Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
The new browser wars: Mac OS X vs. Windows.

With the recent news that Microsoft will be discontinuing standalone versions of Internet Explorer for Windows, I find myself wondering whether or not Apple's Safari was actually the result of some closed-doors meetings between the two companies. I can hear it now:

Bill: Well, Steve, I just thought you ought to know – we're taking this whole "the browser is the OS" argument our lawyers dreamed up pretty seriously.

Steve: Meaning what, exactly?

Bill: Meaning, don't hold your breath for an Internet Explorer 7.

Steve: Oh. Well, I suppose we could go buy Netscape.

Bill: Sorry, Charlie. AOL beat you to that one. And, well, we've got something up our sleeve goin' on over there, too.

Steve: D'oh!

All kidding aside, I love Safari. The number of times I've launched IE since installing Safari has been microscopic, usually either to deal with some as-of-yet-unhandled Safari mishap with DHTML (which could usually be attributed to some standards-noncompliant widget), or, well, by accident.

What's perhaps even more interesting is what the iTunes Music Store may suggest for the future of the Mac OS. In OS X's case, it's not so much that "the browser is the OS" (although it would be easy to imagine a URL bar added to the OS-level windows) so much as "the browser is every app". We've already seen this degree of integration with Sherlock. I wonder what's next? Could it be, perhaps, a version of the Help browser that doesn't suck?

In a similar vein, a lot of pundits have been making hay lately with the whole "Longhorn vs. Mac OS X" debate. I strongly side with the whole "Longhorn may trump Jaguar, but by then Mac OS X will be two or three revisions along, and Sabertooth may trump Longhorn" crowd. There are so many things that Mac OS X is laying the groundwork for. Videoconferencing in iChat? Sign me up, baby! OS-level blogging tools? Wouldn't be too difficult. Heck, just Jaguar's Bluetooth iSyncing with a phone/PDA will be awesome for me as soon as the phone-side hardware catches up with my wish list.

I know Apple's been making their annoucements at standalone events recently (didja see that there's a powwow this week at Cupertino for the indie music artists?),but I can't wait for Macworld. Bring on the G5s!

Post a Comment