MS Çalışanları IE\’nin Kaderini Düşünüyor

Daha önceki blog \’umda da belirttiğim gibi: internet kullanıcılarının çoğu kısa bir sürede Internet Explorer \’dan FireFox \’a geçti, siz hala annenizin Internet Explorer \’ını mı kullanıyorsunuz yoksa? Hala yok ben Internet Explorer \’cıyım diyorsanız, şu habere dikkatinizi çekerim o halde:

The saga of Internet Explorer, the piece of software that once brought the Department of Justice to the brink of breaking up Microsoft, continues to eat away at the company. Several Microsoft employees have been reporting on their blogs that they feel the browser is not receiving adequate attention from upper management, and that it reflects badly on Microsoft as a result.

Rory Blythe, after posting a rant complaining about how many people seem excited about switching Firefox simply to \”beat the man,\” admitted in a comment that the lack of new features in Internet Explorer was embarrassing:

I think IE is horribly behind the times. When every other browser on the planet that\’s worth a damn supports tabbed browsing, it\’s just crappy that I still have to have different copies of IE open to have multiple sites open at once. As of right now, my favorite browser on the planet is Apple\’s Safari. That\’s hardly a defense of IE.

Others have joined in with similar comments. Windows Live developer and creator of RSS Bandit, Dare Obsasanjo stated his feelings quite clearly:

We haven\’t innovated in the browser for almost a decade. Given that Microsoft views IE as a defensive option to make Windows an enticing product, there is less incentive to make it the ultimate browsing experience as products whose bread and butter is the Web browser. Why do you think there are so many Google employees working on Mozilla?

The struggle for the promotion and development of Microsoft\’s web browser isn\’t new. Back in 1995, Microsoft had just finished shipping their most popular version of Windows ever, and the company was riding high. Immediately afterwards they got blindsided by the rise of Netscape and the sudden popularity of the World Wide Web. Bill Gates, whose own book The Road Ahead had largely ignored the Internet, went on a two-week retreat and returned with a memo entitled \”The Internet Tidal Wave\” that prompted the rush development of Internet Explorer.

But that was over ten years ago and the Browser Wars are long over. Netscape sold itself to AOL in 1998 and after a long slide into irrelevance was then effectively disbanded by its parent company in 2003. Internet Explorer rose to 90 percent marketshare and remains close to that figure today.

However, with Firefox recently passing 10 percent marketshare and even being preinstalled on some new computers (such the announcement that it would be installed on Dell PCs sold in the UK) the momentum seems to be steadily moving away from Internet Explorer. The IE 7 beta, which is to be included with Windows Vista as well as available as a standalone download for Windows XP, adds some Firefox features such as tabbed browsing, but does not appear (in current betas, at least) to offer anything really new or compelling. There are shells for IE such as Avant Browser and Maxthon that offer a plethora of features on top of IE, including tabbed browsing, but their adoption rate has been slow. For most people, IE is still IE 6, the same browser it was five years ago.

Why would Microsoft ignore Internet Explorer for so long, and be so slow to react to competitors such as Firefox? Some have speculated that the answer lies entirely with marketshare, and if IE ever drops below a certain point the company will move massive amounts of resources towards regaining the lead. In the mean time, the browser may be seen as a project that makes no money and therefore does not deserve any more than the minimum investment. As a public company, Microsoft is required to make these sorts of decisions. But are they ignoring long-term trends? Jorg Brown, who was on the Microsoft IE for Mac OS X team before it was disbanded, summed it up:

Then why on earth did we pursue IE in the first place? Just so that the DOJ would sue us?

Hemen FireFox \’a geçin, internetin keyfini çıkartın. GetFirefox.

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