Internet Explorer and standards inaction

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Technology
October 10th, 2003 • 10:44 pm

ZDNet has a fairly interesting column about the fact that an increasing number of web developers gripe about the lack of support for web standards in the dominant web browser, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

It mentions several things that we Mac users have known for years, such as the following:

Complaints over Microsoft’s CSS support come amid broader criticisms that improvements in browser technology have slowed to a glacial pace since the software giant crushed credible competition in the market–an outcome that some view as ironic given Microsoft’s cries during the antitrust trial that court-mandated restraints on its ability to bundle applications would stifle innovation.

It also mentions the better support for standards such as CSS in the latest versions of Macromedia Dreamweaver and Adobe GoLive.

The most telling part, as usual, is the quote from the Microsoft representative interviewed on the subject:

While it is true that our implementation is not fully, 100 percent W3C-compliant, our development investments are driven by our customer requirements and not necessarily by standards,” said Greg Sullivan, a lead product manager with the Windows client group.

When it was pointed out that the most vocal critics of IE’s CSS support are Web developers and authoring tool makers, rather than standards bodies, Sullivan said those critics were comparatively few.

We balance feedback from all our customers and make our development decisions based on meeting the requirements of all of our customers, not just a few of them,” Sullivan said.

As long as Microsoft continues to pretend that it is listening to its customers, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, and to use this as an excuse for not doing anything, I don’t see much happening at Microsoft or in the computer industry in general.

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