Poor Microsoft. This week, the Redmond, Wash., giant is gearing up for the next big release of its Web browser, a leap from Internet Explorer 7 to IE 8. When open-source competitor Mozilla released its last update of Firefox in June, the Web went wild: People downloaded more than 8 million copies in 24 hours.
Microsoft's release might not have such a frat party feel. Even as it gears up to release IE 8, the developers behind the Firefox Web browser are experimenting with a new technology that sharpens the threat their browser software poses to Microsoft's most valuable businesses.