What’s Coming in Internet Explorer 8 for IT Professionals?

Yesterday at Tech Ed IT Pro 2008 in Orlando we announced some of the enhancements we’re making in Internet Explorer 8 to help IT Professionals deploy and manage IE8 within their organization. We wanted to share those with the IT Pros on our blog.

Over the last year we’ve surveyed over 2000 IT Professionals to understand their concerns and priorities for deploying and managing desktops and software within their organization. We learned that IT Pros have a lot of things to worry about - more than 30 different concerns came up. However, some topics arose considerably more frequently than others. Here are the top ones:

  • Deployment and implementation of new technology
  • Managing updates and upgrades
  • Application compatibility
  • Security of data, network and systems

Internet Explorer 7 already has a pretty strong deployment and management story. For IE7 IT Pros are able to:

  • Generate customized builds that include company’s settings and branding by using Internet Explorer Administration Kit(IEAK)
  • Centrally manage browser settings through group policy
  • Use common deployment infrastructures like Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services, Systems Management Server and Active Directory

In addition to deployment and management support, IE 7 introduced a number of features intended to help your users browse more safely and hence protect your corporate data, network and systems:

  • Phishing Filter
  • ActiveX Opt-in
  • Extended Validation Certificates

IE7 did a lot to address the concerns of the IT Professionals but we felt there were some places we could improve. Yesterday, we announced some of our new features:

Slipstream Support in Internet Explorer 8

We got consistent feedback from customers that deploying Internet Explorer 7 as part of Windows XP is hard. Many IT Pros want to update their Windows XP images to contain IE7 by default, so IE7 gets installed as part of the OS install. To do that the IT Pros need to boot their existing images of Windows XP, install IE7 and then recapture the image. This process roughly takes 2 hours per image.

With Internet Explorer 8 and Windows Vista you’ll be able to “Slipstream” Internet Explorer 8 into a Vista image so that when you deploy Vista it already contains Internet Explorer 8. To slipstream IE8 only takes 10-15 minute per image. You’ll also be able to slipstream IE8 cumulative updates so that you are shipping the most up to date and secure image.

Look out for a forthcoming post to learn more about Slipstreaming IE8.

Application Compatibility and Internet Explorer 8

You have seen a lot of discussion on this blog about our decision to ship Internet Explorer 8 with standards mode switched on by default. Today, not all sites are built to conform to web standards so we’ve given end users and developers control over how sites display in IE8.

How about IT Professionals? For one, we're adding new events to the Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) that help you detect and resolve potential issues between IE8 and your internal applications and web sites. For another, we're providing Group Policy settings that help you control, with great granularity, those settings that most impact compatibility. Lastly, we're looking at how to intelligently solve this problem for intranets - providing the greatest application and web site compatibility while still maintaining our core tenets of security, performance, and reliability.

Security in Internet Explorer 8

The Internet has changed the way that people live and work. People are spending more and more time on the web but this growth in web usage also attracted people who have malicious intent. From phishing scams to sites which install malware, the web can be a dangerous place to be. Who hasn’t had to jump across the keyboard/mouse to stop a friend or loved one visiting a phishing site or installing a piece of suspicious software? What happens when that person doesn’t have their tech-savvy friend watching over their shoulder?

Did you know that more than $3 billion has been lost in Phishing scams? The browser – and particularly in IE8 - plays an important role in helping protect users against a range of attacks, from social attacks like phishing to browser based exploits.

Rather than cover those features here, we’ve already posted information about some of the ways we’re helping your users browse more safely:

There’s more to come around security in later blog postings.

Updates to the IEAK

The internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK) enables IT Pros to customize IE for their company’s needs. You might be familiar with this tool since it was available for IE6 and IE7. In IE8, IEAK is getting a facelift. We have fixed a number of bugs and added some enhancements to improve the performance of IEAK. IEAK8 will support custom IE8 builds for new platforms: Vista and Windows Server 2008 and new IE8 features like Activities and Web Slices.

Stay tuned for a follow-up blog post that will contain more detail about IEAK8.

Wrap Up

We plan to include all of the above mentioned features in our Beta 2 release which is planned for August 2008. As always when developing software, features can get cut or postponed if we find bugs that affect ship quality but right now we’re on track to have these features for Beta 2.

IE7 was a great browser to deploy and manage in an enterprise or business environment. With IE8, we’re doubling down on that investment to make sure that we have the best browser to deploy and manage in an enterprise environment.

Jane Maliouta - IE Program Manager
James Pratt - IE Product Manager

Edit: Added third bullet point to the Security in Internet Explorer 8 section

Comments (77)

  1. Slipstream says:

    What about slipstreaming IE8 into an XP SP3 image? Not everyone wants to use a slow, unresponsive, buggy, soon to be obsolete with Windows 7 replacing it OS called Vista. Not to mention many companies will still roll-out XP SP3 for years to come since it’s far more reliable, less buggy, dependable, responsive and will run on older hardware far better than Vista ever will.

  2. any truth says:

    Is there any truth to Paul T.’s notes on IE8


    Beta2 possibly having listened to customer and developer feedback and actually making Toolbars customizable and movable again?

    IE7’s user chrome is horrible in this regard, and was the user’s FIRST complaint from everyone in the Enterprise market.

    Worst of all, the placement chosen for each item was wrong.  If a "best" placement was selected, there would be a lot less complaining.

    *cough* RELOAD goes on the LEFT!!!!

  3. Via email: Today, we are announcing a number of enterprise features that will be available in Internet

  4. Marvin says:

    Does anyone have a plugin for IE8 that removes the goofy domain highlighting?

    I understand that MS thinks that this is a good thing but from everyone I’ve talked to, the feeling is unanimous that the display is wrong.

    The whole URL does not need to be grayed out but rather HIGHLIGHT the domain part of a regular "black" text url.

    in HTML pseudo code…


    regardless I don’t care how the extension does or doesn’t highlight the true domain as long as the rest of the URL isn’t hidden from me by being grayed out.

    Link to a plugin much appreciated!


  5. Joeseph says:

    The Image link on the right hand side for the IE8 Beta1 download is returning 502 errors.


    "Connection to ieblog.members.winisp.net failed.

    Exception Text: A connection attempt failed because the connected party did not properly respond after a period of time, or established connection failed because connected host has failed to respond "

    (actually), any request to ieblog.members is returning 502 errors.

    …and whay are we hotlinking here anyway?

  6. Kristen [MSFT] says:


    It’s all images and not just the IE8 Beta 1 image. We are aware of the issue and are looking into it.

  7. rc says:

    OPACITY! opacity! OpAcItY! oPaCiTy! OPacITy! opACitY! oPAciTY! OpaCIty! O.P.A.C.I.T.Y! o_p_a_c_i_t_y! ooppaacciittyy!! O Pa City!

  8. Philipp says:

    Comment from Joseph:

    "Does anyone have a plugin for IE8 that removes the goofy domain highlighting?

    I understand that MS thinks that this is a good thing but from everyone I’ve talked to, the feeling is unanimous that the display is wrong.

    The whole URL does not need to be grayed out but rather HIGHLIGHT the domain part of a regular "black" text url.

    in HTML pseudo code…


    regardless I don’t care how the extension does or doesn’t highlight the true domain as long as the rest of the URL isn’t hidden from me by being grayed out.

    Link to a plugin much appreciated!


    I agree with Joseph and it would be gratefull if we have these plugin!

    Maybe we get the solution!

  9. Ron says:

    "Today, not all sites are built to conform to web standards so we’ve given end users and developers control over how sites display in IE8."

    Come again? This is such a poorly worded sentence.

    Today, the majority of websites are built to accommdate for IE6’s many problems, so Microsoft is giving web designers the ability to force the next version of IE into legacy mode.

  10. Glen says:

    rc, I wish your posts had 0% opacity :).

    Any word on whether people who have IE 8 Beta 1 installed will need to un-install it to get IE 8 Beta 2 installed? The last time I un-installed IE 8 it sort of broke IE 7 (that preferences screen that pops up wouldn’t let me passed it due to some wierd JavaScript error – and it seemed odd it popped up at all since I had already set my preferences).

    Also, will IE 8 Beta 2 end up with "TWO" report broken page buttons? When I uninstalled IE 8 Beta 1 and IE 7 to install XP SP3, and then re-installed IE 7, that button from IE 8 had been left on my system (which seems like a uninstall bug).

  11. bob e says:

    @any truth

    I have actually come to love the fact the refresh button is on the right side of the page.  It saves quite a bit of movement on my 30" monitor.  And that is a real time saver.  Instead of having to go all the way to the top left I can simply scroll up a bit.  Think before you write.

  12. Wow! The IT administrator from my previous job would like those features, but I think he’d have bad time convincing all the workers to move to IE8 from their current browsers.

  13. anony.muos says:

    IE team, please realize that wherever you are changing stuff in IE8 (domain highlighting) you can simply provide options in "Advanced Options" to toggle it. Honestly, I don’t know anyone who’d say MS is giving too many options to customize. Make IE as much customizable as possible and users will be happy. It already IS more customizable than Safari or Firefox out-of-the-box but with FF’s addons, it reaches an infinite level of customizability.

    Also majority of my client PCs are running XP, so what about slipstreaming IE8 into an XP SP3 image? Please make that possible.

  14. News says:

    Yesterday at Tech Ed IT Pro 2008 in Orlando we announced some of the enhancements we’re making in Internet

  15. Yerkies says:

    Don’t worry about the IE8 problems. Microsoft is busy working on IE9 (expected release in 2010) and it will do everything Firefox does today. Plus it will be modular and scalable and fully integrated with Windows 7.

    In the real world most of our corporate customers are still on IE6. We can’t even get them to move to IE7. However, I’m sure IE9 will solve all our problems. 😉

  16. Vista? Err ok…? I hope the Windows team is building on top of XP and not Vista. I also hope Windows Explorer will receive GUI improvements in Vista from IE8…not that I’ll ever use Vista or any OS based upon Vista. Seriously four actions to cut, copy, or paste via the GUI in Vista Explorer but only one click in XP Explorer? Even if that is fixed it won’t stop Vista from treating system memory like a frigin RAM drive for goodness sakes. A correctly functioning pre-fetch would determine next applications based on patterns only after they had been established by the user. Oblivion and WoW for example both have launchers, it’s obvious in such cases that loading program data *then* is advisable. However in it’s current execution one might as well keep their ten pound magnet next to the computer case. XP works fine with 2GB, why should I blow the money on unnecessary RAM just for an OS upgrade? Businesses obviously don’t want to spend unnecessary amounts of money for things they don’t need either.

    Maybe you guys should get the Windows team to adopt a similar blog because right now I see myself using XP for at *least* another ten years. I don’t see how businesses will bother to "upgrade" either considering the directions Microsoft (in general) is taking.

    Seriously look at the price of touch screen LCDs on Newegg. The cheapest 19 inch is currently going for $556.07! I just paid $20 cash for a new 24inch LCD (see my YouTube blog heh) but exceptionally few consumers will take any serious interest in such an investment. What improvements in Windows 7 will make it must-have over Vista? Customizable GUI like say, XP? Back when you guys answered me directly about the horrible GUI you mentioned that essentially you were asking non-technical people who are neither design oriented nor power-users about what they thought.

    Don’t get me wrong, you guys are finally taking IE in a positive direction (though we will have to wait until August to see what we get as far as the GUI and JScript improvements are concerned). I can’t agree with the support for HTML5 either over XHTML 1.1 and features like href on *every* element? Is it me or am I the only one who sees <entire_page href="virus.exe" as a bad thing? Doctypes that refuse the declare HTML versions, sounds forward compatible especially with validators that have to automatically determine HTML5 versus HTML6. But it seems Microsoft in general has severely lost touch with the markets it has monopolized. It’s time you guys get your halls to also echo "designers designers designers" too. Design encompasses questions such as, "Will this reduce the steps to the goal of…?", "Will the overwhelming majority of users benefit from this feature if we bury access to it by default?", and "What features do users need to have available by default the most, such as a downloads button with text label so they know where the heck their downloads went?" I think the industry in general could benefit from hiring designers to ask these questions as well. It’s obvious Linux hasn’t if you encounter any program to requires you to open the console just to install it! Hence while I and every other hard working and game-playing Windows user will not migrate to Vista, Windows 7, or Linux distros for years and years to come.

  17. IESucks says:

    "IE7 was a great browser to deploy and manage in an enterprise or business environment"

    says you.. it was rubbish more like.

  18. Fred says:

    @bob e:

    Before you go talking before thinking, realize that the "far right" of the screen is not the best place for a reload button when most pages are either left or center justified.

    In this screenshot:


    from my widescreen (dual flatpanel), the cursor is just a few inches from where the RELOAD button *should* be.  Scroll waaaaaaaay over to the right, and you’ll find the reload button in IE7.

    considering the URL alone is only a few inches long, having the reload/stop buttons on the right makes no sense at all.

    This was discussed on this blog at length during IE7 development.

    MSFT did not want to "copy" to much UI from other browsers, because it might not look like innovation.. but since they were actually playing catch up, and other browsers had spent the time to realize the correct placement is on the left, they should have taken advantage of the fact that the research had already been done, all they had to do was copy it.

  19. Ted says:

    @Fred: Get a clue.  IE1-IE6 had the refresh button on the left, long before Firefox and Opera ever existed.

  20. >Does anyone have a plugin for IE8 that removes the goofy domain highlighting?

    Quero (www.quero.at) is an alternate navigation bar for IE which has a different implementation of Domain Highlighting that can be turned off as well. However, the plugin is currently not fully compatible with IE8 but I am working on it.

  21. Nel says:

    I like the idea of slipsteaming a Vista image with IE8 but what about XP?  Please don’t tell me that this feature is a Vista only one?  

    Also, what about including a proper .msi setup installer so that *existing* clients of XP and Vista can be deployed with IE8 using a standard Group Policy Object (software installation).

  22. jbullington says:

    Just hought I’d drop an idea in the mix for future version of IE. I’m not a developer but a professional development instructor. A nice feature to have in the tools>options area would be a URL redirect. In other words users would be able to type in a customized url they wanted and have it redirect to the actual website url. So I would put an entry in that allows me to go to my blog and call it shentrac but have it redirect to http://shentrac.wordpress.com. Obvously it would have to check this list before going out to the default search engine, etc.

  23. jbullington says:

    Just thought I’d drop an idea in the mix for future version of IE. I’m not a developer but a professional development instructor. A nice feature to have in the tools>options area would be a URL redirect. In other words users would be able to type in a customized url they wanted and have it redirect to the actual website url. So I would put an entry in that allows me to go to my blog and call it shentrac but have it redirect to http://shentrac.wordpress.com. Obvously it would have to check this list before going out to the default search engine, etc.

  24. Fred says:

    @Ted re: Get a clue.

    Sorry, I wasn’t trying to suggest that Firefox or others INVENTED the idea of putting it on the left… ALL browsers had it on the left… Netscape, IE, all of them.

    Then when IE7 was being prepped, some "higher-than-thou" folks at MSFT decided that users would prefer a fixed layout, with the navigation buttons split around the address bar…  it was a mistake, it has been well documented, but now we are stuck with it.

    My only hope is that someone in the MSFT team wakes up in IE8, and:

    a.) Makes all UI/chrome content customizable.

    b.) If not, at least moves the default position of all navigation elements where they belong on the left.

    Lets take a tally shall we?

    IE 4,5,5.5,6 (pre IE7) – LEFT

    Netscape – LEFT

    Opera – LEFT

    Konqueror – LEFT

    Galeon – LEFT

    Safari – LEFT

    Epiphany – LEFT

    Camino – LEFT


    IE7 (&8?) – FAR RIGHT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    All we’re asking for is the opportunity to move it.

    Let the PM at MSFT that thought it would be "uber kewl" to have it on the right, have it there…. the rest of us will at least be able to move it to the correct position.

    – enough ranting… just fix it.

  25. Best browser out there to be released on Tuesday June 17th, 2008!

    Firefox 3!


    Join the download party and help set a world record!

  26. @someone

    "Honestly, I don’t know anyone who’d say MS is giving too many options to customize."

    Any given Mac user would say that 🙂

    Remember that every option is another branch in programming logic that will require testing, another decision that you (the user) must make for yourself (with or without sufficient knowledge), another item to teach tech support, and so on.

    Creating more decisions for the user is rarely the best solution to UI problems.  Case in point, the new "IE=EmulateIE7" UA string they just introduced.  Wouldn’t you rather MSFT got it right the first time with "IE=7" instead of forcing you to choose between the two, especially considering that intuitively they seem to mean exactly the same thing?

    Apple and Microsoft have opposing philosophies regarding customizability.  Apple makes the decision for you.  Microsoft sloughs off the decision on you.  I’ve come to regard that as the laziness of MSFT programmers and designers, but I’m an Apple fanboy.  You want customizability because you don’t trust MSFT to make the right decision.  And with their UI track record, nobody blames you.

    Point being that I’d rather Microsoft correctly implement domain highlighting than give me the option of either using a broken implementation or no implementation.  For your sake, of course, since I’ll never use IE 🙂

  27. Jim Moore [MSFT] says:


    Regarding the Report a Webpage Problem (RaWP) IE Add-on toolbar button…

    The RaWP Add-on is a separate component with its own install, so there is no connection with any IE install (or uninstall).  To remove the add-on, follow normal Application removal procedures.  Usually this involves going to the Control panel and using the Applications Add/Remove option, and removing "Report a Webpage Problem IE Add-on".  Exact procedure will depend on OS.

  28. Jane [MSFT] says:

    @ Nel

    Slipstreaming IE8 into an OS image will only be supported on Vista and Windows Server 2008 platforms. Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 do not have a solution for slipstreaming Windows components, which are built using update.exe.

    You can already deploy IE7 via a Group Policy Object. To do that, create a file or configuration only package via Internet Explorer Administration Kit. After the packages are generated, they will contain MSI installers, so you can use that to deploy custom version of IE to you users.



  29. Markus says:

    @jbullington: Cool suggestion, but all versions of IE pretty much have this feature.  Create a Favorite that’s named with the shortcut you want (e.g. "mysite") that’s pointed at your site.  Then type "mysite" in the address bar, and off you go.

    @Firefox3 Fanboy– Heh… Some world-record.  Unless they get over 300 million downloads in a day, then Windows Update has them beat on the first tuesday of ~every~ month.  

  30. oliver says:

    @Markus – The world record is for most software application downloads in a 24 hour period. Full application downloads, not just a bug fix update from Patch-Tuesday[tm].

    It should also be noted that Opera 9.5 is out!  If you want to see a screaming fast browser, take a peek it does render extremely fast.

  31. Markus says:

    @oliver: fine, although WU pushes all kinds of stuff, including new versions of IE.  given that IE has >5x the marketshare of FF, i’m sure WU still wins.

    Opera 9.5 is a nice improvement over 9.2.

  32. Ikky says:

    And Finally, What about Acid3?

  33. Mitch 74 says:

    Where does it come from, and where is it going…

    Domain highlighting is an attempt at improving security by making URLs easier to read. By making sure that the most visible part of an address was its root, it reduced spoofing opportunities.

    That was the rationale when the feature was integrated in Firefox 3 alphas, and probably the time when the IE team started its photocopiers (let’s face it, we have yet to see anything in IE 8 that wasn’t already part of another browser, or IE version, or a workaround).

    However, the Mozilla team discovered that, like cookie domains validation, actually implementing this feature properly is tricky: very long domains, with subdomains and several public networks, or very short ones, make the feature worthless; so, it requires cutting off subdomains.

    Removing subdomains becomes impossible with websites that have long suffixes, or short names: in the following case, how can you proceed?



    Those are valid (syntaxically at least) domains: the first has no subnetwork (bbc.co.uk is the full domain and could very well exist), the second has one that isn’t www.

    What generic rule can you program here? Counting dots and character length obviously doesn’t work. What’s left? Relying upon white lists? Possible, tried, but it’s error prone in which case the feature actually works AGAINST safety: exploit it, and you can make your URL bar highlight a seemingly valid domain that redirects you to a spoof, and makes the complete URL hard to read – so even a knowledgeable user may get spoofed (before this you could spoof n00bs, now you can spoof n00bs and power users with average to low eyesight).

    That’s why the feature was dropped from Firefox betas, but then the MSFT photocopiers had already cooled down… So it was shipped in beta 1. I wonder if it’ll still be there for beta 2?


  34. Aaargh! says:

    "from my widescreen (dual flatpanel), the cursor is just a few inches from where the RELOAD button *should* be.  Scroll waaaaaaaay over to the right, and you’ll find the reload button in IE7."

    This has to do with the fact that the windows UI was never designed for multitasking. Most people run one application fullscreen, the whole Windows UI is built around this. The error in this way of making a UI becomes clear once you start using a bigger and/or widescreen monitor. Try running Windows on a 24" widescreen and then compare to a 24" Mac. The current Windows desktop design was made with a 14" 800×600 display in mind, it is no longer relevant on modern hardware.

  35. Ted says:

    @Mitch: It’s amusing to suggest that Domain Highlighting was somehow a "Firefox" innovation.  The truth is that this feature was in the Quero Toolbar (an IE Addon) long before Firefox had it.  As for the limitations in DNS that make domain highlighting hard– who cares?  The browser itself is stuck with those same limitations, so communicating them to the user is probably A Good Thing(TM).  

    You also seem to have overlooked that these limitations always result in an -under-highlight, which means that they are not useful for spoofing attacks.

    Also, keep in mind that as soon as IE put it in Beta-1, Firefox3 immediately turned it back on for their next Beta, as well as copying IE’s new higher connection limit.  Who’s got the photocopier?

    @Aaargh: I’m sure that most MS developers have at least one 24" monitor, so suggesting that the Windows UI is "built around running one application" is pretty stupid.  

    Contrast Windows with the Mac, where the active application’s menu bar covers the top of the entire screen.  Now ~that~ is a design for a system where the user is only expected to be running one app!

  36. Mick says:

    Woo Hoo! The countdown is on! Only 4 more days till the new version is released!

    I want to thank the Microsoft team for all their efforts on making this such a huge software success!

    I can only imagine how popular this new version will be when it floods the market next week!

    Oh wait, wrong blog! This is the blog for the browser that doesn’t talk with the community, offer a roadmap, public bug tracking, flexible UI, modern chrome, constantly updated code, move fast on supporting standards, deprecate legacy proprietay junk, etc., etc.

    Best of luck with that strategy.

  37. Freedom says:


    "Standards are clearly more important than ever. They often facilitate economies of scale but their real impact on technology markets is with interoperability," said Kroes. "I know a smart business decision when I see one—choosing open standards is a very smart business decision indeed."

    Choose open web standards, say no to proprietary vendor lock-in(Silverlight).

  38. PeterB says:

    Before ANY Enterprise will roll it out these need to be fixed.

    1.  That the IEAK settings not override GPO settings.  That is the entire point of GPOs.

    2.  That the IE settings in the GPO be directly configurable.  No more setup IE and import the settings into the GPO.

    3.  All settings should be configurable from the command line.  After all, who wants to visit 25,000+ plus machines at 700 sites so they can fix IE.

  39. Dustin Boyd says:

    >we’re providing Group Policy settings that

    >help you control, with great granularity,

    >those settings that most impact compatibility.

    If I’m reading that correctly, does that mean that even if you ship IE8 using Standards mode by default, IT admins might be able to override certain behaviours, making compatibility a nightmare? After all, developer machines aren’t usually configured with the same settings as client machines because developers need more access to get their jobs done. What I’m worried about is the idea that "it works on my machine" for every developer, yet nothing works on a client machine because of the different policies.

    Another example: suppose a Web application was developed for IE8. If a client machine was configured with the mixed behaviour while that same client’s PC at home had no such special configuration, they might think the computer at work was not working properly, creating wasted time for the tech support team.

    I realize the idea is to keep things under wraps until everything is finalised, but if there is a way to change the behaviour of the browser via GPEdit, that defeats the purpose of a default Standards mode because the behaviour would be a mix of Standards (IE8) and Strict (IE7).

    Would anybody care to enlighten me? I am looking forward to the fact that IE8 is shipping with a Standards mode at all, and I’m even more excited that there was enough thought to provide a migration pattern to temporarily render in IE7 mode until a site is fully migrated to IE8. It seems the ideas conflict.

    Of course, this is based upon my assumption that these compatibility controls will actually affect the behaviour of the rendering engine to a degree, so if that isn’t the case, then this entire comment is null and void! ^_^

    Thanks for reading, whether I screwed up the facts or not. 😛


  40. Nel says:

    @Jane: Thanks for the update about slipstreaming  My point about the .msi is simply that I’d like to be able to deploy out-of-the-box like you can with say Office or Adobe Reader.  The settings most useful to me in the IEAK are already availbale through Group Policy anyway.

  41. Tyler says:

    @Freedom re: ars technica article.

    Yeah I read that the other day. Way to hit the nail on the head of the current market.  If anyone offered use of a Web based software application to me or my company that had *ANY* requirements on a specific browser or silverlight they wouldn’t even get to the sales pitch.  If it doesn’t run in browsers like Firefox or Safari, we don’t want it.  

    As a developer myself, I looked into learning silverlight but then as soon as it became apparent that there was vendor lock-in and no open source, it became an instant no-go.

    It pains me that IE won’t support SVG natively, I don’t think that MS realizes how badly this reflects on their image.

  42. Rob C says:

    Well, here I am… time to give this an install.

    /me crosses fingers.

    I hope I don’t have any probs with .NET and IE8.

    Although on a Dev machine, would be just a ‘Miracle’ if all went well.

  43. Mitch 74 says:

    @Ted: I didn’t say Firefox invented it, I just said it’s funny how IE’s implementation was almost identical to Firefox 3 alpha’s version of the feature. It’s still available, but turned off by default, and switching it back on may have been an attempt at allowing in-the-field comparison between Fx and IE.

    If, as you said, it was created by another browser (or browser add-on), well, it seems this feature doesn’t bear a closer look (not like tabbed browsing did).

    About the number of simultaneous connections: yes, raising the default was prompted by IE’s implementation. No, it wasn’t new: the Fasterfox extension already tinkered with this setting, which had been questioned time and again (I think a first bug report on it dates back to 2002) because it increases load on networks if everybody increases from default. Opera may have tinkered with these settings too.

    If the dominant browser raises this setting, webmasters and sysadmins will have to deal with it; if the runner-up starts the trend, they may put the blame on Firefox. If all browsers do the same thing at the same time, well, we will see.

  44. Bill Mitchell says:

    Are there any plans to fix the insanely stupid Favorites Menu?  Every time I wish to add a Favorite, I must look through this HUGE list with EVERY SINGLE FOLDER EXPANDED.

    I mean, who the h***’s idea is that anyway?  It is beyond idiotic and the won’t change it!

  45. Aaargh! says:


    "Contrast Windows with the Mac, where the active application’s menu bar covers the top of the entire screen.  Now ~that~ is a design for a system where the user is only expected to be running one app!"

    No, that’s just common sense, Fitt’s law and all that. The things that reflect the single-app mindedness of the windows UI are:

    1) The maximize button on every window. Almost every Windows user I know usually has 1 window maximized on his desktop and they switch between windows using the taskbar. Most applications are designed around this fact. This becomes increasingly useless now monitors are getting bigger and wider. Reading really long lines of text is very annoying and tiring for the eyes (that’s why newspapers use columns). If I maximize my browser on a 24" screen most of the screen will be blank since most websites aren’t that wide anyway.

    2) Related to the point above: MDI windows. Compare e.g. Photoshop CS3 on Windows with the Mac version. The Windows version is designed to run in a maximized single-window.

    3) The taskbar is a horrible UI for multitasking / task switching. There are several problems with the taskbar. Again, the maximized-single-window interface is implied by the taskbar, the taskbar selects windows instead of applications, bringing an app that uses multiple free-floating windows to the front requires finding and selecting all windows associated with that app, very annoying. Also, the taskbar becomes useless pretty quickly when running multiple applications. On my work machine I have increased the taskbar height so it can hold 2 rows of buttons, and after only about 40-50 open windows the buttons become so small you can’t identify which is which. Even worse, open a few more windows and you get little scroll-arrows on the taskbar. And this is not a far-fetched theoretical scenario. It happens to me multiple times a day that I have to ‘clean up’ my open windows/applications, not because I no longer need them, but because the UI has become unusable with all of them open. This means I have to go back and find the file I was viewing half an hour later because I had to close that window. Also truly annoying.

  46. jo says:

    i am hoping its fast as firefox opera or safari

    its too slow right now either 7 – 8.

  47. John says:

    I think he’d have bad time convincing all the workers to move to IE8 from their current browsers

  48. RegularBreaker says:

    I just want "these little things" to appear in IE8:

    * Native SVG support

    * Unicode Adress Bar support

    * Acid3 improvement

    * Faster loading/performance

    … IE used to be my best browser …

  49. hAl says:

    Improvements could also be in:

    Supporting HD Photo.

    Use less of a memory footprint.

    Render large images faster.

    Improve address bar historic suggestions

    Customize GUI.

    Much better error information for users.

    Much easier in page search

    Dictionary / spelling control

    Syntax highlighting in default source viewer

    Free Beer for upgraders to IE 8

  50. Miguel says:

    Although this time microsoft is making a (small) effort to follow the web standarts, it’s because of browsers like this that the web developer’s work is so hard and complicated..

    Could you guys please save us an awfull lot of work?! It really would be awsome to make only one version of a page!

    oh and +1 for native SVG support.. VML is only used to display svg in ie.. ffs!

  51. IE6WasBetter says:

    Issue 1)

    Back in IE6, I think, I had all the button next to each other.

    Back:Forward:Home:Refresh: etc. And I could customize the buttons too.

    Now, with IE7, 8, everything is all over the place and I can’t customize it.

    Do IE developers actually use IE? How is this an improvement?

    I have to use stuff like Avant browser extension so I can customize the buttons again.

    Issue 2)

    Seeing from IE8, there really isn’t any end user improvements.

    How about mouse gestures?

    Or a cookie manager so I can save/dump specific cookies upon exit?

    Spell checker?

    You know, stuff that people might use on a daily basis?

    Again, I end up using Avant browser and cookie manager so I can use mouse gestures and manage my cookies and dump all the doubleclick tracking cookies.


    Just install mouse gestures (ie: IE7 pro add-in, Avant Browser), use it for a week and tell me it is not a vast improvement.

    Why do I have to even point out this stuff? For people whose job is improving IE all day, these things should already be self evident.

  52. Ryan says:

    Why don’t you develop a browser that supports all technologies, instead of making web site administrators/developers adapt, and change their sites for your new browser?

    Don’t you guys know what backwards-compatible means?

  53. Evil Dr R says:

    >> Don’t you guys know what backwards-compatible means?

    If you can’t develop content to modern-day standards then don’t call yourself a web developer.  By designing using daft hacks and IE6-friendly code you are failing to make people realise they need to upgrade.  We’ll be having this argument for years until IE4/5/6 is finally wiped off the planet.

  54. Eduardo Valencia says:

    – Add SVG support

    – Give us a download manager

    – Crash recovery capabilities

    – Last page visited remembering

    – CSS 3.1

    – Faster webpage rendering and loading

    – At least few customization capabilities in the UI

    – Easier plug-in manager,still way too complicated

    -Faster IE development, 1 build every 6 months? You promised a faster development for IE,where is it?

    Please Microsoft,catch up,quickly!

  55. Eduardo Valencia says:

    By the way cuddos for the slipstream capabilities 🙂

  56. Ted says:

    <<it seems this feature doesn’t bear a closer look (not like tabbed browsing did).>>

    Uh, you know that tabs first appeared in an IE-based browser, right?

  57. Ted says:

    <<Mouse Gestures>>

    Virtually no one uses or wants these, so they shouldn’t be baked in.  See http://www.ysgyfarnog.co.uk/utilities/mousegestures/ for the best implementation anywhere; it’s an IE add-on.

  58. IE6WasBetter says:

    Oh yeah, forgot download manager. Need an integrated download manager with ability to pause, resume, etc.

    Regarding mouse gestures, try them for a week, that’s all I ask. Once you get used to closing tabs, moving backwards, forwards, all with a single mouse flick, you won’t go back.

    This is very basis stuff to implement. Would not take more that a couple days to develop. Heck, you can even go to codeproject.com, download the appropriate open source code and cut and paste into IE source. Or release it as an IE expansion pack.

  59. world.com.ru says:

    This blog has been created to share useful information. Thanks and greetings!

  60. Omar says:

    As many others have pointed out, fix your toolbars.  Every other browser has sane button placement and customizable toolbars, but IE 7 and IE8b1 don’t.  It’s madness!  Oh yeah, for the Windows XP version, put the menu bar back at the top where it is expected.  I know you like to hide it because you think menu bars are ugly, but not everyone knows the shortcuts to copy and paste.

    Lastly, hsl colors please 😀

  61. IE6WasBetter says:

    Also, why is the RUNAS command disabled in IE7 under Vista?

    Anyone? Anyone?…..

  62. Miguel bento says:

    Major issue: everything

    Solution: get firefox

    Take care!

  63. IE6WasBetter says:

    I will gladly switch over to Firefox if you can explain how I can set up Security Zones as in IE.

    I want certain website to be able to run scripts, Java, flash, etc. and other not to. I see no way of doing this in Firefox. Its all-or-none, I have no control on a per-site basis.

    How do I control cookies as in first party, third party and session cookies in Firefox? Or cookies on a privacy policy basis? I can do this in IE….

    If there is way to do this in Firefox, great, let me know and I’ll use Firefox from now on. If not, Firefox looks like a 1 gear bicycle next to a 21 gear bike (IE). Even with all the IE flaws and non-standards compliance issues.

  64. FF says:

    Re: IE6WasBetter

    There’s no ActiveX support in anything but IE, but that’s basically 100% secure.

    Blocking things like images and cookies is baked into to the options in Firefox by default, and you can define it by individual site.

    Blocking things like Javascript and Flash is available in plug-ins which also provide per site controls.

    If you want I’ll even give you the links for all of them, so you don’t have to do any work of finding them yourself.

    So, you’re switching now?

  65. LOST says:

    What is an actual source of compatibility problems between IE7 and IE8 (standards mode)?

    Most web sites in the Web are compatible with IE7. Your statement is that they are not standard-compliant and thus your IE8 will not be compatible.

    But lets take a look that a lot of sites are compatible also with such standarts compatible browsers as Safari and Firefox.

    This compatibility is (at least often, maybe always) done by detecting browser version in JavaScript. And almost everywhere for IE it’s done by checking that browser name is IE and its version is greater than 7 (or 6) (or something like that). So I think you may avoid almost all compatibility problems by reporting non IE UserAgent. Or by inventing new UserAgent for IE8.

    Sorry my bad english. 🙁

  66. IE6WasBetter says:


    What I currently need is:

    1) To block all cookies except session cookies.

    2) Allow approved websites cookie permissions.

    2a) Keep these cookies after close.

    3) Have 3 zones with javascript/flash/IEframe, etc. control.

    3a) Need to have a zone identifier in status bar with current zone or website permission level.

    That is all. If I can get all 3 working with Firefox, I’m there. If you can provide links, that would be nice.

  67. IEBlog says:

    As James and I mentioned in our blog post What’s coming in IE8 for IT Pros? , IE8 can now be slipstreamed

  68. FF says:

    1) Firefox has built-in preferences to block cookies, including only allowing session cookies.

    2) Firefox can be told to always accept cookies from certain web sites (and to always reject them from others).

    2a) You can also tell Firefox when to delete cookies, and it can save trusted cookies after closing.

    3) The very popular add-on ‘No Script’ is your friend for advanced Java/JS/Flash controls.  You can define specific sites to allow, and a small notification appears below your bookmark bar to let you know something is blocked and allow you to unblock it.


    If the above doesn’t meet your requirements, there’s a host of other add-ons available as well from https://addons.mozilla.org

    With regard to cookies, if FF3 doesn’t meet your needs, you may be interested in one or more of these add-ons:




    You can also block other things, like ads, with AdBlock Plus:


  69. IE6WasBetter says:

    Wow, thanks.

    No script is ok. I would have prefered a finer control than what it currently offers. However, it currently works better than IE Zones. In IE zones, if you set a top level as trusted, the sub-domains would still be in your internet zone. And you would have no way of knowing what the sub-domain was. You get no list of blocked sub-domains as you do with noscript. So I had to go through the page source and track down subdomains and add them to my trusted zone.

    I’ve managed to replicate IE cookie behavior under FF as well. I use accept/ keep until close, and it deletes everything except allowed sites. Cookie exception dialog box needs a "Current site" button so I don’t have to type the current site in.

    And I can use FF with the RUNAS command under Vista, which I can’t do with IE (for some dumb reason).

    Now, all I need to do is search a mouse gesture plugin for FF and I’m done.


  70. Mr Keen for a DownloadManager says:

    I’ve always wanted a download manager integrated into IE.  I’m grateful for all the add security developments so I don’t have to keep fixing friends and family computers. But surely MS you could get one of your junior developers to spend a few weeks writing a download manager!! Firefox has one.

  71. OhDearMS says:

    Yeah, FINAL REVERT for Microsoft in this version (IE8)… If you don’t listen to what users need, please don’t blame anyone if you lose your IE’s market share to other browsers (ex: Firefox, Safari,…)

    Rather switch to Firefox – so long ago

  72. Igor Macori says:

    Si sta avvicinando a grandi passi il rilascio della Beta 2 della versione 8 di Internet Explorer . Come

  73. IEBlog says:

    Hi, my name is Jatinder Mann and I work on the Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK) and Group

  74. Добрый день, меня зовут Ятиндер Манн (Jatinder Mann) и я работаю над Internet Explorer Administration

  75. &#160; &#160; 올랜도에서 개최된 Tech Ed IT Pro 2008 (영어) 에서 Internet Explorer 8 을 조직내에서 배포, 관리하기 위해, 몇가지 기능을

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