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Monday, June 16 12:00 AM ET

Microsoft Abandons Internet Explorer 8 Development for Firefox 3

By Brian Briggs

Redmond, WA – As the Mozilla Foundation releases Firefox 3 and tries to set a record for most downloads in a day, they will be receiving help from an unlikely source: Microsoft.

Firefox Eats IESteve Ballmer announced early Monday that Microsoft would be halting development on Internet Explorer 8 and focusing the company’s efforts on Firefox 3.

“I’m going to be downloading it myself, and I’ve told all our employees to download Firefox 3 on Tuesday and instructed our programming teams to start working on making the open source browser better rather than stumble around with Internet Explorer 8,” said Ballmer. “I mean, why bother?  Firefox 3 has the ‘AwesomeBar,’ you can’t seriously expect to compete with that, can you?”

Ballmer said that Firefox 3.0 will be the standard browser included with Windows 7 installations along and will replace Internet Explorer 7 on Windows Vista SP2. “We’ve been looking for something to try to salvage Vista, and this could be it,” said Ballmer.

The Mozilla Foundation was surprised by the news.  Carmen Pinter, head of press relations for the Foundation, said, “We’re closing in on 20% of the marketplace, and we know Microsoft is worried, but we didn’t expect this.  We predicited capitulation with the release of Firefox 4.0 in 2011 which will have the ‘TotallyAwesomeBar.’”

Ballmer pleaded with other browser makers to coalesce around Firefox.  “Why should we have so many programming hours going into different browsers? It’s so easy for everyone to contribute to Firefox.  Safari and Opera programmers should get on board too.  If we all rally around one browser then consumers will be the big winners, and that’s always been a priority for Microsoft,” said Ballmer.

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The programmers working on Internet Explorer 8 were excited.  “I can’t wait to stop working on IE8, fucking thing sucks. Most people around here already use Firefox anyway and are sick of doing it Live,” said browser programming team leader William Reily.

The Mozilla Foundation said it welcomed any contributors to the project, even from its arch rival Microsoft except “we don’t want any of the people responsible for Internet Explorer 6.  They could set back Firefox decades.”

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