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By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2003-07-28 Print this article Print

In a recent statement, Opsware chairman Marc Andreessen said that there is no innovation in browsers. Andreessen was the dominant personality in the browser market when he was at Netscape, but he is flat wrong. There is plenty of innovation in browsers, and, when it comes to innovation, Mozilla is at least two generations ahead of IE. When The Mozilla Foundation releases the modular Firebird browser by the end of the year, users looking for an up-to-date browser will have a very compelling choice.

People will say that it doesnt matter whats better because everyone will just use whats on their computers, which will be IE. But people are forgetting the history of Web browsers. Netscape initially became big because everyone used it at work and then decided to use it at home.

As companies build more new Web applications and Web services, they will be strongly attracted to a state-of-the-art browser that powerfully interacts with the applications and services they are creating. Commercial Web sites, many of which are seeing a resurgence in their business, will also want to leverage new technologies that only up-to-date and innovative browsers support.

Of course, things can change in the future. Ive seen plenty of surprising developments since I started reviewing browsers back when Mosaic was vying with Spyglass (the forebears of Mozilla and IE, respectively). Microsoft has shown that, in strategy, it can turn on a dime, and the company could yet change its IE strategy.

But in this coming Browser War II, Im willing to bet on the fresh and invigorated dragon over the dusty old dinosaur.

Jim Rapoza is at

Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr RapozaÔÇÖs current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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