Feeds

Microsoft IE 6 to cut off some more air supplies

Embraces and extends path blazed by MSN Explorer

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Microsoft is going into testing of Internet Explorer 6, a product that'll be integrated in Whistler, and which is clearly intended to take IE further down the integration trail. Both Windows Media Player and the MSN Instant Messenger client will be hard-wired further into the browser, and Microsoft also seems to be considering adding antivirus capabilities to Outlook Express - which itself is integrated into the browser these days.

Microsoft will still likely be appealing when Whistler and IE 6 ship, but that's still an impressive triple legal matter that won't be addressed for as long as Judge Jackson's remedies remain in suspended animation. With Media Player and IM Microsoft is integrating out two of the usual victims, but if the antivirus plan goes ahead it'll be destabilising a whole new set of companies.

This is of course all part of the 'damn the torpedoes' strategy Microsoft adopted when it became clear the trial was going bad on it. As there's no sense from the company's point of view in avoiding provoking the antitrust authorities any more, it might as well just carry on as normal, but more so, and bet the lot on winning in the end. Or leaving as much opposition as possible sufficiently Netscaped for it to be impossible to put them back together again.

Paul Thurrott's WinInfo reports that many of the new features in IE 6 simply copy functionality already present in MSN Explorer, the rather more hard-wired implementation Microsoft put out for MSN users earlier this year. Paul also trails the prospect of as yet unknown extensions to Dynamic HTML for 6.

MSN Explorer at least has a kind of alibi for the approach taken in that it's intended as a simple version of the browser for newbie types, so there's at least an argument that says they should have less choices available to them.

But by carrying these 'lock-in' features over to IE in general, Microsoft is kind of undermining that argument - why should these choices be Microsoft choices, and why is it getting even more difficulty to make alternative choices?

Microsoft first added the Explorer bars features to Internet Explorer 4 in 1997, and the company has integrated them into Windows Explorer as well. Current versions of Internet Explorer offer three such bars, including Search, for searching Web site content; Favorites, for storing and managing frequently visited Web sites; and History, for quickly finding sites that you've recently visited. IE 6 will add two more Explorer bars, the Media bar and an Instant Messenger (IM) bar. The Media bar will integrate a Windows Media Player control into the browser in the same way that a player is integrated into MSN Explorer. The Instant Messenger bar, which might be called the Online Buddies bar by the time IE 6 ships, will integrate the MSN Instant Messenger client into the browser, again in a manner similar to that in MSN Explorer.

IE 6 will also feature as-yet-unknown extensions to Dynamic HTML (DHTML) and other features for Web developers, as well as a My Pictures feature that will allow users to easily view, save, and email pictures over the Internet. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.