eWeeks Peter Coffee accuses the browser vendors of monkeying around and only going for low hanging fruit in terms of innovations. I dont think the criticism is justified with the exception of Microsoft. Redmond has stopped all improvements to the Web browser except for security fixes. And as Peter points out in his article, it is likely there will be no improvements from Redmond until 2007 when the new Longhorn emerges.
Next consider, the brower innovations from Opera who have been steadily adding features like mouse gestures; tilable, multiple browser windows; and most recently work with IBM on speech enablement of the browser. True, Mozilla and others have imitated with tabbed windows and their own gestures; but these innovations if they had emanated from Redmond would be getting splash and multiple story treatment in the IT trade press.
Ditto for Mozillas innovations. Peter accuses the browser vendors of monkeying around and only choosing low hanging fruit. But Operas mouse gestures and speech enablement and the Mozilla SVG and XUL developments are hardly low hanging fruits. And remember all the browser vendors but one do not have billions of dollars of research money and a kitty of a few extra $56 billion in the bank like certain parties who have stopped all improvements on their IE browser.
Whose Monkeying Around : IT Trade Press
In the world of browser development it appears that a strong case could be made that the party that has been monkeying around and going for low hanging fruit has been the IT trade press. Think Editorese – 95% IE market share, Microsoft has stopped development, small Open Source and a Norwegian outfit as competitors – leave this one for the Legends of Sleepy Hollow. Meantime Mozilla issues an app development coup, Opera does amazing interface things, Google is ready to unleash God-knows-what and Microsoft gets away with an Iraq-sized continuing stream of security blunders. Ohhh – and on the sly, Redmond sets up its own coup: putting the finishing touches on proprietizing the Web interface.
Now tell me dear readers – who is the big banana eaters around the browser world ????