I was pretty surprised to read this week an article on Webmonkey that was saying that Microsoft would certainly double down in IE9 on HTML5 and CSS3. I suggest you read it yourself, but basically it was saying that Microsoft would go on the offensive at the upcoming MIX2010 presenting IE9.
I do not see Microsoft go on the offensive, I am pretty sure in fact that it will not implement any ‘Multimedia’ feature like Audio, Video and Canvas any time soon, and certainly not before it is kind of obligated because Youtube, for example, switched to html5. Why? Silverlight… This technology is a competitor to all these technologies. If you are not really into extranet and intranet development, you might not even know what Silverlight is, well it was first introduce as a competitor to Flash (Adobe is certainly laughing themselves to death..). They tried to ship it on big websites as a video player component, now pretty much every site that was using it is back to flash. Too few users was installing it, and from what I saw, the video server was half the time down.
Now Silverlight is more a competitor to Adobe Air, which make sense, seeing no web designer in its right mind would like to work with Silverlight. Anyway coming back on IE, Microsoft never really cared to implement CSS3 and HTML5 like others browser vendors. Don’t get me wrong, they did actually implement some HTML5 features, they are just slow like a turtle shot in one paw. They actually said that they would have liked very much to ship CSS3 border-radius but did not have the time to implement it. I mean, how much time can that actually take to implement that..
The IE team
I could guess wrong there too, but when you think about Gekoo or Webkit, I think about hip young engineers, but the IE team inspires me nothing, I would not be actually surprise that most of the team just do not really care about the impact IE have on internet and on web developers. When you think about it, by the time Microsoft shipped IE8, Webkit was trying to pass the CSS3 acid test. IE8 is compliant css2.1, end of line.
Just my two cents here.