Browser wars are a waste of time

There’s one thing that’s been on my mind recently. I’m sure you’re familiar with the news that Apple has been delivering Safari by default to Windows users with iTunes installed. I think just about everyone agrees that this is committing a fairly heinous crime against your users, but let’s analyze a different take on this.

Back in June of 2007, Steve Jobs declared his intention to get “the best browser in the world” on as many Windows PC’s as he could. This declaration was reinforced at Macworld 2008 in January of this year. Mr. Jobs was hell bent on gaining market share with his browser on both major platforms. He wants that market share like, uhh, well, now.

One has to wonder if perhaps that market share just isn’t happening like he wanted. Perhaps that’s what led up to Apple making the nuclear decision to install it by default on the next iTunes update. I know that subsequently, I’ve seen many Windows PCs with Safari installed and yeah, I’ve even heard Windows users trying it out. Some like it, some don’t. That’s beside the point. It was a Bad Idea ™ for Apple to force it down their throats, hypocrisy and all… but that’s not why I’m here.

I’m here in this article because you see, I don’t get it.

I absolutely, positively do not understand the browser wars. In the day and age where Internet Explorer was not standards compliant a-tall, sure that made a difference because webmasters bent the standards to their whim to the browser with the largest market. Now that Microsoft has “seen the light” and intend to go as fully standards-compliant as possible in IE8, why do the browser wars matter?

Firefox is pretty standards compliant. Safari is very standards compliant. IE is going to be.

So why does it matter anymore?

Market share for browsers is not the real battle – it’s the desktop and the ecosystem, which of course, starts in the home. But the browser wars just do not have a point that I can gather at all.

Therefore, I’d like you, dear reader, to explain it to me.

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