Salon: The Browser as Middleware and Microsoft's Missteps

Friday November 12th, 1999

Salon Online has an interesting article in their Technology section, "Do the paranoid survive?" which delves into the paranoia that caused Microsoft to go after Netscape. Although the author discusses the idea of "the browser as middleware" -- the idea that the browser could function as a platform upon which other applications can be developed, in effect commoditizing the Operating System -- he neglects to mention that as a direct result of Microsoft's actions, Mozilla has sprung up and has been quietly developing a browser that actually embodies Microsoft's paranoid delusions. With 95% cross-platform code (expected to be 97% by release) and a user-interface built from XML, scriptable via JavaScript and C/C++, and rendered via HTML/CSS, Mozilla has more potential as a middle-tier base for cross-platform, Internet-ready application development than Netscape's offerings ever had. The Mozilla team is forging ahead into a new era in Internet applications (the Nokia/Intel Internet appliance is only the beginning) and even if it can't surmount IE's lead in the desktop browser base, it will indelibly change the face of the Internet, just as the first GUI browsers did. And Microsoft will once again be playing catch-up.

Thanks to James Keller for the news.

#1 Excellently Put

by dneighbors <>

Friday November 12th, 1999 7:51 AM

You are replying to this message

I totally agree that Mozilla will have the same impact of change that the first "non-text" browsers had.

At first people couldn't stand Mosaic. Because they couldn't understand why you would want to use it. Then several years later after many companies built and enhanced the spec and idea. We can't imagine the Internet as text based anymore.

Mozilla is bringing applications to the browser/internet in an EASY manner CROSS platform. A lot of people do not see how this is an advantage or why you would want to. Even people currently supporting Mozilla.

However as the spec gets changed and it evolves over a few years, it will change the Internet as we know it. Even if it means I.E. replicating the functionality.

My 2 Cents.