Apparently, Firefox, Google, AOL and Yahoo between them finally made Microsoft blink.
BILL GATES: Well, good morning. It's great to be here to talk about the progress that's been made in the last year and some of the challenges ahead, both in terms of what Microsoft is doing and the work we're doing with partners to set new standards, enforce new laws and make sure that the full potential of the digital revolution is not held back by security problems. So I titled my speech today "Raising the Security Bar."
[...]The response to all the particular enhancements to Internet Explorer have been very positive. We're also going to dialogue about what more can we do, because browsing definitely is a point of vulnerability. Allowing people to have the richness and the extensibility, and yet be protected, that's a challenge. You don't want to lock things down so you can't ever get to rich Web sites, and yet you still want to make sure this is not the path that security threats are coming in through.
We have a dialogue to make sure that we're understanding exactly what people would like to have us do in Internet Explorer, and what we've decided to do is a new version of Internet Explorer, this is IE 7, and it adds a new level of security. We will be able to put this into beta by early in the summer. And, one thing to be clear on, this will be in the Internet Explorer that's available to people using Windows XP SP 2. Of course, as well, we'll include these capabilities in the next release of Windows scheduled for 2006, which is our "Longhorn" release. But we decided we're going to have the new capabilities even available befor having the Windows license to the install base here. Some of the advances include things focused on fishing, where people use URLs that appear to come from another location, things related to malware. So, it will be another important advance here, and we're excited we have the dialogue to make sure we're putting exactly what customers want into this...
There were enhancements to IE? Huh. Who knew?
By "fishing", I assume he means phishing, which isn't quite what he says it is and tends to involve email at its front end. (Logically, this would also imply upgrades to Outlook and Outlook Express as part of its IE 7 master plan.)
To be sure, most of this talk seems to be about making a secure web experience for all sorts of rich client interaction that hasn't quite appeared, as yet. If Microsoft can get into the rich client market early enough, they can grab back what browser share they've lost -- between 5-20% to Firefox primarily, with a smidge to Opera, over the past five months alone, depending on which stats you read.
Mind, given that the browser isn't going to be really separate from the operating system, but will still function as a sort of front end to the whole thing, IE will still have vulnerabilities that browser which sit on top of the OS lack. It comes with the integration. Of course, the integration is what makes it appeal to a lot of people who just don't want to deal with installing a lot of software and making things work. Browser there? Keen! To the web we go! ... hey, why is my computer so slow all of a sudden? ... and so on.Posted by iain at February 16, 2005 04:19 PM