The real purpose of Dashboard in Tiger: block Longhorn

Interesting to read Dave Hyatt (the chief developer of Apple’s Safari browser talking about the extensions being made to HTML in order to make the new Dashboard feature in Tiger, aka OSX 10.4, work.

He’s at pains to emphasise that it’s not just being done within Apple, and that the plan is to share:
I wanted to emphasize that we are working with other browser vendors such as Opera and Mozilla to ensure that these extensions are implementable in those browsers and that these extensions can be standardized. We are not simply off “doing our own thing.”.

Their worry being that Longhorn is going, by virtue of extending the web page onto the desktop, so completely non-standard that it will otherwise make life impossible for the rival browsers. But if they can have neat widgets on web pages, where you’ll have to view them with something *other than IE* to work, you’ll have an incentive to switch. And remember, Microsoft isn’t developing IE as a separate product any more, so it probably wouldn’t come out with a stopgap version before Longhorn.

You can argue that the widget-enabled web pages would take ages to appear, but so will web pages that use Longhorn’s extensions, because the takeup of that will stretch well past 2010 before it reaches 50%. Look at Google’s stats for who’s using which OS. WinXP has only 50%, despite being released in 2001.


  1. WinXP has only 50%, despite being released in 2001.

    Uh…Mac OS X has only 50% despite being out since 2000. (What does Apple say? “25 million Mac users and 12 million OS X users?”

  2. Why do you read it like it was a Mac vs Windows issue? The author obviously didn’t say that to compare it to Mac OS X conversion rate. It was to point that it will likely take a long time until we see a good share of browsers being able to see pages using the longhorn web extensions.

    Now if you really want to compare conversion rates, don’t include Mac OS X Beta released in 2000. Mac OS X 10.0.0 was released on March 24th, 2001.

    Maybe you were confusing the release dates with the fact that the Aqua interface and the name Mac OS X was unveilled to the public a year before MS unveilled the name Xp and it’s Luna interface scheme .

  3. Are they talking about the Xforms that were announced by MoiZilla and Opera. Just wondered since that was a big news a few days back. I think this is a good idea and I am glad to see Apple very compliant. Which adds to their FLOSS attitude.

  4. glad to see apple compliant……geez….apple always pushes standardization….its the X86 people that are loopy

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