So who’s making the headlines these days? It seems like Microsoft has been in every major announcement in the last few weeks.
Windows NT 4.0 rolled out the other night beating its main competitor Novell Netware (code named Green River) to market. NT fixed some bugs and limitations which place it to be the server of choice for small networks.
Internet Explorer released beta 2 a few weeks ago along with a VRML plugin and a mail/news combo. The complete package has impressed many users and matches Netscape feature for feature while adding a few of its own.
A slew of partnerships were announced which places many Internet providers in a folder on the desktop of Windows 96 (code named Nashville). These partnerships have benefited Microsoft mostly due to the shrewd wheeling and dealing of Bill Gates who secured Internet Explorer as the default browser on all of these online services.
Microsoft created Active X from its OLE technology as a language independent technology and announced this week that it is giving it as a present to the world. Microsoft gave up control of the Active X technology to a neutral third party. This is seen by many as a peace offering of Microsoft to a hostile web community who sees the Redmond giant as a threat to the open architecture so prized on the net.
Microsoft today gave a sneak peek at Internet Explorer 4.0 while 3.0 is still in beta. Its main feature is the integration of the desktop and the web. All files are literally passed through the browser whether they originate from the web or the user’s hard drive. This technology has spread some speculation through the windows community wondering whether Microsoft might have gone too far with its browser. Some believe that Microsoft will do anything to kill Netscape including changing their flagship product, Windows 95 to incorporate a native browser within the OS.
Microsoft also announced this week (Are we seeing a pattern yet?) that they are making a Unix version of their web browser, Internet Explorer. It’s hard to say whether this offering to the Unix world will make a dent in the hatred-so-thick-you-can-cut-it-with-a-knife for Microsoft. It has long been a mistake for Microsoft to ignore the Unix community considering a large portion of developers choose Unix as their operating enviorment. One reason for this change of heart may be the fact that a vast majority of web servers run one flavor of Unix or another and Microsoft wants to calm the waters for NT to swim in.
Microsoft stock is up.
Microsoft is spending a ton on Internet advertising while Netscape sits pretty.
Microsoft gives their browser away for free and Netscape makes you shell out bucks. (Only applies to corporate users)
Microsoft buys E-Shop, giving them advanced online commerce technologies.
Microsoft is praised by Steve Jobs, while Netscape is nailed for poor developer relations.
Microsoft is makin news every day and Netscape is silent. So why is Netscape so popular? Maybe it isn’t going to be for very long. Out of sight out of mind.