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[ba-ohs-talk] FW: AOL to switch to Mozilla

Great article on changes at AOL, including a switch from IE to their own
Mozilla-based browser (excerpted below):    (01)

http://www.theregus.com/content/23/24275.html    (02)

Talk about a tectonic shift...
Kevin Keck
keck@kecklabs.com    (03)

AOL embraces Linux and Mozilla, plans to drop MS Explorer
By Robin Miller, NewsForge.com    (04)

[...]    (05)

Good-bye Explorer, hello Mozilla    (06)

The Gecko rendering engine at the heart of the Mozilla Web browser is
scheduled to replace Microsoft's Internet Explorer as AOL's default browser
-- the one in the millions of free AOL CDs distributed every year -- in the
8.0 version of AOL's client software. (The current version is 7.0.) The
Gecko rendering engine is already being shipped as a "beta" test product in
some CompuServe client software packages, and reports from CompuServe users
who have chosen to use Gecko instead of Explorer have been described as
"very positive." This customer feedback is an important part of AOL's
browser decision process. "We hear the question, 'What is the member
impact?' whenever we are faced with a technical decision," says one of our
contacts. And so far, it sounds like member impact of an AOL switch from
Explorer to Gecko will be almost entirely positive.    (07)

"With Gecko, we have control over the client software and don't have to
worry about Microsoft screwing up our streaming [audio and video]," says one
AOL sysadmin. There is also concern at AOL about Explorer's "poor use" of
the HTTP 1.1 Protocol. Our AOL sysadmin says, "HTTP 1.1 has lots more
features than most people use," but AOL can make good use of many
lesser-known ones like chunking, that are not supported by Explorer because,
says our AOL sysadmin friend, "MSIE doesn't follow the spec correctly."    (08)

Even if future versions of Explorer manage to incorporate chunking and other
features AOL wants members to use -- because they minimize download time and
bandwith used per Web page delivered -- another AOL techie says, "It's still
easier to optimize eveything when we finally control both the server and the
client, and can make them work as smoothly together as possible."    (09)

All AOL tech people we spoke to denied that corporate dislike of Microsoft
played any part in their preference for either Linux or Mozilla's Gecko
rendering engine. They said their choices were made purely on what worked
best in tests they had run; that their concern was not corporate politics
but to make life easier and smoother -- and downloads faster -- for AOL
members.    (010)

The only thing that might delay -- not stop, just delay -- AOL's change from
Explorer to a Mozilla-based browser is allowing time for some of AOL's
largest and most important "partner sites" to do away with any
Explorer-specific features they have been using in place of W3C standards.    (011)

A browser shift by AOL is going to leave an awful lot of companies that
assume their Web sites only need to work with Explorer scrambling to rewrite
their code so that they don't lose AOL's 30 million-plus subscribers, or
about 30% of all U.S. Internet users.    (012)

[...]    (013)

 Newsforge.com. All rights reserved.    (014)