Tuesday, February 19, 2008


This site best viewed in

Yesterday I set up an eight year old Dell box for a local peace activist. Any machine you care about has a name and a notebook. This one is ruby, and I googled Ruby Bridges. The second hit was a bio, and it said "This site best viewed with Microsoft Internet Explorer 4" at the bottom. Which wasn't true, the site works fine in Konqueror (therefore Apple Safari) and Seamonkey (therefore Mozilla Firefox).

Opening the page source, I see it was composed in Microsoft Front Page. I've only used Front Page once, years ago, and don't remember much about it. But I suspect it put that lie at the bottom of the page and its user didn't know to remove it.

Remember the "browser wars?" Microsoft tried to control how the World Wide Web would develop. It put features in its Explorer browser which were intentionally incompatible with all other browsers in the field. They were designed to force Web authors to choose whether to write for Explorer or for Netscape, Opera, and Mosaic. If they could get enough "only works with Explorer" pages in place, they would have taken control of web standards away from the Web Consortium and the Internet Engineering Task Force. The Justice Department alleged Microsoft's name for this strategy was "Embrace, extend, extinguish," but the corporate media were too timid to report it. You probably heard it was just "embrace and extend."

Every page that says "best viewed with Microsoft Internet Explorer" is a reminder of Microsoft's illegal monopolistic behavior.

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