> Senate demands end to browser development
>WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP, Sept. 2, 2002) - Senate Majority Leader Ray
>Noorda (P-Utah) today demanded that the Department of Justice order
>Microsoft and Netscape to cease development of new Internet browsers,
>saying the ever-escalating battle for Internet dominance had sapped the
>American economy of its vitality.
>In an impassioned speech before the Perotista-controlled Senate, Noorda -
>once a key figure in the information technology industry - claimed American
>workers and shoppers are so consumed with downloading new browser versions,
>Netscape plug-ins and Microsoft ActiveX Controls that they no longer have
>time to produce anything of value or to consume products. ``We have been
>transformed from a nation of thinkers and doers to a nation of downloaders
>worried about whether we are keeping up with the technological Jones'es,''
>Noorda's comments came only a day after Netscape released Version 407 of its
>Navigator browser, which includes the ability to listen to AM radio from any
>laptop. Version 407 had just completed its 37-hour beta trial, while
>versions 408-441 are in development. (Microsoft, which has been criticized
>of late for slipping behind Netscape in the browser race, vowed to deliver
>Version 405 of its Internet Explorer ``before the next major religious
>holiday,'' though company spokesman Jim Manzi de-clined to specify which
>religion the company was referring to.) Mark Gibbs, author of IDG Books'
>bestselling Deleting Old Browsers for Dummies, said the continuing
>instability in the Internet market has virtually halted development of new
>applications. ``How can you build to a platform that only lasts 51 days?''
>asked Gibbs. ``The only apps being developed now are crossword puzzles and
>3-D, rotatable crossword applets.''
>According to research firm International Data Corp., the average PC user now
>has 62 browsers installed. That has significantly limited the usefulness of
>the desktop machine because each ``browser/operating system/object
>bucket/API repository'' consumes a minimum of 1G bytes of storage and
>requires 256M bytes of RAM to operate (somewhat less if the touchscreen
>option is disabled). Intel Corp. recommends the use of at least a 757-MHz
>Decadium processor to support current browsers.
>``There is no capacity left to run any other application,'' said IDC Chief
>Executive Officer Bob Frankenberg. ``Our PCs, in essence, are simply
>containers for browsers.''
>In the late 1990's, it was hoped that the browser model of accessing
>information would actually allow for the development of simpler, less-
>expensive desktop devices that would rely on applications and data housed on
>Internet servers. But the dream of the so-called Internet device died with
>the release of Internet Explorer Version 231, which cracked the 800M- byte
>storage requirement and supported some 250,000 ActiveX Controls.
>``It's a shame, really,'' said former Oracle CEO Lawrence Ellison, who was a
>vocal proponent of the Internet device idea at the time. ``We could have
>been freed from the Web of Microsoft control, no pun intended. But Bill
>outmanuevered us again,'' added ``Big Larry'' Ellison, who now runs the Used
>Cars 'R' Us operation on the Auto Mile in Redwood City, Calif.
>In response to Noorda's call for federal intervention, the Justice
>Department issued an electronic press release available on its Web site
>(www.bookem.com). ``We firmly believe the free market is the best arbiter of
>whether development should continue on Web browsers and servers.'' (This
>statement best viewed with Internet Explorer Version 396.)