“Purveyors and consumers of Web content and software, already unsettled by the peace pact between former arch rivals Microsoft and AOL Time Warner, may be in store for an even more radical upset with Microsoft’s stated plans to eliminate standalone versions of its Internet Explorer browser, reports Paul Festa, Staff Writer, CNET News.com.
Festa continues, “The apparent move to discontinue standalone IE also makes Microsoft competitors Apple Computer and AOL appear prescient in their recent maneuvers to secure long-term access to browser technology. Apple in January launched its own browser, based on the open-source KHTML development project, and analysts at the time attributed the move to Apple’s desire to maximize its independence from Microsoft and IE. The timing may have been just right, if the elimination of a standalone IE leads to the discontinuation of a version of the browser for the Macintosh OS.”
“Microsoft declined to answer most specific questions on this story, but the company representative said Microsoft would ‘ensure that all current IE users will have access to updates in the future.’ Microsoft would not clarify whether that meant there would be continued updates to IE for Windows on a standalone basis, or for the Mac, and if so, what it meant when it promised to end production of standalone IE,” writes Festa.
“Microsoft did seem to suggest that however it plans to take care of existing users of standalone IE, their options were even less certain once the company’s next version of Windows comes out. ‘If you’re using IE now, for Mac or Windows, you will have access to any appropriate updates,’ said the Microsoft representative. ‘There will be continued innovation and improvement. For the near and immediate future, customers will have access to IE. It’s not going anywhere as a product. What happens in the Longhorn timeframe–it’s too early to discuss,'” reports Festa.
Full article here.