The embrace and extend continues... but who's left to embrace?
> IE's future uncertain with new Windows
> By Mary Jo Foley
> Special to CNET News.com
> January 11, 2001, 1:05 p.m. PT
> URL: http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-201-4448595-0.html
> "Where do you want to go today?" may be a Microsoft theme, but the
> company seems unsure about where it wants to go with its Internet
> Explorer Web browser.
> Not so long ago, Microsoft viewed its browser as being so key to its
> success that it went to court with the Department of Justice over the
> company's rights to bundle it with the Windows operating system. With
> Microsoft's marketing might behind it, and a price tag of free, IE
> quickly grew to eclipse Netscape's Navigator as the No. 1 browser in
> market share.
> Now, while Microsoft is continuing to add new features and functions to
> IE, there is much rethinking internally at the company about how and
> where to position the product, according to a variety of industry
> sources close to Microsoft.
> That's in part because IE isn't Microsoft's only browser. There's also
> the more consumer-oriented MSN Explorer, launched last October. And on
> the drawing books is the more "knowledge worker"-type interface that
> Microsoft is designing into its stealth Netdocs product.
> "MSN Explorer is being positioned as the premier platform for the
> consumer. Netdocs is being positioned as the business platform with a
> business browser. So there's no room left for IE," said a source close
> to Microsoft. "It's being squeezed."
> No stand-alone IE 6.0?
> IE 6.0, the newest version of Microsoft's browser, still has yet to be
> released officially in a "beta" test form. A technical preview of IE 6.0
> went to a subset of testers who signed nondisclosure agreements last
> fall. And beta testers of Microsoft's next version of Windows,
> code-named Whistler, also are dabbling with a technical preview of IE
> 6.0 integrated into Whistler.
> The first widespread beta of IE 6.0 will occur simultaneously with the
> release of Whistler beta 2, expected in February, according to sources
> close to the company.
> But as it looks right now, Microsoft isn't planning to release a
> stand-alone beta of IE 6.0. And it is uncertain whether or not Microsoft
> will make even the final IE 6.0 code available as a separate,
> downloadable or CD-installable product.
> Instead, sources said, Microsoft is strongly considering making IE 6.0
> only available as part of Whistler.
> A Microsoft representative declined to talk about IE 6.0, saying it was
> "too early to talk about features or deliverables."
> A Microsoft representative said later that the company has no plans to
> make IE 6.0 available only as part of Whistler. "It's business as
> usual," she said, adding that Microsoft also will make IE 6.0 Beta 1
> available for download separately.
> But some at Microsoft are arguing IE should not be the default interface
> for all the flavors of Whistler Microsoft is developing, according to sources.
> Microsoft is thought to be developing 32-bit Personal, Professional,
> Server, Advanced Server and Datacenter versions of Whistler, plus 64-bit
> versions of Advanced Server and Datacenter. The Personal and
> Professional versions of Whistler are expected to ship before the end of
> 2001, with the others to follow in 2001 to 2002.
> Some involved with Windows development are said to be advocating that
> MSN Explorer, instead of IE, be included as the integrated browser for
> the Personal release of Whistler, which is aimed at consumers. There is
> also a push by some to make the Netdocs interface the default on the
> business-oriented Professional Whistler.
> Netdocs, which is shaping up to be a competitor to Microsoft Office, is
> expected to be a single, integrated application that will include a full
> suite of functions, including e-mail, personal information management,
> document-authoring tools, digital media management, and instant
> messaging. Microsoft is expected to make Netdocs available in the next
> year or two, only as a hosted service over the Internet, not as a
> shrink-wrapped application or software preloaded on the PC. The Netdocs
> interface is based on a piece of Microsoft's .Net technology known as
> the "Universal Canvas."
> But there could be resistance to these plans--at least the MSN Explorer
> idea--by some of the more technical consumers. A number of these techies
> believe Microsoft has gone too far to make Windows palatable to new
> "In some ways, Whistler Personal is the OS (operating system) they
> should have come out with in 1995," said one Whistler tester, who
> requested anonymity. "In this day and age, enough people are comfortable
> with their PC that these performance and productivity-sapping
> 'improvements' are going to be seen as offensive. It's like the Office
> Paperclip team took over the Whistler Personal project!" The so-called
> Clippy feature was an animated help system reviled by many consumers.
> Another Whistler tester, who also requested anonymity, said that with
> Whistler Personal beta build 2410, Microsoft added the MSN Explorer icon
> to the desktop but left IE 6.0 as the default interface.
> "Advanced users like me will just go to IE 6.0 because we can't stand
> the MSN Explorer interface," said the tester. "It's clear that Personal
> is being aimed at consumers like my mom who don't have a clue about
> computers and just want to get e-mail and do some simple tasks."
> Browsers for all seasons
> Microsoft markets IE as the browser for more computer-savvy consumers
> and MSN Explorer as the interface for newer customers. Microsoft offers
> IE as both an integrated element of its Windows Millennium Edition and
> Windows 2000 products and as a stand-alone product. MSN Explorer is the
> front-end for Microsoft's MSN Internet service.
> IE 6.0, according to the Windows enthusiast Web site ActiveWin, will
> include a number of user-interface enhancements as well as compliance
> with several critical Worldwide Web Consortium standards.
> ActiveWin has cited technical beta testers as saying the next-generation
> browser will include built-in Explorer bars such as the Media Bar, which
> will provide access to Windows Media Player as an integrated part of the
> browsing experience. It also will include a "My Pictures" area for
> viewing, saving and mailing photos over the Internet. Microsoft also is
> integrating new dynamic HTML features for content developers as well as
> support for the Cascading Style Sheets 1 (CSS1) and Document Object
> Model (DOM) Level 1 standards.
> MSN Explorer, the most recent version of which Microsoft launched last
> fall, looks like a combination browser and portal. MSN Explorer
> integrates Hotmail, MSN Messenger, MSN Calendar, MSN eShop Windows Media
> Player and MoneyCentral into a single interface. MSN Explorer competes
> with America Online's AOL 6.0.
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Sincerely, Rohit Khare
WHAT IS ACTUALLY BEING COMMUNICATED
This is a letter of recommendation for Mr. Adam Rifkin. I have known him for over 8 years. During this period of time, I have learned much about this cheesehead.
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Sincerely, Rohit Khare
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