But not from Microsoft.
Given the level of fierce competition out there now, Microsoft must have some really killer features up their sleeves for Internet Explorer 8, right?
Pretend that I’ve inserted the sound of gently chirping crickets here.
Why pretend? (First subheading, blue “play” button)
I expect IE8 to be released with the next major Windows version (whenever that will be… 2011?) and contain few notable improvements.
If this were the Microsoft of 1998, I would expect IE8 to be the exclusive supporting browser for Silverlight, but they can’t get away with that now — not because of antitrust, but because of Firefox and OS X.
Microsoft had competitors in the past, but they were never as strong or viable, so they were easy to crush with some simple anticompetitive moves.
Now, having squandered the last 6 years with blunders and apathy, Microsoft needs to find other ways to brutally crush competitors. Bill Gates is paranoid about losing anything, and is therefore willing to take sleazy actions to ensure domination — but this time, they waited too long. The competition has grown too strong. While Microsoft isn’t going out of business or even losing the majority position anytime in the foreseeable future, they can no longer effortlessly push everyone else around. Their products’ mediocrity is finally subject to real scrutiny — not “This sucks but I have no choice,” but “This sucks so I’m going to use something else.”
Microsoft blew it. In 10 years, we’re going to look back on Vista and abandoned IE development as the company’s turning point from tyrant to irrelevance.