What to Expect from IE at MIX07?


MIX07 is coming up in a week and a half and I wanted to provide an overview of the IE activities at the show. As most of you know, MIX is Microsoft’s conference for Web designers, developers and decision-makers who live and work on the consumer Web.

Last year at MIX06, Microsoft placed a lot of emphasis on Internet Explorer 7, showing off improvements in the rendering engine, the new RSS platform, and the new security features like Protected Mode and ActiveX opt-in.  Internet Explorer 7 has now been in the market for approximately 6 months, doing great, and we’re hard at work on the next release. This year, the focus of MIX07 is Silverlight, and creating rich interactive applications and media experiences for your customers.  

We’ve gathered input from customers for the next version of IE through formal research like user studies and surveys, and also at conferences, comments on the IE blog, and direct emails from you; we will continue to listen at MIX07. We will have more information to share about the next release in the future, but MIX07 is too early yet to discuss specifics. So what can you expect to hear from us at MIX this year? We’ve got 4 sessions specifically about Internet Explorer, including a presentation by one of our partners, Molly Holzschlag. Walter VonKoch, Molly and Cyra Richardson will focus on creating better experiences in Internet Explorer, by using RSS, CSS and creating fast AJAX applications. I will do a retrospective of IE7 and talk about lessons learned that we carry forward as we work on the next version. Specifically, the sessions are:

Making Money With RSS with Walter VonKoch

RSS is a great mechanism for connecting with your customers. Walter will show some great examples of how you can do that, and how you can extend the RSS platform to provide a richer data source for your customers. 

Thinking In CSS: How To Build Great Looking Websites with Molly Holzschlag

We’re super excited to have Molly working with us at Microsoft, and just as excited that she’s out in the real world evangelizing CSS and standards-based web development. 

How To Make AJAX Applications Scream On The Client with Cyra Richardson

What are the top 3 things that cause AJAX performance problems? Cyra has spent some time delving into this problem and has some suggestions that will help to increase the speed of your AJAX application. A great looking UI can be killed by poor performance, and Cyra will show us some common mistakes and easy ways to speed up your application.

IE7: Past, Present and Future with Chris Wilson

I’ve been on the IE team since IE 2.0, so I know a bit about the ins and outs of Internet Explorer. In this session I’ll be talking about the road from IE6 to IE7 –  the vision of the release, how we set priorities, and more importantly, how we deal with the challenge of serving 500 million users. There were many lessons learned, and I’ll talk about how we’ll take those lessons forward into future releases of Internet Explorer. 

Hope to see you there!

Chris Wilson

Comments (40)

  1. Arieta says:

    So no IE8 yet? pfffft.

    IE7 was a good step but was more like a bugfix for 5 years worth of problems. Microsoft already proved that they can release quality products when theres competition, so I’m eagerly waiting the new version.

    Will there be online transcripts for these conferences? Sadly I won’t be there on the show, but I’d like to read the part about the IE history. It sounds intriguing.

  2. Chris Jenkins says:

    Im glad to see that your working with some people to improve on standards, but still why are you so slow at improving your software? you get umptine amount of money to do it yet your so slow at it?

    Firefox released more than 3 versions in the time between IE6 and IE7 and it still has more updates and better CSS support.

    What is going on!!!?!

  3. nakliyat says:

    thank you very much very very nıce…

  4. arun.philip says:

    > Will there be online transcripts for these conferences?

    I second Arieta on this. Would be nice to get the transcripts or videos of Mix07.

  5. David Naylor says:

    Will there be videos of any of these online? That would be great, esp. Molly’s and Chris’s gigs.

  6. David Naylor says:

    "So no IE8 yet? pfffft.

    IE7 was a good step but was more like a bugfix for 5 years worth of problems."

    What’s with the trolling?

  7. Will says:

    Too bad he/she is right David.

    Microsoft has promissed IE with 18 months of IE7 but I just don’t see it happening. More like 24 months, if that. 🙁

    At least give us a 7.1 or 7.5 build with just bug fixes and no new features. That would keep most of us happy until a 8 release. Please?

    6 Months is long enough without a new build…Thats why I love firefox. Nighlies, weekly, and monthly builds.

    Sure wold be nice if IE could do the same…

  8. David Naylor says:

    "Microsoft has promissed IE with 18 months of IE7 but I just don’t see it happening. More like 24 months, if that. :("

    Um… They released IE7 roughly six months ago…

  9. Jason says:

    What I like to know is what you have planned for Vista SP1! Most of the major and most awaited updates will be expected. To have an updated version of IE7 shipped with SP1 would good time to make sure everyone incorporates the new build quickly.

    I’d also like to know what your road plan is up until your next major release.

  10. Aedrin says:

    "Im glad to see that your working with some people to improve on standards, but still why are you so slow at improving your software? you get umptine amount of money to do it yet your so slow at it?

    Firefox released more than 3 versions in the time between IE6 and IE7 and it still has more updates and better CSS support."

    IE6 in SP2 added several minor features (popup blocker), if they were like Mozilla, they would’ve called it IE7. But instead, they realized they’re minor updates, so it didn’t warrant a new version.

    Just because you call several minor features a new version, doesn’t mean it should be one. FF2 was more like 1.6, and 3.0 (from the looks of it) will be more like 1.8 or 1.9.

    If you really think though that the IE team gets all the money it needs, then you have 0 realization of how a business works.

    And at least IE has a better interface, and no huge memory leaks. I can run IE for days. Contrary to having to restart FF every day if I wanted it to be responsive.

  11. Devils Advocate says:

    Will the new public bug tracking database be announced at Mix 07?

  12. Harteex says:

    IE7 have problems related to downloading. When you download a file it can sometimes say it’s finished before it actually is, leaving you with an incomplete file.

    The least you could do is to display an error message instead of saying the file is complete, when it in fact, isn’t complete.

    (it doesn’t happen that often, but it’s still really annoying)

  13. Not Aedrin says:

    IE has a better interface? – survey says… WRONG!

    IE has no huge memory leaks? – survey says… WRONG!

    Firefox needs restarting every day? – survey says… WRONG!

    Credit to the IE team for releasing IE7, and getting it that much farther along the path to a modern web browser, but it has a long way to go.

    …and Firefox 1.5, 2.0 might seem like big jumps to you, but lets keep in mind that Firefox 1.0 is equal to IE 9.0.

  14. In a recent post, Internet Explorer Program Manager Chris Wilson talks about his team’s presence at the

  15. AC says:

    "Firefox needs restarting every day? – survey says… WRONG!"

    No, survey says completely correct here. Open Firefox window/tabs gobbles away my memory daily, regardless of page open. I’m not saying IE is great, they have their own memory issues, but Firefox is far from perfect.

  16. Frank Grimes says:

    >"Firefox needs restarting every day? – survey

    >says… WRONG!"

    >No, survey says completely correct here. Open

    >Firefox window/tabs gobbles away my memory daily,

    >regardless of page open. I’m not saying IE is

    >great, they have their own memory issues, but

    >Firefox is far from perfect.

    Agreed. I’ve recently reinstalled XP, have Firefox open now with 7 tabs, and its gobbling the memory. .. with some very strange (and frustrating side effects: unresponsive window, unable to get context menus up, etc)

    It seems to have gotten worse since version 2.0 was released.

  17. Tom Taylor says:

    IE7 is only a slight improvement on IE6. Considering the monetary power of microsoft, i’m sure if they actually put their minds to it they could develop a good browser, at the moment, i’d rather use FF than IE7 any day of the week.

    And one more thing, whats with IE and always wanting to make ‘clicking’ noises ? this is so unnessesary.

  18. Tony says:

    I am aware of FF’s memory leak issue, however I just don’t see it. I have been frequenting this blog for quite some time and I have never seen the same instability that Aedrin, AC, and Frank Grimes have mentioned here. I have been using FF since 0.8 I believe.

    I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, but perhaps like Aedrin’s comments that IE7’s issues are most likely hard/software conflicts specific to a machine maybe the same applies to FF.

    Just like many of the fanboys/trolls that claim that MS can’t releases a quality IE program despite their monetary resources, the same could be said about Mozilla. There is no reason why the memory leaks should have continued this long because of the daily, weekly, and monthly builds. If it’s not resolved in FF 3.0 it will be disappointing.

    I have congratulated IE Team before on their work on IE7. I’m glad they are hard at work on IE8. The only problem I have is the 450+ MB image required to test both IE6 and IE7 on a single machine. Add IE8 to the mix come XP SP3 (my guess at an appropriate release date) and that makes two images plus a native install. Hopefully IE Team will have a better solution before then.

  19. zed260@gmail.com says:

    can you at least give us some screenshots of ie8 current build id like to get one with acid 2 test heck id pay money to see just how little progress you’ve probably made

  20. Form elements need some serious style related attention. Visit my current test case at http://www.jabcreations.net/ without the mouse being over the page area when loading, move the mouse over the page after it has loaded, then give focus on the search text input. Why are the elements bouncing around? Why is the search submit button changing size when the search text field gains focus or is blurred? All browsers have issues correctly styling form fields so it’s not just IE however only IE has odd movement issues. Plus it takes not only strange margins but also relative positioning to get the login fields to be correctly positioned.

    Besides XHTML support I’d personally like to see IE8 support opacity and multiple background support. This would really allow the web to move away from table based layouts for highly graphical designs. Rounded corner support would also allow pages to look a lot better while rendered in IE. I don’t really care about seeing support for 700 different combinations of selectors but (what was it called again?) the CSS3 selector that selects every other instance of an element would also be a dramatic step in helping webmasters. The majority (though not all) of rendering errors I’ve encountered have been fixed in IE7. It would also be nice to individually drag and drop GUI items and not just on their native toolbars either while the toolbars are unlocked.

  21. shanajafi says:

    Too bad he/she is right David.

    Microsoft has promissed IE with 18 months of IE7 but I just don’t see it happening. More like 24 months, if that. 🙁

    At least give us a 7.1 or 7.5 build with just bug fixes and no new features. That would keep most of us happy until a 8 release. Please?

    6 Months is long enough without a new build…Thats why I love firefox. Nighlies, weekly, and monthly builds.

    Sure wold be nice if IE could do the same…

    please visit our site

    http://www.prowebdeveloper.com

    http://www.prowebdeveloper.net

  22. Aedrin says:

    "can you at least give us some screenshots of ie8 current build id like to get one with acid 2 test heck id pay money to see just how little progress you’ve probably made"

    The problem is that Acid 2 is only a playtoy. It’s not a measure of any kind of functional standards support.

    "6 Months is long enough without a new build…Thats why I love firefox. Nighlies, weekly, and monthly builds.

    Sure wold be nice if IE could do the same…"

    Yeah, except that IE is a much more advanced product, that requires a lot of testing because of its integration (which is a good thing).

    It they wanted to do weekly builds, they’d never have time to add anything.

    Most people try to compare IE and FF, not realizing that FF is a very light program that is used in little places. How many programs do you know that integrate FF? I can’t think of any.

    You might point this out as a monopoly issue (even though MS is not a monopoly), this is merely a fact of code/component reuse.

    "The only problem I have is the 450+ MB image required to test both IE6 and IE7 on a single machine."

    Before it was impossible to legally/supported test IE6 or IE7 (depending on OS). Now there is a way.

    These days 400 MB shouldn’t be that big of a hassle. It’s not like you have to download it every week.

    I think people don’t just understand how much more work it takes to do anything to IE. I don’t know if they’d even want to understand, as it is more popular to just bash Microsoft.

  23. An Annoyed Developer says:

    This is ridiculious. The IE team has succeeded in making web developers everywhere pull their hair out.

    1) Too many bugs + late releases

    2) You dont conform to standards (is IE too good for standards?).

    3) IE is the LAST browser to implement PNG support. Sorry, but you’re a little late.

    4) The GUI is just stupid and not user friendly.

    Stop screwing around and conform to standards! Why dont you do the world a favor and just take  firefox’s code and rebrand it! There’s no way in hell that MS will ever build a decent browser. IE7 has become the new Netscape 4.

    Sorry but MS has lost the browser war.

  24. rc says:

    The most browser conforms to standards, the less popular it is. For example, the first browser to pass Acid2 was Konqueror, the second is Opera. How popular are these? Firefox is approaching Acid2, but has not passed yet. And it is much more popular than Konqueror and Opera. And, finally, the most popular browser is IE, and it conforms to standards worse of all.

  25. well if you want more then one ie try this

    http://tredosoft.com/Multiple_IE

    its works but note this is not supported by Microsoft and could possibly cause problems

  26. Chika says:

    Why am I getting: I’ll instead of I’ll on the blog and several other locations?

  27. It really doesn’t matter what Microsoft does because people will always question and grumble about what they dislike about any new version of any software they release. The important thing is to allow everyone to do as they please and in the manner they please with the software they use. Sure IE’s new GUI stinks but so does Firefox’s default GUI layout. The only difference is that you can effectively manipulate Firefox but even the Mozilla developers just do NOT get it. Firefox’s GUI is setup for THEIR preference and it’s a selling point drowned before it was even conceived. Well THEY know how to minimize it after they install their own software but they don’t have to by default (which is the worst approach) where as to get the useful features actually being used by unsavvy users I have to manually add the big cozy icons with text labels and manipulate the GUI in other ways but essentially Firefox CAN have the perfect GUI.

    I was just reading the article on the Inquirer about "Microsoft admitting Vista failed". Well I’m not defending anyone here but OSX and Linux have failed at the same level. Software needs to adapt to a user’s preference and developers just have no clue how to execute that.

    An example: during XP’s installation you have to press F6 to install additional drivers (usually for old motherboards that sport SATA ports but aren’t native to the bios). Like any software an OS should be tailored to anticipate people’s decisions and potential preferences. I should get two options: advanced and normal. Once XP loads up if I’m an advanced user I want the 95/98 start menu, I want no excessive processes running, and other power user features to already be set whereas an unsavvy user would like to see all the pretty stuff that would adapt to their needs. If the user presses F6 then later when the screen comes up to make a decision between advanced and normal the advanced button should have focus whereas if the user did not press F6 (or take any other actions to suggest they have an advanced understanding of the installation) the normal button should have focus.

    Another example: Windows Update. Linux has it’s version and so does OSX. All three systems are a complete waste of time and energy, why? I don’t make videos at all so why would I want to waste my time downloading a newer version of Windows Movie Maker (and at the same time waste MS’s bandwidth)? (Anyone here ever download ALL updates even on a recent VM of Linux?!) Not all systems have their update software turned on anyway. Firefox does execute this one right: update only what you use. If you’re not using Firefox it won’t detect that you’re running an old version and thus resources won’t be wasted. Most unsavvy users I know only use several programs ever on their systems anyway and thus it would be more effective to update those programs specifically. Not only does this avoid waste of resources but also gives the user the, "Oh boy I get something new!" feeling even though in normal circumstances 12 new updates are a pain in the rear.

    For those who are still complaining about IE and standards you need to stop coming here on a whim and posting. IECCSS does everything you need it to do: http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=ieccss

    As far as Acid2 goes IE7 fixed numerous bugs that afflict the 27th version of my site and IE7 doesn’t look any different then IE6 when viewing the acid2 test. It’s nice but acid2 is too much of a niche test. I’m not seeing any live test cases that point out the basics of failing browsers with minimal layout examples that are used in Acid2 so it’s only a vague example of what some other designer then myself would encounter. It’s nice but it’s just not relevant enough.

    24 months? Great! I can’t think of a single company that has released a product without following it up with some sort of patch (or less then like ten!) though the browser market does take the concept of patches to a certain level of extremes. Probably the only upside I can see to any of the consoles without internet access: the game you buy is the game you have whether you can beat it or not because of some bug. That forces console game makers to ensure their game is completely playable whereas platforms capable of patching their games can choose to patch the game if their customers start complaining. An extra 6 months for something half a billion users will use for years to come seems worth it to me plus imagine having to read half the stuff on this blog from the IE team’s point of view. Besides if IE8’s development is going to be anything like IE7’s then Trident’s rendering improvements will be one of the first things the IE team will start discussing about when they are ready. It’ll be the same thing with comments two months after IE8 debuts. Here’s something for those people to do while they troll the IE blog: watch a couple Snicker’s commercials.

  28. Kelly White says:

    From the IE Blog (follow the link for details). Making Money With RSS with Walter VonKoch Thinking In

  29. shanajafi says:

    "Im glad to see that your working with some people to improve on standards, but still why are you so slow at improving your software? you get umptine amount of money to do it yet your so slow at it?

    Firefox released more than 3 versions in the time between IE6 and IE7 and it still has more updates and better CSS support."

    IE6 in SP2 added several minor features (popup blocker), if they were like Mozilla, they would’ve called it IE7. But instead, they realized they’re minor updates, so it didn’t warrant a new version.

    Just because you call several minor features a new version, doesn’t mean it should be one. FF2 was more like 1.6, and 3.0 (from the looks of it) will be more like 1.8 or 1.9.

    If you really think though that the IE team gets all the money it needs, then you have 0 realization of how a business works.

    And at least IE has a better interface, and no huge memory leaks. I can run IE for days. Contrary to having to restart FF every day if I wanted it to be responsive.

    please visit our site

    http://www.prowebdeveloper.com

    http://www.prowebdeveloper.net

    http://www.webdesignco.ir

  30. Diaw says:

    three features that i would like to see on the next IE 7 update or new version.

    1. IE Download Manger that can pause and resume download.

    2. Pop-up blocker capable of blocking flash ads or a way for a user to block flash ads.

    3. When opening IE Tools like Internet Option, Pop-up blocker, manage add-ons it should be on the center of the screen.

  31. Im glad to see that your working with some people to improve on standards, but still why are you so slow at improving your software? you get umptine amount of money to do it yet your so slow at it?

    Firefox released more than 3 versions in the time between IE6 and IE7 and it still has more updates and better CSS support.

    What is going on!!!?!

  32. Im glad to see that your working with some people to improve on standards, but still why are you so slow at improving your software? you get umptine amount of money to do it yet your so slow at it?

    Firefox released more than 3 versions in the time between IE6 and IE7 and it still has more updates and better CSS support.

    What is going on!!!?!

    please visit our site

    http://www.prowebdeveloper.com

  33. JonasW says:

    As noted on this blog sometime in 2005, changing the opacity on an element with a PNG (with alpha transparency) background breaks the transparency.

    I was hoping that bug fixes would be released more often than back in the days of IE6, have there been any at all (Standards related, that is)?

    Well, I hope things will improve soon, but I’ve been doing that for 6 years or so.

  34. The 72-hour conversation that Microsoft likes to call Mix is over tomorrow, and so far, there has been…

  35. > " and no huge memory leaks. I can run IE for >days. Contrary to having to restart FF every day >if I wanted it to be responsive. "

    Its funny you mention the memory leaks. Did you know that FireFox only has the memory leaks when running in MS Windows? Ever run firefox in linux? no memory leaks there…

    IE has its own share of memory leaks as well.

    At least when you install Firefox on a Win2003 server it doesn’t crash the server, where as IE7 seems to do this about 10% of the time.

    As to IE8, even if they say 18months from when IE7 was released, I still say we wont see it in an official release form within the next 1.5yrs.

    Look at how long it took them to release IE7, look at how long it took for Vista, look at how long it took for Office07 ….

  36. Mike says:

    Yes, I second the request for a transcript, especially the one about the history of IE. I usually enjoy stories about IT history, so please keep us informed, or maybe adapt your talk and post it here on the blog.

  37. Peter Flindt says:

    From the browser application I expect not much, maybe some small thinks like a better cookie handling make the UI more available for other applications (for example the line with the back/forwar button, URL and search field.

    But please no more, please not overloaded browser with senseless functions, let the users choose what they want or not.

    But what MS should really change is the compatibility to "standards" from MS I heard only "more" or "improve", but both terms means not fully. What’s the sense of this "more" when I can delete one line of IE check in a CSS but must still leave it for the next line?

    This way I see no benefits for "more compatibility", make it nearly fully compatible or not.

  38. Several sources report that Microsoft will add microformats support to the next version of their internet browser, IE8. The corresponding IEBlog entry doesn’t mention microformats, though, so this news still needs confirmation. Anyway, it would

  39. David Graham says:

    Some problems in IE7 that affected me directly as a professional web designer just this week:

    1.  Weird problem of disappearing content when using position:absolute.  Sometimes the content would render fine.  Other times (after reload) the content disappears.  After several hours of debugging I found that position:relative fixed the problem.  Note that absolute positioning worked in Firefox, Safari, and Opera.

    2. A JavaScript array declared as [‘one’, ‘two’,] is a 2 element array, *not* a 3 element array with element 3 being ‘undefined’.  The ECMA standard is very clear on this and all other browsers properly run this code as a 2 element array.  This IE7 bug blows up looping constructs and requires workarounds.

    3. JavaScript RegExp support is broken and I haven’t found a workaround yet.  Expressions that properly capture content in all other browsers just don’t work in IE7.  Here’s an example:

    var name = /<span class="screenName">(.*)</span>/i.exec(li.innerHTML)

    4. CSS opacity doesn’t work, requiring a non-standard IE7 ‘filter: alpha(opacity)’.

    Please fully comply with the CSS, XHTML, and JavaScript standards in IE8.  Passing the ACID 2 test would be a great start. These problems affect me on a daily basis.  These incompatibilities cost me valuable development time and money.  I can code a validating XHTML page using CSS and know that it will work flawlessly in Firefox, Safari and Opera.  Then I have to go back and fix all the stuff IE7 breaks.  This is incredibly frustrating.  Please, please, please make full standards compliance a priority for IE8.