Internet Explorer: No Catching Up with Firefox Now
If you look at something called the Exchange Client Extension, Microsoft envisioned a community of developers who would add functionality to first the inbox mail client and later to Outlook 97. But, even with a large developer community, only a few people ever wrote ECE's. When they did, Microsoft usually incorporated them into the next version of Outlook. So, most of those extensions suffer from link rot.
So, here comes IE 7 and Microsoft has picked up on some of Firefox's hot features. But, even if they copied every cool FireFox feature, how will they get people to duplicate the extensions? Would they turn IE 7 into a free office suite? I can already do almost everything I need for my daily work with Google Mail, the toolbar and the Mozilla calendar client. What compelling IE 7 features would make me want to change from Linux to Windows Vista?
I think that even if IE 7 turns out to be a great browser, Microsoft could not afford to put the functionality into it that FireFox has already. And, why would people pay for Microsoft's productivity tools inside the browser?
I think the non-core Mozilla development community is having too much fun with the tool kits for making extensions. This may only be the start of a database of applications tied to FireFox. I'm seeing some serious applications being developed just for FireFox.
Besides, every time Microsoft comes out with a new version of something like Internet Explorer or Outlook, it turns into Internet Exploder and Outbreak!
Have you ever seen some of the vulnerabilities that Microsoft has had in some of its Internet applications? A little while ago, I got an email forwarded to me from our editor-in-chief. He replied off the top of his head to one of our editors who asked about some vulnerabilities. He also said he's seen hundreds of pages of hot fixes, so this is only a little bitty list:
Since I am a Linux user, I never have seen these kind of things. It makes me wonder about anything our friends up in Seattle suburbs make. I guess I am spoiled.
I just want to ask people a question. Are we doing everything we can to make Linux work for the everyday computer user?
I ask for a reason. So many people are risking so much every time they go on the Internet to browse around. I worry about what my children might be exposed to so I put on parental controls. But my twelve year old boy takes them off with a couple of key strokes. Imagine if he goes into some cool site and they have all these exploits and he uses Windows?
Your kids and spouses may be at risk too. Don't let them do on-line transactions under Internet Explorer. The protection isn't there for them.
The original question has to do with Microsoft Internet Explorer catching up to FireFox. First, I don't believe the estimates people use to gauge market share. I think that a company could down load one FireFox, put it on a server and let 100,000 employees download it from there. Most companies wouldn't let their employees go out to the Internet and download something. So, they put it on servers inside their networks.
Second, I wouldn't write an extension for Internet Explorer. If I put my name on a cool piece of code, I want someone to know about it. With Microsoft you only get 15 minutes of fame.
Third, I think that the FireFox momentum has only just begun. I expect companies to start packaging enterprise applications with FireFox. I think people might see more games build for FireFox. Anything that can be web-enabled or any web application you can or can't think of will be coming out faster for FireFox than they did for Windows 95 ten years ago.
Do you think people will start waking up and using FireFox exclusively? I have, but then I didn't allow no Internet Exploder to run on my PC anyway.
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