Microsoft Watch editor Joe Wilcox weighs in

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2008-03-05 Print this article Print

Microsoft is also trying to let developers know that while some Web sites will look different in IE 8 than they do in IE 7, it is not trying to break the Web with the new browser, Swenson said. 

"Microsoft is going to hold developer's hands, helping them update their sites to be more compatible with IE 8.  The IE 7 compatibility button is a great start, but Microsoft is probably going to do a lot more in this regard," he said.

But not everyone is bullish about IE 8. Microsoft Watch editor Joe Wilcox questions whether Microsoft's strategy for the Web browser is about adhering to Web standards or controlling them.

He also believes that the software giant's objectives for the new browser are absolutely clear: pull computing and informational relevance back to the desktop.

"It's classic Microsoft bundling at work, as the company seeks to make the new browser more of a development platform than it is today. I call it the Netscape strategy," he said.

But analyst Swenson disagrees with that, saying part of the reason Netscape failed was because they started adding too much to the browser, including an email client and a Web authoring tool.

"Many Web developers and designers hated coding for Netscape. Thus, Netscape failed to deliver the product that end users wanted ... Microsoft has to be very careful when adding features to IE, taking care not to make the same mistakes that Netscape made," he said.

Some of Microsoft's partners, like Facebook and Me.dium, have already started developing applications for IE 8.

Facebook is an early adopter of WebSlices for IE 8. WebSlices behave just like feeds, where clients can subscribe to get updates and notify the user of changes.

"Making it simpler for users to share information and keep up with their friends is core to Facebook. With WebSlices, Facebook users can easily follow their friends' status updates through the browser," company spokesman Matt Hicks told eWeek.

Me.dium, a real-time, social browsing sidebar application that enables users to surf the Web with friends, see popular sites online, and discover new people and places based on the activity of others, will help surfers discover and view new WebSlices directly from the sidebar.

"In addition to implementing Webslices on the Me.dium profile pages, Me.dium now helps surfers discover and view WebSlices directly from the sidebar," co-founder David Mandell said.

And, as Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1's new "Activities" feature allows users to quickly access a contextual service from any webpage, Me.dium's "Discover" Activity gives recommendations related to a page or selected key words, which are influenced by the real time surfing activity of all Me.dium users, he said.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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