Wow, I was amazed to read this on the Washington Gazette website:
In a surprise move today, Microsoft has officially apologised to web developers, and the to the the wider community, for the notorious failings of its web-related software—particularly its much maligned web browser, Internet Explorer. Recent versions of this browser, particularly version 10, have seen great improvements, though older versions of the program still linger around like a bad smell and are proving difficult to remove—not least because of the pitiful lack of backwards compatibility of Internet Explorer with older versions of the Windows OS.
In a bid to speed up the adoption of IE10, Microsoft has surprised many by offering not only free versions of its latest operating system (Windows 8), but also free computer upgrades for anyone owning a PC that cannot run Windows 8. This is likely to cost the company billions of dollars, as many millions of computer users continue to use older computers on which the latest operating system will not run.
Internet Explorer is not the only sin for which Microsoft has apologized. The company has admitted that its email client software Outlook—both for desktop computers and its online version—is a disaster. Outlook will be officially dropped by the end of 2013, as Microsoft has signed a deal with Apple to accept a Windows version of Apple's Mail application, which will be offered free of charge to all Microsoft customers. Those customers will also be paid $100 US each as compensation for the inconvenience of having to move to another email client. The obvious benefit to all users will be that HTML email will finally awaken to the dawn of a new standards-based era.
Microsoft also apologised for its suite of desktop applications bundled as Office, admitting that it is clunky and inferior to Apple's iWork suite, as well as Google's online Docs service. CEO Steve Ballmer indicated today that he is in discussions with both Apple and Google regarding licensing rites to these technologies.
The full article can be found here.
So, everyone, what do you think of this news? Are you surprised? Is it too little too late? What computer will you be ordering from Microsoft?