Seriously, IE5 or whatever was pre-installed on every Window OS and killed Netscape. It took years until Netscape release Mozilla. I lived through this era.
Microsoft back then was in the mindset that they were the gate keeper of PC through their OS. They did not want web applications that are OS agnostic.
I think the currently strategy right now for most company with the advent of web is wall garden + ecosystem. Give the user base enough tools, software and hardware, to depend on that it'll make it hard to leave.
ActiveX: no, a security nightmare and intended to tie users to Microsoft. It's still tying some corporate intranet users to IE6 compatibility.
That (historically) was not always the case...
It’s a totally different story now that Satya Nadella is CEO. I have a lot of respect for him and all the good news that has kept coming after he took the helm. I would go as far as to say that he saved Microsoft from eating itself.
When it comes to Windows though, the two main thing that makes me prefer Win 10 over Win 7 are these: a) WSL. For those not familiar with it let’s you run Linux binary executables (in ELF format) natively on W10. (And also on Windows Server 2019.) All (or nearly all?) packages from Ubuntu are available. Super neat, IMHO. b) Lots of handy Powershell cmdlets that are not available in W7. Let’s you configure printers, ACLs, etc via Powershell.
So for all its warts I wouldn’t want to revert to W7.
Meanwhile, Outlook and Windows Mail are even worse than this, using the MSO renderer and editor (essentially: Word) in all versions except Outlook 2003 (in which version they switched to the IE renderer and editor, but then regressed to MSO in the next release for terrible reasons).
That MSO menace is unconditionally stuck in a buggy and incomplete implementation of 1997 web standards. (As an outsider, I say that it appears to have been treated entirely as a black box for the last two decades; I am aware of no changes beyond supporting high-DPI displays, if you wish to count that.)
And this is what they are still actively advocating for email.
I wish they would apply this same reasoning to the MSO renderer. I hate it and the decision to go back to it in Outlook 2007 with a passion exceeded by little in the tech industry. With it they have singlehandedly manufactured jobs for tens, nay, hundreds of thousands of software developers and hacks, and held back the entire email space with their stranglehold by at least a decade. It’s that bad.
A lot of investment went into niche contracted solutions that are built in Java and Silverlight, and contracting replacements is a huge cost in the face of some abstract cyber security mumbo jumbo. Hell, those guys are screaming about everything all the time anyways, what makes this browser thing any different? /s
Even if some young guy looked around on the Internet seeking to build a new browser, all you see is advice on not to do it and use existing libraries, engines. I'm not saying it's untrue but it's not surprising that browser situation ends up here when that's the widely accepted attitude. But then again, wonder what would have happened if Linus Torvalds listened and gave up on Linux.
A few of the places I've worked at had very strong policies about what software was installed on the corporate boxes, and IE was almost universally pushed due to "security reasons" even when it was widely known to be significantly less secure than any concurrent competing browser.
The thing I think about here is that the reason these enterprise websites are broken is not that they're compatible with IE, but that IE wasn't compatible with web standards, and thus sites were hacked at to fit within IE's brokenness. And now the entire world has moved to better conformance with web standards and organizations are stuck with what was an unsecure web browser years ago, and is getting even more unsecure going forward.
Corporate IT Security departments of old get the blame in my book. If they had simply said "nope, IE is not secure, it is not permitted on our systems" the world would literally be a better place. Instead they sent a strong demand signal that Microsoft simply fulfilled.
If one of their chief would say not to use IE, why MS would make it a virtually default browser at the beginning? (to be clear, most of South Korean websites were marked incompatible with Edge and forced users open those websites on IE when launching Windows 10.)
MS was not brave enough so they did terrible marketing stretagy around Edge.
It is sad we lost one of few modern web engine.
The original blog post is pretty reasonable:
Hell, you could compile the VM with an HTML5/JS target and get forward compatibility too.
Chromium and Firefox are open source so you can probably get support in them by writing the code yourself. But, good luck gaining traction.
I feel the same instinctive feeling that we're just going back to the IE days, but is it possible that having all browsers align on a single rendering engine could prove to be helpful rather than harmful?
Which is baffling: I find myself in a situation that Microsoft was fined for
Unfortunately there are no extensions on iOS (I'm guessing due to Apple's policies).
Global market share held by leading desktop internet browsers
May '18 66.93% 5.48%
Apr '18 66.17% 5.48%
Mar '18 66.93% 5.37%
Feb '18 67.49% 5.42%
With Firefox being the only independent rendering engine and that's been on a downwards trajectory.
What will those people say if they ever decide to break the browser into a core and user visible plugins?
Web developers would rather have a single good engine, assuming that it's good enough and continuously developed.
IE failed back when they all but ceased development for a number of years and since it was closed source nobody could take it over.
Google certainly thinks so when they check the Firefox user agent on Android and give them a some cut down mobile version.