Well, tis true that 'ships with' /= 'system software', but pretty much every major Mac internet app I can think of supports it. And it's distributed with many, many apps, and you can distribute it with your installer, so I think it's safe to consider it 'standard'.
MSIE 4.0 does a pretty reasonable job of managing IC config through its own UI. I can't speak to the difficulty of implementing a browser to IC, but it _is_ pretty simple for a mail app 8-). Mulberry simply provides an override option if the user wants to make exceptions for MIME types and associations, or an "off" button if you want to ignore IC entirely. Generally, my only complaints with IC have been: (1) selection/management UI, which can be improved; (2) the lack of many-to-one or many-to-many relationship logic in the mappings, which might (among other advantages), get rid of the need for 'override' settings;, and (3) lack of a network storage mechanism ala ACAP, which would make it about ten times more useful. It could also probably use a mechanism for recognizing new types of services.
IC was floating around before 12/94, though; ask Peter L.
--On Sat, Oct 11, 1997 17:02 -0700 "Peter Trudelle"
> 'Shipping with' doesn't make it system software, otherwise Navigator, Explorer
> and a hundred other programs would qualify. I agree completely with you that
> IC will help us a lot, which is why I have been pushing for full IC support
> ever since I got here. However I think you are exaggerating its history (it
> was written in 12/94; I shipped the first IC-compatible suite in '95), and the
> ease with which it can be integrated, particularly into an app that already
> has similar funcationality and UI that must be maintained compatibly.