;) And of course the notion that IE is targeted 90% of the time because it is used by 90% of the browsing populous--contrasted with 10% in both cases for FireFox--is a notion that Ina Fried has a great deal of difficulty wrapping his head around...;)

And it wouldn't very effective trying to poke fun at Microsoft by actually emphasizing that MS has filled in 95%+ of all such holes in the form of IE updates available through the WinXP update site, would it? Surely not, which is surely why Fried and friends love talking about IE "bugs" but really loathe talking about the freely available IE fixes for those very same "bugs"...;) It's so much more fun to just pretend that Microsoft never does anything--fun maybe, but it's certainly no favor to the CNet readership.

"But critics complained that the update would benefit only those people who either already owned XP or who had paid for an operating system upgrade, leaving about half the Windows world out in the cold."

Shades of Apple "graybeards," if you know what I mean...;) Yes, how pertinent of the "critics" to point out that Microsoft has finally moved beyond support for 7-10-year-old versions of its Windows OS...;)

Of course, Fried and friends don't want to talk about the fact that MS has continuously updated and supported the version of WinXP I bought way back in '01 when it shipped. Or, that MS will undoubtedly continue to support it for at least the next 2-3 years beyond the present. Yep, such facts just sort of ruin the whole picture that Fried tries so hard to paint convincingly, right?...;)

"Microsoft on Tuesday acknowledged that those complaints about XP exclusivity lingered, particularly among enterprise users of Windows 2000.

"Right now, we're focused on XP SP2," Dean Hachamovitch, who heads Microsoft's IE team, wrote in the company's IE blog, in a posting dated Tuesday. "We're actively listening to our major Windows 2000 customers about what they want and comparing that to the engineering and logistical complexity of that work. That's all I can say on that topic.""

Heh..;) Excuse me for not being able to find any connection whatever between what Fried says MS said, and the out-of-context *blog passage* by the MS employee as quoted...;) (I really like reading Fried because I think she missed a calling as a stand-up comic in the local Comedy House. Does she really think we are all so dumb, I wonder...?)

"But IE 6 has earned enmity among developers, and not only for its security lapses. Web authors have long complained about Microsoft's spotty implementation of various Web standards including Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), the Portable Network Graphics (PNG) image format, Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML) and Extensible Markup Language (XML)."

Perhaps a bit of common sense might suit Fried and friends here. I mean, if there is so much "enmity" out there on the part of web developers towards IE, then why do the great majority of them write to IE instead of to FireFox? Bears some thought, I think...

"As the company reversed itself on issuing a standalone IE, Web authors wondered aloud whether version 7 would fix those bugs along with the security holes."

OK, I'm still searching for the quote in this article in which a MS employee states that MS is releasing a stand-alone version of IE which will be distributed independently of the OS...? Here's all I could find in Fried's article:

"Nash said it has not been decided whether IE 7 will come with a different Windows update, such as a security revamp.

"We'll be updating Windows on a regular basis," he said. "How the browser gets packaged--whether it's with a service pack--has not been nailed down. There is going to be a Service Pack 3 (of Windows XP). That's not a surprise. How that relates to (IE 7's release), we haven't figured out yet.""

I mean, what this says to me is that IE7's distribution hasn't been *decided* at MS--so what's the basis for Fried to keep saying "stand-alone" as if this is something MS has actually announced...?

It may indeed be a stand-alone release--the problem is that this article contains no proof of that assertion yet declares it nonetheless.

"Apart from promising a test version by summer, Microsoft remained coy about its plans for releasing the final standalone IE 7.

"Yes, we have a date in mind," Hachamovitch wrote in the IE blog. "I'll talk about the date after we get feedback from customers and partners. We're going to release a beta and listen, then refresh the beta and listen some more. We'll ship when the product is ready.""

So, ok, if MS is "coy" about the form of distribution it has in mind for IE7, then where is the basis for Fried to make her stand-alone assertion? I can't see it.

Final comment. This story, although published as a single story, actually comes from three separate and disparate sources. The first is snippets from Gates' RSA keynote address; the second is snippets from an interview given by Mike Nash (notable in that Fried does not tell us which interview or provide a link so that we can read it for ourselves); third is snippets from a *blog* by a MS employee. Fried and friends attempt to convey and merge selected commentary from all three sources as if they emerged from the same event--but of course they fail in that endeavor because it's so obvious that these are three separate, essentially non-related events, despite Fried's characterization otherwise.

One can only hope CNet will do better in the future as not all of us are conspiracy-theory buffs...:D
[Edited by: admin on Feb 16, 2005 9:49 AM]
Please note that ad hominem attacks violate CNET News.com's "Terms of Use" policy.
Posted by Walt Connery (89 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ummm no.
" IE6 has been "improved" and "updated" many, many times through the WinXP Update site since it shipped with XP in '01"

When you say "improved" and "updated" you mean "patched a buggy browser" then yes. Otherwise.
MS hasn't done jack squat to IE 6 since its intro in XP. Period.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Link Flag
Very Well Written
I appreciated your thorough and appropriate response.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
The reason they should never have dropped support for IE on older versions is because the old OSes use the same version as IE as everyone else and IE has many flaws due to shoddy programming.

IE is not part of an operating system and any claim that it is shows your ignorance.
Posted by (28 comments )
Link Flag
Does Citizen Gates pay you by the Word?
How much MS stock do you own, or are you still employed by Big
Brother Gates... Orwell was right &#38; Citizen Gates / Big Brother
MS Monopoly is alive &#38; well in your mind.
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Link Flag
new IE features available
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/pontiac_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/pontiac_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Ubber geek (325 comments )
Link Flag
Yeah but...
I recall reading elsewhere that MS didn't plan on a stand-alone browser. But for the life of me I can't recall where either.
Posted by NWLB (326 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What I find tiresome
The whole Michael Moore-esque browser conversion tactic is starting to get old. You tell people that their browser sucks and it's full of security holes and surely they will encounter a computer meltdown of Biblical proportions, expecting them to agree with you that you are in fact far superior to anything they could ever become. It seems that the vocal minority of Firefox users who are adamantly opposed to "M$" (who probably live above their parents' garage) like to push their own Chicken Little lifestyle on others.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I have yet to experience these holes and quirks everyone talks about. I have yet to have my computer taken over by a hacker. I have yet to contract a virus of any kind. Everyone tells me I'm using a time bomb and have been saying it for months on end. Three times over the course of the past few months have I downloaded Firefox and three times have I uninstalled in a period of no more than two weeks because I found its capabilities to be grossly overstated by those who use it. Tabs are a nuisance. If your screen is 800x600, then you might need tabs. I run 1400x1050, so I'm hardly jonesin' for space. If I wanted tabs, I'd download Maxthon.

Spyware, Adware, Malware, and "annoying popups" are moot: I know my computer well and take very good care of it. Thus far, none have been able to give me a good reason to switch, but I remain open to any who would try.
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Reply Link Flag
These tactics...
were learned from Microsoft. You know Microsoft has used FUD for years, but of course thats ok, right. You get tired of hearing it from us Firefox and Open Source guys... well how do you think we feel? All a lot of us have heard for years from redmond and its loyal users is a load of crap that has had little to no truth in it. You can site all the reports from Microsoft you want as truth, but even some of there reports site linux as better than windows.

Like it or not, Microsoft started FUD tactics and, right or wrong, the open source users are going to send it right back at them. However, if you want the truth then start doing your own research. Although I can't tell you what you will find, I bet if will favor Open source as a whole and not Microsoft. That's not to say that microsoft doesn't win in some areas.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Link Flag
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/peugeot_partner_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/peugeot_partner_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Thunder Johny (200 comments )
Link Flag
IE comes in two parts
IE comes as a core and as a front end. You can't remove the core from the os without causing explorer problems. So they really aren't parting IE from windows. At best I figure they are updating the core and front end and at worst they are just updating the front end.

My personal opinion is Microsoft should be forced to remove IE core and front end from Windows. They should be made to sell a version of windows without IE and Windows Media Player. For that matter I don't think they should be allowed to sell a version of windows with anti-Spyware or Antivirus software pre-installed.

Of course thats just my opinion and they will get away with doing it because people don't see the harm in letting microsoft control every aspect of there computer.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Problem is...
...Microsoft whined so much during the last antitrust case saying that "Internet Explorer is far to integrated witht the operating system to be removed". Because of that Microsoft only ended up with a simple fine, easy to pay off for a company that large.
Posted by hion2000 (115 comments )
Link Flag
windows without IE
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/jaguar_xjr_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/jaguar_xjr_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Thunder Johny (200 comments )
Link Flag
An old Issue
If I recall Microsoft had once said that could not separete the Browser from the Operating Systems.
How come they now are proposing to ship a separate version?
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
There Not Seperating
They are not seperating the Browser from Windows. It is going to be an update or upgrade, depending on how you wish to look at it.

To seperate it would mean you could remove it completly from the OS.

I think the confusion comes from the fact that Microsoft has stated that it would not release a newer version of IE before the next major update of Windows. All they are going to do is upgrade version 6 to version 7. It really isn't any different than upgrading any other software package.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Link Flag
I swear your Honor, IE & WinOS cannot operate seperately...Citizen Gates
Remember Citizen Gates tesifying in Federal Court during the
DOJ Anti-Trust Lawsuit &#38; the pending fines &#38;/or breaking
Microsoft into smaller companies?

Didn't he swear under oath that because of the tight integration
of IE with WinOS which "benefits" the consumers, also make it
impossible to "divorce" them from one another?

Also, after a series of Prosecution expert witnesses testimonies,
Citizen Gates then swore under oath that IF in fact MS was
FORCED to "divorce" IE from WinOS, that is would cause great
havoc &#38; expense to MS to the point of near bankruptcy?
It would also "stiffle innovation" &#38; the consumers would suffer...

NOW all of a sudden when MS has some competiton from Open
Source/Mozilla/Firefox/Safari/Mozilla based Netscape/AOL/
Opera/etc. browsers &#38; people are tired of all the security risks &#38;
loss of business &#38; waiting for six years for Redmond Jurassic
DOSasaurs to get off the fat behinds &#38; DO some REAL
innovation, NOW MS IE can be "improved &#38; security assured" yet
SEPARATE from the OS as a stand alone browser

Me thinks me smells a (Fire)Fox in the hen house.
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"divorce" IE from WinOS
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/peugeot_1007_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/peugeot_1007_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Thunder Johny (200 comments )
Link Flag
Mis-information about Firefox...
There are a couple comments Molly wrote about that stike me as odd.
While I do agree that some sites don't render properly with Firefox, these are so few and far between (I MAY hit 1 or 2 such sites per month), it doesn't warrant me switching to IE. When I do come across a site that needs to be viewed in IE, it's just a right mouse-click away.

As far as checking for updates within the browser, have you noticed the little circle of dots in the upper right corner below the red X close button? Click it, and it takes you right to Firefox Central, where, if there is a new update available, you can update it there.

Why does it take so long to load? I can't answer that. Mine doesn't. Click it and BAM, I'm there. You might want to make sure you have the updateing version as well as see what programs you have running in the background. I'm not going to assume that just because you work for CNET, you are anymore computer savy then your average homeowner. A large number of computer owners have a ton of programs start up upon boot. Each fighting for resources.

Last, but not least "Why, why must it crash every single time I open a PDF? I mean, every single time." I must say, I have never, let me repeat for the sake of impact, NEVER had a PDF document fail to open in Firefox. First time, every time. This holds true on all of my pc's (1 laptop and 3 desktops). If you're having problems, I would look at the Acrobat Reader version, Firefox version or update to the plug-in.

I'm currently running XP (Home on Laptop and Pro on Desktop) with Firefox V1.0, Acrobat 6.0.3

Firefox is the best browser around, for me, as I'm sure it is for millions of others around. Before you start carving it's headstone "RIP", make sure you've got all your ducks in a row.

Brett S.
Posted by casecorgis (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
fighting for resources
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/jeep_wrangler_lj_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/jeep_wrangler_lj_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Thunder Johny (200 comments )
Link Flag
Firefox needs help
Firefox is a very good browser, but it needs to be able to adapt more quickly to the changing environment of the internet.A quick response help desk for problems with Firefox would be a nice advantage for this upstart browser.
Posted by RobNotBob (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
MS anti spyare confirms firefox is safe!
Every night ms anti spyware says theres 0 threats... you know why? Becuase I use firefox.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Whoa whoa whoa, Let's not go overboard
Firefox is not the reason that you are 100% spyware free. It, I can only guess, is part of many different things you do to prevent infection from spyware. Sure Internet Explorer is a vector for infection, but sure enough, Firefox will feel the effects of Malware creators. We can only hope the Mozilla Devs keep fixing the problems as quickly as they have been. Otherwise we'd run into another MS's window() vulnerabilty issue.

Firefox is part of the cure but is NOT the cure. Let us not confuse this.

Besides, Firefox can't stop Sony from installing rootkits. [/shameless plug]
Posted by Xiata (3 comments )
Link Flag
0 threats
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/volvo_xc70_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/volvo_xc70_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Al Johnsons (157 comments )
Link Flag
I use firefox
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/pontiac_vibe_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/pontiac_vibe_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Ubber geek (325 comments )
Link Flag
0 threats
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/volvo_240_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/volvo_240_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by George Cole (314 comments )
Link Flag

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