· by Steve · Read in about 2 min · (260 Words)

Oh, this is so ripe for satire I really can’t believe Microsoft didn’t see it coming. Or, perhaps they did and just ran with it anyway, for funsies. It appears Microsoft’s Australian website is encouraging people to switch to IE8 by offering an online treasure hunt, where a series of clues will lead you to a site identifying the location of the $10k (AU$ presumably), which can only be viewed with IE8. They gleefully point out:

“But you’ll never find it with old Firefox. So get rid of it, or get lost.”

So, let’s stack up the issues here:

  • Microsoft has resorted to offering a monetary incentive to encourage people to use its free browser. Is that an admission that based on just the merits of the product itself, IE8 probably wouldn’t be the user’s first choice? I’d guess that people who actually choose their browser (rather than accepting what they get preinstalled) are not that likely to pick IE8.
  • ‘old’ Firefox? Last I checked, IE predated Firefox by some years, and the latter has a new version coming out in mere weeks. Resorting to empty name-calling now? Dear me.
  • Websites that only work in IE? Wow, welcome back to 1999 guys. ActiveX, Outlook Express bindings - ah, the memories. The horrible, eye-watering memories.

A Mozilla dev has already fired back a response, but really I don’t think it needed one. I think the fact that this promotion exists at all, and the tone which it takes, speaks volumes about how much the browser landscape has changed in recent years.