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Microsoft? IE? WebKit? Don't count on it

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's developer powwow is getting some attention on what was almost a throwaway sentence. Ballmer said Microsoft may look at WebKit, the browser rendering engine in the Safari and Chrome.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's developer powwow is getting some attention on what was almost a throwaway sentence. Ballmer said Microsoft may look at WebKit, the browser rendering engine in the Safari and Chrome.

Naturally, that turned into Microsoft adopting WebKit for Internet Explorer (Techmeme).

Let's go to the tape via ZDNet Australia: Ballmer was asked whether IE was becoming irrelevant since Web standards are evolving faster than proprietary development. Ballmer called the question "cheeky" and said what he said a million times about anything open source and community based. Ballmer said open source is "interesting" and that Microsoft "may need to have a rendering service." Ballmer's point: If you believe all browsers will be the same they'll all just use standards like WebKit. The reality is browsers will all support Web standards and "provide innovative extensions even before the standards get there." "Right now we feel very confident in our Web team," said Ballmer.

That's hardly a ringing endorsement. Microsoft looks at everything. And guess what? Everything is "interesting" to Microsoft. The WebKit comments are overblown.

But don't take it from me you decide. ZDNet Australia has the entire keynote from Sydney embedded here. Ballmer's WebKit comments appear at the 38:45 mark.

There were a lot of items in Ballmer's keynote worth a look. Here's a look at ZDNet Australia's coverage:

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