Reading a recent blog post on zdnet regarding Microsoft had the line: "If you are referring to Netscape, Microsoft won that battle on merit" I too read this line with incredulity. Are we to take this as fact or opinion.
merit - any admirable quality or attribute? Did that apply to IE v Netscape? I'm not sure it did if my history serves me right, and the subsequent Legal battles in which Microsoft settled. And this battle of so called 'merit' is still goes on.
Its in the detail: Installing on XP - Internet Explorer 8 - the Address bar, its features regarding web site history are only fully implemented if MS Windows Search has been installed. The 'basic' address bar has a constant 'Nag' in bold blue (which changes to bold blue underlined (as a link) when your mouse hovers over it. This nag appears every time you type in the address bar and is very distracting, unless of course - you take the advice of MS and install Microsoft Search V4.
That is the problem with IE8, compared to Firefox (which deserves merit). Its like been in a room with pushy MS Salesmen hovering over you and its a big turn-off. Be it the install process or using the product - one slip 'using any MS express install' and you have defaulted to another MS Product, be it Live Search (Bing), Search V4, Live Blog, Office Live. The sheer desperation of MS Bing to win against Google Search is very apparent, but then Chrome is the same but with Google Salesmen, looking slightly more hip, but recording everything you say,do, eat - toilet breaks etc, and comparing your tastes against the curtains you have chosen from the acquired front view of your house - street view. No large dominant company comes up smelling of roses in this regard - until regulatory bodies starts to take interest, 'oh didn't mean it - honest' see Apple/Google recently. Sadly, Microsoft has set the line, in terms of what is 'acceptable' in terms of Market Dominance Abuse - they wrote the text, that the rest now follow.
A Simple Version of History and how it continues. * Netscape come up with a new type of program, a browser. MS ties Internet Explorer (for free) into Windows 95 (Windows Desktop Update), IE becomes part of the standard interface as part of Windows 98. Netscape disappears into a cloud of dust. Realplayer has a pretty good media player. MS ties Windows Media Player (for free) into Windows. Realplayer (pretty much) disappears into a cloud of dust. Europe Union force MS to release a Version of XP known as Version N, without the Windows Media 'tie-in'. No one buys it, no direct seller dares to install it. With the EU watching them closely - No longer able to 'tie-in' programs into Windows, instead MS seem to use the 'stepping stone' put in place several years before (see * above) and now a rock solid part of Windows - Internet Explorer, 80% of users at the time, use this on their Windows Systems. 100% have it installed. Google release Desktop Search - MS unable to compete on search- MS ties MS Search V4 into IE8. This next bit is in work in progress... (Thats why the 'nag' I mentioned above is so important) Its whether having Internet Explorer now a ubiquitous part of Windows, means that any tie-ins into IE8 are in effect tie-ins into Windows, and therefore this sorry mess continues.
Microsoft deal with the EU, to include 'Microsoft Browser Choice', has helped smaller browsers gain recognition, using Automatic Update. The detail is again evident - have your Windows Updates set to Download and Manually install, rather than Automatic Updates, and the tick box against the Microsoft Browser Choice update is 'unticked' by default - its a subtle difference, compared to all the other updates which are ticked and selected by default.
Looking ahead to the MS Tablet, it will be lit up like a Christmas Tree - MS Products a plenty, already installed by default. So is the new MS Tablet, the new IE8, in the context of above? I think so. - process continues.