Weekend Discussion: Microsoft and 86%

Friday July 14th, 2000

There has been a lot of discussion about Microsoft's release of IE 5.5 recently, especially in regards to their support for standards such as CSS, DOM, and XML. Apparently Microsoft is developing new proprietary technologies at the expense of standards compliance in core web technologies.

The conversation in the WSP's mailing list has gotten overheated, and the WSP has released a piece on IE 5.5.

CNet is running an article on IE 5.5's proprietary new features, and there's a discussion on Slashdot regarding this very issue.

I now have a weblog at the O'Reilly Network, and you can check out my first piece, devoted to Microsoft's .NET initiative, which hits on Microsoft's standards support.

With all this hoopla aimed at Microsoft, we shouldn't be letting Netscape off easy. I think it's time for Netscape to come out and state clearly where they expect to be in terms of standards compliance at version 6.0. If it is not the 100% that we had been told to expect, it's in their best interest to say why. Remember, Netscape 6.0 will have its own "behavior" implementation (XBL) that is, at this point, just as proprietary as Microsoft's DHTML behaviors (the dev team plans on submitting XBL to the W3C in the future).

And although has not taken a position one way or another on Mozilla's standards compliance, it would be nice if they could weigh in and let the community know what they're thinking in terms of standards support in Mozilla's first release.

What do you think about standards support and compliance? Is it important? Or should the placation of existing customers be the priority? Let us know!

#72 Yes they did start from scratch with IE

by leafdigital

Tuesday July 18th, 2000 6:46 AM

You are replying to this message

They did start more or less from scratch when developing IE version 4. There are still some components remaining from the old Spyglass code, but it was almost entirely rewritten.

(It shows; IE up to version 3 just sucked, there were no two ways about it. IE4 was the first browser that genuinely was better than Netscape.) And I'm pretty certain that you're wrong; a significant proportion of people will not switch. I'd estimate maybe 5% of people are in the market to switch if they can get something better, but 95% don't care.

If AOL switch to a Mozilla variant, then that'll push up Mozilla's market share significantly, but I doubt Mozilla will ever again be in the majority. (That isn't a bad thing - a 60-40 IE-Mozilla split would ensure that web designers continue to make pages work on both browsers, and that there would still be significant competition. I'm not at all sure Mozilla can reach that 40%, but it would be nice.)