Explorer vs Firefox

I've been using Firefox for a couple of months now, and can say that the only site that it DOESNT work on (ironcally!) now is my own one. Its fast, reliable, and its extensions really help. (okay, I'm late to this particualr party. There's only so many crusades a jobbing geek can take on at once, right?). [I take particular pleasure in using firefox to surf the MS support site..]

For instance, I've just spent the weekend constructing a new HADSL web site (we're relaunching iDM as 'FirM') and the firefox web development extensions have helped me quickly debug shonky HTML code. I also find the "bling" theme hugely amusing...

Given the horrors that is Internet Exporer (for instance, I found yesterday that it doesnt compute 'style' tokens within 'image' tags correctly - doubling up image heights) where it doesnt even render reliably, I can forsee a future where Explorer soon crashes and burns. I hope that Firefox breaks out of the 'developer/geek' arena soon and starts to gain acceptance on the corporate desktop.

UserFriendly.Org summed it up here. Is this another doomed Microsoft franchise ? I mean, in terms of

  • Windows. The MS fans are waiting on Longhorn. And may be waiting a long time. I mean - SP1 for Windows (.net) server 2003 isnt even out yet - and its 2005 ?
  • Office. Many sites have not upgraded past office 97, not seeing a clear financial reason to do so. A new version of "clippy" doesnt make a compelling reason. And as for building a collaboration environment into Word ? Dont make me laugh. Even on my XP2 (patched up to the eyeballs) PC with Office 2003 (similarly patched to the eyeballs) Word crashes just way too often editing documents. Create applications ? No.
  • Exchange. My favourite. 50% of the userbase is still on Exchange 5.5 - which is now out of support.
  • Explorer. Firefox is whuppin its ass technically and has the hearts and minds of the geek community. Even Gartner is seeing a future of uneasy coexistence..
  • Sharepoint. "Ferris: Dont do this"
  • X-Box. PSP and PS3 is gonna kick ass over XBox2, just as PS2 is kicking XBox. And PS2 doesnt burst into flames.. (Mind you, you cant run Domino on PS2 as you can the XBox...)

If I were holding onto Microsoft shares right now (and I used to - I made four grand on them up to 2002!), I'd probably sell. They've lost the imagination, the support and the confidence of the corporate market, in my humble opinion. They're the poster boy for the anti-corporate feeling in geekdom. And frankly no amount of sycophantic internal MS bloggers will change this.

Perhaps folks with long(er) memories remember the pain that IBM went through in the eighties. Did they lose focus this badly before that ? Okay - both Microsoft and IBM have vast amounts of money in the bank. But does huge bank balances create innovation ? If so - why is Microsoft buying up small operations such as Groove ?