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April 11th, 2000

[10:00 AM] PC World: Mac IE 5 Better than Windows IE 5.5?
by Staff

According to PC World, Microsoft is at it again. They have apparently reversed their decision to support the set of browser guidelines laid out by the Web Standards Project in their upcoming Windows release of IE 5.5. The Web Standards Project is a two-year old organization aiming to establish common standards for web browsers and designers, with the goal of making the web truly platform and browser independent. According to a PC World article:

The Web Standards Project, a two-year-old coalition of developers and users that promotes the use of standards in Web-page development, issued a sharply worded statement on Monday accusing Microsoft of abandoning its promise to abide by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards in Internet Explorer 5.5, due to ship in a few months.

The release said the Web Standards Project is "incensed by Microsoft's arrogance" over a standards issue that is crucial to Web developers. The dominant position of Microsoft's Windows operating system, into which IE has been integrated, will make it nearly impossible for developers to create documents that adhere to the W3C standards.

"We don't understand why they don't think Windows users deserve the same standard of standards compliance. If they could do it for their Macintosh group ... surely they can afford to do it for the rest of the market, Zeldman says.

Zeldman says Microsoft's decision was "very divisive" for the future of the Web. Developers who are compelled to write code for IE 5.5 will be leaving Linux, Macintosh, Netscape, and Unix users out in the cold, while developers whose code complies with W3C standards will leave Windows users out in the cold.

This is surely not the last heard of this situation. You can read the full PC World article at their web site.

Thanks to Observer Jared Traum for bringing this to our attention.

The Mac Observer Spin: This has been the pattern from Microsoft for years. In order to try and manipulate their customers into reliance upon their products, the company will warp open standards into their own proprietary ones. They don't do this to make them better, they do it to make developers and consumers choose the Windows Way or the Other Way (Open Standards). With Windows' market share, the choice is obvious to most. They have done so with Java and most of the other Internet oriented technologies they have touched. Divide, extend, and separate.

In the meanwhile, the Microsoft Mac Business Unit continues to make great Mac apps, as this article from PC World mentions.

It is somewhat amusing that the company that makes some of the best Mac apps in the world is Microsoft. We are sure there are many people, including many people reading this article, who may disagree with that statement, but we think that an objective analysis backs it up.


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