September 18th 2002
By Mike Flaminio
Spymac is reporting that Apple is planning to endorse Chimera browser development in opposition to Microsoft's dominant Internet Explorer.
As Spymac notes, Chimera's programming lead, David Hyatt, was headhunted by Apple earlier this year. In recent months, Apple has also moved closer to AOL, owner of the Netscape browser, in building AIM-compatibility into its IM client.
Analysis: Apple might well be developing an alternative browser to improve OS X's less-than-optimum performance with browsers, but it is probably doing this so that its own browser can link in .mac services, like iDisk, iCal and HomePage more easily than is possible at present (Hercules' much better implementation of iDisk services is one example where third parties do a better job than Apple). Regardless of whether it's Chimera or not, Apple could be looking closely at a browser based desktop option (like recent iterations of Windows). Jobs, of course, had to be forced away from NeXT's browser to the Mac OS Finder. Early betas of OS X were much closer to the NeXT concept. Here we could have a browser - not a replacement for the desktop, but a complementary app - which linked .mac users to all of their on-line services, like Mail/mac.com. Hell, a nice built-in Telnet client would be nice (like Cyberdog). I hasten to add that this is purely speculative.
But Spymac's assertion (from a source) that ""[Apple wants to] break away from MS, in every area," is getting a little far-fetched, we think. It's ludicrous to think that Macs wouldn't be bundled with the dominant browser as part of the core install. Throw it away if you want, but it's bundled. Ergo, Microsoft's happy. Not a big concession to make.