Late last week in an online
article The OmniGroup President, William Shipley (makers of OmniWeb for Mac OS X) opined that Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) would eventually stop development of Internet Explorer for the Macintosh.
“Once they’ve killed off the competition in the Mac market, their best move is to start ignoring or wounding IE for the Mac, so that Mac users have a reason to switch to Windows,” Shipley said. “Remember, Microsoft is in the business of selling Windows,” he added. “That’s what they do. Right now, they’re writing free system software for Apple. In fact, it’s less than free; they paid a large sum to force Apple to make IE the browser of choice for the last five years. Why would they do this? To kill Netscape. What happens when Netscape is dead? They bail.”
The MacBU’s General Manager Kevin Browne says that work on Internet Explorer is ongoing and that Shipley’s comments are wrong.
“There is no truth in Mr. Shipley’s comment regarding the discontinuation of Internet Explorer for the Mac,” Browne told MacCentral. “As we have stated before, the Microsoft Macintosh Business Unit plans to continue developing great software for our Mac customers. In fact, we are currently working on our next versions of Office and Internet Explorer.”
“It’s not that I have anything against the IE/Mac team; I think they’re great people and I have had good conversations with their leader,” Shipley told MacCentral this afternoon. “If it were up to them, I know they’d support us forever. But, as far as I know, teams at Microsoft still have to report to their bosses, and at some point the bosses are going to say, ‘Why are we spending all this money to add functionality to our biggest competitor’s operating system?'”
Browne made those same statements when he
hosted an event at Microsoft’s Mountain View, CA offices in mid-April to talk specifically about his company’s commitment to the Macintosh — a five-year Technology Agreement with Apple expires this summer. At the event Browne told the assembled crowd that his company makes products for the Mac because it makes good business sense and that decisions are made to ensure the business is successful and profitable.
Browne first revealed at that meeting news about the update to Office v. X, which was released last week. The update contains 1500 enhancements that cover the entire line of products in the Office suite, according to Microsoft.
In an effort to make the lines of communication clearer between its customers and the development team, the
MacBU also launched a new product support Web page late last month, allowing customers to offer feature suggestions and feedback on its products.