Study the past, understand the future.
Robert Scoble mentions on his blog that he had a meeting with the IE team and that they are solicitating feedback from the blog community about what to include in the next update of the browser. While particular features are nice, I’d like to suggest something much more radical: Switch to Mozilla. It may sound like heresy and would create quite some controversy in the online space but let’s face it, the browser wars are over. Since AOL decided to get out of the browser business, the Mozilla foundation has successfully managed a transition and is now moving forward on adding value to their offerings. By adopting Mozilla as their core rendering engine, Microsoft could achieve a number of quick wins: first of all, it would allow it to adopt a number of new features that many users have requested. Things like tabbed browsing, an expandable plug-in architecture, a rendering language for the application layer (no more XUL vs XAML discussions) would come out of the box. Second, it would put an end to issues relating to standard compliance that have plagued the different implementation. Since Internet Explorer controls the market, and Mozilla and Firebird represent a substantial portion of…Read More
AOL and Microsoft have announced an end to their feud. It seems to me that there is a lot in there that needs to be dissected and pondered about. It will impact the development of the Internet for years to come. IM : One of the conditions for the AOL/Time Warner merger was that AOL open its instant messaging platform to other parties. By agreeing to interoperability between the AOL IM client and MSN messenger one, AOL will now be able to point to its “openness” while maintaining a relatively tight control over the progress of that tool. I am sure the two companies are interested in working together and somehow doubt that they will be very interested in opening the world to other competitors. At the current time, IM has taken the consumer world by storm and is starting to make headway in the enterprise. Because of its presence concept (you can see whether the people on your buddy list are online right now or not), it will eventually become a critical tool in the enterprise, moving some data traffic from the phone and email to this new platform. Already today, enterprises that have implemented IM solutions are seeing…Read More
Today’s release of Beta 2 of the Safari browser heralds the introduction of tabbed browsing in the much talked about browser. This is an interesting development which shows that sometimes, the influence of a particular browser goes beyond its existing market share. Safari’s tabbed browsing is a result of an implementation that first appeared in Opera, a browser used primarily by developers. Mimicking the Opera tabs, the Mozilla project introduced a browser which popularized the feature (the browser is Mozilla, and also serves as the core engine for the Netscape browser). When Safari was introduced, there was an outcry from the developers’ community over the browser’s lack of tabs. With this release, Apple shows that it is listening closely. All these developments are happening among browsers which have a combined market share equivalent to one fourth to one fifth of the one engine enjoyed by IE, the leader (in browser market share) offered by Microsoft. However, they point to an interesting scenario about how new features go from being enjoyed by a small but vocal minority to a wider audience. Tabbed browsing was one of the big innovations that Opera introduced in the marketplace but it wasn’t until Mozilla’s implementation…Read More
Back in the early-ish days of the commercial Internet (circa 95), we were talking about the browser wars to describe the fight between then-leader Netscape Navigator and Microsoft’s upstart Internet Explorer. Should we start talking about the search engine wars as Overture and Google are about to go head to head in a new set of battles? On the left, you’ve got Google, the 2000 pounds gorilla of search which is now looking to expand its advertising program beyond its site and is fighting to not have its name associated with searching on the Internet. However, playing to its advantage is that it now owns a patent on its ranking technology. On the right, you’ve got Overture, which once had a business that most people figured would fail (after all, who would pay for a placement in a search engine?) but somehow managed to prove the naysayers wrong and is now going out and buying itself a new seat at the search table. At stake is the future of search but it may be much more. It looks like the market is reshaping itself to become not just about search but also about targeting. Give the right search result, attach…Read More
I use my browser all the time. It’s one of the programs on my system that just stays open most of the time. I used to love Netscape but was seduced by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 4.0 and never went back to Netscape on a regular basis since. However, something told me that a browser that was two years in development could outdo the Internet Explorer 5.0 browser I have on my machine. So I downloaded Netscape 6.0, the first browser to be released by Netscape since it was acquired by AOL. The first thing that strikes me in this browser is that it seems very me-too’ish. A lot of the features that made IE a better browser are now there: small install program, not having to install the mail client (I use Eudora anyway), faster page presentation. All those were among the features that lured me into Microsoft’s camp when they released their browser. Sure, having them try to register me to Netcenter was annoying (I managed to bypass that) and it’s true that the browser color scheme (horrible blue) was terrible but I figured that this were only temporary pains. I loaded the 10-20 sites I hit most of…Read More