Internet Explorer 8 at MIX09


Mix09 logo Mix09 is just around the corner, approaching quickly.  I’m really excited to get back to Vegas and back to the conference. The Internet Explorer sessions are now live on the MIX website (http://2009.visitmix.com) and there’s lots of great content there.  If you aren’t already registered, there is still time.  It’s a great opportunity to find out what’s going on with Internet Explorer.  Many people from the engineering team will be at the conference both giving talks and helping out at the IE compatibility lab.

To whet your appetite, we figured we’d put everything together in one place so you can see what’s going on.

Dean Hachamovitch’s Keynote

Thursday, March 19th, 9:00am
Location:  Keynote Room

Sessions Presented By The Internet Explorer Team

A Lap Around Internet Explorer 8 – MIX09-T52F

Giorgio Sardo | Thursday March 19 |10:30 AM-11:45 AM | Delfino 4103

IE is back! In this session, you’ll hear the inside story behind the development of Internet Explorer 8. We’ll show you how to develop innovative user experiences with Web Slices, Accelerators and Visual Search. You’ll discover nearly twenty new security enhancements that make browsing safer than ever, and you’ll find out about performance improvements that will help you build faster AJAX applications. Finally, we’ll show you why we think Internet Explorer 8 is one of the most standards-compliant web browsers on the market.

Securing Web Applications – MIX09-T54F

Eric Lawrence | Thursday March 19 | 1:00 PM-2:15 PM | San Polo 3501

After a quick summary of some of the web attacks in the wild today, you’ll learn how to take advantage of browser security improvements to help protect your web applications and visitors.

Creating A Great Experience On Digg With Windows Internet Explorer 8 – MIX09-C22F

Joel Neubeck | Thursday March 19 |2:30 PM-3:45 PM | San Polo 3501

Come hear how Terralever was able to use the powerful new features of Internet Explorer 8 to change how users interact with the Digg website.  Learn how using Accelerators and Web Slices changed the way users are able to discover, as well as simplify submitting stories.  We’ll look at how taking advantage of these exciting features can improve a users experience, while increasing the number of users visiting your site. 

Internet Explorer 8 In The Real World: How Is IE8 Used – MIX09-C23F

Paul Cutsinger | Thursday March 19 | 4:15 PM-5:30 PM | San Polo 3501

Come see behind the scenes and learn about the customer data that motivated the IE8 user experience design team. We’ll discuss what people are doing in the browser and how that influenced the detailed design of new features. We’ll also talk about the methodology for choosing the subtle refinements to existing features that have a big impact on ease of use and discoverability.

Building High Performance Web Applications and Sites – MIX09-T53F

John Hrvatin | Friday March 20 | 2:00 PM-3:15 PM | San Polo 3504

Learn how to improve your web application’s performance in the browser by avoiding common pitfalls in JavaScript, CSS, and HTTP caching techniques.

Compat Lab

Windows Internet Explorer 8 is Microsoft’s first web browser to support web standards by default, allowing developers to write code that runs across multiple browsers and platforms. All MIX09 attendees are invited to join the IE8 Engineering Team in the on-site compatibility labs to troubleshoot and debug issues, and get the latest tips & tricks from the experts. This is a great opportunity to get ahead of the curve – don’t miss out!

We’ll have experts from the engineering team who handle layout, high DPI, JavaScript, ActiveX, Web Slices, Accelerators and the Object Model.  If you’ve got a question, we’ve got an answer.  In addition to the engineering brains, we’ll have some great brawn to help us out, including a brand new tool from the Expression Web Team, so hot, we’re keeping it under wraps for now! Be sure to drop by to check it out, we promise it’ll save you huge amounts of time!

Location: Marcello 4406

Times:

Tuesday (3/17) 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Wednesday (3/18) 11:00am – 5:30pm
Thursday (3/19) 10:00am – 9:00pm
Friday (3/20) 9:00am – 3:15pm

CodeFest

Browser enhancements can be used to make web sites more easily accessible, provide a persistent connection and make services easier to use for everyone. This four-hour CodeFest will gather developers for a fast-paced, hands on opportunity to create your own Web Slices, Accelerators and Add-Ons. Bring your laptops and great ideas, and we’ll have Internet Explorer engineering team members on hand to help out, answer tough questions and provide all the information and support you need to create, and help publicize your new Web Slice, Accelerator or Add-Ons.  We’ll be serving up drinks and snacks to keep you energized while writing your new Add-Ons!

Location: Marcello 4406

Time:    Tuesday (3/17)                  6:00pm – 10:00pm

We’re looking forward to seeing you at MIX09!
PEte LePage & The IE Team

Comments (44)

  1. This year I have the pleasure to talk at the Lap Around Internet Explorer 8 session at MIX . In the session

  2. Tomas says:

    Will you release IE8 RTM after MIX?

  3. jccondor says:

    It’s a shame thet visitmix didn’t take care on on developing it ie8 standards! It’t dosen’t even pass w3c standards! I wonder if there going to teach this type of development style?

    I just think that these web sites should really show how web sites should be developed. Please if you can influce this please ask them to fix.

  4. billybob says:

    "Windows Internet Explorer 8 is Microsoft’s first web browser to support web standards by default"

    Congratulations, it is a shame that you only support the standards that you deem to be worthy and ignore the rest.  We cannot use many of the new (and not so new) features because a certain browser does not support them properly.  You know what features you want so why not give us some sort of roadmap for them?

  5. Dan says:

    billybob, no browser supports all of the so-called "standards." Further, no browser has CSS2.1 support as complete as IE8’s.  So, you could just as easily complain that no browser really supports standards.

    Asking for a roadmap is a fine thing, but don’t preface such a request by unfounded complaints.

  6. billybob says:

    I am not asking for all standards to be supported, just not that the IE team claim standards support when they arbitrarily decide what ‘standards’ are.

    I don’t think I need to mention all of the advanced features that are in all the other browsers, they are brought up in the comments in every single post on this blog.

    Does the IE team have a roadmap for HTML 5 and CSS 3 support now that they have HTML 4 and CSS 2.1 sorted?

  7. Dan says:

    Billybob, IE8 already includes some of the stable & important HTML5 features (like postMessage).

    As both the CSS3 and HTML5 specifications are not yet fully written, it’s a bit early to be calling for full support.  

    It’s much more productive to be specific about what exactly you’re trying to accomplish that you can’t today.

  8. billybob says:

    Let’s start with canvas.  Is there any plans for that?  All other browsers have it now.

    Browsers should at least start implementing the more stable parts of HTML 5 – if you wait until the entire spec is finished before starting then you will be 10 years behind everyone else.

  9. Gordon says:

    @Dan, how about SVG, thats only like almost a decade old now.

    how about canvas? how about a REAL opacity property? how about rounded corners?

    how about supporting all the DOM methods? PROPERLY!

    still can’t use document.getElementsByName(name) because it still returns INVALID results!

    still can’t set .innerHTML on the 2 things I want to do every day (Table and Select)

    IE just plain sucks.  I can’t drag a link **ANYWHERE**, not to a new tab, not to a text/textarea, nada.

    still can’t drag a bookmarklet to my favorites

    can’t test any local content because of a stupid ACTIVE-X warning bar WHEN THERE IS NO !@#$ DARN script of ANY kind on the page. Its a great big middle finger to all developers.

    opening new tabs is just painful, why can’t I paste a url in the new tab without having to wait for 3 seconds first?

    we all know that you (Dan) and Ted just love every last byte that MS ships but man it gets tiring listen to you guys trying to defend IE.

    IE8 – Still Holding Back The Web [TM]

  10. @Gordon,

    > how about SVG, thats only like almost a decade old now.

    Sorry there. SVG is 7.5 years old. I remember creating my first SVG application in october 2001… and the only browser capable of rendering SVG application was MSIE 6 with the Adobe plugin. Browsers started to support SVG only a few years after 2002.

    Regarding canvas, REAL opacity and CSS 3 border-radius (rounded corners): these obviously will have to wait for next release. Hopefully IE8.1 or IE8.5. I want to tell you that I can not believe the webpages of your websites can not work, can not function normally or can not achieve their normal goals/functionalities for your users if those are not supported.

    > how about supporting all the DOM methods?

    The most annoying DOM Core, DOM HTML bugs have been fixed. But obviously not all of the DOM Core bugs and DOM HTML bugs.

    > still can’t use document.getElementsByName(name)

    When I read the description of bug 412951

    connect.microsoft.com/IE/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=412951

    I can see how easily it would be to workaround this bug without a lot of complexity, without searching a lot, etc. I am repeating myself here.

    > still can’t set .innerHTML on (…) Table and Select

    Well, I can use DOM 2 HTML methods on table element and table sub-elements; there are some (more) problems with select but workarounds exist.

    > can’t test any local content because of a stupid ACTIVE-X warning bar WHEN THERE IS NO !@#$ DARN script of ANY kind on the page.

    I have Tools/Internet Options/Advanced tab/Security section/Allow active content to run in files on My Computer* checkbox checked

    and therefore I can test local content without an unwelcomed|unnecessary ACTIVE-X warning bar.

    > opening new tabs is just painful, why can’t I paste a url in the new tab without having to wait for 3 seconds first?

    Fair questions: I agree and I voted accordingly in bug 411584 connect.microsoft.com/IE/feedback/Validation.aspx?FeedbackID=411584

    regards, Gérard

  11. @Gordon

    > can’t test any local content because of a stupid ACTIVE-X warning bar WHEN THERE IS NO !@#$ DARN script of ANY kind on the page.

    What you say is still strange. If there is no script of any kind on the page, then what is the active-X warning about? Can you elaborate?… give specifics, helpful details?

    regards, Gérard

  12. Tomas says:

    @Gérard Talbot:

    The yellow bar always appears when you open a site locally.

    Simply write:

    <!DOCTYPE html>

    <html>

    <body>

    <h1>Test</h1>

    </body>

    </html>

    Open it and IE shows the yellow bar..

    "To help protect your security, Internet Explorer has restricted this webpage from running scripts or ActiveX controls that could access your computer."

  13. Richard Fink says:

    Hoping these talks make it onto video for those who can’t attend.

  14. Sheryl says:

    @Gordon, Gerard, & Tomas. i find this very frustrating too.

    I would be okay with it if there actually WAS some script on the page, but there is none!

    Worse yet the warning bar talks about these "scary" ActiveX Scripts… (and yes, ActiveX is darn scary stuff) but this warning appears on screens with just pure simple JavaScript.

    It seems like a major case of FUD.  Can we not get this security bar updated to give a more correct message?

    "This page contains JavaScript…"

    and a more important warning

    "This page contains ActiveX Script…"

    thanks sheryl

  15. billybob says:

    @Gérard Talbot

    "I want to tell you that I can not believe the webpages of your websites can not work, can not function normally or can not achieve their normal goals/functionalities for your users if those are not supported."

    Only if you restrict yourself to 2001 technology and goals.  I am hoping for the day when we can actually start innovating in websites and provide a better experience for our users.  At the moment I can only use canvas on internal apps because of IE.  Even heavy JS is out of the question because IE is so slow and fragile.

    Look what these guys are doing with canvas?  How on earth can you do something like this for IE?

    https://bespin.mozilla.com/

    They wrote an entire GUI toolkit in canvas.

    Notice how many times you mention ‘workarounds exist’ – WE HATE WORKAROUNDS… We are so sick and tired of working around IE’s problems.  Will there ever be a day when IE is leading the field?

  16. @billibob

    > Even heavy JS is out of the question because IE is so slow and fragile.

    Web authors now develop more and more heavy JS without any kind of consideration, any kind of thinking about people with modest or average user system resources. And I’m convinced that even if all browsers had very performant, fast, efficient DHTML and JS, web authors in general would then add more scripts, more external stylesheets and more "bells and whistles" of all kinds and then complaint that browsers are slow, inefficient, etc.

    I went to bespin.mozilla.com and wasn’t impressed. The webpage has rigid font size (not scalable for screen), small size, a pretty dark outlook (making reading more difficult), had HTML validation errors, bloated CSS code (duplicated code, contradictory code), code over-constraining the layout, over-declaration of containers, wrong usage of z-index, wrong semantic in a few places, etc.. and of course opacity. If you can not make a webpage legible, accessible, usable, optimized, then don’t use opacity: it’s just going to make usability/readability/accessibility worse.

    regards, Gérard

  17. @Gordon, Sheryl & Tomas

    I resetted IE 8 RC1 settings, tried Tomas’ code and indeed I got that yellow information bar popping up.

    When I set

    Tools/Internet Options/Advanced tab/Security section/Allow active content to run in files on My Computer* checkbox checked

    and then restart IE8 RC1, such yellow information bar no longer pops up when loading local files.

    I agree that the message is incorrect and misleading.

    regards, Gérard

  18. boen_robot says:

    @Tomas

    "Will you release IE8 RTM after MIX?"

    Personally, I hope not, but I fear they’ll release it *at* MIX, likely during Dean Hachamovitch’s Keynote. I for one won’t be surprised if that happens. If I happen to see the recordings before a blog post is written about the release, I’ll be holding out my breath I don’t end up finding that on my own while watching the video.

    I’d like to instead see RC2 or at least a pre-RTM of a sort though.

  19. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Sheryl: No, the warning bar doesn’t talk about “scary ActiveX Scripts”– it talks about scripts *or* ActiveX controls.  Hence, I’m not sure what sort of textual change you’d be hoping for?

    @Gerard Talbot: “indeed I got that yellow information bar popping up.”

    Yes, this was a bug in RC1.  

    To make a long story short, this information bar appears when a security setting is checked for a file running in the “locked down” local machine security zone, and that security setting’s value is different between the “Local Machine Zone” and the “Local Machine Lockdown Zone.”  The information bar is a compatibility measure which informs the user that the page is running in the heavily restricted Local Machine Lockdown Zone, and hence its behavior may be impacted by the tight security settings there.  The three workarounds are: 1> use the information bar to run the content, or 2> add a Mark of the Web to the page, or 3> Turn off the Local Machine Lockdown Zone feature using the Tools / Internet Options / Advanced / “Allow active content…” security setting.  

    The post-RC1 fix in IE8 relates to ensuring that the new security setting in question does not trigger the information bar, as it is not related to either script or ActiveX.

    thanks!

  20. Mitch 74 says:

    @EricLaw: following a previous comment in a previous blog post, now that IE 8 supports ‘filter’ even in edge mode, will we see an update in MSDN about it saying that hasLayout=true isn’t needed for ‘filter’ to work under IE 8? After all,

    – other browsers don’t support ‘filter’ altogether

    – other IE versions don’t support ‘filter’ when hasLayout=false

    Meaning that rendering in IE 8 will change in that aspect (say, a website applied the ‘filter’ property on many elements through a large class, and used ‘hasLayout’ on select ones for a finer selection), and be different from both other browsers, and previous versions of IE.

  21. billybob says:

    @Gérard : Why only comment about the style and correctness of their CSS instead of their actual product?

    That is like judging Silverlight by the validation of microsoft.com.

    What do you think about the actual product?  It is a good example of something you cannot do without canvas.

  22. JamesL says:

    As a web developer struggling to find the time to test/fix 50 odd sites for the release of IE8, I’m just wondering if we will be likely to be warned in advance of a release date for the final version?

    or even a hint…. 1 week/1 month/etc?

    Also, will this be likely to be an automatic update for all IE7 users?

    It would be very handy to a large proportion of us I’m sure.

    For the record, I’m very pleased with the work you guys have all put in on this…. a very big step in the right direction.

  23. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    JamesL: Yes, IE8 will be offered to all Windows users via Automatic Update / WindowsUpdate / Microsoft Update, except those who are on corporate networks where the administrator has blocked the offering (see  http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2009/01/06/ie8-blocker-toolkit-available-today.aspx for more information)

  24. rex says:

    I peeked into the Profiler in the dev toolbar today.  Not bad, but I thought I’d add some notes.

    1.) The URL and Line Number columns are both 100% empty.

    2.) Some sort of total time would be very handy (e.g. page took total of 873ms to process script)

    3.) It isn’t obvious how to view the call stack in order (e.g. is it in the callstack view with the Function sorted ascending? or descending?

    4.) Related to #3, I have 100’s of calls listed as: "JScript – window count block" isn’t very helpful to me (esp. due to item #1 above)

    5.) Some sort of ability to "jump" to the line in question would be most helpful.  Seeing that Array.shift is a performance hit is fine, but let me go to the line where it is being used so I can see it in context.

    Thanks!

  25. Jep says:

    Nice of you to delete my criticizing message.

  26. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Jep: We welcome constructive criticism.  In particular, specific criticism, bug reports, and suggestions for feature improvements are much appreciated.

    I encourage you to read the "Rules for comments on the IE Blog" link which you’ll find on the right-hand side of this page.

    http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2004/07/22/191629.aspx

    Thanks,

    Eric

  27. JHH says:

    I did some testing of IE8’s inPrivate browsing mode. Unlike Google Chrome, Opera 9.64, and Apple Safari, IE8 simply deletes the temporary internet files rather than just using the memory (if you really want "inprivate" to mean something).

    You may say, "Who uses programs like "Recuva," (which is free, and works very well). But people do, and so I think this feature needs to be changed for the final release.

  28. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @JHH: As discussed previously, InPrivate Browsing is not an anti-forensics measure.  While it’s true that forensic techniques (like those used by law enforcement) can be used to recover browsing history, the reality is that this is true regardless of whether you’re using IE or another browser.  

    A local attacker with full access to your system can use any number of techniques to recover system memory and browsing records.  Furthermore, a privileged attacker could be running a keylogger or other spyware application within your user-account anyway.

    If you’re concerned because your girlfriend works for an intelligence agency and might discover her surprise birthday plans, use of BitLocker full drive encryption may be called for.

    If you’re concened about law enforcement, they’re usually watching the other end of the pipe (e.g. at your ISP, or Tor exit node) anyway.

    You can prevent local filesystem undeletions by using the cipher.exe tool which ships as a part of Windows.  The /W parameter will wipe free space using a cryptographically secure algorithm.

  29. JHH says:

    The strawman of mentioning an "intelligence agency" still doesn’t answer my question why does IE8 use the HDD in inPrivate mode, and delete the files while your competitors like Safari and Chrome do not leave these sorts of traces.

    "If you’re concerned because your girlfriend works for an intelligence agency and might discover her surprise birthday plans, use of BitLocker full drive encryption may be called for."

    This semi-condescending behavior I find bizarre, because If you read my post, anyone can learn how to use recuva, for example. Frankly, I have used IE for years, even in the "dark days" of IE 4-6 when people were complaining about spyware because they clicked on everything! or didn’t take the time to understand IE zones security settings.

  30. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @JHH: I’m not sure what you find semi-condescending– can you elaborate on the threat you’re specifically concerned with?  

    Who is in a position to perform forensic analysis of your hard drive, and what would prevent said attacker from performing more active monitoring of your behavior?

    As for the behavior of competitive browsers, I’m afraid you’ve misunderstood.  As the operating system pages memory to disk on a routine basis, you can almost certainly find the contents of those browsers’ memory in your swap file.  Furthermore, I think you might also find it enlightening to run FileMon (or its replacement, Process Monitor) while using the competitive products in their “private” modes to see how they actually interact with the system.

  31. Andrew says:

    @JHH and EricLaw: What happens if IE crashes while you are in InPrivate mode(I’m not meaning to single out IE specifically; all browsers crash from time to time) or you end the process because it has frozen, etc.?

    Does IE know exactly which Temporary Internet Files to delete when it restarts?

  32. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Andrew: Yes, upon restarting IE after a crash, any InPrivate entries are cleaned up if present.

  33. JHH says:

    @EricLaw,

    That’s exactly what I mean. You appear to design the program assuming the user will not go beyond looking in the history folder, and saying "hey! someone just bought me a gift." But a regular user can in fact download the many free recovery programs on the internet.

    I know, basically, the browser needs to be run in a virtual machine/sandbox (and not using the pagefile at all) to be really "stealth," as far as I know, and then that "session" needs to be securely deleted.

    I am not suggesting that level, I am just suggesting a level that your competitors are at, that would stop the user a step above the one who doesn’t know about simple file recovery. You appear to assume that I want a higher level of privacy (the CIA comment) than I actually asked for.

  34. Ian says:

    jhh, if your wife is willing to run an undelete program and muck about in your cache, why do you think she’s not gunna run a screencapture/spy program?  there’s lots of free ones on the ‘nets and they’re easier to use then the undelete proggies.

    when i run safari4 in private mode under the debug, i see lots of disk stuff like

    Safari.exe:4656 WRITE C:DOCUME~1ianmhLOCALS~1Temph5qpwo1z.tmp

  35. Mitch 74 says:

    I think that the problem JHH has is that, if the InPrivate mode is really to work as intended, it should not leave any trace whatsoever; forensic analysis tools may be a bit big here, but they are, indeed, not unknown – and a virus may simply include data recovery tool.

    In fact, such a virus may target InPrivate data specifically, because although InPrivate could be used for pr0n, it can also be used to access your banking site – and recovering InPrivate data would be very valuable.

    Or, maybe InPrivate mode encrypts cached data, and wipes it seven times after delete? If that’s the case, forget about using an SSD with Windows…

    Other browsers make that kind of tool useless, because nothing is written to disk, only to RAM; and as far as I know, recovering deleted data in RAM requires a BIOS corruption, a can of liquid nitrogen, and a system freeze right before delete.

  36. JHH says:

    @Mitch 74,

    That would be a great idea for IE8, where you can set the IE HDD cache to 0 (like Opera and Firefox does, but Chrome doesn’t). Although I know that Opera doesn’t guarantee that it will not use the HDD cache at all when it is set to "0."

  37. David says:

    I have been reading a lot lately about IE8 possibly being Microsoft’s last release of IE. I am starting to believe those rumors because, in Windows 7 you can remove IE. This will surely doom IE. This is nice for people who use another web browser, but what would you do if you scrapped IE and tried something different? Would you guys create something that is based on the WebKit project? Or are you guys going to keep releasing IE?

    I am interested because, I use IE everyday and, I recommend people use it because of compatibility issues with other web browsers when, they load up certain pages.

  38. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @David: I haven’t seen such rumors, but rest assured that I plan to be working on IE9 and beyond, building on the great work we’ve done in IE8.

    Since IE6 on XPSP2, it’s been possible to effectively hide and disable Internet Explorer using the Set Programs and Defaults applet.  The Windows 7 feature you’re referring to works a bit differently, but to the same basic end-result.

  39. billybob says:

    There will still be an IE9 but the question is will it use the WebKit rendering engine?

    I hope that Eric’s dodge of the details means that there is some truth in the rumour.  Personally I would love IE9 to ship with a WebKit core.

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/11/06/microsofts_ballmer_considers_using_webkit_within_ie.html

    "There will still be a lot of proprietary innovation in the browser itself so we may need to have a rendering service," Ballmer said, adding, "Open source is interesting. Apple has embraced Webkit and we may look at that, but we will continue to build extensions for IE 8."

    If you have really not heard anything about this, then MSFT’s communications channels are broken.  Ballmer would not go on record with technical details unless he had run it through with the IE team before (wouldn’t he?).  My guess is you know all about it and maybe even have a basic prototype up and running.  Webkit can embed custom Qt widgets so adding ActiveX should be easy.

    Eric, now that you have seen the rumour, what do you think of it?  Is it a good idea to have a WebKit core surrounded by custom extensions?  It would save you a lot of work reinventing the wheel.

  40. Dan says:

    billybob, what part of ‘building on the great work’ suggests to you that he really means ‘throwing away the work’?  

    The idea that IE would ever ship with webkit is clearly divorced from reality.  You might as well suggest that they’re going to throw out the windows kernel and move to Linux because hey, it’s free.

    Ballmer was answering a question posed in public, and he said basically ‘we’re always interested in open source’ not ‘we’re thinking we’re going to move to open source’.  

    Yet another case of people hearing what they want to.  How do you think he got to be a CEO?  

    The idea that Ballmer is going to take the question and then call up Dean to check his answer while the audience waits is pretty funny.

  41. billybob says:

    All of the IE plugin architecture, ActiveX etc would all remain, all that would change is Trident would be replaced with WebKit.  He never said building on the great work of Trident, he said IE which is different.  He plans to be working on IE9, but that could have a Trident engine or a WebKit one (most likely both).

    They wouldn’t use WebKit only because it is free, they would use it because it provides a better alternative to Trident and could concentrate efforts on the money making features of IE.

    The actual question asked was.

    "Why is IE still relevant and why is it worth spending money on rendering engines when there are open source ones available that can respond to changes in Web standards faster?"

    The answer sounded like they have at least looked at the possibility.  It would be WebKit as a base but lots of extensions, like Safari and Konqueror.  There was no answer as to why it is worth spending money on rendering engines.

    Ballmer would have had the conversation months ago most likely, that’s why he answered using technical details.  He seems to understand that a rendering engine is different to extensions that could be added to the "actual browser".  I think he would only know that if he had been briefed and if they had looked at the possibility (ie. is it even possible technically or legally?).

    If there was no remote possibility then he would have responded with something along the lines of "we firmly believe in the IE technology and we intend to support it into the future".

    I am not saying that it is going to happen, but they are not unfounded rumours.  For Eric to say he has not heard of it is a bit strange too, his boss was talking about the future of his product, yet he didn’t hear anything and nobody on the team was talking about it?

    Let’s hear some reasons why it is so divorced from reality rather than stacking up the strawmen.

  42. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @billybob: Please don’t misquote me.  I stated that I hadn’t heard any rumors that IE8 would be the "last release of IE."  As you noted, that’s a very different question than "what rendering engine will IE9 use?"

    We’ve made a tremendous investment in our rendering engine in IE8, and will be shipping with full compliance to the CSS2.1 standard test suite.  (I believe the WebKit team aspires to achieve full compliance in some future version of their engine.)

    Obviously, a product as popular as IE is subject to all sorts of speculation and rumor-mongering, particularly in a world where attention-grabbing headlines can be used to increase advertising revenue.

    After IE8 ships, I’ll be hard at work on IE9– building on the great foundation provided by IE8.  

  43. billybob says:

    Eric, Thanks for responding.  I will just sit back and hope for the best since you have not really answered the rumour one way or the other.

    The real question is obviously "Is there any serious discussion about IE9 shipping with a WebKit rendering engine?".  David got it slightly wrong, but I am sure you know what he really meant.

    Love the WebKit insult.  Maybe Microsoft could help whip it into shape?  They have already done a lot of CSS 3, so if you help them finish CSS 2.1, you get 3 for free!