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Mar 11 2002 Kelly Norton
And today, Netscape gives us the second installment in "How to lose a browser war with efficiency:"

You will remember the first, and most important, lesson they taught us was:

Release browser versions that seem to degrade in quality with each successive release. The effectiveness can be enhanced further if bugs are introduced in areas that worked flawlessly in the previous major release, or if important industry standards like CSS1 are half-implemented and generally ignored. At this point, providing evidence of Netscape 4.x's inferior quality seems a little unnecessary, so anyone still harboring doubts can search Google (without using the "mySidebar" feature).

The second, which has just hit news sites, shows how to rid ourselves of those few remaining customers who have stayed only by virtue of an impassioned hate for the competitor:

Violate the trust of users by snooping their Google (third-party) searches.

Of course, Internet Explorer's Search Assistant has committed this crime as well as the equal crime of reporting DNS lookup failures since version 5 (despite contrary claims by newsbytes.com).

Proof : IE6 Request Headers (when Search for "kellegous" is performed):

GET /results.asp?q=kellegous&origq=&FORM=IE4… HTTP/1.0
Accept: image/gif, image/x-xbitmap, image/jpeg, …
Accept-Language: en-us
Cookie: ASPSESSIONIDGGQQHUCQ=…;
User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (…; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1;)
Host: search.msn.com
Connection: keep-alive

Apparently, though, the marketing wizards responsible for Netscape's stellar nosedive in the browser market missed in their endless analysis the fact that their customer base is almost solely comprised of users seeking alternatives to Microsoft, not mimics. One of these days, I will take the time to write up a few articles about how to get around this and other annoyances associated with browsers, privacy and security.
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