Microsoft to Mac users: Ditch Explorer

The things you can find on Google never cease to amaze, and I'm not talking about this.

No, I'm talking about doing a search for the words "msn explorer mac" and seeing msn.com as the second item, with this text: "If you are using Internet Explorer for Mac, we recommend that you use another browser to have an optimal experience on MSN."

Clicking on the link from a PC (or a Mac running Safari) leads to MSN, which still looks as if it were designed by Don Ho's tailor. But if you are using a Mac and the Internet Explorer browser, you'll see a version of the site that appears to have been designed by a 5th grader. And right up top there is, indeed, an admonition from Microsoft that Mac users should dump Internet Explorer for another browser.

I concede that I don't know how long that note has been posted (Google indicates the page was updated Nov. 20). And I suppose it's not a big surprise, considering that the latest version of IE for Mac, 5.2.3, was released in June, 2003.

But it's still an interesting twist in the relationship between the two pioneering PC companies. Eight years ago, for example, Mac fans were stunned when Apple and Microsoft appeared to bury the hatchet--with Microsoft investing $150 million in Apple, and Apple returning the favor by making IE the default browser on new Macs.

For the record, you can still download IE for the Mac here. You might find it handy should you need to actually find something on MSN.

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