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June 21, 2004

On traction, tornados and the chasm

Slashdot today reports suggestions that Microsoft may be reconstituting its IE team

Which is interesting on a couple of fronts

1. it is a tacit admission that MS, after winning the browser war over Netscape, simply abandoned further IE development, even with significant work to be done supporting core web standards such as XHTML 1 and CSS 2 (or even 2.1, which is a much reduced subset of CSS 2)

2. It suggests that MS may have some concerns about the inroads that browsers such as Mozilla/Firefox might be making.

How concerned should they be?

While westciv's audience is far from typical, in the last 3 months our stat's show non IE browsers visiting rising from around 5% to over 25%. Given many are probably spoofing IE headers, I'd go out on a limb and suggest as many as a third of our visitors use non IE browsers (even though a significant majority use Windows)

For those familiar with Geoffrey Moore's "Crossing the chasm" thesis, I'd suggest adoption of standards based browsing is "in the tornado", before the chasm that divides visionaries from pragmatists.

Standards based development is probably at this stage too.

It remains to be seen whether both can "cross the chasm".

June 21, 2004 | Permalink


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I use Firefox, not because it supports standards, but it has tabbed browsing and looks like it is more responsive. The standards support is a negative thing for Firefox, since it doesn't render all sites nicely. So for those sites I use IE. I don't think MS is concerned with anything, that is something you put into the MS's mouth, a typical slashdot tactic. I will switch back to IE as soon as either Longhorn comes out or MS updates IE. In any case, I don't have faith in Mozilla as a development platform. Also another reason for Firefox was popups and prompts to download activex stuff. That is something being fixed in SP2, so one less reason to use Firefox. I hope Mozilla developers will learn something from Microsoft and become more responsive, rather than relying on Slashdotters' and your support, since the real customers do not have tolerance about this religious cult.

Posted by: Alex | Jun 21, 2004 11:51:08 AM

Don't forget about the plethora of security holes in IE, Alex.

Posted by: Tony | Jul 22, 2004 11:46:27 AM