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WebKit for IE? "Interesting," but it's ever going to happen

I love it! Microsoft head honcho Steve Ballmer makes a throwaway comment about WebKit in response to an out-of-the-blue question and tech pundits the world over have a collective blorgasm.
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Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributor on

I love it! Microsoft head honcho Steve Ballmer makes a throwaway comment about WebKit in response to an out-of-the-blue question and tech pundits the world over have a collective blorgasm.

OK, I'll admit that it would be very cool if IE did come kitted out with the WebKit rendering engine. It's a very good rendering engine, as demonstrated by Google's Chrome (I would say Safari but for the fact that the rest of the browser is a total letdown). It's very fast and gives consistent results. Making the switch would also give Microsoft a rendering engine they could use for the Windows Mobile platform.

But it's not going to happen. Certainly not on Ballmer's watch. Why? Plenty of reasons:

  • Microsoft turning to Apple for a rendering engine? Think of the zealots (from both camps)! Think of the Apple ads! That alone would likely kill the idea stone dead.
  • Why WebKit? I think that Microsoft might be more likely to go for Gecko instead given that it is licensed under Mozilla Public License (MPL), GNU General Public License (GPL) and GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).
  • It would be a very big switch that would likely break a LOT of websites.
  • Imagine the Apple ads!!!

Not gonna happen ...

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