Feeds

Goodbye MS IE? AOL revs up for browser wars two

Maybe...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

AOL, Microsoft’s biggest customer for Internet Explorer by a long chalk, finally seems on the brink of kissing the software goodbye - or alternatively, it’s just playing a little hard-ball. According to AOL documentation obtained by BetaNews, AOL staff have been busily compiling a list of IE-related sins committed by Microsoft, apparently in order to justify a split.

AOL’s support for IE was a critical component of Microsoft’s victory in the browser wars, and although these are long over, something in excess of 30 million users being shifted out of the IE camp again would still have an impact. If AOL did it, and that’s a pretty big if. Currently AOL and Microsoft do not have a deal, as AOL’s contract expired this year, but although the BetaNews leak shows that AOL is working on technology of its own, it looks rather more likely that the company anticipates catering for multiple browsers, rather than simply exchanging one exclusive deal for another.

And anyway, if AOL just cynically dumped IE and foisted Netscape on its users instead, it’d likely face a revolt - the company cannot possibly be that dumb.

AOL is currently working on a product codenamed Komodo, the intent being to ship this in new versions of AOL and CompuServe software around Q3 of this year. Komodo will “reduce AOL’s dependence on any single provider of browser technology,” and will be marketed globally under multiple brand names.

A version of Komodo using Netscape’s Gecko as the browser has apparently already been developed.

To some extent AOL may simply be throwing its weight around in order to extract concessions from Microsoft, but it’s also possible to figure out a plausible Komodo strategy for the company. As far as the Windows/PC market is concerned, AOL would likely damage itself far more than Microsoft by switching from IE, but it does itself no harm by offering users choice.

Beyond the PC market things are rather different, and this is the area where AOL could benefit from restarting the browser wars. There are no existing IE users to worry about, and it’s all still to play for. So, here we go again..? ®

Website security in corporate America

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
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.