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Microsoft Drops Hints on IE8

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the new-and-improved dept.

Internet Explorer 309

benuski writes "Lost in the hype about Microsoft's new Siverlight platform, there has been some information surfacing about IE8. It will include improvements in RSS, CSS, and AJAX support, and will follow Firefox 3 in supporting microformats. Also, the developers are going to try and improve UI customization, which is one of the main criticisms of IE7."

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I dont care... (-1, Flamebait)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966713)

what Microsoft does to IE, it's still going to be IE. End of Story

Re:I dont care... (1)

deftcoder (1090261) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966739)

Running up-to-date/patched IE is only marginally smarter than running IE at all. :(

Re:I dont care... (5, Insightful)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967573)

I agree to a point. Bottom line is if it still uses ActiveX, its still beyond repair (security wise).

Re:I dont care... (5, Insightful)

Envy Life (993972) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967023)

what Microsoft does to IE, it's still going to be IE. End of Story
And I'd expand that thought to all browsers. You ever notice the similarities between a web page and a 3270 terminal? HTML was intended for static content, and has been showing signs of age for over a decade. When web developers have to deal with bloatware like AJAX frameworks and pull hair out over javascript incompatibilities just to make the UI just a little more interactive, it seems times are ripe for a better solution. You can't polish a turd.

Re:I dont care... (5, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967489)

You can't polish a turd.

I don't know why not. Just lay a couple of coats of varnish and viola, polished turd, a pretty good description of Vista if I do say so myself. :-)*

*It was a joke, okay? I actually like Vista. Best Solitaire ever.

Re:I dont care... (4, Insightful)

GrievousMistake (880829) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967557)

You can't polish a turd.

Completely OT, but actually, I'd imagine you could. I'm not too sure about making a silk purse out of a sow's ear, though. I guess you'd need some kind of silk pig? Mythbusters need to step up here, both of these are long overdue.

Ahem. Back to the issue at hand, this particular turd has proven to be highly moldable, and polish is what it is lacking. Yes, incompabilities and poor standard coverage is a bitch, but the technology itself is adequate. If you had to make a web page/web app/whatever you had in mind when you wrote your comment, but with the guarantee that all visitors would use the same recent and 100% standards compliant browser, what would your main complaint be?

Core HTML is designed to represent a static document, yes, but the vast majority of the web is representable as such, animated interactive flash ads and embedded multimedia aside. What's new is mostly ever fancier styling, and loading some of that static content in a dynamic way.

I am not seeing the signs of age, but of immaturity. Browsers have aquired new capabilities that have made them a viable platform for more complex content, but early adopters face the hazzle of incompatible and incomplete implementations.

Going from your post, I don't think you really want a better successor to HTML and the browser. You sound like you want something completely unrelated, maybe a zero-install securely sandboxed app delivery system, but you are being forced to implement it as a web app? (Guessing wildly, sorry in advance.) Did you perchance have anything specific in mind as a successor to the common web page? Maybe one could do it in something portable, extensible and modern like XML... Oh, wait.

Re:I dont care... (3, Interesting)

Urusai (865560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967565)

"You can't polish a turd."

You can if you freeze it first.
-- attribution unknown

On a serious note, I'm ashamed, ASHAMED, that browsers have become thin clients. They suck at it, AJAX is a horrible kludge, they are all incompatible, that's not what they are for, etc. I thought Java would be the thin client foundation for the future, all that was needed was a small caching/comms/app management environment. No...that was too obvious, and nobody wanted to put Sun in a position to call any shots. Microsoft pulls .NET out of its cloning labs, but it turned out to be a cheesy mix of Visual Basic API and Java, and nobody wants to catch the clap from sleeping with Microsoft. We have RDP, but seriously, can we get serious? Whatever this Silverlight thing Microsoft is shilling is poison from inception; I dismiss it knowing it only from this article.

I accept your challenge! (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967595)

You can't polish a turd.


my friend has a professional grade rock tumbler..

When will they learn (0, Redundant)

firpecmox (943183) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966717)

Maybe they will take a couple other things firefox has... like security

Re:When will they learn (2, Interesting)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967283)

When will they learn to hack an x64 flash plugin into IE6, 7, or even 8 already? Ubudoobie x64 and firefox are cracking white hot baby. I got this puppy firing on all flash fours with that nspluginwarper doobamajigger. Honestly, I love IE7 and all, but everytime I make love to it, I feel like firefox's hands have been all over it first - from tabs to customizing UI to ... you name it. Hey, I'm no fanboi either way fellas, but I call 'em like I see 'em. Microsoft ain't no turtle nor hare in this race - probably some granny with a cane taking the scenic route. It really is impressive when you stop and think how a collective group of worldwide contributors can surpass this organization in swift response to user demand. Personally, I think Microsoft is in dire need of further decentralization of their many software departments, or more personnel, or ... something. It use to be I only booted into Windows for the browser, now I only boot into XP when I'm not using a browser. Strange turn of events...

Patches are out! (5, Funny)

therufus (677843) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966723)

Patches are probably out already. I'm sure there are some hackers who have gotten code and already written spyware for it.

Enough of comparing it to Firefox (4, Insightful)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966729)

I understand why they wish to compare it to Firefox, but there are other browsers out there. Now, I'm not saying that they should go and compare it to Links, Lynx, or Netscape, but how about another browser like Opera?

It wouldnt be a good comparison (5, Insightful)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966775)

Firefox is a widely used browser and is the biggest competition to IE. No offense to opera, but its not as strong or as popular as firefox.

Re:It wouldnt be a good comparison (0, Flamebait)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967183)

Yeah, not like Opera is the most used browser on the planet or anything. Your desktop-centric thinking is rapidly becoming obsolete.

Re:It wouldnt be a good comparison (0, Flamebait)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967287)

uhhh... it isn't...

who let this monkey infront of a keyboard?

Re:It wouldnt be a good comparison (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967431)

Largest install base, perhaps, though I can't find anything quickly with Google. With mobile phones, Wiis, etc, Opera is pretty big.

Re:It wouldnt be a good comparison (5, Funny)

Merusdraconis (730732) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967445)

Yeah, not like Opera is the most used browser on the planet or anything. Your desktop-centric thinking is rapidly becoming obsolete.

Thanks, guys! I've just got an ad hominem, an assertive statement with no backup and a condescending rebuke in two posts! I'm going to win Slashdot Logical Fallacy Bingo for sure!

Re:It wouldnt be a good comparison (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18967597)

too bad more mobile devices use Opera than firefox... and what about the Wii? Granted those aren't windows based, but if enough people learned that's what their devices used, and that it was avaible for their pc, there's a good chance a decent amount would switch over.

Re:Enough of comparing it to Firefox (5, Insightful)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966805)

Because Firefox is currently the only other browser for Windows that represents real competition? Opera is nice and all, but it's not used by nearly enough people to be a real threat... yet.

Also, Firefox has a look and feel a lot more like IE than Opera does. I'm not exactly sure in how many ways this fits in, but I know it makes it easier for people familiar with IE to switch to Firefox, and perhaps it also makes Firefox and IE easier to compare than say IE and Opera.

Re:Enough of comparing it to Firefox (5, Insightful)

jonadab (583620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967403)

> Opera is nice and all, but it's not used by nearly enough people to be a real threat... yet.

I don't know that it ever will be, but I also don't know that it needs to be. Opera has never been aimed at the "everybody and their mother" market segment. I don't think that was even a goal for them.

Opera has consistently been, since the mid nineties, on the dividing line between the major browsers and the minor browsers -- always having a smaller market share than second place, but always rather larger than any of the obscure players. Every webmaster who can name more than three browsers knows about Opera, and everyone who's at all serious about supporting "all the major browsers" tests in Opera at least a little. I don't see any reason to expect any of that to change.

Is it going to take over the world and force IE and Gecko into second and third place? No. But it's not going away, either. It's an _alternative_ browser for a minority of users. It occupies that role by design, and always has.

The reason they're not comparing rumors about upcoming IE features to information about upcoming Opera features is because IE8 isn't aiming to compete with Opera. Microsoft is not bothered by Opera. Opera is a very benign competitor for them, and fairly predictable. They understand its place in things, and it doesn't scare them.

Firefox is another thing. It came, from Microsoft's perspective, out of nowhere. Mozilla was doing what it had always done, occupying the role it had occupied for several years, and then whammo, over the course of a few months there was this Firefox thing, and ordinary users, not just web geeks, had heard about it, tried it out, and were using it. In droves. Its market share broke (by some measures anyway) into double digits and threatened to continue climbing. The release of IE7 was a direct response to that threat.

Further, the really scary thing about Firefox, from Microsoft's perspective, is not just that it breaks up their monopoly on the web, but more importantly that it's open source, and if too many users -- ordinary end users, not IT geeks -- start using and liking open source software, that could have implications beyond just the web browser market. I mean, if an open source web browser became the cool thing everyone had to use, then another open source application (an office suite, for example) could potentially do the same, and *that* outcome could directly cost Microsoft a lot of money. This isn't so much of an issue with Opera.

That is why IE8 rumors get compared to Firefox development information, and not Opera. It isn't because Firefox is better than Opera (though I do personally prefer it), but rather because Firefox is, in Microsoft's view, the primary competition IE must beat.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18967577)

Seriously.

Re:Enough of comparing it to Firefox (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18966889)

They'd be insane to compare it to lynx -- I get better CSS compliance out of that thing than I do with IE.

-1 Troll, +1 Inciteful?

Re:Enough of comparing it to Firefox (5, Funny)

anaesthetica (596507) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967041)

I like "+1 Inciteful" far better than "-1 Flamebait"...

UI customization? (5, Insightful)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966737)

UI Customization is one of the main criticisms of IE? Darn, I guess I read /. too much. For some reason I was under the impression that the criticisms were:

1) Security (or lack thereof)
2) ActiveX
3) The fact that it came from Microsoft
4-50 other things
51) UI Customization or skinning or whatever useless thing that is

Seriously, if that is one of the main criticism, then no wonder IE is the dominant browser on the planet (which I say tongue-in-cheek as I type this in Firefox so I have spell checking).

Re:UI customization? (5, Insightful)

anaesthetica (596507) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966879)

I believe numbers 4 through 50 in your list are occupied by: non-broken support for XHTML, CSS 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, DOM, and the other relevant W3C standards.

Re:UI customization? (4, Funny)

jmac1492 (1036880) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967013)

I believe numbers 4 through 50 in your list are occupied by: non-broken support for XHTML, CSS 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, DOM, and the other relevant W3C standards.


Numbers 37 and 38 are ??? and Profit!, respectively.

Re:UI customization? (1)

hkgroove (791170) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967377)

Seriously. I know you're somewhat joking, but unfortunately, to it, there lies a huge truth. Since what? Forever? We've had to deal with developing for dual browsers. Now the problems just get more obscure as we push the boundaries of development.

Just recently I had a very simple JavaScript fail because of IE's handling of the tag and a javascript interaction with it. It was something completely unexpected and unfortunate. I've worked around the issue, but it was not ideal. And yes, for those that scream out "JavaScript" sucks, you're right. But seriously, most problems lay in IE's shitty implementation of script. For something to work in Firefox, Mozilla, Opera, Safari and even NS4 (Yes, for real) is completely inexcusable for Microsoft. They should be embarrassed.

Hopefully with Gecko 2 pushing the next full version of JavaScript, (are they still?) IE will be hot on the coattails to keep up.

Re:UI customization? (1)

hkgroove (791170) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967389)

I hate replying to my own comment, but "IE's handling of the tag" should be "IE's handling of the OBJECT tag", for clarification.

Re:UI customization? (1)

matts-reign (824586) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966893)

Even "Regular" users had issues with the new UI of IE7. I know people who want their menu bar to be in the right place, for example. People get into UI ruts and don't like radical shifts. This isn't always a good thing though.

Re:UI customization? (1)

snilloc (470200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967631)

The menu bar isn't just in the wrong place, the default setting doesn't even have it. Adding the drop-down menu bar takes up a whole bunch of screen space, of which 75% is completely wasted. I can't even drag other parts of the UI up to that menu bar like we could with IE6.

So sayeth this Firefox user.

Re:UI customization? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18967197)

How about full PNG support? Would an alpha channel really be too much to ask?

Re:UI customization? (2, Informative)

creepynut (933825) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967575)

Err.. You do know IE7 supports alpha channel transparency in PNG images don't you?

Re:UI customization? (1)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967369)

Yes, UI customisation is a big deal. My web browser is probably the application I use more than any other. With all that time spent using it, a browser's interface and capability to let me customise that interface are fundamental to the experience.

You can moan all you want about lack of standards support, and truth told I moan about it a lot too, but the reality is that web developers are vastly outnumbered by the number of people who just use the web. Standards don't mean a thing to them, they want a pleasant browsing experience, which as much as anything else means a good browser interface. The fact that IE7 sorely lacks that is made all the more glaring by Firefox's excellent UI customisability and also by the fact that IE7's UI is actually far less customisable than IE6's. 5 years work and Microsoft actually came out with a browser that provides a worse experience for the end user.

Short of security, UI is probably the next most important thing. You can make a browser that correctly renders every two-bit web standard in the world and people will still hate the damn thing if the interface sucks. When IE7 came out a lot of people speculated it would halt the growth of Firefox's user share. The fact that it hasn't in the slightest can largely be attributed to IE7's interface IMO.

Re:UI customization? (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967535)

I got a codename for IE8: "I can't believe its not Firefox"

Information? (4, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966747)

Surely at this stage it is just hype. With MS you can only consider something to be information when it has been shipping for a few versions. Most announcements from MS have a lot of hype about fancy features that don't make the cut.

Hey! Mod Parent Up (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967427)

I can't believe this comment was modded down when history repeatedly shows Microsoft over promising and under delivering.

IE7 and Vista are two examples that were loaded with desirable features when they were vaporware.

Re:Information? (1)

adona1 (1078711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967443)

Troll? I'd tend to agree...look at all the things Vista was supposed to have back when it was Longhorn which fell along the wayside despite being hyped...WinFS [wikipedia.org] being the most memorable.

OMG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18966761)

Please...God...Allah...Mother Earth...let it be so....make IE 8 follow W3C standards...please...please...please...

Now that the prayers are over...stop with this stupid monopoly cr*p and start thinking about the hoops and BS that end users, web developers, basically the ENTIRE WORLD have to deal with as a result of your arrogance.

Yours in *insert deity here*
ALL OF US

Re:OMG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18966817)

Arrogance? THiS iS MiCROSOFT!!

Extensions (5, Insightful)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966763)

Seriously, the only reason I dropped IE and went to Firefox is the extensions (nee add-ins). I live with the almost glacial speed of Firefox and it annoying quirks just because of that one thing. And specifically, AdBlock. Nothing else. The others are nice, but AdBlock is the reason I started enjoying the internet more.

Until Microsoft figures out a way for people to create extensions easily, without having to know C++ and COM/ActiveX, they're not going to get people like me back. I don't care about tabs. I don't care about skins. I don't care about aggregators or fancy micro-whatevers. I don't care about security (in the sense that I was secure enough with IE since my IQ is above that of a jellyfish). Without the extensions and the community that needs to build behind them, it's a no-go for me at least. Holy shit, it's 2007 and I still don't have an easy way to turn off Flash on demand. Really, WTF?

Re:Extensions (4, Insightful)

anaesthetica (596507) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966861)

Agreed, giving the end user the ability to control what content they are subjected to is really the deal-maker/breaker for me. I just can't use a browser riddled with ads anymore. Unless I can find an extension or plugin allowing me to block ad content (PithHelmet for Safari, CamiTools for Camino, AdBlock Plus for Firefox, OmniWeb's built-in blocker) I'm just not going to be able to stomach it.

The problem IE faces is the level to which it is beholden to other companies that rely on it to not allow end users to block their content. If IE were to introduce an AdBlock-type ability into IE they would get their pants sued off by every one of their competitors. Just look at Google--it's completely ad-dependent, and yet, with AdBlock the end user will never have to see "ads by google" ever again. In one fell swoop, leveraging their 85%+ marketshare Microsoft could destroy Google's revenue source. As a monopolist, they can never fix their inability to offer an AdBlocking solution.

Re:Extensions (1, Insightful)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966933)

They could ship one disabled by default. I mean, I really don't care a rat's ass about all the special rules people dream up that supposedly apply to Microsoft because they are a monopoly. Ship it and let the user decide. I like my monopolies better when they give me choices.

Seriously, Firefox is nice and all but 700MB for three tabs is just a little extreme. I'd jump back to IE in a heartbeat if they gave me AdBlock or an equivalent thereof. Hell, I'll settle for FlashBlock or something like that to begin with.

Re:Extensions (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18967275)

"Seriously, Firefox is nice and all but 700MB for three tabs is just a little extreme."

So is your hyperbole. I've had FF -- with 20 extensions -- running for about 6 hours now, and currently have 5 tabs open. It's using 90MB of RAM, with Peak Usage at 125MB. I won't deny that FF is a bit memory heavy, but I run it 8+ hours a day at work and the only time I've seen it go over 150MB was when I had a dozen tabs open.

Re:Extensions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18967315)

Firefox is nice and all but 700MB for three tabs is just a little extreme.

Hey, ease back on the tired old trolls there, big guy. Remember we don't get paid if we make it too obvious.

Re:Extensions (2, Informative)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967487)

I just counted: I have 31 tabs open (yeah, it's a mess), and my memory usage is 169MB. I have nine extensions installed, including AdBlock Plus, Greasemonkey, DownThemAll. So...bullshit.

Re:Extensions (1)

Gregb05 (754217) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966961)

There would be nothing wrong with Microsoft adding in an advertisement blocking utility given that they showed that they were either not in control of it themselves or that it blocked a reasonably uniform set of advertisers. Given the difficulty of the 2nd one, I have a feeling that Microsoft placing a "Do Not Display Content" button (wherein users would put the URLs/blocking services much like AdBlock Plus) is the most likely scenario.

Any ideas how else this might be put in without provoking (let's pretend) unwinnable lawsuits?

Re:Extensions (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18966995)

Microsoft is a marketing company. The last thing they want is for users to block Microsoft ads or ads on Microsoft sites (I saw some third-party ads on MSDN recently!).

Re:Extensions - adblock for any browser (3, Informative)

flacco (324089) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967231)

run the privoxy [privoxy.org] proxy and make it the proxy server for all your browsers. it does ad filtering at the proxy level.

wait a fucking minute. did i just make IE more attractive?

Re:Extensions (1)

Repton (60818) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967257)

It wouldn't just destroy Google's revenue source -- it would destroy the revenue sources of every other advertising-supported web site. To figure out if that would affect you, use the following algorithm:

  1. Make a list of all the websites you visit.
  2. Remove those websites you give money to (through a subscription, or through buying their stuff).

My Adblock policy (3, Interesting)

SIGBUS (8236) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967507)

By default, I let ads through. However, the instant $AD_NETWORK serves up an abusive ad, such as a fake dialog box, or circumventing Firefox's popup blocker, or playing audio by default, or anything else obnoxious (see also: Intellitxt, Rovion), said network goes into my blocklist. Needless to say, blocking the bad guys makes the browsing experience a whole lot nicer.

Google ads don't really bother me - they're text ads, rasy enough to ignore.

Re:Extensions (5, Informative)

Mortlath (780961) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967035)

After a simple search, I found plenty of ad blocking extensions for IE:

  • http://www.3bsoftware.com/products/adblocker.asp
  • http://www.adscleaner.com/
  • http://shareme.com/download/ads-filter.html
  • ...

It seems to me that only 1 enterprising individual needs to make a free one for IE. (there might already be one. I didn't do a through search)

Until Microsoft figures out a way for people to create extensions easily, without having to know C++ and COM/ActiveX, they're not going to get people like me back.

Is C++ and COM/ActiveX so hard to use?

Re:Extensions (3, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967359)

After a simple search, I found plenty of ad blocking extensions for IE:

Now your only remaining problem is to work out which one of those is actually spyware which will hijack your browser, install half a dozen trojans and send every password you use to a crime syndicate in Miami.

Re:Extensions (2, Insightful)

hkgroove (791170) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967473)

Is C++ and COM/ActiveX so hard to use?

Not for those with a clue, but what are you more likely to trust? Some random compiled ActiveX plugin for IE or something that appears on Mozilla.org and has been verified?

Until there's a huge community pushing quality plugins / addons for IE that are easy to install and customize (for those with experience) IE is going to remain way behind.

Those with a lot of experience / know-how can further customize their Firefox extensions since they're mostly written in JavaScript and not compiled.

Re:Extensions (1)

Nushio (951488) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967285)

Huge Firefox user here. Love Adblock as well.

I hate Microsoft too, and their awful I.E., however, I felt the need to point out this.

I.E. 7 comes with plug-in support. There's a few ad blockers out there, though I haven't tested them. There's a ton of plug-ins on the Microsoft Live page.

Re:Extensions (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967365)

Bingo. Same here. Firefox is slow and buggy, but you're right. Adblock is why I am putting up with it. I didn't realize why I was still using it until you said so.

MS losing some of its charming 'tude ? (4, Funny)

weighn (578357) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966809)

Also, the developers are going to try and improve UI customization, which is one of the main criticisms of IE7.
aw, come on. where's the preemptive UI going?
I want to see "it looks like you're typing an email" and animated puppies running off into the distance when I turn off animations ...

Ooooh! (-1, Troll)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966841)

I'm so excited!

You know what I want? (5, Insightful)

SocialEngineer (673690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966871)

I want a little more attention paid to standards. What is the point of developing standards compliant, accessible websites if the most used browser in the market screws it up without crappy hacks? Oh, wait.. Notgetting sued [456bereastreet.com] is a pretty good reason, I guess. Still, the overhead IE creates for web developers (especially ones in areas with a low budget for design work) tends to make things cost much more than they should for the client.

We'll probably just see them get a little above 60% compliance on this round, though. Apathy is great, isn't it?

Re:You know what I want? (4, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966955)

I want a little more attention paid to standards.

Amen. I want to see DOM 2 support (not just their crappy 1.0 support from 1998), CSS that works, caching that actually works, Canvas (ok, so it's not a W3C standard; but IE is the only one missing it), SVG, a Javascript debugger that doesn't suck, so on and so forth.

Re:You know what I want? (3, Insightful)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967435)

(ok, so it's not a W3C standard; but IE is the only one missing it)

Let me see if I got this...you want Microsoft to pay attention to standards, but only the ones other browsers don't ignore? That's a standard right there...a double standard.

Re:You know what I want? (4, Insightful)

XeRXeS-TCN (788834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967025)

If only I had mod points.. I couldn't agree more. It just seems every time there's information about a new version of IE in the works, they say "We're going to increase CSS compatibility!" and that has the geek crowd starting in with the wishful thinking, talking about how wonderful it would be if they adhered correctly to standards or fully implemented CSS. Then the thing finally comes out and we're all bitterly disappointed as we were foolish enough to hope for a proper standards implementation and all we get is excuses from apologists claiming that it's far better than it used to be... to quote Jack Black in the Pick of Destiny,

"We were so awesome!"
"Yeah, it was awesome... compared to BULLSHIT!"

Re:You know what I want? (2, Interesting)

Major Blud (789630) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967121)

I wonder if IE 8 is going to be compatible with XP or Vista only. It seems to be to early to tell at the moment, since details are still lacking. I wouldn't be surprised if it was Vista only since it seems that MS is in a big hurry to discontinue support for XP.

Re:You know what I want? (1)

sexyrexy (793497) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967319)

One could argue that the overhead IE creates for developers is a good thing for really, really good web developers - it increases billable hours threefold and makes those of us talented and experienced enough to write solid code for IE *AND* all other platforms and push our less-able competitors out of the high-paying market. I know, all that blah blah about a healthy business and technology ecosystem and everybody wins. But seriously, who fucking cares? I make plenty of money because Microsoft makes it impossible for lesser developers to compete with me for limited dollars.

Re:You know what I want? (1)

hkgroove (791170) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967543)

I'd like less pop-ups with IE 7 (and Vista - but that's another discussion).

I know this might be asking a lot of people / users - but I think a simple one time run / setup of a user's settings would help instead of the pop-ups that hardly make any sense to the common user since they're made up of one or two short sentences with hardly and explanation.

They take enough time to set up Windows, you'd think a one time, initial setup for IE, - in big giant letters - to set up their initial settingswouldn't be so bad. Most people don't even know where their options for IE are located.

will any win32 FF users actually go back? (4, Insightful)

weighn (578357) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966963)

preamble: this may sound like some OSS fanboi troll-rant, but it is not (check my other comments).

This is real and (IMHO) the computing experience for many users right-now.

So are MS trying to pull back users who have turned to an alternative browser, or they are desperately trying to plug the drip drip drip of users who still haven't moved?

Either way they will have to make a hyperspace leap to get ahead of the curve.

I began using FF at something like v0.83 and its now mature, secure and stable.

After occasionally dipping the big toe into linux over the past 5-6 years (Redhat 7.3; Fedora 3, 4, 5), just this week I installed ubuntu 7.04 and have fallen in love with it. Restored a ghost backup of XP to a partition and have booted into it just once.

IE's CSS hassles should have been fixed years ago - MS really needs to do more to stop the millions of users like me that are dabbling and finding that OSS is more than just a viable alternative.

They may switch back; Firefox, don't be complacent (4, Insightful)

KWTm (808824) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967211)

Will people ever go back to IE once they've switched to Firefox? Maybe, but it might be a good thing.

Firefox lit a firecracker under the butts of Microsoft (who actually disbanded the IE team after IE6 --can you believe it?), and made them scramble to build a web browser that was a first in the world of Microsoft: it was standards compliant. Okay, actually, it wasn't, but it was a heck of a lot more so than the old IE, and for the first time MS actually paid attention to Web standards compliance. Whatever happens after that, we can thank Firefox for this historic watershed; even if people switch back to IE, it won't be to IE 6, and web page authors will realize that Microsoft doesn't necessarily dictate the standards.

In the same way, though, Firefox can't afford to be complacent. Microsoft has a long history of coming from behind and overtaking. There are quite a few ways in which Firefox could be improved, and if MS makes this improved browser IE8, then I can very well envision people switching back.

I think the main thing Firefox needs to do is manage its extensions. There was an interview on Slashdot in which one of the developers said that there was no need for the Mozilla Foundation to vet and officially support extensions, which I think flies in the face of common sense. The MozFound needs to pick three or four extensions and make sure they work --which would not be hard to do since they work now-- but officially make it part of Firefox. These extensions are: Adblock [Plus], NoScript, ... well, I'll let you fill in the rest so I don't start any flame wars. Then when testing happens, they have to include these extensions.

Firefox could do with a few other improvements, and I'm sure other posters will happily list them, but the point is: Microsoft is fully capable of overtaking Firefox again. This is a good thing only if it spurs Firefox to greater heights. I don't want IE to actually end up overtaking Firefox, because I want the dominant browser on the Web to be a cross-platform one.

Adblock (1)

weighn (578357) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967309)

Adblock seems to be a big attraction for using FF and there is no way in Hades that MS would put anything like that in IE. Ditto for FF 'officially supporting' it.

Re:will any win32 FF users actually go back? (2, Informative)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967295)

I began using FF at something like v0.83 and its now mature, secure and stable.

Now by stable, do you mean that the manner in which it leaks memory and ultimately crashes is well characterized and predictable? Firefox on mac for me is nearly unusable. Sadly, safari is only slightly better. On my linux machine, it's a bit better but still a pig. Don't know about Windows.

Re:will any win32 FF users actually go back? (0, Redundant)

weighn (578357) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967345)

Now by stable, do you mean that the manner in which it leaks memory and ultimately crashes is well characterized and predictable?

haven't seen that on Windows since pre1.5. The latest Ubuntu release seems happy with it (2.0.0.3 OotB).

anyhow, I grew up on Windows - the solution to what you describe is "throw more RAM at it"

Re:will any win32 FF users actually go back? (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967567)

The situation on Linux is a bit different due to the aggressive caching in Linux and how it will try to use all the available RAM you have (unused RAM is wasted RAM, remember that). Also, viewing process statistics will generally show memory usage for programs by including memory used from shared libraries (which are only used once if you have them open in more than a single instance) and from cached files. And there's the fact that Linux makes better use of swap than Windows, so having full RAM all the time doesn't necessarily mean instant slowdown for everything due to paging in and out.

Wow, what committment! (4, Funny)

RiskyChris (999242) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966997)

Confirming upgraded support for CSS, eh? This is almost as exciting as waiting for WinFS!

Innovate or die (1)

Skeith (931626) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967033)

Its IE so it is still going to dominate the market, but Microsoft won't win any users back. The next versions of Opera, Firefox and Konqueror are set to impress on all platforms.

Re:Innovate or die (1)

adona1 (1078711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967513)

That's MS's biggest problem. IE7 looks a lot prettier than IE6, but catching up to the competition won't make me ditch FF....

Now if they could jump three steps ahead of them, I might consider it. Their problem is while IE7 catches up to FF1.5, Mozilla is working on 2, 3 & even 4.

Hype about Silverlight? (3, Interesting)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967055)

Microsoft announced a few major partners who were going to adopt Silverlight. I wonder, however, whether any of those were "wins" of content providers who were previously using Flash video ... or if they were merely content providers who were already using Windows Media and are merely going to take advantage of an easier way to distribute it.

Anyone know?

Hmm... (3, Insightful)

imamac (1083405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967081)

"It will include improvements in RSS, CSS, and AJAX support, and will follow Firefox 3 in supporting microformats." So it will simply copy features already in most other browsers. These "improvements" are simply things which should already be in IE7. (Maybe with the exception of microformats.) Still, it's just MS trying to play catchup, but by the time IE8 is released, Firefox, Safari, and Opera will have moved on to bigger and better things.

Summary of article (4, Funny)

cgenman (325138) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967131)

Microsoft representative: "You know that really nifty stuff the Firefox team said they're working on? Um... Yeah, we're doing all that too. And better. And with a pony. ...Ok, we lied about the pony."

competition is good -- what's the next big thing? (2, Insightful)

boxlight (928484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967145)

Competition is good. Microsoft would never improve IE unless Firefox was trying to out-do them. Similarly, they'd never improve Windows if it wasn't for Mac OS X, and they would never improve their server products if it wasn't for Linux.

If Microsoft had been broken into a variety of little companies like the judge wanted 10 years ago, we'd all have much better products now because of the resulting competition.

Now it's time for Firefox (or Apple) to truly think out of the box and blow us all away with the next big thing. What's the next KILLER APP? We all know Microsoft won't do it first.

boxlight

When will they learn? (5, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967173)

It will include improvements in RSS, CSS, and AJAX support, and will follow Firefox 3 in supporting microformats.

I generally think Microsoft provides solid products and I rarely stumble upon problems with aged products. Look at Office, Windows XP and other operating systems, that are doing just fine.

Internet Explorer is one of the few big mistakes Microsoft has had. IE4 knocked out Netscape and after that, we have seen little and rather futile competition, with Opera being the exception. But even with the release of Firefox, Microsoft has been utterly ignorant. They don't care about perfecting the CSS support and I have little hopes for IE8 after seeing IE7. Sure, it is far better but why is it so damn hard to follow standards?

In my opinion, Microsoft only needs to follow the standards to regain some trust from its lost users and it should have done so with IE7 as it had several years to do what Mozilla did.

Re:When will they learn? (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967499)

Sure, it is far better but why is it so damn hard to follow standards?
you're new here arn't you? Microsoft doesn't compete, they simply attempt to force people to use it. to accomplish that, during the browser wars microsoft and netscape developed their own flavor of standards and each tried to get the W3C to adopt them.. javascript for netscape and CSS for microsoft. because netscape wasn't immediately available like IE was, few people bothered to switch to anything else since it did exactly what they wanted... sometimes, and no more. this in effect ended any real "innovation" by microsoft and no real need to follow the W3C since everyone was using IE anyway. the only way the standards will be followed is if other browsers like firefox put a little fear into microsoft

UI...? Just give me history! (2, Insightful)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967205)

How about the ridiculously unintuitive location of history in IE 7? You wouldn't believe how many customers who have updated to IE7 or use Vista ask me where the history icon went...

Re:UI...? Just give me history! (1)

weighn (578357) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967399)

How about the ridiculously unintuitive location of history in IE 7? You wouldn't believe how many customers who have updated to IE7 or use Vista ask me where the history icon went...
yeah pressing Ctrl-H is such a drag

Re:UI...? Just give me history! (1)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967563)

yeah pressing Ctrl-H is such a drag

No, it's not... ?

Ohhh, wait, you were being sarcastic! How clever! I haven't experienced sarcasm since it fell out of favor a few years back but it's really funny when someone intelligent brings it back... kind of retro-cool.

Anyhow, if you weren't too caught up in being witty, you might have realized I was referring to "normal people" who aren't so privy to keyboard shortcuts and are looking for their history icon and have serious difficulty finding it. Compared to IE6 and Firefox, with clearly visible clocks, this seems like a step back to me.

Will it run on Linux? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18967249)

How about Mac? Or anything other than just bloody Vista? The worst problem for anyone publishing on the Web (which is everyone) is having to own all the new OSs for testing our standards-deficient browsers.

On the plus side, I'm shocked to hear Molly Holzschlag is working with MS on the new release.
http://www.webstandards.org/2007/04/02/bringing-st andards-to-microsoft/ [webstandards.org]

Year after year MS has made promises about standards for the next browser and then never delivered. It's been pure Charlie Brown + Lucy + football every time. I'd expect no different for this IE8 hype, except for the mention of Molly.

I've worked with Molly and hold her in the greatest respect. I'm also thoroughly jaded about MS browser announcements and never believe a word anymore. One of these positions will have to shift with the release of IE8, and I'm very curious which it will be.

Web Developers (2, Interesting)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967621)

Requiring Windows to run IE? This is exactly what Silverlight does. It requires that developers run windows. While the plugin will be cross platform all the development require proprietary tools plus windows. I will resist it as a user as long as is reasonable, but I will never touch it as a developer. I'm all for next generation web technologies but they need to have open development standards.

Improved AJAX Support? (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967253)

It will include improvements in... AJAX support
Last I checked, IE's XMLHTTPRequest object (or whatever they called the ActiveX object in IE6) sends requests to the server and receives responses back just fine. What noticeable improvements do they plan on making, or are they just falling into the trap of using "AJAX" to mean any JavaScript/DHTML?

Okay who is it? (0, Flamebait)

imamac (1083405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967279)

Who's he Microsoft fanboi who modded every commen about MS not being up to par with IE as "Troll"? That's just sad...

How about... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18967281)

...Microsoft works on getting IE7 to uninstall properly before they work too hard on IE8. That would help me!

Too much crap (2, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967293)

Let's revert back to HTML 1.0 and be done with it. :)

I'm generally rabidly anti-Luddite, but the web seems so broken sometimes.

Let's start over and make content matter. Please?

Re:Too much crap (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18967451)

There isn't an 'HTML 1.0'. The first standardized version HTML was HTML 2.0, way back in 1995.

If you want people to simply 'get on with it', then HTML 4.01 Transitional is probably what you want, since it includes depreciated elements as well as all the new stuff.

You may also want a 'versionless internet', which is exactly what the WHATWG are trying to make happen with their (X)HTML5 proposal.

Additionally, I would recommend that new pages be made according to the HTML 4.01 Strict specifications, and my own site is coded to the XHTML 1.1 specifications (no, really).

Re:Too much crap (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967599)

HTML 1.0 was "whatever the web browser supports"; that is, there was no official standard for 1.0. I'd rather not repeat those days again...

Interface customization? (1)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967301)

I don't know if people want "customization" as much as they don't want the god awful interface MS decided to slap on IE 7. When compared to Firefox or Safari, that cluttered thing is a practically crime against humanity. Seriously, I think I've seen it try to execute the elderly by forcing them to use tabs.

Please, oh please, make a decent search dialog! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18967323)

The current one, even on IE7 is a big piece of crap. At least when you compare it to the one on Firefox.
If they include that, I let them call it IE9 if they want to :)

IE7/Vista are terrible (1)

llZENll (545605) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967337)

Installed IE7 on my laptop which I rarely use, man I'm glad I didn't install it on my main machine, the thing is terribly slow and the interface is just aweful. IE6 and Firefox simply blow it out of the water. After seeing the crap MS puts out year after year, its a real surprise they are still a monopoly.

Re:IE7/Vista are terrible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18967541)

The phishing scan slows things way down per page, but can be disabled from Internet Options > Advanced.

But, personally, I'm looking forward to IE8 - The Ocho!

Ketchup (1)

networkzombie (921324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967457)

A good question would be "can they do it"? Microsoft is great at solidifying technology to catch up with its competitors, or even through assimilation. They don't ruin products nearly as bad as CA or Symantec. I don't see assimilating Firefox, so, as late to the game as they are, can they pull off reviving the base of users they still have (that's a lot of users)? Why wouldn't it be called IE 7.1? Has it changed enough to justify 7 revisions?

Oi MS! (2, Funny)

GFree (853379) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967485)

You better add IE support for AmigaOS you bastards!

IE8: Who Cares? (4, Insightful)

Dracos (107777) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967495)

By the time the first betas are out, MS will have announced that IE8 is Vista only, and given the amount of time they took to produce IE7 (a token effort at best), it'll probably require Vista SP1 to function fully. Another year of development means another 18 to 24 months, probably.

If they want to impress web developers (who are the catalyst for people moving away from IE), they have to stop paying lip service to web standards. Until then, developers will continue to do everything they can to save themselves wasted time and effort dealing with IE, by eroding IE's market share.

As a designer/developer, I don't really give a damn about RSS improvements. This is merely something they can use to bloat a bullet list of improved features. Fixes to CSS, DOM, events, floats, javascript, and making IE into a worthwhile developer's tool would be much more appreciated. And get rid of hasLayout while you're at it.

Improvements? (1)

maztuhblastah (745586) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967497)

improvements in RSS, CSS, and AJAX

Sh*t. "Improvements"? Didn't we do this a decade ago?
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