I mentioned previously John C. Dvorak’s PC Magazine article where he calls on Microsoft to abandon development of Internet Explorer because:
All of Microsoftâ€™s Internet-era public-relations and legal problems (in some way or another) stem from Internet Explorer.
He advised them to:
pull the browser out of the OS and discontinue all IE development immediatelyâ€¦. Then, Microsoft can worry about security issues that are OS-only in nature, rather than problems compounded by Internet Explorer.
I was thinking about that article again recently and John is absolutely correct to say that most of Microsoft’s negative image is due to internet Explorer (and how they abused their monopoly to gain it market share).
However, while I think it is extremely unlikely that Microsoft will abandon Internet Explorer, an even better idea might be for them to Open Source Internet Explorer. Think about it. It isn’t like they’d lose any revenue – they already give Internet Explorer away.
If Internet Explorer were Open Source, security holes would be found and patched far quicker. A developer community would quickly emerge and Add-ins/extensions would suddenly abound.
Of course, this would all be very beneficial to Microsoft’s image as well.
In order to do this, they’d also have to de-couple it from the Operating System, but they should have done that years ago anyway.