Commitment to standards

Microsoft often seems to use divergence from widely accepted standards as a way of locking in its customers - but that approach doesn't work on the web where failure to adher to common standards usually leads to a loss of business.

Last week several regular contributors suffered a brief emotional break-out on the general subject of standards and the particular subject of Microsoft's adherence to them - a commitment explaining why someone still using Word 6 can now read a Word 10 document.

Storm14K had, I think, the thing right when he suggested that:

standards are not against MS. If MS would simply follow the W3C standards as they're trying to do now with IE 8 there would be no problem. You should not have to write the same code more than once to get the same result in multiple browsers. And the majority of the time the MS version looks more like an inexplicable hack than any sort of logical code.

Sometimes, of course, wintel release chauvinism gets a little carried away - basically giving people like me the clear message that failure to adore their products sufficiently to buy them disqualifies me as someone they want to talk to - here are two images, one from Firefox on CDE/Solaris, the other Opera - also on CDE/Solaris - both from Intel's IT professionals blog:

No image? Probably my carrier

No image? Probably my carrier

I can, of course, read Intel's marketing materials simply by telling Opera to pretend to be IE - but do I want to? No.

So is there really a reason these guys can't follow dead simple html standards? No. The reason they don't is, I think, that theirs is a closed universe in which outsiders cannot exist and therefore need not be considered.

And my bottom line on their attitude? click.