SAN FRANCISCO--Among the many partners touting the new version of Internet Explorer on Wednesday was the rock band The Killers, which has a new HTML 5-based Web site that screams in Microsoft's latest browser.
But the Killers haven't always been such big fans of Redmond's work.
Naveen Jain, CEO of Oakland-based Sparkart, which designs the band's Web site, says a huge chunk of his time in the past was spent testing and tweaking the site to make sure it worked with Internet Explorer.
"Historically, as Web developers, my team hasn't had the best relationship with Microsoft," he said. "From a QA (quality assurance) perspective, we used to have to do all sorts of custom work to support IE6."
"And yet you (had) to do it because of their market share," said Robert Reynolds, manager of the Las Vegas-based rock band.
While Jain used to spend 40 percent of his time making sure sites worked on all the major browsers, he said it's only 5 percent to 10 percent on the latest Killers Web site.
There was the question of what the band's site could do. Reynolds said the band was always torn between using Flash to design the Web site it wanted or opting instead for a less feature-rich site that could run in every browser.But working with HTML5 and IE9 allowed the band not to be forced to make the same kind of sacrifices.
The end result, both men said, is a site that better allows the band to connect with its fans, which is the whole point to begin with.
Plus, Jain said it took only two and a half weeks to code the site. More time, he said, was actually spent with the band focusing on the creative elements of the site, work that started at the beginning of August.
Jain said that the new site will also run on Chrome and Safari, but not as well. "It doesn't have that sort of snappy behavior," he said. "It just performs a lot better on IE9."
Using HTML5 should also allow the band to have their site work on mobile devices like the iPhone or iPad. It's not quite there, Jain said, but added that it should be within a month.
Jain said the team paid close attention when Arcade Fire did their HTML5-based video with Google, but said The Killers site is still groundbreaking. "They were first to the punch with video, but we were first to the punch with building a full artist Web site," he said.