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Microsoft IE -- it just gets better and better

From: M. Hedlund <hedlund@best.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 16:59:30 -0800 (PST)
To: www-talk@w3.org
Message-Id: <Pine.SGI.3.91.960126155805.8766B-100000@shellx.best.com>

Well, we were all amused when Microsoft trained its Internet Explorer 
browser to identify itself as
	Mozilla/1.21 (compatible; MSIE 2.0B; [platform])
Yup, that was a laugh riot.  Then Microsoft released Internet Explorer 
for Mac, and made it available at 
(get it?  'windows/ie/mac'?) and that was hysterical.  But take a look at 
the "Options..." window for Mac Internet Explorer, and you'll see where 
it gets better.

Mac IE gives the user a choice of User-Agent strings.  You can choose to 
identify yourself as Internet Explorer (by which they still mean 
	Mozilla/1.21 (compatible; MSIE 2.0B; Mac_PowerPC)
!), Netscape 1.2 (
	Mozilla/1.22(Macintosh; I; PowerPC)
), Netscape 2.0 (this one was on by default....*sigh*
	Mozilla/2.0b3(Macintosh; I; PowerPC)
), or even a custom string that you enter!  (I chose 

Aargh!  Does IE implement _any_ of Netscape 2.0 features?  It doesn't do 
frames and it doesn't do server pushes and it doesn't do Java and there are 
don't seem to be any plug-ins.  Microsoft is trying to get _around_ 
user-agent negotiation by identifying itself as the most featureful 
browser, but they haven't added the features which make user-agent 
negotiation desirable at all (ugly and backwards as it is).  So instead, 
they're giving their users data their browser can't render.  Nice work!

If Microsoft feels they need to resort to this, the least they could do 
is send someone to the content negotiation subgroup of the HTTP working 
group.  Netscape has.

Marc Hedlund <hedlund@best.com>, <marc@organic.com>
Received on Friday, 26 January 1996 20:00:05 UTC

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