Browser Turnaround!

Recovered from – Apr 2, 1997

Well, isn’t this a strange turn of events. Last week, (six months in net years) Microsoft released Active X controls, a development kit and an alpha version of Internet Explorer 3.0. I thought, hey, now here is Microsoft getting with the program. They will have Visual Basic, AND Java AND plugin architecture. To me this was a brilliant move. Make a better mousetrap and the people will bang down your door. Now comes the turn of events.

Netscape released a beta (not alpha) version of their Navigator 3.0. It improves a lot of little details and bugs in security, plus adds functionality that internet explorer had cornered recently. Codenamed Atlas, this new navigator has background colors for tables, inline .avi and sound support, and an increased control of animated .gifs. In addition to these features, Atlas comes built-in with a slew of plugins, including Live3D, VRML and Cool Talk. Cool Talk is an internet telephone which allows real-time full duplex conversations over a 28.8 modem. FINALLY!

This new beta is a serious blow to Microsoft’s attempted coup. Let’s face facts; if Microsoft announces a May release, don’t expect any shipments until at least July. The Internet Explorer alpha won’t reach beta before Netscape is firmly entrenched with Atlas.

And there is also the question…Will Atlas support Visual Basic and X-Controls? I hope so. I was counting the Mountain View men as down for the count, but it seems Atlas with his mighty strength is lifting the World (wide web) on his shoulders once again.


Whatya think?