Apple responds to Microsoft dropping Internet Explorer

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For the first time since Microsoft Corp. made its decision to stop development of Internet Explorer for the Macintosh, Apple Computer Inc. on Tuesday made a statement regarding the decision.

"Safari is the fastest browser on the Mac, and has become the browser of choice for millions of Mac users," said Apple in a statement given to MacCentral. "The Safari beta program has been an incredible success, and we will be releasing Safari 1.0 soon. Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit felt it was a good time to reassign their resources working on IE to the revenue-producing Mac products they are working on, such as the next versions of Office, Entourage (including an Exchange client) and Virtual PC."

Last Friday, Microsoft officially dropped development of Internet Explorer for Macintosh. While support for the product has not ended, future updates -- including one released yesterday -- will be maintenance and security updates only, no new features will be introduced.

In explaining their decision, Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit Product Manager, Jessica Sommer, cited Apple's new Web browser Safari and the fact that Apple can work with the application and the operating system like no other developer can.

"The feedback we're getting from our customers and the features they're asking for is all pointing to Apple and Safari," said Sommer. "Apple has better resources because they have Safari and the operating system."

Despite the fact that Internet Explorer development has stopped, Sommer said the rest of Microsoft's Mac product line is safe, saying the company is working hard on the next version of Office and many other products.

"We are working diligently on the next version of Office -- these [IE and Office] are not connected in any way. Office is still intact and going strong -- there are no plans to stop development on Office for Mac even after the next version is released."

This story, "Apple responds to Microsoft dropping Internet Explorer" was originally published by PCWorld.

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