May 3, 2007 3:21 PM PDT

Microsoft hints at general plan for IE 8

Microsoft will continue to prioritize security and ease of use in the forthcoming Internet Explorer 8 and will seek to improve Web development with current standards compatibility, according to the company.

At Microsoft's Mix '07 conference in Las Vegas this week, IE platform architect Chris Wilson recapped Microsoft's development priorities in the making of Internet Explorer (IE) 7 and outlined some of its goals for the next version of its browser.

Wilson said Microsoft intends to create a follow-on version, IE 8, within two years of IE 7's release, which came out in October.

The priorities Microsoft set for IE 7, Wilson said, are the same for IE 8: strong security, ease of use and Web development improvements.

"It's clear we have a lot to do with the Web developer platform," he said addressing an audience of mostly Web developers at Mix.

Specifically, he said Microsoft will invest more in layout and adhering to the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) 2.1 specifications. He also said Microsoft wants to make its browser object model more interoperable "to make it easier to work with other browsers and allow more flexible programming patterns."

In addition, he said the Ajax Web programming style needs more client-side application programming interfaces to allow developers to create more powerful applications.

"There's work in the standardization bodies to do local storage and get better security models," Wilson said, adding that Microsoft is working with the W3C on standardizing HTML version 5 and XHTML version 1 and 1.1.

He said adherence to standards is increasingly important to Web site developers but Microsoft is in a "challenging" position as it introduces more standards compliance.

Because previous versions of Internet Explorer strayed from standards, new versions of Internet Explorer, such as IE 7, have caused some Web sites to not work for end users, he said.

"Web development compatibility is really crucial for building applications and...for us to deploy browsers (but) it has to be an evolutionary step," he said, noting that half a billion people use some version of Internet Explorer. "If we say, 'Here is your new browser--it's standards compatible,' we actually disrupt the existing ecosystem and it doesn't actually make it better for anyone."

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36 comments

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IE 8 - Another forced issue of trouble?
Every time Mickey Soft does anything that forces their version of security upon the world outside of their private realm it creates problems for the non-computer talented user. For some dumb reason it is impossible to simply turn off the MS Security and use another system. I have Norton which many seem to agree is superior to the Redmond spawned system. I have certain security settings in Outlook and IE that makes everyone play nice in the sandbox. But, when IE7 installed it reset all mine to the default Windows Security levels. Then there were a couple of later updates that did the same thing. Even though I have the settings so Windows Security is OFF - it truly is not. If all they are going to do is plug holes in their codes I agree with that type action but not automatically changing the ability of my trusted sites, or the http addresses I know are clean enough, to allow them to work. Big Brother is Here and he lives in Redmond WA.
Posted by GEBERWEIN (75 comments )
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Funny
All the comments I ever see concerning "Norton" Symantec products is totally negative....and I would have to agree. The software is horrible. The older versions were impossible to remove forcing a rebuild.

I think you have "Power User" problems. When I turn off MS security it never comes back on unless I reinstall Windows or turn it back on my self.

Free AVG if you have to use anything.
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Link Flag
Your comment - Another ignorant MS bashing?
Your comment is very interesting to me, as no update from Microsoft ever changes any security setting on my PC.
You talk like you're a computer talented user, but I strongly advise you to revise that if you don't know how to prevent settings from changing every time you apply an update or install a program.
Ignorance is here and lives in CNET Talkback section.
Posted by Fil0403 (1303 comments )
Link Flag
Your comment - Another ignorant MS bashing?
Your comment is very interesting to me, as no update from Microsoft ever changes any security setting on my PC.
You talk like you're a computer talented user, but I strongly advise you to revise that if you don't know how to prevent settings from changing every time you apply an update or install a program.
Ignorance is here and lives in CNET Talkback section.
Posted by Fil0403 (1303 comments )
Link Flag
Please, please, please...
... make it standards compliant!
Posted by MadKiwi (153 comments )
Reply Link Flag
But Then
MS would have to acknowledge that there is someone other than
itself that holds sway on how people use the modern computer and
internet. Scary isn't it.
Posted by BrandonEubanks (33 comments )
Link Flag
IE... HAHAHHAHa
One word: Firefox.
Posted by bobmarksdale (29 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Please
Get of of it already. I hate fan boys. Ironically you probally own a XBOX.
Posted by BCF1968 (839 comments )
Link Flag
Please enough already
Get of of it already. I hate fan boys. Ironically you probally own a XBOX.
Posted by BCF1968 (839 comments )
Link Flag
Please enough already
Get off of it already. I hate fan boys. Ironically you probally own a XBOX.
Posted by BCF1968 (839 comments )
Link Flag
IE8 is great!!
Two words: Tuesday Patches
Posted by HomeLights (12 comments )
Link Flag
Second Word
Opera
Posted by Zpaceman (1 comment )
Link Flag
As a web developer
there hasn't been one verison of IE so far that draw a web page
properly, expecially if you were using CSS. What a disaster! I am
currently building a web site that has a single line of text in a
<div> after the main <div> for the page. On all browsers, both
Mac and Windows (IE 6 included) it draws in the correct place. In IE
&#38; it draws 100 px higher, apparently inside properly colsed <div>s
above it. So IE7 appears to be even worse than IE6.
IE 8 will be more compliant and standards supportive? I doubt it!
Posted by Ian Kirkland (48 comments )
Reply Link Flag
sorry
the funny spaces above are supposed to have 'div' in them. didn't
know that these messages treated markup as markup. there you
go!
Posted by Ian Kirkland (48 comments )
Link Flag
Yes IE a Developer's Nightmare
My experience exactly.
Posted by dansterpower (2511 comments )
Link Flag
Where do I sign up?
An even uglier, clunkier, less secure browser?

I can't wait!
Posted by MSSlayer (1074 comments )
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Scaring us this early?
Microsoft is sure starting early to try to scare us into using their next IE. They used to quietly put out a new version and only change the version number one digit on the right end. Now they start trying to scare us months ahead of time.
Posted by bobbydi (51 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This message will self-destruct...
...with the installation of IE8

They need to give us 18 months notice so we can back up everything and make several copies of our registry. Finally they are being proactive and telling us the crap is coming. (sure we assume everything they release is crap but it's nice that THEY think so too)
Posted by HomeLights (12 comments )
Link Flag
This message will self-destruct...
...with the installation of IE8

They need to give us 18 months notice so we can back up everything and make several copies of our registry. Finally they are being proactive and telling us the crap is coming. (sure we assume everything they release is crap but it's nice that THEY think so too)
Posted by HomeLights (12 comments )
Link Flag
Good to know standards support is coming
Finally, the big browsers will all support CSS standards. (I'm
assuming that the next release of Safari will support Gmail's Java
standards, that is.) Anyone know when the next Firefox is
dropping? That's supposed to be when the browser supports the
rest of the standards.
Posted by toosday (343 comments )
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Deja-vu?? Deja-vu??
"Microsoft will continue to prioritize security and ease of use in the forthcoming Internet Explorer 8"

Ha ha ha! Nice one! Haven't we heard this with every release of anything Microsoft?? Don't get me wrong, I'll do my part and install IE8 and patch it every week and report bug crashed daily to them, but isn't it time to admit "We're releasing something so be prepared to patch it every week for a few months"

Be straight with the users and I think you'll find them more recptive to you.
Posted by HomeLights (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft please take notice!
I really hate IE7 and found it very hard to use. It looked to me like a jigsaw puzzle with a bunch of pieces missing. That is until I put back the "Menu Bar" and it improve a little. I would have liked it to remember all the Tabs on a restart.

Well I guess you will not take notice, because you never take notice.
Posted by Ted Miller (305 comments )
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Ted Miller please take notice!
I really love IE7 and found it very easy to use. It looked to me like a web browser. And I only put the Menu Bar back because I use add-ins and I nedded another bar anyway. I would have like it to remember all the Tabs on a restart too. And I know they will take notice, because more screen real state and tabs are just 2 simple examples of features implemented in IE7 because of user request (but you had to know what you're talking about to know that, of course).
Posted by Fil0403 (1303 comments )
Link Flag
Standards-compliant. Coming in 2015.
Evolutionary steps toward standards compliance, because if they
just did the right thing it wouldn't be better? People wouldn't all fix
their web sites immediately to work with a compliant IE v8?????
Posted by Lucky Lou (88 comments )
Reply Link Flag
IE 8 & XP
Will Microsoft plan on making this compatable with XP? Or will this be just for Vista People. I on the other hand don't trust Vista.
Posted by tboy34 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
XP SP2, Server 03, Vista, Server 08
XP SP2, Server 03, Vista, Server 08

It <i>might</i> rely on XP SP3, but since that is nothing but all the hotfixes released so far, there shouldn't be any compatability problems holding you back from Sp3 if your computer is up to date anyway.

But since XP is still in its support years (it was extended to two years after Vista's release) it should fall in that period.
Posted by timber2005 (720 comments )
Link Flag
Interoperable?
Quote: (Chris Wilson) also said Microsoft wants to make its browser object model more interoperable "to make it easier to work with other browsers..."

Yep. And the sun will rise in the west tomorrow morning.
Posted by ambigous (58 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Standard++
Microsoft has a history if implementing standard compliant programs that include a set of "useful extensions" that are not part of the standard.

They no longer have a Java license due to this...

Wonder what "features" will appear in IE8 that will enhance usability beyond the standards they are complying with. The obvious one of supporting the non-standard code of earlier versions of course. Backward compatibility is extremely important in ensuring that webpages do not function correctly in competitive browsers :P
Posted by Fritzr_gc (19 comments )
Link Flag
Still no color management?
Guess I will stick with Safari and Firefox.

Standards? MS still thinks the can make up their own standards
and ignore all the world as they become more irrelevant.
Posted by nouser (191 comments )
Reply Link Flag
If IE8 does not support MathML natively
If IE8 does not support MathML natively then I think it would be time to just not take IE into account when publishing Math related web content. Mozilla have supported MathML for ages. I think if IE8 doesn't, then the best solution for math related content should be to ignore IE and include a link to download FireFox, just like sites serving PDF include a link to download Acrobat Reader (or whatever it is called nowadays. Actually there are other readers that don't show an Adobe ad before allowing one to read a PDF file).
Posted by hadaso (468 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Constant Updating ?- not me
I do use XP. I have gone so far as to install SP2 to have DEP available, even though it requires a tedious shutting down of a miriad MS "services" in order to establish a safe PC.

I have installed exactly two "updates:" One to fix a bug in the way NTFS is handled (which has had a "hotfix" out since the original XP, but has never been fixed in a service pack), and I can't remember at the moment what the second one was for. I have dependable hardware and software security and have disabled a number of unnecessary and dangerous Microsoft "services" and ports. I have yet to have a virus or rootkit, and I no longer even get spam or adware/spyware on my PC. Unless I run into another bug MS never fixed, I have no intention of applying any more updates - every thing is fine just the way it is. I don't plan on jumping on MS's "constant critical update" merry-go-round. I say "the Emperor has no clothes." Of course I don't do stupid stuff like open email attachments (I ask for cut and paste) or surf to seamy websites, and my anti-virus scans webpages before delivering them to me. But I'm happy with what I have at the moment and for as long as it works for me. When it no longer serves my needs, I'll cross that bridge - but it will NOT be VISTA! MS has some very scary plans of which VISTA is only the first step. If people are gullible enough to fall for it, in the future, you may PAY for your PC, but MS will CONTROL it! (Google Palladium, Longhorn, Fritz-Chip, Trusted Computing, etc. and follow where they lead - Microsoft if trying very hard to misdirect your attention so you don't notice that Palladium is baaack! Only this time they have formed themselves a cartel/consortium with Intel, HP, IBM - so they won't have a replay of the user uproar of 2003 when they were all by their lonesome and had to back down. This time MS is confident they have safety in numbers, but they still aren't breathing a word about what's really under the hood.
Posted by FalseToU (9 comments )
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