Wednesday June 18th, 2008
The Internet Explorer team at Microsoft sent Mozilla a cake to mark the release of Mozilla Firefox 3. Mozilla Corporation employee Al Billings, who used to be a project manager for the IE team, posted some photographs of the cake, which features a large Internet Explorer ‘e’ logo and the message, “Congratulations on Shipping! Love, The IE Team”.
This isn’t the first cake Mozilla has received from Redmond: in 2006, the IE team sent another cake to congratulate Mozilla on the release of Firefox 2. Mozilla Creative Director John Slater took a photograph of the Firefox 3 cake next to the last piece of the Firefox 2 cake, which has apparently been sitting in a freezer for the past twenty months.
Relations between Microsoft and rival browser manufacturers haven’t always been so cordial: in 1997 when Internet Explorer 4.0 was released, Microsoft dumped a giant metal IE logo on Netscape’s front lawn. Netscape employees responded by tipping over the prop and spray-painting “Netscape Now!” (a slogan used by the browser maker to encourage users to download) on its side. They then placed a statue of Netscape’s green Mozilla mascot — described in contemporary reports as being either seven feet (2.1 metres) or twelve feet (3.7 metres) tall — on top of it and adorned it with a placard reading “Netscape 72, Microsoft 18”, a reference to the market shares of the two leading browser vendors at the time.