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August 14, 2009

Microsoft backs IE 6, and other Friday news

Posted: 11:28 AM ET

Here's a round up of a few tech stories you should know about before heading into the weekend.

Microsoft: A group of Web developers is out to kill Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6 Web browser. But, according to the BBC, the software giant is standing behind the product - in part because it has to keep the browser going for corporate customers:

"Friends do not let friends use IE6," Amy Barzdukas, Microsoft's general manager for Internet Explorer, told the network.

"If you are in my social set and I have been to your house for dinner, you are not using IE6," she said. "But it is much more complicated when you move into a business setting."

"It's hard to be cavalier in this economy and say 'oh it's been around for so long they need to upgrade,'" Ms. Barzdukas told journalists in San Francisco.

RockMelt: Tech blogs are abuzz this morning with news of a new browser called RockMelt, which has the support of Netscape founder Marc Andreessen. That gives it a hefty bit of street cred in the tech community. Andreessen tells the New York Times that browsers are somewhat behind the times:

“There are all kinds of things that you would do differently if you are building a browser from scratch,” Mr. Andreessen said.

RockMelt is rumored to work with Facebook, which is something the blog Mashable finds particularly interesting.

eBooks: Sony has announced that its e-readers soon will accept books published in an open format called ePub. GigaOm heralds the move as good for consumers. It stands in contrast to Amazon's apparent desire to keep its e-books on its Kindle reader,although there are worries Sony's format won't be completely open. More from GigaOm:

Amazon’s e-book ambitions go beyond simply selling a lot of Kindle devices. Taking a page from Apple’s iTunes playbook, its goal is to establish Kindle as the dominant e-book publishing and distribution platform. And as Apple has amply demonstrated, when you control the platform, you control the value chain, which means you reap a disproportionate share of the value that’s exchanged.

Twitter: Time to give that left index finger a rest. If you're sick of typing "RT" in front of all those tweets you republish on your feed, then you'll like this news from Twitter's blog: The micro-blogging site is adding a "re-tweet" feature. Expect it to launch in a few weeks.

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Filed under: books • browsers • Microsoft Corp. • Twitter

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Barry   August 15th, 2009 7:52 am ET

Someone should tell Ms. Barzdukas that anyone using Internet Explorer in any form is an ignorant, bleeding moron.

Andrew   August 16th, 2009 11:50 am ET

In what way is Microsoft "standing behind" IE6?

Do they mean they're ducking their heads behind it to avoid being hit by the chunks of common sense just about the entire world is hurling toward them?

Maybe they mean it was so darn great they just need to keep it that way and make sure nobody messes with a good thing.

As a person who has to create a severely handicapped site because so many people don't know any better and because Microsoft won't push updates, I have to say that yes, I'm one of the people spending far, far more time and effort (and therefore, my company's budget" making sure we put our kid gloves on and don't upset the apple cart.


mark   August 16th, 2009 8:55 pm ET

"which has the support of Netscape founder Marc Andreessen. That gives it a hefty bit of street cred in the tech community."

Netscape was a PoS when it came out

Frank   August 17th, 2009 12:00 pm ET

I have been using IE8 now and it totally rocks. It has very cool features compared to any existing browser.

mike   August 17th, 2009 4:09 pm ET

I use IE6 and have had zero problems with it. I've also programmed on the web for over 10 years now, specializing in HTML, Javascript and ASP, among several other coding environments.

The tech community is famous for pushing standard after standard after standard upon the regular everyday normal guy, and its really all about making boatloads of $$$ after your standard is accepted. It's ridiculous. Rather than reinvent existing perfectly fine products to make a buck, lets work on new things. Things that can actually help the world, rather than a few investors.

Eric   August 19th, 2009 11:37 am ET

IE6 needs to be thrown into a shreder. Its old outdated and makes you do alot more programming than whats needed in new broswers for websites and scripts. You also lose alot of new features and programming in IE6 and in newer browsers you can make new flashy things that you cant do in IE6

Peter   August 23rd, 2009 9:38 pm ET

I have designed for the web for many years, mainly writing the html by hand, but making "standard" css,html work in IE6 can be very tedious.

Write a xhtml,css compliant template design for a modern browser and you are 100% sure that it won't render as expected in internet explorer 6.

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