Daily Archives: 23 November 2004

IE Innovations: Not Invented Here

I’ve talked about various browsers based on the Internet
Explorer engine. One of those was called MyIE2. It had tabbed
windows, mouse gestures, and other stuff that should be in IE
already (but isn’t since MS stopped development awhile

I haven’t been over to their site for awhile and wouldn’t
have had it not been for a link in an
article on the Mozillazine site
that says the MS Director
of Windows Product Management uses something called Maxthon. It
seems MyIE2 changed its name to Maxthon and has found a
following, including the MS Director.

In reading the interview though, I found it interesting
that the Director seems to be saying MS doesn’t need to
update IE because third-party developers are providing the
innovations for them and in any case, mainstream end users
don’t see a need for advanced features like tabbed windows

[Question:] How does Microsoft feel about third party
browsers such as Maxthon and Avant Browser, which integrate
much-demanded features with an IE engine underneath. Does
Microsoft feel this is pulling users away from IE, or
adding more of an IE user base? Isn’t there a risk by
pushing third-party browsers and making users more
comfortable with a non-IE interface?

[Answer:] There you’re only look at one dimension, which
is the dimension of features. You’re saying, “If I can get
tabs in Maxthon, well I can go get tabs in Firefox,
therefore I am going to switch.” But that does away with
all of the security stuff that we’ve just talked about, all
those processes, the maturity of IE itself and the IE
rendering engine, the compatibility with Internet sites,
the compatibility with corporate applications – many of
which use custom ActiveX controls that wouldn’t run in
Firefox in the first place.

Within the enterprise you’re probably not going to see
enterprises shift over to a tabbed browser on behalf of
their users. Individual end users might decide “Hey, I like
this feature and I’m going to go for it.” But
on balance, I don’t think you’re going to see the
mainstream end user jump to tabs or jump to any other more
advanced feature in the browser
. For those
users the browser is the Web site that they visit.[emphasis



I posted last week
about some Lexmark printer drivers
apparently phoning home. This week comes
the revelation
that at least some Xerox color printers,
and perhaps Canon also, encode your printer’s serial number
on all printed pages. The coding is then used by entities
such as the US government to track documents back to
particular owners. Such tracking is aided by Xerox in that
they (Xerox) voluntarily provides their customer database to
government workers. Is this a GoodThing?


Reporter Kevin Sites has become well known recently due to
the video he got of a US Marine shooting a man laying in a
mosque in Iraq. I have not, until now, commented on this
incident because finding the truth in wartime is a very
difficult task.

This much I know: it is true, in this war and many others,
that combatants have feigned death so as to either evade
being killed or to lure his or her enemy closer so a killing
blow could be delivered.

It is also true that, to put it plainly, the
micro-objective in war is to kill your enemy before he can
kill you.

But this objective is constrained by various international
agreements that the US is a signatory to. In addition, the US
military and federal government have rules and/or laws
regarding the conduct of combatants and treatment of the
enemy, wounded or not.

If we are to be a nation of laws rather than of men, if we
are to behave as civilized people in an uncivilized world, we
need to carefully investigate this incident and determine
what is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the

Saying that no investigation
should be done, without first knowing the truth of the
situation is, to say the least, short sighted and, in the
long run, just another nail in the coffin that is our
“policy” in Iraq.

For one version of the truth, you can visit Mr. Site’s own
blog where he states what he says he saw and did
. Yet to be heard is the Marine that fired the shot
nor the Iraqi survivor(s) mentioned in the post. But until
all sides have been heard, I think it would be premature to
comment further.