How ... odd.
As a practical issue, as many people use Outlook Express as use Internet Explorer, in all likelihood. For the most part, they've always come as a package, and especially at the low end, people haven't seen any reason to change. Microsoft announces that Internet Explorer is going away, and there's essentially a cosmic shrug. Partly, to be sure, because the core technology will be embedded in the operating system. (Which I don't get. Not that they want to lock users into "The Microsoft Experience" in all ways -- that's perfectly comprehensible. I just thought they lost a couple lawsuits that said that they couldn't embed the technology in that matter. It will certainly be interesting to see how they hobble competing browsers in forthcoming versions of Windows. But I digress.) Anyway, they announce that IE is going away as a standalone, and people don't seem to mind much. (Well, except, peculiarly, for Mac people. It's very strange indeed for Microsoft to decide to give even a small competitor that sort of edge on a platform.) On the otherhand, they announce that OE is going away, and there's abruptly quite the furore.
And I don't believe for one moment that the PR guy got the announcement wrong. Not for one second. You don't announce that you're discontinuing one of your company's most visible products without being absolutely certain of your facts.
Can it really be that consumers are so enamored of this buggy, virus-prone but ubiquitous client that Microsoft actually changed its mind?Posted by iain at August 15, 2003 06:37 PM