Tuesday, March 21st, 2006
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, at the MIX06 conference, announced that the company plans to release a new version of Internet Explorer every 9 to 12 months. Microsoft has repeatedly been criticized for halting development of their web browser after it attained an effective monopoly several years back, thus dramatically slowing the growth of web technology and resulting in much higher costs for web development than would otherwise be required. Due to the growing popularity of alternative web browsers, most notably Mozilla Firefox, followed by Opera and Safari, Microsoft has recently taken a defensive stand and resumed work on their browser. The Internet Explorer development team has claimed a commitment to web standards in upcoming versions, and has already made significant progress fixing some of the most costly bugs for the Internet Explorer 7 release. Most of the new webpage features currently being added are already supported by most alternative browsers, and the upcoming Firefox 2.0 and Opera 9 are expected for release before Internet Explorer 7.
If Microsoft delivers on their promise, we may see the situation for web developers improving significantly in the next few years.