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Microsoft may adopt WebKit, won't stop IE development

updated 11:45 pm EST, Thu November 6, 2008

Microsoft may adopt WebKit

Microsoft's well known Internet Explorer web browser may have an open source sibling on its way based on WebKit, of Safari and Google Chrome fame, if statements made by CEO Steve Ballmer are indicative. TechWorld writes that Ballmer, speaking in front of developers in Sydney, answered a question posed by a student, on why Microsoft insisted on dumping money into the rendering platform, rather than adopting a faster open source model. Ballmer thought the question to be "cheeky," but provided a humble response.

While Ballmer believes that Microsofts proprietary extension system is necessary to provide a proper internet experience, he did admit that the concept would be "interesting". He also claims that if Microsoft were to solely adopt an open source browser, that it would stagnate innovation, something Ballmer observes as "likely" with the future of Internet Explorer's current competition, such as Apple's Safari, Mozilla's Firefox, and Google's Chrome browsers.

"Apple has embraced Webkit and we may look at that, but we will continue to build extensions for IE 8," said Ballmer.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. gambit-7

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2001

    +6

    It starts....

    I can't wait for Microsoft to announce that they're making their new OS based on Darwin.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2008

    +15

    Ballmer Speak

    "...if Microsoft were to solely adopt an open source browser, that it would stagnate innovation..."

    Ah, another paradox of Ballmer logic!

    If Monkey Boy only new the stagnation the world has suffered due to the Windows hegemony the last 30 years.

  1. MacScientist

    Junior Member

    Joined: Feb 2000

    +9

    re: Ballmer Speak

    Microsoft Windows is just a few years younger than 30. However, innovation is a word that cannot be used in the same sentence.

    Microsoft's founding product, its tokenizing BASIC interpreter, was developed by Bill Gates and friends using that time-proven research and development technique known as dumpster-diving at Digital Equipment Corporation.

    Microsoft began working on Windows in 1981. It experienced its Eureka! moment when Apple gave it access to the Macintosh source code.

    Internet Explorer continued Microsoft's novel innovation techniques. It was NCSA Mosiac licensed from Spyglass under the skin.

  1. bfalchuk

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2003

    +9

    Stagnation

    I never get Balmer's stagnation point. Doesn't he ever realize that browser development stagnated under the IE monopoly until Firefox gained traction, and MS was forced to evolve IE. IE stayed the same for what, 5 years? Now, since FF gained ground, Safari came out for Windows and Chrome is showing real potential, suddenly we're up to 2 versions of IE in the course of about 3 years.

    Yeah, open source really does cause stagnation, Balmer. I would argue, in fact, it causes more innovation in browsers as you MUST innovate to differentiate since you all have the same core. You need innovative features and a better UI to win, so you have to innovate.

  1. bfalchuk

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2003

    +1

    Stagnation

    I never get Balmer's stagnation point. Doesn't he ever realize that browser development stagnated under the IE monopoly until Firefox gained traction, and MS was forced to evolve IE. IE stayed the same for what, 5 years? Now, since FF gained ground, Safari came out for Windows and Chrome is showing real potential, suddenly we're up to 2 versions of IE in the course of about 3 years.

    Yeah, open source really does cause stagnation, Balmer. I would argue, in fact, it causes more innovation in browsers as you MUST innovate to differentiate since you all have the same core. You need innovative features and a better UI to win, so you have to innovate.

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    +6

    Translation

    I think this explains it perfectly. Quoted from user sflocal on AppleInsider:

    Translation:
    "We don't want to admit that we do not have the ability to develop a better browser and use a competing package from our main competitor who has shown to do the job better, faster, and cheaper. But we're willing to spend a 1/3 of a billion dollars to show tell the world we know better!"

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -7

    Re: Ballmer speaks

    Internet Explorer continued Microsoft's novel innovation techniques. It was NCSA Mosiac licensed from Spyglass under the skin.

    Just a reminder, WebKit continued Apple's novel approach by starting with the Konqueror browser from KDE and going from there. And IE was rewritten at v3 or v4 and threw out the Mosaic c***.

    And OS X came from Next and FreeBSD. Linux started out as a copy of Unix. Win NT came from some other OS (damn, what was that - I used it in college long ago...).

    The point is, no one makes "new" stuff anymore. Its all about taking something and running with it (too bad MS treats stuff like scissors and walks, but that's a different story).

  1. David Esrati

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 1999

    +2

    Balmer started this mess

    If M$ hadn't undermined Netscape by giving away IE- there may have been a competition for the best browser. They changed the game- now they refuse to see the true value of true free software.
    When someone puts the "Firefox front end" on Linux- Microsoft may be really screwed... and possibly Apple too.

  1. DeezNutts

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    +3

    re: re: Ballmer speak

    Microsoft was never about innovation, the crown jewel the company has been chasing since they moved into operating systems has been "a computer on every desk", it is even engraved on a wall at the Redmond campus.

    Everyone pulls technology from those that came before them, and from those around them. NT was a rewrite of VMS done by the same lead engineer, OS X is based on BSD, the entire GUI came from Xerox Parc.

    The entire industry was built standing on the shoulders of others.

    I think MS will be remembered more as a company that helped make the computer a common household product, Apple will be remembered as an innovator.

    They both have their place in history.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2002

    +1

    What a tard!

    Can Monkey Boy even tell a mouse from a monitor?

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