LAS VEGAS--Mozilla Vice President Mike Schroepfer said Microsoft's decision to support a more standards-compliant mode by default should keep Web developers from having to waste so much time.
With the current set-up, he said that developers have a fairly easy time getting a site that renders properly in Opera, Safari, and Firefox, but often spend a lot of energy trying to get that same site to also render correctly in Internet Explorer.
"Web developers burn through a tremendous amount of time getting their sites to work with IE because of IE's special quirks," said Schroepfer, who I caught up with here at Mix '08.
"There are some encouraging things there and I hope to see more," he said.
In particular, it would be helpful if Microsoft gave a roadmap for which standards it planned to support down the road, that way Web developers could decide earlier to invest time. He said he would really like to see Microsoft support a new graphics standard known as scalable vector graphics.
"That would be a great win for the Web," he said.
Meanwhile, Schroepfer also talked up the benefits of Firefox 3, which is just hitting its fourth beta and is edging closer to a final release. In particular, he pointed to the browser's "Awesome bar" that remembers not only specific Web addresses that have been visited but also other information from the page. For example typing in "televisions" might bring up a recent TV search on Amazon, even though television wasn't in the address.
"Once you use it you actually can't use any other browser," he said. Also on tap are improved speed and antimalware features, he said.