The original PlatformWars over the browser were kind of interesting for several reasons :

Round 1) Netscape were wiped out.

Several reasons were given :

  • MicroSoft played dirty (hence all that legal stuff in the late 90s)
  • Netscape were stupid :

** the JoelSpolsky version : they rewrote their code (ThePerfectRewrite)

** I think they went round boasting too much about how they were going to beat MicroSoft

  • MS are PlatformWars/Logic experts (Lotus vs. Excel, Windows vs. O/S2) and just knew how to do this (in terms of supporting standards better etc. at the time)
  • MS have lots of money
  • MS have an unfair advantage in that they can leverage Windows etc.

Round 1.5) Netscape get's OpenSource****ed

Round 2) FireFox starts to regain ground :

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/19/business/yourmoney/19digi.html?ex=1261198800&en=01ccc9efcac373bd&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland

How come?

Because MS stopped working on IE. And because now that it's Open Source Mozilla is disruptive. In the sense that whatever other faults it has, it sees the market from a perspective which IE can't. And hence can do things which don't make sense for MS.

The article makes a lot of security problems which are inherant to IE because of it's close integration with Windows. The fact that IE can run ActiveX controls (which can encapsulate any kind of program with access to most Windows resources) makes it very hard to prevent hostile SpyWare getting onto the user's PC. MS could only fix this security problem by turning off ActiveX support which is a feature of IE. And would breal lots of legitimate ActiveX apps.

(WarpLink) SdiDesk currently uses IE as a component. Maybe it's fate is bound to that of IE.

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