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.

Not just that, all browsers vendors teams are working faster than IE. IE is behind everyone on CSS compliance, HTML compliance and javascript engine speed. I do not have big hope for IE9. Personally I would be very happy if I would get border radius and border-shadow. This is the 2 things that CSS need most right now.

Just my two cents here.

11 thoughts on “Microsoft to Double Down on HTML5 With Internet Explorer 9? Really?

  1. Microsoft has done splendid catch-up acts in the past in many fields (Remember Java?). Before we sign the engineers at IE off, let’s remember that those guys are pretty smart. I can well imagine that they will come up with something good soon.

  2. I’m a Mozilla developer, and I think you may be underestimating the IE team’s (new-found, yes) commitment to web standards. We talk to them a lot in the HTML and CSS working groups, and they seem quite serious about catching up on CSS3 modules, at least. I don’t follow HTML5 myself so I can’t say for sure how serious they are about that, but it would not surprise me to see HTML5 multimedia support in IE9 at all — do keep in mind that the IE team and the Silverlight team are totally different groups, with different priorities. And there are plenty of reasons why / are a good idea even if you assume the ubiquity of Silverlight (or Flash), such as better integration with the surrounding page.

    Don’t expect them to pick up on any spec that hasn’t reached Candidate Recommendation state, though; they are very firm about not changing anything once they ship it, so they don’t want to do anything experimental.

    Regarding border-radius, I’ve been implementing a lot of that myself for Gecko, and it’s much harder than you might think. Yes, drawing a curve is easy; but getting the interactions with every other border and background feature right is hard. Have a look at https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=border-radius and its many dependencies, and realize that that’s all work *yet to be done*.

  3. Your form ate my tags 🙂 “And there are plenty of reasons why <video>/<audio> are a good idea …”

  4. I think that IE is doing all of these things (bugs, not implementing new technologies, etc) on purpose.

    They know that the faster the web will grow the faster they will parish, therefore they are trying to slow down the process.

  5. @Zack Weinberg
    if the IE team can’t do things enough fast (in the speed of today’s web) they should give up once and for all.

    I see that webkit and mozilla are doing just fine, only IE can’t do it?

  6. Thank you for your input Zack,
    this is a much appreciate point of view, I hope you are right and that the IE team will catch up fast!

  7. @Adardesign
    “if the IE team can’t do things enough fast (in the speed of today’s web) they should give up once and for all.”

    Well maybe MS should hire you for millions since you’re clearly awesome and can do everything better and faster than everybody else.

  8. @moses – @Adardesign’s comments are simply reflective of the reality that the web moves orders of magnitudes faster than IE’s release cycle. It doesn’t matter if IE9 is the greatest thing since peanut butter got together with jelly. Whatever innovations it may bring will be quickly and outstripped within a few release cycles fom Opera, Mozilla and Google, and then we’ll have more pointless discussions about upcoming features in IE10 that other browsers implemented ages prior.

    IE would be much better if Microsoft spun it off into its own division, where its release cycles would be independent of its other offerings. Unfortunately i dont see that happening in my lifetime.

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