Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 to be Final Standalone Version

Monday June 2nd, 2003

Over the last few days, several people have written in with the news that there will be no further standalone versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer. Future enhancements to the browser will only be delivered in the form of operating system upgrades. The news was confirmed by Internet Explorer Program Manager Brian Countryman in a May 7th online chat discussing the changes made to Internet Explorer for Windows Server 2003. He said: "As part of the OS, IE will continue to evolve, but there will be no future standalone installations. IE6 SP1 is the final standalone installation... Legacy OSes have reached their zenith with the addition of IE 6 SP1. Further improvements to IE will require enhancements to the underlying OS." The next consumer version of Windows, codenamed Longhorn, is due in 2005.

Update! According to a CNET article, the standalone version of IE may, in fact, continue to be updated. "If you're using IE now, for Mac or Windows, you will have access to any appropriate updates," the report quotes a Microsoft representative as saying. "There will be continued innovation and improvement... It's not going anywhere as a product. What happens in the Longhorn timeframe — it's too early to discuss."

#2 opportunity

by morg

Monday June 2nd, 2003 10:23 PM

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As time marches on, IE will get more and more out of date. This is a giant opportunity for alternative web browsers, and that means us.

With 1.4's NTLM support and its ability to mount home dirs on network drives, 1.4 and Netscape's next release should get a lot of corporate attention. Then, once we transition to Firebird, the product will become even more competitive.

We'll keep fixing bugs, fine-tuning, and adding new features. IE will stagnate.

One thing I really would like to see post-1.4 is crash recovery. That would be huge.