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Wednesday, January 2 12:00 AM ET

Microsoft Declares Victory in Browser War, Discontinues Internet Explorer

By Brian Briggs

Redmond, WA – Following the announcement last week that AOL discontinued the Netscape Navigator browser, Microsoft announced that it was "declaring victory" and "ending support for Internet Explorer."

IE"We made Internet Explorer with the sole purpose of destroying Netscape.  That job is done. It was a long and hard-fought battle, but the better browser won," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.  "What point is there now to having a browser product?  We won! WOOHOO!"

Already the announcement was causing confusion among novice Web users who thought that Microsoft was shutting down the Internet.  Martha Gladwick of Boca Raton, Florida said, "I don't understand how Microsoft can shut down the Internet like that. I guess that's one way to beat Google. Oh well, I guess it's back to solving Sudoku on paper for me."

While Ballmer made no mention of alternative browsers like Firefox, Opera or Safari, sources at the Mozilla Foundation did report a spike of twelve extra downloads of the popular Firefox browser from what they expect are the core group of Web-wise Internet Explorer users.

"As more kids explain to their parents that the Internet isn't gone, we'll see many more downloads," said a representative from Mozilla.

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Ballmer explained Microsoft's strategy, "We're not about dominating markets, we're about eliminating markets for others," he said.

Microsoft has a history of ending products as soon as the competition has been eliminated. Most famously, Microsoft discontinued their graphical "Bob" operating system once competitors from Hasbro and Coleco were eliminated.

Microsoft's stock was up on the news.

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