Internet Explorer 8 in 2008, Maybe?


That Voodoo E

This week on twitter Molly Holzschlag live tweeted the conversation with Bill Gates at Mix n’ Mash not that the twitter feed really had any important information in it. Anyway Molly did put the seemingly sanitised highlights of the conversation on her blog, thanks for pushing the points Molly.

The topic centred around Web Standards (recommendations for the purists) and IE8 development and the resultant loss of transparency that the development team used to have. Bet you have noticed that too, been very quite on the IE8 development news front hasn’t it (update:  yes silence does usually mean we commonly think inaction even if MS says it isn’t sitting on its hands). So like us all Molly and others are smelling the old Microsoft rat.

Some interesting points from all this; did we get a promise for IE8 in 2008, or not. It would be good to at least see the early beta in 2008, the idea would be the full release. I’m not holding my breath on this one.

As expected Bill Gates is no longer really in control of the day to day events, and isn’t really even across the product lines. Or maybe he is just dodging the question by dumping the answer back to someone else. Is Bill Gates becoming just a Microsoft figurehead.

Maybe Microsoft are going back to there old ways, waiting for a glossy event, MIX08, before rolling out teasers on IE8. This is typical of the thinking of someone locked in the old school marketing concepts.

The problem becomes that the Microsoft team may get it. But we have seen that before, remember MS Outlook 2007 and it’s email HTML standards support. When one section overrides another at Microsoft. Is there a danger that with IE8 having a new engine that they will use the MS-Word engine and slide back into the dark ages with IE8.

All that really is required is for IE8 to finally catch up with the rest of the browser community (FireFox, Opera, Safari) and support CSS to its full standard recommendation. Sure have you can have Microsoft “exclusive” rules and tags; But first off support the base line of CSS like everyone else.

You know this conversation in a way remind me of the thinly disguised apology from Chris Wilson at Web Directions South 2007. Yes we all know Microsoft has screwed up in the past. But if others can implement the standards why can’t Microsoft. Or are they just playing lip service to it all, and IE7 was just a blip on the radar.

What do you think? Will IE8 happen in 2008 or not?

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  1. “Is there a danger that with IE8 having a new engine that they will use the MS-Word engine and slide back into the dark ages with IE8”

    I think the likelihood of this is vanishingly small – and would essentially kill IE.

    If IE8 has a new engine, as intimated, then surely the Expression Web rendering engine is what it will be?

    “Expression Web uses its own standards-based rendering engine, different from the browser-based FrontPage, which uses Internet Explorer’s Trident engine. Microsoft claims that Expression Web’s rendering engine currently provides the most accurate standards-compliant rendering on the market, especially CSS rendering.


  2. @john, thanks for the head up, I had not considered Expression Web at all. It would make sense from a Development Suite perspective to move in this direction.

    Mind you it maybe short sightly but I have always relegated Expression Web to be just a .net tool set.

  3. Gary,

    It looks like IE8 has passed the acid test –

    I would say this milestone means that we could see a beta 1 by April/May on MSDN.


  4. @Ashul thanks noticed that. I would say it’s going to get a full preview at MIX08.

    Beta 1 will be interesting. If MS bring Browser thats no longer got any layout bugs in it. This will endear them to the web community. For the first time in years.

    But if they restrict it to Vista only this will undo all that hard work.

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