Microsoft is once again finding other browsers eating its lunch. I use Internet Explorer. But it is no the sexy way to go. Here is a position taken by Jason Calcanis, reposted with permission, that tells how some other companies are having trouble with browsers as well.
Opera is a fantastic browser built by a company in Oslo, Norway. In fact, a decade ago, I had a speaking gig there and got to interview the CEO of the company for Silicon Alley Reporter. (Sidebar: Man, do I miss being a journalist. I wish I could split 50% of my time being a journalist and 50% of my time being a CEO.) For over a decade, Opera has been making lighting-fast, lightweight and quirky browsers. Long before Apple launched Safari, with the goal of designing the fastest browser on the Web, Opera was already there.
Opera’s mobile browsers are “full of WIN,” as the kids like to say these days. If you’re a Windows Mobile or Blackberry user, you’ve probably downloaded them and enjoyed their WINness. The company started an iPhone browser project but gave up when faced with Apple’s absurd and unclear mandate to developers: Don’t create services which duplicate the functionality of Apple’s own software. In other words: “Don’t compete with us or we will not let you in the game.”
The irony of this is not lost on anyone who had a computer before they had an Internet connection. Apple was more than willing to pile on after Microsoft’s disastrous inclusion of Internet Explorer with Windows. In fact, what Apple is doing is 100x worse than what Microsoft did. You see, Microsoft simply included their browser in Windows, still allowing other browsers to be installed. In Apple’s case, they are not only bundling their browser with the iPhone, but they are BLOCKING other browsers from being installed.
Simple solution and opportunity: Don’t be a control freak and hypocrite. Allow people to pick their browser; the competition to make a better browser will increase the overall use of iPhones and mobile data services.
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