back to article Gates' spontaneity highlights IE data gap

In the old days just before you left military service, you were expected to become "demob" happy and go a little crazy. With only six months to go before he "transitions", it seems Bill Gates is showing the first signs of being demob happy - or at least losing touch with what Microsoft is up to. In response to a question from …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    OMG 8 follows 7 shock

    So the next version of IE after version 7 is going to be version 8.

    Thank god we have those bloggers to get this info to us, how would we manage otherwise.

  2. Chris

    One of the other possible names being -

    E - I - E - I - O

    or is that I - E - I - E - O

  3. Marc Lawrence

    But its microsoft counting

    Official numbering is in the world of BG. 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista. Although there is a number somewhere it seems that it is all arbitrary. Besides what Bills says is always true, so perhaps 10 does follow 7, as 7 ate 9.

  4. Matth

    Deja vu?

    Mildly OT, it was funny seeing the similarity with another president's blunder.

    The SR-71 Blackbird, originally named the RS-71, was renamed when Lyndon Johnson accidentally rearranged the letters during his 1964 press announcement of the existence of the SR-71... Or was it RS-71? :)

    I imagine interns at MS will be burning the midnight oil tonight in a fit of copy & paste ecstasy.

    I am forced to use IE (6) day in day out, I welcome theft of FF ideas, as ultimately it will make my life easier!

    It's enough to put a boy off browsing.

  5. Robin

    re: OMG 8 follows 7 shock

    I have reliable information from a trusted source, that the next version after 8 will be 9. Keep that under your hat though.

  6. Glenn Gilbert

    There's a lot of comments!

    Amazing how many comments there are on that blog. I do hope MS are listening as the vast majority of them are rather harsh, and justly so as IE is a terrible product to code for.

    Any other company would really be concerned for the levels of vitriol that are reserved for their product from the development community.

    Lets hope they demonstrate their listening skills with some solid action.

  7. John Bayly
    Gates Horns

    Who cares what it'll be called

    Just as long as it renders HTML & applies CSS properly (I'm not holding my breath though).

    When IE7 was released my first thought was "fantastic, they should have fixed any bugs I've encountered", followed by the realisation that every bug I had to work around for IE6 hadn't been fixed (this is just me of course, I'm reliably informed that they did fix some bugs)

    @Matth: "Lyndon Johnson accidentally rearranged the letters during his 1964 press announcement of the existence of the SR-71".

    That's now hit urban legend status

  8. BoldMan

    Well it could have been..

    Internet Exploder Vista

  9. David


    It is a surprise, as one could have assumed it would be called MS Firefox.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS firefox

    you mean like this:

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    >It is a surprise, as one could have assumed it would be called

    >MS Firefox.

    No. They might steal from FF but they will name it such that it would be confused with an Apple product. My guess is iEphone - or iEpod. Certainly not a silly name like say Zune.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what ever it's called

    it's still going to be a threat vector

  13. Dennis Price
    Paris Hilton

    You never know....

    I'm running Vista Business, IE7, and Office 2007 - - and had installed Frontpage 2003 for doing quick and dirty webpages. Had started on a new website project when I wondered where the hell was Frontpage 2007?

    After a quick search I found Microsoft had renamed Frontpage to "Expression Web" and I had the damn software in the same action pack that my Vista and Office 2007 came in.


    (fuck all you Linux freaks out there - my software is free or mostly so - for $299 a year, I get all the damn MS titles without having to dick around with how I want my OS to "Look and Feel" - it just *works*)

    Oh yeah - to The Reg folks - why isn't there a Steve Jobs Angel/Devil icon? Fuck Mr. Mac/ipod/iPhone too!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: You never know....

    Calm down, dear...and you will see that we do indeed have Jobs angel / devil icons.

  15. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Out of this world and big blue skies thinking required?*

    "As revealed elsewhere Microsoft is currently searching for a director of Windows client disclosure who will, presumably, tell all." ...... Reading the spec. for the post suggests that they're looking for a Master of the Universe kind of a guy.... or even Better, in Beta, AIMastery of Universes kind of guy.

    Certainly they could be doing with it, to put Microsoft ahead of the Competition, rather than always reacting to IT. Their processing of Information is definitely well below par.

    * MeThinks that, Mr Gates, is a Colossus of AI Task easily rendered Viable Virtually......with ITs BetaView for Generation of Windows into Competitive Operating Systems Delivering Advantage and ITs Benefits.

    [amfM Quantum Communications BetaTest #XXXX .... Advanced MetaDataMining Proficiency Probe/Search Engine Efficiency/Fitness for Future Purpose]

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Reliant Robin of web browsers

    To tell you the truth I am beginning to think Rodney Trotter is the main developer on IE. He does have a certificate in computing and a GCSE in art.

    And to the Windows moron - Dennis Price:

    I don't know what planet you come from but $299 a year is not free. If you consider the upgrade cycle of Microsoft products you will probably find that you are also being ripped off.

    Also, Windows or other Microsoft products *do not* just work. If they did I would be out of a job.

  17. alistair millington
    Thumb Down

    MS IE 7 is pants, IE8 has to be an improvement.

    For me IE7 is slow and buggy, I can't run more than three or four tabs of El Reg articles without lag and problems with the tabbed browsing so anything that fixes that at work is a good deal. (I can't install FF)

    I use FF at home as it is far superior.


    That's nice for you, Ms created two software packages out of frontpage 2003, one for muppets and one for developers, both of which do two extremes as a way of screwing more cash from you.

    $299 a year, problem is for the rest of the planet, MS are rip off merchants. So it would be £299 a year for us (That is being nice), that is $600 a year for the same thing. Thinking about it I think the MSDN cheapest I saw was around £900? (someone can correct me as I don't have one) which puts that nearer $2000.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    @Reliant Robin

    He probably also thinks that he gets free talktime and texts from his contract mobile phone provider too.

  19. TeeCee Gold badge

    Also @ matth

    Another one of these is "GTO" for cars. The original here was the Ferrari, which was supposed to be the 250 GT-Omologato (spelling??) as a homologation special (limited sales production run) for the racing car. Some clerk entering the details on the first race registration put "250 GTO" instead of "250 GT-O".

    This was followed by Pontiac building a whole series of cars amusingly named after an Italian typo......

  20. Anonymous Coward

    @dennis price

    As a "Linux Freak" i just want to let you know that when you feel you are ready we will still welcome you to use Linux. Your preconceptions are common among windows users and there are ways to ease your transition, just as if you went to Mac.

    Also perhaps loose some of that anger, does your software make you that mad... i know mine doesn't.

    Enjoy being Bill's bitch, which you are if you've been convinced that $299 is nearly free.

  21. William Tell
    Gates Horns

    Different editions?

    The real question is: Will there be different editions? (Think Home and Online)

  22. Dennis Price
    Jobs Horns

    Re: Anonymous Coward

    Who is the moron? I get $90 an hour to deal with business networks and business end users. With Microsoft I can install the program, make sure it has its updates and I'm out, with Linux, it's fuck with this , fuck with that, fuck with another thing and I'm still there trying to train the enduser to use the damn thing. I have better things to do (family, family family) since I don't have to work full time to live comfortably with my *family*.

    The true and absolute moron is the *enduser*, not me. And the *enduser* is the reason you have a job, not Microsoft or anyone else's products.

    RE: Drew. Until I looked up what Steve Jobs looks like *now*, I thought that was Ballmer - I still see in my mind's eye the Steve Jobs from the 80's. lmao.

  23. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Bill isn't always right about these things.

    He once said that the next version of NT would be NT5 unless the marketing folks stopped him.

  24. David Cornes
    Thumb Up

    And the story is...?

    Still happy enough(?) using 60% IE6 (mainly at work), 40% Opera, thanks very much....

  25. Anonymous Coward

    @Dennis Price

    You're the dick for not realising you had the latest version of Frontpage!

  26. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Will it comply with web standards?

    Wrong question. The real question is : Will it comply with non-Microsoft web standards?

  27. Anonymous Coward


    I'm with Dennis...

    I've always thought water-boarding a perfectly satisfactory means of interrogation; imprisoning non-combatants in Guantanamo for 6 years humane under the circumstances; and shooting children in Gaza acceptable collateral damage.

    Wait, I think I'm loosing the thread here.

  28. Jon

    @alistair millington

    Have you tried Portable Firefox? Runs off a USB stick so you can use it anywhere, even if you don't have install permissions. I never go anywhere without it.

  29. 4a$$Monkey

    They want answers to questions such as: "Will it comply with web standards?"


    Ahhh, that one will keep me smiling all afternoon.

  30. Chris


    I have it on reliable sources (Read: Me), that after the resounding success of switching the Outlook 2007 rendering engine to the Word engine, they are going to do the same for IE. After all, who uses things like.. padding.. or %s in css? No one! That's who! You'll use it and you'll like it!

  31. Martin Owens
    Gates Horns

    Ah yes, One of those

    >> with Linux, it's fuck with this , fuck with that, fuck with another thing

    I've never understood why some people blame Linux for their own incompetence; at least some of us in the real world have the good grace to know when we know don't know the extra time we spend is learning. You may be able to fix windows problems in a trice, but I know linux people who wouldn't even need to show up at your door, it would be ssh blah, 2 mins later, oh I fixed that and went to get some coffee.

  32. b4k4

    re: MSFirefox


    you mean like this:


    This is fantastic! Who the hell had the time to craft such a masterpiece? And why haven't MS had it taken down? This is more than a thought crime, you know.

    "Where am I today?"

    "Microsoft offers the best implementation of its web standards. Period."

    "We continue to be a leader and partner in slightly open source development,"

    This has enough to keep me laughing for weeks.

  33. Leo Davidson


    Psst, Martin, Windows has this feature called Remote Assistance. Linux isn't unique for allowing remote administration.

  34. John Bayly
    Thumb Down

    @Leo Davidson

    Remote Assistance is great until you're attempting to connect over a shite connection.

    I can connect via SSH to a box using GPRS (it's not fun, but possible), try doing that using Remote Desktop Connection.

    Also attempting to use Remote Desktop Connection to login to a box that a a thread using 100% of the CPU cycles is nigh on impossible.

    I now tend to use the Serial Console that our hosting company provides for our Windows Server, login using PuTTY and Bob's your cousin's father.

  35. Stephen Tordoff
    Gates Horns


    I think that Microsoft cannot take down MSFirefox as the trademarks are being used for parody, which I believe is protected under law.

    Also, I don't think they care too much

  36. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Running out of ideas? Plenty out up here in Space, Bill. Take a Trip.

    "A full transcript of Gates' Mix'n'Mash conversation is available here."

    Bill didn't actually tell us anything useful at all in the transcript, did he.

    Although to be fair to him, he has always maintained that he is a business man and nothing more.

  37. Smell My Finger

    Microsoft to blame!

    "I think that Microsoft cannot take down MSFirefox as the trademarks are being used for parody, which I believe is protected under law" - I believe in the US such a right was protected under a judgement made on a case involving Larry Flynt and Hustler magazine - precedents can be overturned.

  38. Paul
    Jobs Horns

    @Dennis Price

    "fuck all you Linux freaks out there"

    Well, if you had a valid point to make after that childish off-topic little outburst (this was about *browsers*, not operating systems) it was all lost on me. I can't help but think that if Microsoft's products were actually any good you could argue in their favor without having to behave like a ghetto teenager.

    Hope that's a false name you used, would suck for you if any of your $90/hour clients saw this, recognized you, realized what an unprofessional boob you are and decided to help you spend a bit more time with your family while they find someone who has enough clue about what they're paid to do that they know what the latest versions of various products are named. :)

    Wait...rabid anti-Linux stance, potty-mouthed ranting outburst, enough money to believe that $299/year is "almost free", repeating the same word over several times (%s/developers/family/g)...could it be...

    ...welcome to El Reg comments, Mr. Ballmer. :) (quick, everyone, hide the bloody *chairs*!)

    Back on topic: as someone who develops and maintains webpages (real ones that validate, not your Frontpage/WYSIWYG-generated bollocks) for a living I just wish IE would either comply with standards or go away forever. Either result would make me happy.

  39. Dale Harrison

    Never Mind Internet Explorer 8...

    Call it...


    ...and piss off Apple (or get sued)

    i'll get my coat.

    (see what I did there, tee hee)

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