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Microsoft looks ahead to Internet Explorer 10

Microsoft just got Internet Explorer 9 out the door, but that doesn't meant that the boys from Redmond are taking a break -- they are already gearing up for Internet Explorer 10.

Microsoft dipped its toes in the HTML5 waters with IE9, but it is doing a full-blown cannonball with IE10, which it unveiled at MIX11. In its press statement announcing the availability of the IE10 Platform Preview, Microsoft claims that it "is leading the adoption of HTML5 with a long-term commitment to the standards process." 

“The only native experience of HTML5 on the Web today is on Windows 7 with Internet Explorer 9,” said Dean Hachamovitch, Corporate VP for Internet Explorer. “Internet Explorer 10 will push the boundaries of what developers can do on the Web even further.” 

Microsoft states that more and more consumers are carrying around multiple devices with them (notebooks, tablets, smartphones), while many others still rely on stationary computing devices like desktops PCs. Microsoft wants to ensure that consumers have a consistent web experience across all of these platforms and HTML5 is the web standard that will make this happen.

Here's a blurb from the IE Blog on what the team is doing to further expand its HTML5 compatibility/capabilities with IE10:

We’re about three weeks into development of IE10, and based on the progress we’ve made, we want to start engaging the development community now. At the MIX conference today, we showed the new browsing engine along with several new browser test drives that anyone on the Web can try out. You can run these at to see emerging standards like CSS3 Multi-column Layout (link), CSS3 Grid Layout (link) and CSS3 Flexible Box Layout (link), CSS3 Gradients (link), and ES5 Strict Mode in action. We also demonstrated additional standards support (like CSS3 Transitions (link) and CSS3 3D Transforms (link)) that will be available in subsequent platform previews of IE10, which we will update every 8-12 weeks.

If you'd like to take a look at what Microsoft has in store for IE10, you can check out the Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview here.

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RE: Interface
By wolrah on 4/12/2011 10:25:38 PM , Rating: 2
I've always stuck with IE, even when firefox was actually better (ie 6).

You're not seriously suggesting that IE 7 or 8 were actually better than anything else in use at the time other than IE 6 are you? You'd be one of the few who believe that outside of Redmond, so I'd be interested to hear why you feel this way.

I don't think I need to go in to great detail about IE's continued lack of support for and/or buggy implementations of web standards which other browsers have supported for years, I presume that anyone who actually bothers to have an opinion on the "browser wars" is familiar with this and it's been done to death already. Every major IE release since 6 has made great strides in this category, and of course they all have also done great things for security, so do not think I am ignoring how much ground the IE team have made up. That said, they're still catching up on the whole. They jumped ahead on a few features and of course have gone out of their way to make this known, but every time I've seen either performance or compatibility tested even the latest, greatest, month-old IE9 still lags behind everyone else.

Here are the first few multi-benchmark comparisons I get when I Google "browser benchmarks" (no quotes):

In all the tests shown, IE9 is competitive on the SunSpider javascript benchmark, often leads by a notable amount on hardware acceleration tests, and otherwise isn't in the same zip code as the competitors. On SunSpider, while they did not cheat, they do have a valid optimization which as a result breaks the benchmark ( ), so that leaves hardware acceleration as the only thing it's good at. Seeing that they were the first to really bother with hardware acceleration and they're only targeting two platforms (NT 6.x and WP7) versus all three major desktop platforms and multiple mobile platforms as the others are, I'm not really surprised they have a lead. Again I'm not trying to disrespect the IE team there, they deserve credit for showing the world what a hardware accelerated browser could do and driving demand for the feature, just saying that it's no shock the people who started earlier and have a lighter load are ahead.

Basically to me IE has only one interesting area, and that's an area where its competitors are actively working on catching up, and then it's behind on everything else. As you note, UI-wise it's nothing special either, so unless you're tethered to a webapp where the developers apparently all died or gave up a decade ago and it only works in IE or you use an inordinate amount of sites where hardware acceleration is beneficial, I can't see a reason someone would actively choose to use it.

I'm glad they've gone this far for the millions who don't actively choose browsers though, as an occasional unintentional web designer anything that reduces the number of IE6 installs out there is a good thing to me. IE7 I don't have anything against but can't figure out why anyone still uses it since anyone who can run 7 can run 8 as well.

But hey, I haven't tried IE10 yet. I assume this current "Platform Preview" is like the first public release of IE9 and isn't really intended for use as a browser, so I probably won't bother for now, but just like with 9 I will install it as soon as a properly usable beta shows up. If they keep improving at their current pace they have a good chance of properly catching up to Mozilla, Opera, and the Webkit variants.

By the way I'm with you on the UI trends in browsers these days. I've gotten used to top tabs but the bookmark toolbar needs to stay, the stop button needs to stop moving around, and at least on Firefox the status bar sticks around until someone gives me a better place to put my extension icons.

RE: Interface
By mechBgon on 4/13/2011 11:53:23 AM , Rating: 3
You're not seriously suggesting that IE 7 or 8 were actually better than anything else in use at the time other than IE 6 are you? You'd be one of the few who believe that outside of Redmond, so I'd be interested to hear why you feel this way.

IE 7 and 8 have Protected Mode, leveraging Windows Integrity Control to contain exploits of the browser and its add-ons. Chrome now does this, but at the time...? Right.

Fleetwide deployment, manageability, configurability and enforcability, whether the users want to cooperate or not, via GPO. IE has offered this since IE5 back in '00, because Microsoft realizes I.T. staff have better things to do than go around and do everything in person. The supposed competition seems focused on the single-user and SOHO arena, and assume that all the users have Admin privileges too.

IE has fleetwide auditability via MBSA. No competition.

IE has fleetwide updatability via WSUS, among other methods. No competition.

IE comes with a 10-year support lifecycle, guaranteed. No competition.

If your definition of success is a SOHO browser that has a fast Javascript engine, as opposed to something you can efficiently deploy and maintain by the thousands, then hey, pick your poison :)

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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