Proving once and for all that I have zero ability to predict what posts will generate the most commentary, my “Crazy Like a Firefox” post – which I treated as something of a throwaway, off-the-cuff entry – has generated a ton of interesting commentary and responses. What follows are some of the more interesting.
The best source is the original post itself, which has some very insightful commentary from some smart folks, Bruce Morgan from the IE team included.
But elsewhere on the interweb you can find the following:
- “Just today, I read this post over on tecosystems and his speculations on Microsoft’s strategy with IE – and interestingly enough Bruce Morgan from the Microsoft IE team makes several comments. In one he says to the author, ‘go ahead and make the argument that the browser is still strategically important to Microsoft’ and ‘I agree that IE is a strategic platform for Microsoft. Browsers are important because browsing is what people do. It’s not more complex than that…
A lot of people have lambasted Microsoft for Internet Explorer and its lack of ‘innovation’ and ‘features’. They point to Firefox and the strides it is making in making a better, more innovative, safe browser for the internet. The problem is – they’re right. But that’s not really the problem because what I am going to reveal to you now is Microsoft’s ultimate secret. And it is this exact idea and its lack of discussion that concerns me. It really doesn’t matter that Firefox is better/safer/faster/etc. than IE because Microsoft is going to reinvent browsing. Yes, I said browsing. Not just the browser. Browsing.” (link)
Very interesting commentary. I don’t, however, believe that this is a secret at all. Microsoft’s desire to reinvent the browsing experience via Avalon and other technologies is actually the primary justification for my explanation of not only their past behavior but the reasoning they might use to strategically cede some browser share to Firefox. One question for Aaron and the rest of the ‘Softies to ponder – does browsing need to be reinvented?
- I love this idea from Stephen O’Grady (via Scoble), Microsoft definitely has a chance to surprise people here, they should take advantage. (link)
Ok, I had to throw in the token supporting commentary 😉 Back to the dissenters. The following are some selected quotes from this Channel 9 thread:
- I used to think the same as that article. However, I realised there are problems.
The reason why Microsoft went after Netscape in such a way was not really because it was the dominant web browser but more because of their plans to turn Netscape into an application platform/operating system of its own. That was the threat, not the fact that it was a piece of software to browse the web.
It seems, and I believe its a wrong way to go, that Mozilla.org wants to push in the same direction by taking on Microsoft with their XUL-based web application platform. That destroys any idea of a tie-up between Firefox and Microsoft. Unfortunately. (link)
- Thats hardly a reason for MS to embrace firefox. Why do they want to go cross platform? That means less people buying there OS. You are suggesting they do somthing for free, on an open source project, that could damage there sales. Not going to happen.
- Haven’t we seen all this before?
I have used firefox and shock, horror… it’s just an Internet browser … woooooow … my world is shaking.
Erm, but I’ve got one of those, infact it was free too, it came with Windows. Why should I switch? Don’t give me some techno-babble reason because I won’t be interested or a talk about standards because the websites I use all see to work just fine.
Do I sound arrogant? Yes you are right and I apologise for that, but you can see the issue, the man in the street isn’t really going to give a darn about Firefox unless it gives him an advantage that IE doesn’t have, so far I can see the killer feature?
- I’ve been using Firefox for a month now. Yawn. The only reason why I keep it is that I am too lazy to uninstall it and figure out how to export my new bookmarks back to IE.
The only “killer feature” is that Firefox is billed as “safer” without having to have its preferences set up a certain way (like IE). That’s what will get mom and pops to download and install it. Most of the techno-elite who strongly tout it seem to be the ardent anti-microsoft-at-all-costs-show-no-mercy types and they will rally around any app no matter what it is, even a lowly browser, if it is not from Microsoft. Personally, I would greatly welcome a real killer feature in Firefox or any browser for that matter; one that pushes the envelope instead of just “reinventing the wheel” with some “bells and whistles” (like tabs, rss feeds).
Interesting stuff, though it’s done little to persuade me that my notion’s flawed. Impossible, perhaps, but not flawed.