Space Ramblings

So Much for Microsoft Learning Anything

For all the talk about HTML5, Microsoft is going down the old road again. Bing is touting special animations and features with IE9. For those with one of those long memories, Microsoft went down this road before with ActiveX. It’s the proprietary sickness in which Microsoft tries to monopolize internet technologies and only ends up creating more dead ends. It also perpetuates the gap between Internet Explorer and other browsers, which is what makes anyone who does web design hate Microsoft.

Even despite the beating it’s taken, Microsoft still thinks in terms of control. It wants to control web search with Bing. It wants to keep control of web browsing with Internet Explorer. But if it should have learned any lesson at all from Google’s dominance, it’s that controlling the browser doesn’t mean you control the web. The majority of people still use Internet Explorer and Google. Getting them to use Bing with exclusive IE9 features won’t work. If Google had tried to play that game it wouldn’t work either.

Microsoft still doesn’t get the internet. It doesn’t get why people use anything. If Google thinks in engineering terms, Microsoft treats users like idiots, and wonders why that doesn’t work. People are not going to use Bing because it’s shiny. At least most people won’t. They might use it because it’s convenient. And with Google Instant, they might fall back on Bing because it’s simpler and easier to use. Bing News is better than Google News already. But Bing itself isn’t beating Google just yet.

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