Mozilla developers offered a trip to Redmond

Developers working on Mozilla’s Firefox web browser and Thunderbird
e-mail client have received
an invitation
to Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington headquarters,
according to BetaNews. The invitation comes from Microsoft’s Open Source Software Lab and gives
the Mozilla folks a chance to attend a weekly Windows Vista Readiness
ISV Lab this December in order to cut down on potential compatibility
problems between their software and the upcoming Windows Vista operating
system. Mozilla hasn’t sent out a public response, but it is reportedly
in touch with Microsoft about the invitation.

Apparently, Microsoft aims to contribute to improved Vista support even
with open-source alternatives to its own applications—namely
Internet Explorer and Outlook Express, or “Windows
” as it will be called in Vista. The head of Microsoft’s Open
Source Software Lab stated, “In the past [Microsoft] has only invited
commercial software developers to these labs. I’m committed to evolving
our thinking beyond commercial companies to include open source
projects, so I went to the non-trivial effort of getting slots for
non-commercial open source projects.” As BetaNews suggests, better
compatibility with big third-party apps could help lure more early
adopters into snatching up a copy of Vista when it comes out next year.

Comments closed
    • totoro
    • 13 years ago

    They’re calling their e-mail program ‘ Mail ‘ ?
    My Mac-using girlfriend predicted this after seeing Vista Screenies.
    < flame suit on>

      • indeego
      • 13 years ago

      I don’t get it. Are you implying that macs are for women? Take the flame suit off and stay a while. I like your theoriesg{<.<}g

    • stmok
    • 13 years ago

    Admiral Ackbar: “Its a trap!”

    Are the Mozilla Devs accepting? Looks like it…

    • UberGerbil
    • 13 years ago

    You folks realize that MS used to do this kind of thing all the time? Back before Win 3.1 was released (which had some major breaking changes from 3.0) the Windows folks invited some of the Lotus guys up to help them fix 1-2-3 so that it wouldn’t break on the new version. This at a time when Excel was competing fiercely (and from a lesser marketshare) with 1-2-3. That’s just one example: it used to be pretty common for the Windows folks to host gatherings for 3rd party software developers. They still do that for the hardware guys (WinHEC, porting labs, etc) but somewhere in the 90s MS decided that the only applications that really mattered were Microsoft applications (primarily Office) and they stopped doing much of anything for the 3rd parties (other than releasing pretty good documentation via MSDN).

    Fortunately for the industry as a whole, the balance has shifted and MS has to look beyond its own campus again to see All the Applications That Really Matter. Whether this is a temporary tactic as part of the all-out push to drive Vista adoption, or it represents a change in the religion in Redmond and a reversion by Windows Technical Marketing to their roots, remains to be seen. But I would expect they’ve figured it out: MS may be myopic but they aren’t stupid, and they’ll do whatever it takes to keep Windows on people’s machines even if it means making sure those people can happily run something other than IE. In fact, to the extent that security issues are the biggest perceived negative to Windows, encouraging people to run something other than IE may be a net positive.

    • zqw
    • 13 years ago

    It’s a trap!


    • Sargent Duck
    • 13 years ago

    [quote] in order to cut down on potential compatibility problems between their software and the upcoming Windows [/quote]. Heh, If I’m not mistaken, isn’t it IE that renders pages incorrectly and Firefox does it correctly?

      • nerdrage
      • 13 years ago

      IE lets you commit HTML coding sins and still have the page render “correctly”. Firefox doesn’t. Whether you consider either of those points a bug or a feature is open to debate.

    • funkymunky
    • 13 years ago

    It is a very mature move by Microsoft. On the flipside though – if MS invites the big guys in the open-source market (which is a Good Idea) then they would be critisized if they DON’T invite Mozilla.

    IE has a 87% market share because they are the default option. Firefox may be ‘better’ (I’m a Opera user myself), but Joe Soap doesn’t normally know that. IE only exist because it would look bad if a modern OS ships without a browser, or a e-mail client, for that matter*. IE is just ingrained (ActiveX) because it would be easier for MS to make Windows that way (Having a central library of applets and plugins).

    MS wants to sell a good OS, and that is important. Having the support of the Open Source/Power User community is a huge bonus – we are the word-of-mouth leaders after all (Joe Soap asks your opinion to create his own – he has an ‘expert’ as backup now).

    *The extras in Windows keeps getting better – Wordpad with XP is more powerfull than MS-Word 5 (i think), and Paint is also getting more powerfull. Will Vista’s Paint have things like red eye removal? The logic behind this is that the bar for the minimum needed is raising. Outlook Express is a e-mail client but MS-Outlook is a better one, but you pay for Outlook where OE is bundled/free. Case in point – Aircon & airbags is now standard in small ‘budget’ cars, but was a luxury years ago.


    EDIT: I just read through my comment and it looks like I am pro-MS. I don’t care – I use a product for it’s functionality, if Windows suck, so be it, I am a PC gamer so I have to use it. I sometimes think (to use a Futurama quote) that MS “is like Germany, industrious and misunderstood.” (LOL)

    • Archer
    • 13 years ago

    Firefox isn’t that good as a browser. It eats memory and it likes to crash often.

    I’m getting a fair amout of .trojan.installers on Firefox, and I don’t visit horrible websites as a rule.

    Bag IE all you want, but when a single product has 87% market share, it’s going to garner the largest slab of attention and headaches as a result, just like the OS itself.

    Firefox isn’t all that popular with 13% market or something, but is is big enough to attract attention from the wrong people.

    Time to bust out Amigas or something for secure browsing….because neither Firefox nor IE nor Opera have it.

      • indeego
      • 13 years ago

      I’m getting nothing, and I visit the most horrible sites out there, (as a ruleg{

        • Jigar
        • 13 years ago

        Well i agree with Korr Mozilla is good ,…. but it crashes offen… no trogans were found in my system but use to almost crash when posting date or source code at clients site.. * EVIL*

      • lex-ington
      • 13 years ago

      I get nothing. And my firefox crashes alot less than IE. Tabbed browsing is a saviour for me – I hate haveing to open multiple windows ( I am not a beta tester so until IE7 is live, I’m not installing it).

      And 13% marketshare is extremely excellent for something you have to download yourself. Strip IE from all window installs and give people an option, then let’s talk about 13% being crap.

      • swaaye
      • 13 years ago

      Well I find Firefox to be really quite stable. Extensions can destabilize it though.

      My problems with it are more along the lines of code efficiency. IE is faster than any of the alternatives. Try running anything but IE on a slow machine, say a Pentium Pro/PII or so, and you’ll see what I mean.

      Opera is really a nice browser too, actually. Firefox has a ton more extensions though cuz of its popularity. Opera shoulda gone free long ago and then perhaps they’d be where Firefox is today.

      • Krogoth
      • 13 years ago

      It certain consume a bit more more then IE, because it is not bulid into the OS like the foremention IE.

      My problem what IE is how MS made completely tied to the core compotents of the OS and massive security hole known as “ActiveX” made that much worse. It was no wonder why script kiddies can become very annoying pests.

    • Oldtech
    • 13 years ago

    As long as IE is tied to the OS kernal, it will be a major security risk. Case in point: MS has already released security patches for IE7.


      • emkubed
      • 13 years ago

      What’s a kernal?


        • Archer
        • 13 years ago

        It’s the core of the software metasystem that people with a dim grasp latch onto as if dropping the term in a conversation confers upon the dropper some mystical power and arcane knowledge of all things CI and IT.

        He drops the kernel abstract, then tries to tidy up in witty analogies so as to bestow his knowledge to those less mentally fortumate.

        The kernel…the point of which all security debates are debased to, because it’s easy and it makes them look smart to stupid people.

          • Usacomp2k3
          • 13 years ago

          He was poking fun at the mispelling of ‘kernel’

        • Hizpanick
        • 13 years ago
      • Archer
      • 13 years ago


      Don’t you mean so long as it has ActiveX controls, then it will remain a risk? It really isn’t more or less different from a security standpoint than Java or anything else along those lines…the whole work sucks is my point.

      • stdPikachu
      • 13 years ago

      IE has never been tied to the kernel, not in NT5* at least. Tied to the core libs of the OS maybe (namely mshtml.dll and others), but not to the kernel.

      The security risk came from MS’ lame implementation of ActiveX (wot? No sandbox?) and swiss cheese zone traversal.

      I hate IE as much as anyone who’s spent hours hacking their CSS to make it work on such a braindead browser, but get the facts right if you’re going to bash it…

    • A_Pickle
    • 13 years ago


    *nibble up mozilla dev brains*

    *insert Mini-ITX PC as alternative brain*


    • MixedPower
    • 13 years ago

    #3, I hate to rain on your MS fanboy parade, but IE6 sucks. Period. Don’t believe me? PC World decided that it deserved 8th on a list of the 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time. And as for (unreleased) IE7? It may have finally caught up with the jones’ feature-wise, and security may be beefier, but when the consumer version is released, it will do it’s best impression of the broad side of a barn for hackers. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see IE7 be better than firefox, especially security-wise, and with the way the people in Redmond are working (smarter, not harder), this very well may be the situation. It’ll be a great day when IE can offer the same power of other browsers, but until that day, I am calling it as I see it.

    • MixedPower
    • 13 years ago

    Maybe the folks from MS finally figured out that IE combines the features of a pushbutton and the data security of swiss cheese. Now they’re actually encouraging a 3rd party with a *considerably* better browser to focus on it being ‘Vista ready’. Maybe Vista will even ship with Firefox! Now coming back to reality…

      • Fighterpilot
      • 13 years ago

      I hate to rain on your anti MS parade but IE7 is as good if not better than Fireflop and it works on all websites….

        • emkubed
        • 13 years ago

        All sites? Have you tried them all? Let me know when you’re finished.

          • Hizpanick
          • 13 years ago

          Just finished. Yep, works on em all. 😛

    • Baddle Tech
    • 13 years ago

    Microsoft: “We aren’t evil! Honest! Look, we invited an OPEN SOURCE company to our base! Love us!!”

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