Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 Macintosh Edition was announced on January 5, 2000 at Macworld Expo, where Steve Jobs demonstrated it alongside OS X. On the 20th anniversary of this demo, developer Jimmy Grewal described at the times how the influential app was created – and how he and his team would come to regret giving in to Jobs’ demands.
“MacIE 5 was built by a team of [around] 40 talented and dedicated people in Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit (MacBU) based in San Jose, California, “said Grewal. in a Twitter e. “I joined this recently graduated team in June 1999 and helped design some of the features of MacIE 5, and I also managed the Mac OS X version.”
1 / Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the introduction of Internet Explorer 5 for Mac from Microsoft. It was both the most significant version of Internet Explorer for Mac and the latest version. Here are some anecdotes and reflections from an insider’s point of view. [th] pic.twitter.com/TLiloQX0DU
– Jimmy Grewal (@jimmyg) January 5, 2020
Internet Explorer 5 for Mac featured a design that strongly recalls the first OS X desktop, although Grewal says it was a coincidence, at least on the part of Microsoft.
“This” new look “had a strange resemblance to Apple’s latest Aqua interface for Mac OS X,” says Grewal. “However, it was developed in great secrecy within Microsoft. When we presented MacIE 5 … to Apple in the summer of 1999, Jobs was not satisfied.”
In a companion blog on the same subject, Grewal quotes a colleague, Maf Vosburgh, saying that their “new look” started with an idea of matching hardware with software. Vosburgh says the idea was that if you had a Bondi blue iMac, IE 5 would use the same color.
“So did Steve see our New Look demo from the summer of 1999 and tell his team to create Aqua?” said Vosburgh. “Who knows. Our stuff was inspired by Apple’s hardware designs anyway, so I don’t feel too bad.”
While Vosburgh says Jobs was enthusiastic about Microsoft’s design, Grewal tells it a little differently what could have been a later demonstration.
“Since no one outside of Apple was supposed to know Aqua at the time, [Jobs] couldn’t tell us anything about the resemblance, “he says.”[And instead] he directed his anger at another new feature in MacIE 5 called Media Toolbar. This feature allows you to play MP3s on websites. “
The multimedia toolbar was important because it used SoundJ MP, the same software that Apple was acquiring to create iTunes.
“Jobs insisted that we remove this feature, claiming that it had undermined QuickTime,” said Grewal. “Some time after the launch of MacIE 5, Apple acquired SoundJam and its development team. It was released by Apple as iTunes. We cut the functionality and deeply regretted it.”
For this January 5, 2000 announcement, Internet Explorer 5 for Mac would be included in Steve Jobs’ speech instead of getting a regular demo from a Microsoft executive.
“It was a pretty unusual request. Speak …