Safari pique: Microsoft halts work on Internet Explorer 6 for Mac

“In the latest twist in the twenty five year long poker game between Apple and Microsoft, the impeccably reliable Nick de Plume of Think Secret suggests that Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit has halted work on Internet Explorer 6 for Mac OS X… Nick suggests the suspension of this major rewrite may be a resource problem, with Microsoft management wanting to commit to MSN Explorer instead. But which ever way you slice it, this very much looks like a work-to-rule. A realistic audience for MSN amongst Apple users is optimistically in the low six figures, while every new Mac purchaser is a potential Internet Explorer user: a far larger number. So the decision looks like Microsoft responding to Apple’s message of “we can do this ourselves” in kind,” reports Andrew Orlowski for The Register. Full article here.

MacDailyNews take: Microsoft Internet Explorer for Mac? What’s that?


  1. With Apple developing its own browser, and M$ owning a lot of internet content, it really has no huge incentive to develop the free webbrowser for Mac, just getting Mac users to go to its websites which was what IE was good at since every upgrade defaulted your homepage to MSN…

  2. I knew this story was going to be picked apart. If anyone bothered to read the original story. IE was put on hold so they can concentrate on getting MSN 8 out the door. I don’t think Microsoft would give up on a 1 1/2 year re-write just because Apple came out with a beta browser.

  3. MSN 8? ROTFLMFAO! MSN 8, with a change at maybe 200-400K Mac users total market or IE, an app with a shot at 10-20 million Mac users. Let’s concentrate on MSN 8!

    BDK = foolish moron. Sorry to be blatant, but your comment is just so damn foolish.

  4. “BDK = foolish moron. Sorry to be blatant, but your comment is just so damn foolish.”

    Actually, BDK is spot on. The MacBU only has so many programmers available to work on any given project. They can’t exactly mount the Windows-style human-wave frontal assault.

    As for BDK’s mental abilities, let’s do some math.

    10-20 million potential Mac IE 6 users. 300-400K Mac MSN 8 users, each with a monthly SUBSCRIPTION, plus collateral marketing opportunities.

    Yep, the priority item is the one that makes no money. That’s why you get all that high-quality free content with cable TV, like CSPAN 1, CSPAN 2 and Public Access TV.

  5. 1. make that 200-400K “brain-dead” MSN Mac users. Why a Mac user would sign up with MSN is beyond imagination.

    2. MS wants to cede 10-20 million browsers, thereby eliminating their ability to sew up the Web with their shoddy “solutions” in order to upgrade 200-400K MSN Mac users’ crapware?

    3. Try again, TDMG. You make me laugh harder than BDK. Does TDMG stand for Too Dense and Mostly Gullible?

  6. Keep in mind that…

    – WinIE =! Mac IE in terms of their browser engine. The proprietary kit (ActiveX and such) doesn’t work on MacIE, whereas MacIE’s focus has always been on W3C standards support (CSS 1 and 2, DOM, etc.). So MacIE doesn’t really help MS on the “Wintel hegemony” front (except for very MINOR things like NTLM support).
    – Mac IE not only doesn’t bring in any money for MS, they have to SPEND money to provide tech support to end users.
    – MSN has all the Qwest DSL and dialup customers now. That’s a fair chunk of Macs. They already have a kinda lame client for MSN. This new one is much more like the MSN 8 Explorer, and puts them much more on a par with AOL if not better than them.

    The MacBU is always going to need SOMETHING to render HTML with, as long as they want to keep writing software, and the odds of them using WebCore/KHTML (a GPL licensed product) or Gecko (a Netscape product) are about the same as the odds of Bill Gates asking Joel Klein and Janet Reno to have a threesome. The question becomes if Apple wants a browser other than IE as default (and I can see Apple’s side- IE 5 came out in January 2000, and that browser, while fine for 2000, is wearing long white whiskers now), is it worth the cost to have the rendering engine as a separate product, or should it be monetized as part of Office and MSN?

  7. You can’t fault M$ for wanting to focus on a product they can sell, and not on a product they give away. That said, if they want to control how people view the internet, they should get a good/modern vertion of IE out ASAP! I know very few people who use IE anymore, and none of my Mac friends use it anymore. The real cost to M$ is that they soon won’t control how many people view the internet. This is how they can put proprietary code into FrontPage & SQL Server, which they do charge for. As more Windows users jump to Opera & Mozilla, and Mac usera jump to Safari, iCab, and Chimera, M$ is loosing a huge market. Oh well, they seem to only be interested in developing for the X-Box right now…

  8. 1. Rick, stop being a Richard. If you really need to call people names, you probably should start with people closer to home. I’m sure they’d be happy to apply the appropriate remedy.

    2. MS doesn’t care about owning web standards any more; that’s no longer a lock-in factor. It’s all about subscriptions now, and the “brain-dead” folks who will subscribe to MSN are the same “brain-dead” folks who now subscribe to AOL. In other words, the absolutely normal people who don’t give a damn about technical issues or platforms, and will pay for content and connectivity served up in an easy-to-use, hassle-free package.

    You know – everybody who went to your high school except you.

    3. TDMG = That Darned Mac Guy. I’m not gullible. They rule that out before they give you a blue badge.

    4. “The real cost to M$ is that they soon won’t control how many people view the internet.” Where does it say that providing the browser gives you that control?

    Follow the money. Does anyone pay for a browser now? In the process of getting on the Internet and using the Internet, who pays what to whom, and what do they pay for?

  9. Yeah, right. It makes no sense for MS to trade millions of non-revenue customers for far fewer paying customers because they would get more money from the…uh…ok, how about:

    Microsoft is no more likely to trade millions of nonpaying customers for far fewer paying customers than Apple is to trade in millions of nonpaying iTools customers for far fewer customers in a paid service. What? They did?

    The preceding was sarcasm for people who don’t see the irony in what you’re saying about Microsoft.

  10. I think that MS is simply putting IE6 on hold to get MSN8 out the door, but they do intend to ship IE6 at some point. Also, since Safari has been released, MS doesn’t feel as pressured to release a beta of IE. Therefore they can wait till the Safari hype dies down to release IE6.

  11. I think this has to do with monopoly.

    MS says “If we can’t be the dominant browser on MacOS X, then we just won’t be ANY browser at all!”

    Just goes to show you they hate competition.

    But, we’ll probably read in the next week or two that Apple paid MS to not develop IE anymore. That would’ve been more money than MS would’ve made giving it away, anyways ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

  12. I sure as hell want IE6

    Call me a moron or whatever you like, but I sure want to see microsoft’s IE6 for MacOS… fact is it has the best rendering any browser has ever had. Even today…

    IE5 was quite speedy in OS9 and is they fix javascript and renderspeed issues by porting it to cocoa or something, safari is going out… immediatly. I use the best quality browser there is, and at the moment, safari is a piece of crap that can render fast, but practically nothing exactly right. Okay it’s not a piece of crap, but it isn’t finished, it has cookie problems, Javascript problems, plugin problems, render mistakes…

    I want to see IE6. I want to have it…

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