Microsoft and Apple are about to write another chapter in their somewhat sordid history, to say the least. As of Dec. 31, Microsoft will terminate its support of Internet Explorer for the Macintosh.
The split has been expected for sometime. In fact, IE
for Mac has been on the proverbial software death row, since June 2003
when Microsoft announced that it had halted its development.
The death knell for IE on Macs apparently came when Apple itself invested
resources in browser development in the form of Safari, which first appeared
as part of OS X.
On its product-support page on Mactopia, Microsoft currently goes so far
as to recommend that, in light of the demise of IE for Mac, “users migrate to
more recent Web browsing technologies, such as Apple’s Safari.”
It’s all a far cry from 1997 when the companies buried the hatchet with a
$150 million investment by Microsoft into Apple and Apple, in
turn, naming Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser the default browser for
the Mac over the then-dominant Netscape Navigator.
Apple has long claimed that Safari is faster than any of its rivals, including IE and Firefox. Safari utilizes KHTML
components originally derived from the open source KDE project and licensed
under the Lesser GNU GPL open source license.
Though support officially ends at the end of 2005, IE for Mac will
be available for download until Jan. 31, 2006.