With Microsoft’s decision to not to release any new versions of Internet Explorer independent of new versions of Windows. With Longhorn looking like it’s still at least a year away and might even be held further back if hardware doesn’t catch up to it could be pushed back even further.
But even if Microsoft pulls off the feat of releasing Longhorn on time they might find that they have completely lost their market share. While I was playing around with WINE I thought to try to install Internet Explorer on it for fun. So I grabbed the latest cover CD from a magazine and went on the hunt for the Internet Explorer installer. Only to find that it wasn’t in there of 2 CD’s there wasn’t Internet Explorer included. Wow it was even a browser special it had a couple of IE enhacements such as crazy browser but no IE. Sure 90% of people browsing the internet are using Windows (According to Google zeitgeist) and 88% of those have Win98 or above so they definitely have Internet Explorer installed.
But with comparatively slow bug patching and no new releases until Longhorn Microsoft might face the prospect of another browser war all over again with basically the same product. For those of you who aren’t aware Firefox is a product of the Mozilla foundation which was set up just before AOL bought out Netscape. It will be very interesting as the next year goes by without any new release of IE will Firefox come up from behind and steal the market share? Only time will tell.