You may have read lately that Microsoft has stopped production of Internet Explorer for the Macintosh platform. The loss of IE is no big deal. It’s one less browser/platform combo to worry about for web developers. IE was the first thing I deleted when I installed OS X on my machine at work. So I’m not getting worked up about it.
Many people are getting huffy about this move. People think MS is abandoning Apple. It is a bit of a slap in the face to Apple, but it makes sense. Microsoft made IE only to take control of the browser wars back in the late 90s. They gave it away. Now, it serves no purpose to them on the Mac platform. They dominated that market already by having Apple bundle IE with the OS. But now, IE has become a key part of the Windows operating system, no longer a part of any Browser War. So logically, they are making no money from IE on the Mac, which means they have every reason to scrap it. Since the Mac version of IE now has some serious competition in Safari, Microsoft knew that it was a losing battle. Not that they couldn’t win another browser war. They probably could, if they outlined a serious update schedule. But since since most Mac users are sheep for their OS they will use what Apple tells them to (Safari). Geeks that have switched from *nix use anything that is not IE. What has developed is a demographic problem for the use of IE on the Mac platform. The sheep eat what’s given to them and the geeks don’t like the sour taste of IE. Discontinuing IE on the Mac is nothing but a financially viable decision for the people in the MBU at MS.
p>Frankly, I’m glad IE is gone for the Mac. I never use it. The best thing that can come out of this situation is that developers will start adopting some standards. I’m tired of Frontpage and Word generated HTML pages that are tailored specifically for the VB-centric version of IE for Windows. When developers build web applications that only work in IE on Windows it makes me want to scream. Especially when it’s something like an online banking interface or something similar. I write web apps BECAUSE they are platform independent. If you want something that runs only on Windows running IE, just write a VB app, post it as an executable, and leave everyone else out of it. Writing a sniffer for IE only sessions is one of my pet peeves. Like anyone cares about my pets though.