Surprising relatively no one, the American software giant Microsoft announced that it will end support for its Macintosh-version of Internet Explorer. The current version, 5.0, has not been updated in three years.
The number of people who use Macintoshes is still relatively small, and the number of those users who surf the Web using IE is smaller still, especially since new Macs are shipping with Safari being the default browser. Still, the decision will no doubt adversely affect several thousand people worldwide.
Internet Explorer is still the default browser on PCs, blended as it is with Windows, Office, and other software. The current PC version of Internet Explorer is 6.
Less clear is the effect that this decision will have on websites that have been designed to work only on Internet Explorer. Pages look slightly different on Macintosh systems anyway, although the differences might be minuscule to the untrained eye. Still, the surging popularity of the iPod, the new iMacs and other Apple products has already translated into a surge in Macintosh computer sales. And Macs are still the norm in most schools and many design companies. Existing websites might very well have to be updated to reflect the use of Safari, Firefox, Opera, or other browser.