More speculation on the death of Internet Explorer, and the Firebird experience.
Ron Green of Slightly Bent speculated that the lack of leaked screenshots of a new version of IE is a bad sign… his hearsay further touched on the size of the IE team, and how it looks from the outside as if it’s getting smaller daily. Take a look at the comments on his post for even more fun speculation. Grain of salt free with every link.
A guy named Robert Scoble who, I presume, works for Microsoft has gotten in touch with some people in the know to get an official word of some sort. His results are vaguely discouraging. “Why is there a belief that team size means innovation… ?” — is anyone else interpreting this to read “don’t be surprised when you find out we’ve only got three holdouts left who even look at the source anymore”?
And so the conjecture continues. Rumours are flying, and the only thing coming out of Redmond at this point is a conspicuous silence. This is an interesting time for the future of the browser. §
In other browser news, on Adam’s prompting I downloaded a copy of Firebird (Phoenix) on Tuesday. I’m giving this a solid shot at becoming my browser of choice. I tried Netscape 7 when it was first released, but it was just too damn slow, so IE remained my default browser.
Phoenix is quick, runs the Gecko rendering engine, blocks pop–ups and allows tabbed browsing. On their own, each of those features are great. Combine them all in a single browser and you’ve got a force to be reckoned with. If the Firebird (Phoenix) team can work on the installation and make it user–proof, this is the browser I will start recommending.
There’s an opportunity here — selling standards to end users is a worthless proposition because they will never understand the benefit. And they shouldn’t have to. To encourge adoption of the great new browsers that are still being developed, users need to see extra features that get them excited.
Tabbed browsing is a big one; pop–up blocking even more so. No one likes pop–up windows, and if you offer the average user a good, solid way out, there’s a chance they will take you up on it.
Sell technology on features that are valuable to the user, not the developer. If there’s anything the dot–com fallout should have taught us, that’s it. §