SAN JOSE, Calif., May 15, 2000 — At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2000 this week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs demonstrated Microsoft Internet Explorer Macintosh Edition for Mac OS X, calling it “a very, very good browser” and saying “we’re thrilled by it.” Microsoft’s new browser — a version of the company’s Internet Explorer technology designed specifically for the newest implementation of the Macintosh operating system — will ship beginning today on the latest developer release of Apple’s Mac OS X.
“With this Preview release [of Mac OS X], developers now have everything they need to make killer applications for Mac OS X,” Jobs said. “We are incredibly pleased at the support we are getting from many of the world’s best software developers for Mac OS X, the future of the Mac platform.”
Mac OS X features a modern Unix-based operating system with protected memory, symmetric multiprocessing, pre-emptive multitasking, traditional Macintosh ease of use and support for classic Macintosh applications. Mac OS X also features the new “Aqua” user interface (UI), which supports an improved graphics system that infuses the UI with color, depth, translucence, motion, and dynamic photo-quality icons.
In his keynote, Jobs demonstrated how users can add bookmarks to Web pages in Internet Explorer using a new feature called the “Dock,” which is located at the bottom of the screen and holds items such as folders, applications, documents, storage devices, minimized windows, digital images and links to Web sites. The Dock displays an icon for each item that is stored, with information about the applications and documents the icons represent.
“Microsoft believes in Apple’s Mac OS X strategy and we’re enthusiastic about delivering our best-of-breed browser to Mac OS X customers,” said Microsoft product unit manager Dick Craddock.
Internet Explorer for Mac OS X is based on Internet Explorer 5 Macintosh Edition, Microsoft’s current Macintosh browser, which already boasts over 1.5 million downloads since its availability in late March. The browser is one of the first applications to use Carbon, an application environment that takes full advantage of the newest features in Mac OS X. Craddock said Microsoft engineers and executives are working closely with Apple to ensure that Internet Explorer for Mac OS X is optimized for the operating system’s advanced new features.
“Taking an existing application to a new OS is always a technical challenge,” Craddock said, “but Apple engineers have done a great job listening to feedback and conducting ‘coding kitchens’ that help us with our development.” Craddock said that due to the work that Apple engineers have done,
“there is considerable overlap between Carbon application programming interfaces (APIs) and classic Mac OS APIs, which made it a lot easier to ‘Carbonize’ the application.”
It also helped that Internet Explorer has a modern code base, so standard modern coding practices applied. “The cleaner the code base, the easier the Carbonizing work becomes,” Craddock explained.
“Microsoft has the largest Mac development team outside of Apple, and we’re incredibly committed to the platform and to the Microsoft-Apple partnership,” Craddock said. “We’ve done more new Mac work in the last couple of years than at any point in our history, and the customer benefit is undeniable. We like to think that we’re leading the way in Mac development by bringing real innovation to our Mac products.”
Microsoft is taking a leadership position in developing applications for Mac OS X. “Internet Explorer is going to be a great Mac OS X application and will ship with Mac OS X as Apple’s browser of choice,” said Kevin Browne, general manager of Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit. “Microsoft will continue to do more for our Macintosh customers by innovating on the Mac platform and providing Mac OS X applications that offer features found only in our Macintosh versions.”
Microsoft and Apple signed an agreement in August 1997 to jointly develop products and technologies, and have been working more closely to develop products for their mutual Mac customers. The Microsoft-Apple relationship precedes the August 1997 agreement by 20 years, all the way back to 1977 when Microsoft first licensed the BASIC programming language to Apple.