IBM makes Firefox the default company browser? When will IBM Lotus Notes stop depending on Internet Explorer?

In recent news IBM officially proclaimed Mozilla Firefox as the corporate browser of choice. The news was picked up by major news outlets such as CNet, readwriteweb.com and ars technica (“IBM embraces Firefox, adopts it internally“). The news even made it to small Denmark as a news item on Version 2 (“IBM gør Firefox til standardbrowser for 400.000 ansatte“; English: IBM makes Firefox the default browser for 400.000 employees).

While I really like the choice being a multi-year-long Firefox user myself it raises a question. If Microsoft Internet Explorer isn’t a good choice for a web browser and not something that IBM wants to bet their money on for internal web browser usage how come it’s still good enough as a core component in Lotus Notes 8? As you might know most (if not all) e-mail rendering in Lotus Notes is done using Internet Explorer. Also Internet Explorer is the browser of choice for web-based Composite Application components (on Windows anyway). Despite the hate for Internet Explorer that some may carry around it works and works well.

It does however raise an interesting question…

What’s to stop Microsoft from introducing a special “feature” in Internet Explorer that makes it crash when used inside Lotus Notes? Customers would blame Lotus Notes while the “feature” would in effect cripple all Lotus Notes 8 e-mail rendering on the Windows platform. The only thing that I can see stopping them from a move like this is behaving nicely – but how long will that continue?

If only there was a way to solve that problem… Well there is. Create a SWT Browser component that uses Webkit or another open source rendering engine that IBM can control and can continue to control. That would put IBM Lotus back in control of a core component of their own product. Maybe this egg is too precious to put in another vendors basket.

Comments?

JDK (1.6.0) not recognized in Firefox

After reloading my machine and installing all the JDK’s I use (1.3, 1.4, 1.6) the latest JDK wasn’t recognized in Firefox 2 though it was found and worked in IE. The Java control panel was set correctly and displayed JDK 1.6 as being active for IE and Firefox. The solution (based on this post) was to close Firefox, rename npoji600.dll to xxx_npoji600.dll (in C:Program FilesMozilla Firefoxplugins) and restart Firefox. Problem solved.

It’s been a busy browser week…


Just upgraded my Firefox to version 2.0 and I’m posting this using it. Total time of upgrading the browser was 35 seconds incl. downloading the installer. Nice! Try that with Internet Explorer… I have a couple of extensions that no longer work since no compatible versions are available:

  • Qute theme (not an issue since I like the new theme)
  • View formatted source
  • Live HTTP Headers

The new version of Firefox adds a number of nice new features such as in-line spellchecking for web-forms.

Update: I had to disable one of my extensions called “Tab Mix”. When the extension is enabled Firefox refuses to load new pages once the configured homepage(s) has been loaded. Disabling the extension solves the problem.

Upgraded to IE7

This morning I upgraded my production laptop to Internet Explorer 7. The upgrade was without problems and I haven’t experienced any problems with it. While I’ll continue using Firefox as my preferred browser I still have some e-banking and some customer stuff I need to do through IE (using the nice IE Tab extension for Firefox) so it’s nice to get the security updates etc. that IE7 affords.

I haven’t messed too much around with the IE7 but I’m impressed by what I have seen so far (new favorites, RSS support, tabbed browsing and dedicated search bar). I think it will become a strong competitor to Firefox for the non-geeks among us… 🙂