Will the New Browser Wars End Before Really Getting Started?

Before the announcement that Yahoo! was buying Flickr,
the big Yahoo! news was that all Yahoo! services would soon be compatible with Firefox,
and all new services that Yahoo! released would also be Firefox compatible. Well, according
to ZDNet Australia
,Yahoo! has backpedalled somewhat, calling their original
statement "factually incorrect." I’m not here to beat Yahoo! up for either having
a change of heart, or for releasing inaccurate information since 1) accidents happen,
and 2) I have no problem with people (or companies) changing their minds when they
need to, as long as it doesn’t have a major negative impact on existing customers.
However, I do think Yahoo’s correction foreshadows another interesting shift in
browser distribution.

My prediction: the new
version of Internet Explorer
along with the release
of Tiger
will deal a massive
blow to Firefox, and the feeling that we are all in for another era of
bloody browser wars. I don’t have a list of IE 7 features in front of me, but
Microsoft is smart enough to deliver a browser that their customers are going
to want while many Mac users who are currently using Firefox because of issues
with Safari will be curious enough about the
new version
to give it another chance. I believe the result will be a sharp
decline in Firefox adoption.

That’s not to say Firefox will go away. Those of use in the IT field will
continue to use it (at least I will — I can’t live without certain plugins), but
I think IE 7 and Tiger will go a long way toward pulling Firefox out of the mainstream.