Wednesday 23 April 2008
IT can embrace that Mac momentum, not just tolerate it, thanks to several shifts in computing that make the Mac a better enterprise fit than in the past -- first and foremost being a rising threat to Microsoft's other mainstay in the enterprise desktop environment, Internet Explorer.
Firefox, which has risen in popularity to account for 16.8 percent of browser use on the Web, according to Net Applications, as of December 2007, has broken IE's stranglehold on Internet app delivery, which it had maintained through ActiveX controls. Because Microsoft never released a version of IE for Mac OS X, Mac users were frozen out of ActiveX-based Web sites, making many SaaS (software as a service) offerings and enterprise-app Web clients off limits to the Mac.
But to ensure operability on Firefox, developers had to configure their wares to support Java instead of or in addition to ActiveX -- with Mac gaining compatibility as a client at the same time.
(via Gen Kanai)
Not everyone knows that for all these years we've actually had ActiveX hosting support in our source tree, but we deliberately turned it off. Turning it on probably would have helped our market share in the short term --- probably still would if we turned it on today --- but we didn't, because that would not have been the right thing to do for the Web, or for the Mac and other non-Microsoft platforms.
Even on a bad day, I'm proud to have been a part of all this.