Should Microsoft release source code for Internet Explorer for Mac?

“Microsoft is currently in trouble with the European authorities over its failure to give competitors access to details of its server software after a ruling in March 2004. It may be fined up to 2m euros (£1.36m; $2.4m) a day if it does not comply,” Bill Thompson writes for BBC News. “If the company really wants to show that it has changed its approach to business it could take the radical step of placing the source code for the Mac version of IE into the hands of users.”

“It would be too much to hope for the code to be made public domain and given away without any copyright restrictions, but it could at least get its highly-paid legal team to come up with a reasonably permissive licence that would let coders get their hands on the last supported version and keep it going,” Thompson writes. “Not only would this confound many of their critics, who see the decision to drop IE support as a retaliation against the new-found popularity of the Mac with the iPod generation, but it would give it a massive credibility boost with the free/open source community. A few months ago Microsoft simplified and improved the licences under which it made the source code of some products available for inspection. Now it could go a step further, and actually let us work with its code and keep this useful product alive.”

Full article here.

[UPDATE: 12:40pm EST: fixed headline typo.]
At one point in time, long ago, Microsoft Internet Explorer was arguably the best Mac browser. Seems hard to believe today. Only God knows how much spaghetti code and pieces of code are cobbled together in IE for Mac. It’s woefully old, out-dated, and bereft of modern features. Who would want to work on that? Let it die. If web developers (hello to some banks and government agencies) would simply code for open standards and eschew the proprietary, closed, Microsoft ActiveX crap, the World Wide Web would be a much better place. Nobody needs IE – amazingly the most used and also one of the worst browsers (Mac and Windows) in the world – if web devs design standards-based sites supporting everyone. Any site that requires Windows and/or Internet Explorer is the equivalent of discrimination. The short-sighted company’s name should be noted, contacted with a complaint, and you should strongly consider whether you want to do business with a company that basically kicked you out of their store or service for not using what they say you should use. The customer is always right and businesses that wish to do well should not be dictating how we get to their products and services.

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
Microsoft may face US$2.4 million per day EU fine – December 22, 2005
Microsoft officially ends support for Internet Explorer for Mac on December 31, 2005 – December 18, 2005
Apple’s Mac OS X, Safari web browser show market share gains – December 03, 2005
Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer flaw ‘extremely critical, worse than expected’ – November 30, 2005
World Wide Web Consortium objects to US Copyright Office’s Internet Explorer-only browser plan – August 25, 2005
U.S. Copyright Office: is it okay if our new website only works with Internet Explorer? – August 11, 2005
Security report shows Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was unsafe for all but seven days of 2004 – March 22, 2005
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer continues to lose share; Firefox, Safari, others show gains – January 20, 2005
Penn State’s IT Services recommends dumping Microsoft Internet Explorer immediately – December 09, 2004
Security expert: Don’t use Microsoft Windows, Office, Outlook, Internet Explorer – December 09, 2004
German Federal Office for Information Security: Internet users should ditch Internet Explorer – September 13, 2004
Securty expert: Microsoft Internet Explorer ‘just cannot be trusted, use alternate browser’ – July 02, 2004
Security firm warns of new Internet Explorer flaw, advises ‘use a different browser’ – July 01, 2004
Microsoft axes Internet Explorer for Mac – June 13, 2003

46 Comments

  1. “Should Microsoft to release source code for Internet Explorer for Mac?”

    I say no for two reasons:

    1 – No company should be forced to give up intellectual property (or un-intellectual property as it refers to IE).

    2 – The world should work to reduce pain and crimes against humanity, not promote them. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue wink” style=”border:0;” />

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