No IE in XP? No worries, say local manufacturers

Microsoft's unbundling of the Internet Explorer browser from Windows XP will make little difference to clients' expectations when the package is released in October, New Zealand computer manufacturers say.

Microsoft’s unbundling of the Internet Explorer browser from Windows XP will make little difference to clients’ expectations when the package is released in October, New Zealand computer manufacturers say.

“It won’t make any difference to us whatsoever,” Arche Technologies managing director Lance Primrose says.

If a client demanded the package be customised for Netscape, Arche would do it, but Primrose doesn’t see that happening.

“My feeling is we’re not going to get the demand for it – most people are pretty happy with Internet Explorer.”

Cyclone Computers managing director Richard Morgan says he can’t see too many customers wanting to de-install Internet Explorer. “I don’t see it being put into practice – I can’t see it having any impact on us.”

The PC Company managing director Colin Brown says Internet Explorer is the obvious choice and that Netscape doesn’t have the same flexibility.

Microsoft announced on July 11 that Windows XP will include the option for PC manufacturers to remove the start menu entries and icons that give users access to Internet Explorer (see Microsoft alters Win XP as antitrust concession)

The option will extend to earlier versions of Windows, including Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows Me.

PC manufacturers will retain the option of placing icons directly on the Windows desktop and customers will be able to use the add-remove feature function of Windows XP to remove access to the Internet Explorer components if they so choose.

The concession by Microsoft comes in response to the June 28 ruling of the US Court of Appeals that the company illegally stifled competition by bundling internet explorer with Windows.

End users spoken to by Computerworld say the easing will make little difference if and when they upgrade to Windows XP.

Login1 internet café network manager Francois Sauvageot says Windows 98 is serving the Auckland cybercafe well and Login1 won’t consider upgrading until it can be sure the café’s popular gaming capability won’t be affected.

Regarding the loosening of ties between the OS and Internet Explorer, Sauvageot says it won’t make any difference to Login1. “Internet Explorer works very well and we have no reason to remove it – if you remove something like that, customers get quite upset.”

One PC at the Newmarket café runs on Netscape, but that is in response to occasional requests from customers wanting to access a website which reads better on Netscape, Sauvageot says.

Phillips Fox law firm IT manager Matthew Dalton says Microsoft’s concessions will change nothing at the firm.

“My view is that Internet Explorer is pretty entrenched now and the changes won’t impact us. Internet Explorer is the de facto standard.”

The firm used Netscape “a few years ago, but not now”.

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