June 13, 2003: Microsoft Halts Development of Internet Explorer for the Mac

by Chris Seibold Jun 13, 2011

When Bill Gates showed up on the big screen supporting Apple at MacWorld-Boston expo 1997, one of the things Microsoft got for the appearance was Apple's agreement to bundle Internet Explorer with all new Macs. The deal made sense for Microsoft, which was competing with Netscape at the time.

What a difference six years makes. Six years later, Microsoft had thoroughly destroyed Netscape and absolutely controlled the browser market. Deciding that Internet Explorer was a crucial reason for users to upgrade the OS, Microsoft decided to tie all new releases of the browser (which was tightly integrated to the OS) to new releases of Windows.

Sure, Microsoft cited Apple's introduction of Safari as the reason that IE for Mac was killed, but the reality was that a new version of Internet Explorer was going to be a selling point for any new OS release (a policy Microsoft later abandoned). Public and actual reasons aside, it was June 13 in 2003 that Microsoft announced that they would no longer be developing a browser that was Mac compatible.


  • Four years nearly to the day and Apple announces Safari for Windows. Who’da thought!

    Chris Howard had this to say on Jun 14, 2007 Posts: 1209
  • The purpose of discontinuing IE for the Mac was to slow Apple’s entry into the enterprise market

    Internet Explorer goes into quirks mode if the DOCTYPE is not correctly and precisely specified, and on the first line of the code, as seen by the browser. Microsoft’s web-development tools put white space before the DOCTYPE. That means that if you use Microsoft tools, you can create all the standard code you like, and it will still trigger quirks mode. The result is that the web pages don’t look right in any browser other than IE. Everyone thinks it’s the non-Microsoft’s browser’s inadequacy. That ties enterprise users to IE.

    Mac users, not having IE, could access or use any of the internal web applications in the enterprise. Microsoft was tried to shut the door for Apple to invade the enterprise.

    Since then the EU has pressured Microsoft to be standards compliant.

    Hugmup had this to say on Jun 13, 2008 Posts: 40
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