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EETimes: Microsoft sails into open-source Linux wave [of embedded browswers]

Sep 05, 2000, 14:51 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bernard Cole)

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"...even though its browser is now the dominant one, Microsoft's nightmares may only be beginning. The reemergent Netscape 6.0 browser, an open-source free offering with a powerful and modular HTML/XML (Extensible Markup Language) engine, called Gecko, and at least 15 other alternatives, Linux-based and mostly open-source, have come out of the woodwork to hit the desktop. Off the desktop, the embedded Internet appliance and smart wireless market is brewing a seemingly endless list of browsers developed independently of the Windows OS."

"The immediate reason that Microsoft is in trouble, however, is that just as it got caught by surprise by the growth of the Internet and World Wide Web, it was similarly slow to notice the remarkable growth of embedded Internet devices, Web-connected information appliances and Internet-enabled wireless telephones. Very early on, many embedded and PDA software companies moved quickly into the market with their own Web browser offerings..."

"While Microsoft has offered a version of its desktop Internet Explorer for use in small-footprint applications originally in PDAs and now in Web-enabled handheld devices, and more recently has developed a much slimmer microbrowser implementation, the Mobile Explorer, for the wireless space, competitors such as Ted Ladd, lead evangelist at Palm, believe that the Redmond, Wash.-based software behemoth still does not get it. "It is not just that the footprint is smaller, the power requirements much more complex or that the display will not accommodate a standard browser GUI," he said. "It is that the user requirements are much different, as is the way that a traditional browser interacts with a server or a remote Web page, and the way information must be formatted to reflect this."

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