No conspiracy to neglect Firefox: Microsoft

At Microsoft's Tech.Ed conference in Sydney this week, the software giant claimed that all the company's Live services will fully support alternative browsers such as Firefox and Opera.

At Microsoft's Tech.Ed conference in Sydney this week, the software giant claimed that all the company's Live services will fully support alternative browsers such as Firefox and Opera.

Microsoft Australia's development evangelist, Frank Arrigo, was quick to extinguish any suggestion that Microsoft's browser-based "Live" services would not work as well -- or at all -- with browsers other than Internet Explorer.

"I know for a fact that the Live team themselves spend a lot of cycles on the non-IE browsers. I don't think there is a conspiracy theory saying we are not going to support other browsers," said Arrigo.

When questioned about why some of the Live beta services only work on IE, Arrigo explained that this was purely because they were still at the beta testing stage.

"That is our beta offering and that is what they are. Will they do the work to support other browsers? I am sure they will. They are saying 'let's get stuff out there and deal with our beta customers first'. The online services are being done to be fully supported on other browsers," he said.

The comments came shortly after Sam Ramji, the director of Microsoft's open-source software lab, posted an open invitation for developers to work with the software giant on a Mozilla development discussion group mailing list.

"I'm writing to see if you are open to some 1:1 support in getting Firefox and Thunderbird to run on Vista," Ramji wrote. Mozilla oversees the development of the open source Firefox Web browser and Thunderbird e-mail client.

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