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Web Standards Project Calls on Public to Pressure Microsoft to Fully Support Web Standards in Their Browser

Released: November 2000 | Author: George Olsen on behalf of The Web Standards Project

The Web Standards Project (WSP) today asked the public to join
its efforts in calling on Microsoft to fully support key Web
standards in its next release of Internet Explorer.

“The dispute between AOL and Microsoft over instant messaging
shows how incompatible standards hurt the public,” said WSP
Project Leader George Olsen. “For browsers, there ARE common
standards but Microsoft appears to be noncommittal about
finishing off implementing them in Internet Explorer, saying
there isn’t public demand for them.”

“Unfortunately, implementing most of these standards but not
finishing key areas is like building a car but forgetting to
install the steering wheel,” Olsen said. “Technically, it’s
almost done, but it’s not usable.”

WSP is encouraging Web site owners, builders and visitors to
voice their support for standards implementation by writing to
, where their comments will
be forwarded to Microsoft.

WSP’s Steering Committee kicked off this public lobbying campaign
by sending the following statement to Microsoft:

An Open Letter to Microsoft: It’s Time to Get It Right

As a member of the Web Standards Project and a working developer
building Web sites, I am writing to ask that Microsoft take the
next logical step in its support for W3C standards, and deliver
full (100%) support for Cascading Style Sheets Level-1, HTML 4.0,
DOM 1.0 and XML 1.0 in the next version of Internet Explorer.

Full support of these standards will enable developers and
designers to finally embrace this technology, which Microsoft
helped create, and which Microsoft was the first to begin
supporting. In its dispute with AOL over instant messaging,
Microsoft has made compelling arguments about the value of
commonly supported standards and I believe those arguments apply
just as strongly to browsers as well.

Less than full support in Internet Explorer would be a bad
marketing decision when its largest competitor delivers the
goods. Microsoft’s support for these standards has been far
superior to Netscape’s, but that will change when Netscape
releases Navigator 5.0, which appears headed toward fulfilling
its promise of 100% support for these standards, according to
independent reports.

For the good of your browser and the advancement of the Web as a
great medium for communications, commerce, and art, I urge you to
go the distance and make full support for these standards a
priority for your Internet Explorer development team.

If you cannot commit to that time frame, I’d like to know when
Microsoft DOES plan to deliver full support for these standards.
If the answer is “never,” I’d like to know that, too, so I can
let my clients and site visitors know that standards-compliant
sites may not work properly on Internet Explorer.


The Web Standards Project Steering Committee
George Olsen, Project Leader
Jeff Zeldman, Site Design
Tim Bray
Steve Champeon
Rachel Cox
B.K. DeLong
Martin Diekhoff
Chris Kaminski
Dan Shafer
Dori Smith
Jeffrey Veen

Today WSP also presented Microsoft with a Web standards petition
signed by more than 1,000 Web developers from Fortune 500
companies and major educational and government institutions. (See
related press release: “Web Standards Project calls on Microsoft
to fully support Web standards in their next version of their
Internet Explorer browser.”)

About the Web Standards Project

is an international coalition of Web developers and Web experts
who are urging browser makers to fully support HTML 4.0,
Cascading Style Sheet Level 1 (CSS-1), the Document Object Model
(DOM) and XML in their browsers. Its effort to bring attention to
the existing and potential problems involved with browser
incompatibility does not mean that WSP is opposed to innovations
by browser makers. The coalition merely urges browser makers to
use open standards for enhancements and support existing ones
before adding new features.

The Web Standards Project is a grassroots coalition fighting for standards which ensure simple, affordable access to web technologies for all.

All of the entries posted in WaSP Buzz express the opinions of their individual authors. They do not necessarily reflect the plans or positions of the Web Standards Project as a group.

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