June 28, 2011, 9:15 AM — Microsoft's top executive for Internet Explorer on Monday joined the debate between Mozilla and corporate users, saying that his company's browser was for "all Windows customers."
"We believe that all Windows customers should have a great browsing experience, whether they stay at home, go to school, or work in a large organization with managed IT resources," said Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft's vice president for Internet Explorer (IE), in a post to a company blog .
One online wag immediately piped up, asking how that claim jibed with Microsoft's decision to not support Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) on the still-popular Windows XP.
Citing the book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies and its "Tyranny of the OR" concept, Hachamovitch argued that where Mozilla and Google can "only support consumers or enterprises, but not both," Microsoft is capable of handling users of every stripe.
"Sometimes, the needs for stable information infrastructure include Web browsers that are ... not necessarily the very latest version," Hachamovitch said. "We respect that the people who run the critical infrastructure of the world must do so without our goals for a modern Web trumping their needs to run their systems under their control."
Hachamovitch wasn't the first from Microsoft to weigh in on the brouhaha over Mozilla's decision to dramatically pick up the pace of Firefox releases this year.
Last week, Ari Bixhorn, director of IE, used the controversy to plead IE's case to an IBM manager , who had said his company supported 500,000 copies of Mozilla's browser but was unable to finish testing and deploying Firefox 4 before it was retired from support.
Like Bixhorn, Hachamovitch made the case for IE, contrasting its 10-year support cycle, and enterprise deployment and management tools, with browser rivals like Firefox and Chrome.
"People, individually and in large organizations, who use IE on Windows are Microsoft customers," Hachamovitch said. "Moving the Web forward for both of them involves and, not the tyranny of OR."
But the first commenter to the post took exception to Hachamovitch's claim of serving everyone.