Google Gears are now available for the Firefox 3 Browser, or so it says on CNET - understandably there's some reluctance to confirm in advance of the formal release of the browser itself (although the release candidate looks pretty clean).

The final version of the browser will be around later this month so the timing's nothing to worry about but I did wonder when I saw the news: is Microsoft's grip slowly slipping?

My thinking works like this. The developer community has, for some time (at least here in the UK and we make such a difference) in the throes of what I'd call totally loopy anti-Microsoft sentiment. The software sucks, we're told, you should use OpenOffice rather than Microsoft, and so on. One hears this sort of thing a lot but the market share remains broadly consistent - Microsoft has the greater market share compared to any of the competition.

Only, over the last year, Apple has released Safari onto the PC. And Firefox continues to gain ground.

Now, let's not pretend everything's perfect or that choice is genuine. A friend of mine suggested I look at Camino a while ago and I did - then stopped when I found it wouldn't work with my Internet banking service. Let's also not pretend that Google doesn't have vested interests in undermining Microsoft a bit, they do compete on a number of fronts.

But developing tools specific to a non-Microsoft browser to coincide with its launch? That's new. I wonder whether they know something? love MS.

Not really, although I do find some of the dislike baffling. I remember a time when people would walk into an office and find themselves incapable of working a computr without training; most of that went away with Windows, and if that's Microsoft's only lasting achievement in computing then it's a worthwhile one.

Readers, what you've just witnessed was a Joke Backfire...

Actually no I don't really hate Microsoft myself because I don't see a reason to. From what I understand, it has to do with them having a monopoly and what not. If I hate something or somebody because they are sucessful then that says something about my character.

All in all your article was fine. I just saw an opportunity to poke a little fun, and took it (as I always do). Judging from your response, there are no hard feelings and we can just move on from my little faux pas. Indeed, it never happened.

Ah, a case of humour, the Internet, transatlantic giggles, stuff like that.

I always think if I'm slow enough to fail to spot jokes in this way the best thing to do is just not draw attention to it.