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[xml-dev] Microsoft's deeply cynical appeal to "standards compliance"

Readers of this list may have come across this story:

The story has appeared on Slashdot too, but there's a particularly
invidious angle to it which is worth raising in this community.

Basically, non-IE browsers are not being let into MSN.com.  Opera and
Mozilla & derivatives are being shut out.  The Microsoft representative,
Bob Visse, the director of MSN marketing, handwaves saying that the
reason these browsers are locked out is because MSN either don't know
that they "support W3C standards" or they can't insure the customer will
get a "great experience."

[[ "We do identify the string from the browser, and the only issue that
we have is that the Opera browser doesn't support the latest XHTML
standard," said Visse. "So we do suggest to those users that they go
download a browser that does support the latest standards." ]]

    (Incidentally, does anyone recall that IE6 has proper XHTML support,
    I remember the Microsoft chap at WWW10 saying directly XHTML support
    wouldn't make it into version 6).
In fact, on my (Linux) Mozilla, I get a plain page telling me I need to
get IE for Windows or Mac.  Umm, thanks.

I'm pretty upset at them shutting out platforms they don't directly
support (yes, I do use MSN.com from time to time), but I can almost cope
with that (although hardly, considering all the cosy integration talk
about .NET)

What really rankles is using standards-compliance as an excuse.

I appeal to those involved in W3C work to distance themselves from this
perversion of standards to mask a plainly cynical corporate move, and to
those on this list who do work for Microsoft to convey deep displeasure
to those responsible.

For anyone who thought Microsoft's commitment to web standards was a
pure and gentle thing, think again.  I think I can safely predict we're
nearly at the point where "standard" has lost its semantic value.

-- Edd

PS. This seems rather too resonant with some of the views I expressed it
my recent XML.com editorial, already highlighted in this forum by Len
and Simon.

PPS. For a laugh, try:

PGP signature