An Early Look At IE9 for Developers

We’re just about a month after the Windows 7 launch, and wanted to show an early look at some of the work underway on Internet Explorer 9. 

At the PDC today, in addition to demonstrating some of the progress on performance and interoperable standards, we showed how IE and Windows will make the power of PC hardware available to web developers in the browser. Specifically, we demonstrated hardware-accelerated rendering of all graphics and text in web pages, something that other browsers don’t do today. Web site developers will see performance gains and other benefits without having to re-write their sites.

Performance Progress. Browser performance involves many different sub-systems within the browser. Different sites – and different activities within the same site – place different loads and demands on the browser.

For example, two news sites might look similar to a user but have very different performance characteristics. Because of how the developers authored the sites, one site might spend most of its time in the Javascript engine and DOM, while the other site might spend most of its time in layout and rendering. A site that’s more of an “application” than a page (like web-based email, or the Office Web Apps) can exercise browser subsystems in completely different ways depending on the user’s actions.

The chart below shows how much time different sites spends in different subsystems of IE. For example, it shows that one major news site spends most of its time in the script engine and marshalling, while another spends most of its time in script and rendering, and the Excel Web App spends very little of its time running script at all.

chart of which IE subsystems different websites spend their time in.  The chart shows that each site has a very different allocation of which subsystems they spend time in.

Note that this chart shows the percentages of total time spent in each subsystem, not relative time between sites. It focuses on just the primary browsing sub-systems and doesn’t include “frame” functionality (like anti-phishing), or third-party software that’s running in the IE process (like toolbars, or controls like Flash). It also factors out networking since that’s dependent on the users network speed. Notice also that a site’s profile can change significantly across scenarios; for example, the Excel Web App profile for loading a file is quite different from the profile for selecting part of the sheet.

The script engine is just one of these browser subsystems. There are many benchmarks for script performance. One common test of script performance is from Apple’s Webkit team, the SunSpider test. The chart below shows the relative performance of different browsers on the same machine running the SunSpider test.

chart of IE, FF, Chrome and Safari performance of Sunspider test.  The IE9 results on sunspider are competitve with FF 3.6, Chrome4 and the nightly webkit build.

In addition to IE7 and the current “final release” versions of major browsers, we’ve included the latest pre-release “under development” builds of the major browsers. We’re just about a month after IE8 was released as part of the Windows 7 launch, and the version of IE under development is no longer an outlier. 

It is worth noting that once the differences are this small, the other subsystems that contribute to performance become much more important, and perceiving the differences may be difficult on real-world sites. That said, we remain committed to improving script performance.

We’re looking at the performance characteristics of all the browser sub-systems as real-world sites use them. Our goal is to deliver better performance across the board for real-world sites, not just benchmarks.

Standards Progress. Our focus is providing rich capabilities – the ones that most developers want to use – in an interoperable way.  Developers want more capabilities in the browser to build great apps and experiences; they want them to work in an interoperable way so they don’t have to re-write and re-test their sites again and again. The standards process offers a good means to that end.

As engineers, when we want to assess progress, we develop a test suite that exercises the breadth and depth of functionality. With IE8, we delivered a highly-interoperable implementation of CSS 2.1 and contributed over 7,200 tests to the W3C. Standards that do not include validation tests are much more difficult to implement consistently, and more difficult for site developers to rely on.

Some standards tests – like Acid3 – have become widely used as shorthand for standards compliance, even with some shortcomings. Acid3 tests about 100 aspects of different technologies (many still in the “working draft” stage of standardization), including many edge cases and error conditions. Here’s the latest build of IE9 running Acid3: 

screen shot of ACID3 test showing a score of 32.

As we improve support in IE for technologies that site developers use, the score will continue to go up. A more meaningful (from the point of view of web developers) example of standards support involves rounded corners. Here’s IE9 drawing rounded corners, along with the underlying mark-up:

screenshot of a box with rounded corners.  each corner is rounded differently.

Another example of standards support that matters to web developers is CSS3 selectors. Here’s a test page that some people in the web development community put together at; it’s a good illustration of a more thorough test, and one that shows some of the progress we’ve made since releasing IE8:

screenshot of test page showing many passing test cases.

Community testing efforts like this one can be helpful. Ultimately, we want to work with the community and W3C and other members of the working groups to define true validation test suites, like the one that we’re all working on together for CSS 2.1, for the standards that matter to developers. For example, this link tests one of the HTML5 storage APIs; some browsers (including IE8) support it today, while others don’t.

The work we do here, both in the product and on test suites, is a means to an end: a rich interoperable platform that developers can rely on. 

Bringing the power of PC hardware and Windows to web developers in the browser. The PC platform and ecosystem around Windows deliver amazing hardware innovation. The browser should be a place where the benefits of that hardware innovation shine through for web developers.

We’re changing IE to use the DirectX family of Windows APIs to enable many advances for web developers. The starting point is moving all graphics and text rendering from the CPU to the graphics card using Direct2D and DirectWrite. Graphics hardware acceleration means that rich, graphically intensive sites can render faster while using less CPU. (This interview includes screen captures of a few examples.) Now, web developers can take advantage of the hardware ecosystem’s advances in graphics while they continue to author sites with the same interoperable standards patterns they’re used to.

In addition to better performance, this technology shift also increases font quality and readability with sub-pixel positioning:

96 point Gabriola on a Lenovo X61 ThinkPad at 100% Zoom using GDI (note jaggies):

text "Direct2D" in 96pt Gabriola font using GDI rendering.  The rendering looks somewhat jagged.

96 point Gabriola on a Lenovo X61 ThinkPad at 100% Zoom: Direct2D (without jaggies):

text "Direct2D" in 96pt Gabriola font using Direct2D rendering.  The rendering looks much smoother than how it is rendered in GDI.

Last week, Channel 9 interviewed several of the engineers on the team. You can find videos of the interviews here:

Introduction, and Interoperable Standards

Early look at the Script Engine

Hardware accelerated graphics and text in the browser via Direct2D

While we’re still early in the product cycle, we wanted to be clear to developers about our approach and the progress so far. We’re applying the feedback from the IE8 product cycle, and we’re committed to delivering on another version of IE.

Dean Hachamovitch
General Manager, Internet Explorer

Update 11/23/09 - The IE9 demo from PDC is now available.  The IE content starts around minute 48.

Comments (590)
  1. Anonymous says:

    The rate this is going my children won’t even be able to use Canvas in IE. Let’s hope IE9 won’t be just another half-assed browser.

  2. Anonymous says:

    You guys should have done this in the first place, stop creating major revisions that consistently lack in standards compliance and just create minor revisions of IE7/8 until it’s fully standards compliant, the user doesn’t give a crap about new features for developers.

    By doing what you’re doing, you’re leaving a trail of sh*t behind you that we have to then cater to for about 4/5 years for every defunct version you leave on people’s computers. If you really gave a toss about us you’d make these fixes to existing revisions, release the updates through Windows Update and release IE9 in 4 years time running on top of web-kit as a major re-hash, is this really so hard for you guys to comprehend? Or are you just blind to the amount of criticism developers are throwing your way?


  3. Anonymous says:

    Hey that was a really nice post… I work in a <a href="">website designing</a> company and appreciate it a lot…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Pleaaaaaaaaase, in the name of the WORLD, give up developing IE once and for all!!!

  5. Anonymous says:



  6. Anonymous says:

    and no mention of xhmtl (i.e. html served as xml, not tag soup) either – xhtml 1.0 has been about for a decade, xhtml 1.1 for years and html 5 will support xml serialisation too.  Finally on ie, too?  PLEASE?

  7. Anonymous says:

    @K. B. McHugh: You’ve got a serious loving for IE and a big hate for Firefox.

    You obviously don’t know how many IE bugs there are if you think that Firefox may have as many or more.

    Web Bug Track ( , which is a site that tracks the really annoying browser bugs has 92 things (good and bad) tagged "IE" whereas there are only 5 things tagged "Firefox".

    As a developer myself I can’t imagine developing in a better browser than Firefox or Safari and developing in IE is such a major pain that I try to avoid it.

    Checking the source of Desert Watch shows that you are not a pro developer.

    You use @import for CSS, you have content in your script tags that point to external files, you use visual studio, you have an anchor for "page_top" when browsers have this built in, half of your attributes are quoted with single quotes, and your JavaScript uses hungarian notation.

    Thanks for clarifying that you are not a pro developer – we therefore know that your comments about IE vs. Standards based browser development are completely invalid.

  8. Anonymous says:

    @ Trevor Waithe,

    "Thanks for clarifying that you are not a pro developer – we therefore know that your comments about IE vs. Standards based browser development are completely invalid."

    Since 99% of developers out there are not pro developers, thanks for proving you comments are completely invalid and wrong for the real world (ie. not your dream world where only your so-called "pro developers" exist)

  9. Anonymous says:

    @ Trevor Waithe,

    "Thanks for clarifying that you are not a pro developer – we therefore know that your comments about IE vs. Standards based browser development are completely invalid."

    Since 99% of developers out there are not pro developers, thanks for proving that your comments here are completely invalid and wrong for the real world (ie. not your dream world where only your so-called "pro developers" exist)

  10. Anonymous says:

    How many problems would be solved by making side-by-side IE installations work properly with first-class support?

    (And, yes, that includes for software that embeds IE, and that includes helping user’s with "the little blue e", so I know this is slightly harder than trivial.)

    And "properly" doesn’t mean just using IE7 mode for embedded software / local network.

    Then your retarded corporate enterprise folks can have their stupid IE6-only software AND browse the internet in an at-least-mostly-sensible browser by default.

  11. Anonymous says:

    We will never give up creating new versions of IE that behave differently from Web standards for one simple reason. We love to hear (web)


    scream in frustration.

    It will take our brave engineers lots of guts to screw IE9 in previously unimaginable ways, but they get it done and you all will remember us one more time each time your new web page design will work everywhere except of IE and you’ll have to spend many hours to make special case for this browser yet again.

  12. Anonymous says:

    There must be a fool in MSFT who just doesn’t get it. Standards compliance, you idiot.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The next version of IE9 can render JavaScript faster than Google OS or Safari. JScript is the name of IE9’s JavaScript engine, in IE9 it is compatible with ECMAScript.

    IE9 compiled at 2009-11-23 has a higher score on the SunSpider test than Chrome 3 or Safari 4.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I am really looking forwrad to see ie9.! Nice.

  15. Anonymous says:

    This website uses vector technology VML and HTML + TIME sous IE6-7-8-9

    demo : http://www.cyberhalcom

    blog infos :

  16. Anonymous says:

    I’m sick and tired of spending half my time on IE hacks, or worse, degrading the website experience just so that IE can render properly.

    Please finish and release this immediately, in fact, go out of your way from making new things to get caught up on what is already a standard.

    I’m not going to stop recommending alternate web browsers to IE, hell, I’m not even going to stop bashing it, but if it get standards support at least I won’t have to think about possibly even dropping support for it.

    You better as hell support XP with it too! Sure, it’s old software, but you still support IE6 on your websites, so I assume you’re still supporting that old piece of cruft web-wise. In this case, not giving users IE9 would be condescending and rude.

    Good f’in day to you chaps!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I would like to know, for real, why Microsoft feels the need to continue development of Internet Explorer.  Can’t you just let those who are good at it be good at it, and you try to be good at something else?  I am a web developer, and I will agree with every other web developer out there (who is serious about good development) that IE only causes headaches.  If it didn’t exist, our jobs would be a lot easier and more enjoyable.

    Please, if anyone has "real" information as to why Microsoft has to keep putting out IE, I would love to know.  The only people I know who use IE and like it are only too ignorant to know better.  I have yet to meet a person that I’ve tried to convert to Firefox or Safari who hasn’t been thankful and gladly made the switch for good once informed.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Derek, stop using crappy Intel GMA IGP.

    Nvidia Ion graphics in Ion netbooks is lightning fast compared to Intel’s outdated, obsolete crap.

  19. Anonymous says:

    And Godwin’s Law is proven yet again!

  20. Anonymous says:



    To have a 32/100 acid3 score for the UNRELEASED build of a browser when all decent browsers (chrome, safari, firefox, opera) CURRENTLY score at least 93/100 is ATROCIOUS. And furthermore, to have the average consumer unwittingly wallowing in such ill-conceived CR4P without knowing of the numerous superior alternatives is simply evil.

    "The great mass of people will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one" – Adolf Hitler

    Internet explorer is DESPICABLE!!!!!!



  21. Anonymous says:

    Firstly, I hope that the 32/100 score is going to improve. From a web developers point of view, standards ARE everyone, and if you want to stop developers categorising browsers into "Internet Explorer" and "Proper browsers", you need to pay attention to that.

    Secondly, PLEASE add SVG support to IE. By ignoring SVG you’re holding back the whole web – unilateral SVG support could change the face of web design, and IE is the only missing link!

  22. Anonymous says:

    What I don’t get in here is that people are saying "nice going IE Team" when they are trying to catch up with the other rendering engines, and failing to do so. IE has a market share not because it’s good (because, hell, it’s not), it’s because Windows.

    Don’t develop more crap IT Team. Use the great people you have, those talented minds, and develop something that makes out life easier, and better. Not something that will make out lives hell.

    Think for us – the web developers. Because the UI is fine. If you don’t wanna use Gecko, WebKit, or anything, then start for FIXING problems. Not improving CRAP, because you can add sugar to crap, but it will ALWAYS BE CRAP.

    And that’s IE9 – sugar covered crap.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Congrats! You’ll still be behind the other browsers when you release. Working on the IE team has to be punishment for naughty developers @ microsoft.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Double posted, sorry (stupid ‘submit’ button didn’t work for about 10 clicks in Maxthon 3).

  25. Anonymous says:

    Now that we know IE9 is getting more advanced than other browsers (for now) when will we see IE9 in beta? (Because I’m a beta/alpha tester and would be more than happy to use beta/alpha/pre-alpha software for everyday tasks.)

  26. Anonymous says:

    Maybe IE9 will finally support transparent PNGs?

  27. Chris says:

    I’m impressed, can’t wait for what else is coming in IE 9!

  28. Nikhil says:

    really lookin forwrad to see ie9.!

  29. Jon B. says:

    I don’t understand why you don’t just adopt the webkit rendering engine and call it a day. seriously, it’s open source, and it runs circles around IE.

  30. steve says:

    color me impressed! Rounded corners in IE.

    Its obviously a long way off (esp. considering that the slow pace of improving IE has caused many users and organizations to stay with IE6 and IE7) but I can’t wait for IE9 to arrive!

    No mention of Canvas or SVG yet… any comment? 😉

  31. Behind the times says:

    Maybe IE9 will finally support transparent PNGs?

  32. thecrochunter says:

    Now that we know IE9 is getting more advanced than other browsers (for now) when will we see IE9 in beta? (Because I’m a beta/alpha tester and would be more than happy to use beta/alpha/pre-alpha software for everyday tasks.)

  33. Ben says:

    IE7+ supports transparent PNG’s

  34. Erwin Heiser says:

    Releasing IE9 will simply mean I have one more version of IE to check my sites in, increasing my workload with another 10-15% and adding another conditional statement and ie-only stylesheet to my markup. Sad, but true.

  35. Rizwan Reza says:

    Please stop developing Internet Explorer in favor of better browsers like Firefox and Chrome. It’s been so hard designing for IE.

  36. "Acid3 tests about 100 aspects of different technologies (many still in the “working draft” stage of standardization)"

    I believe the above statement is false.

    Can you cite examples?

    From the author of the Acid3 test:

    Criteria include: "The behaviour expected by the test must be justifiable using only standards that were in the Candidate Recommendation stage or better in 2004."

  37. Ryan says:

    Really?? This is it?? At least you’re honest that IE9 just barely compares to even modern-day browsers. By the time IE9 is released, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox will all be two versions ahead of where they are now, probably!!


  38. Derek Jeter says:

    IE9 is the beginning of the end of Firefox and Google Chrome.

  39. Rasmus says:

    Be nice guys – I for one am glad to see they’re trying. And it is an early look, mmkay?

  40. Can’t wait for IE9. I’m using 8 and must say i’m very satisfied.

  41. Chris says:

    what about the new HTML5 tags – audio, video, and canvas? And what about geolocation, accelerometer, web workers and SVG?

  42. David Naylor says:

    Derek: Lol. That’s funny. We’ll see won’t we.

  43. bort says:

    instead of focusing on things like: Direct2D and DirectWrite, please focus on better STANDARDS SUPPORT!

    Will IE9 support default ECMAScript events instead of stupid IE proprietary ones?

    Will it support as much css3 as other browsers do?

    Innovation is fine when you aren’t so freaking behind on features other browsers have had for 5 years.

    Stop innovating until you get IE9 up to speed with CSS, Box model, canvas, SVG, base64, @font-face, etc. Stop trying to create your own APIs before you implement standard ones!

    Web developers hate you and recommend other browsers because of this asinine behaviour.

  44. Esteban says:

    So, thanks for the opportunity to comment on the development of this "wonderful" browser. Now, where should I send the invoice for the hours spent dealing and debugging this "wonderful" browser over the past years???? I’m sure you have money to compensate the frustration of thousands of web designer and developers around the world.  PLEASE GIVE US ALL A FAVOR. STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP.

  45. Riccardo Cagnasso says:

    Cool, 32/100 @ ACID3 is _really_ low, i think that it was an hard work to get such a crappy CSS support, go proud with that.

  46. Sarjono Mukti Aji says:

    semoga jauh lebih baik dari versi versi sebelumnya…

  47. seutje says:

    how about fixing IE8 first? senks!

  48. What’s the status on some of the more "popular" HTML5 tags like <video> and <audio>? Will IE9 support these tags, and with what codecs?

  49. karl says:

    Adopt webkit.

    Save Microsoft, the world, and the future from any further frustrations and cost.

  50. kl says:

    Will it run on XP? Please say so!

  51. Sakuraba says:

    Great direction… but how about hardware accelerated Canvas?

  52. Martin says:

    To questions:

    1: Will it support XP, or is it Vista only?

    2: Can it be installed along side an existing IE6 to allow corporations with internal "IE6 only" web application a better forward migration path?

    If you combine this with an ie plugin  similary to "IE tab for firefox" which could allow IE9 to open an tab containing an embedded IE6 it would really solve a lot of problems.

  53. Your teaser looks good, but seeing is believing, and I’ve been disappointed more than one in IE. So I’m not going to hold my breath just now.

    BTW: is there some way for you guys to develop IE in such a way that we can run diffeerent versions side by side, without jumping to the terrible hoops we have to do now? It’s not just about developement – for many organizations, upgrading IE is a major operation because you never know what will break next. Just saying, this wouldn’t be so problematic if we could run multiple versions side by side (in true isolation) on the same box.

  54. Sylvain Galineau [Microsoft] says:

    Jeff, sure. None of the CSS3 features used by the test page itself were CR at the time the test was released (CSS3 Selectors and CSS3 Color to name obvious ones). As rendering the test page properly is explicitly required to pass – i.e. scoring 100/100 is necessary but not sufficient – I believe this statement to be in fact correct on these grounds alone.

    Moreover, a number of ACID3 tests exercise some of these same features through script; tests 48 to 59, for instance, also run a number of CSS3 Selectors, a module which is moving towards CR only now. (ACID3 was released in March 2008).

    Do note that the post you link to predates the release of ACID3. Our statement only intends to reflect what the code actually does.

  55. So, will the new IE9 will support the current HTML5 tags already supported by the other browers (canvas, video…) ?

    Thanks !

  56. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @bort: As mentioned in this post, CSS3 selectors support is already significantly improved, and the improvement in ACID3, rounded corners, etc, all demonstrate early progress against standards.

    The key point about DirectWrite and Direct2D is that they improve the user-experience on all sites, not just those that are updated in support of new standards. These improvements will also be important to providing a great experience on standards-based sites.

    @behindthetimes: I ~think~ you’re actually complaining about the proprietary IE "filters" legacy feature.  Filters don’t work well with transparent PNGs, ClearType text, etc. This isn’t related to PNG support, but rather one of the many limitations of use of non-standard filters.

  57. F1LT3R says:

    CANVAS, SVG, anyone at Microsoft going to deliver on promises made at W3C or are Microsoft are officially going to ignore the web graphics community?

    We’ve been waiting a looooooong time for some good information, can someone just tell us what the is going on?

    The fact that Microsoft is saying nothing makes me thing they are either a) doing nothing, b) doing something half-assed and making it up as they go along, c) doing something revelutionary and making it up as they go along.

    A little bird told me SVG is coming, but I hear no tweets about Canvas.

    What about the canvas?!

  58. ma - japanese says:

    1st graph is too difficult to distinguish

  59. nathan says:

    any chance of somebody addressing the status of everything mentioned here:

    would be fantastic to have a definitive list

    many regards,


  60. Stu says:

    I reckon… on the quiet go for a push towards acid3, aim to do at least 51%.    It would do a great deal psychologically for everyone (us and you) if you could hit more than half these tests.

  61. Tom says:

    Seriously please use Webkit!! that would save us time developing the websites.

    Why can’t you update IE regular, for example IE 8.1, IE 8.2, IE 8.3, IE 8.4 and so on..

    just like what Chrome, Firefox, Opera is doing? no wonder they are so above when it come to web standard and great CSS support.  

  62. AnonymousDev says:

    What’s the point of developing IE9? By the time it’ll be released it will just be behind the other browsers yet again. I suggest saving the manpower and time and just adopt and use Webkit. I don’t want to have to worry about 4 separate IE versions, if you guys were serious about this then IE8 should’ve been what IE9 is going to be, same with the prior versions.

  63. Sylvain, thanks – I’ll take that up with Ian so that I can correct my own understanding of Acid3.

  64. @Sylvain: CSS 3 Selectors had a CR published in 2001, what Acid3 tests is based upon statements in that (and that are also true in later WDs). CSS 3 Color was in a similar state. So yes, although some of the specifications tested had returned to WD, they had been in CR by 2004.

    I presume the JS engine is new and has JIT, as it is unlikely to be that quick without. Is it the same as the ES5 implementation that has been mentioned on es-discuss? What about bucket 6 of Acid3 (which tests ECMAScript support)?

    So, what we can tell from Acid3 is that you fail almost all of bucket 1 (DOM Traversal, DOM Range, HTTP), almost all of bucket 2 (DOM2 Core and DOM2 Events), and almost all of bucket 5 (the Acid3 competition, mainly SVG and web fonts), and do all right everywhere else…

    What about bucket 3, which mainly tests CSS 3 selectors (albeit in a lot of edge cases)? I presume that is intended to be fixed as much as possible?

    It is, however, nice to see the IE starting work in earnest on CSS 3 support (above and beyond what is already supported, the majority of which are things based upon formerly proprietary IE behaviour).

  65. whatgoodisaroad says:

    I’m glad to see the rendering improvements and CSS support…

    But seriously, HTML5 NEEDS to be well-supported. IE will have no future it doesn’t get on standards now.

  66. saurabh shah says:

    I think should updated automatically all IE browsers with latest one. microsoft should make something so it will be forcefully install the latest version of IE even if user don’t want to upgrade it else machine has to be crashed. until and unless this kind of ideas .. people never going to update their explorer and we developers have to suffer at final.

    As a developer IE6 sucks !

  67. GM Chicken says:

    How many more version are going to be released before IE6 is retired?

    I applaud the work which you are doing to help the web progress, but whilst your older browsers (especially IE6) are still supported, the effort is in vain.

  68. bingeboy says:

    umm ok so this browser is going to be only like 3 years behind webkit.. nice.

  69. Casey says:

    I would say that javscript performance and 100% Acid 3 compatibility are at the top of my list of must haves for IE9 with the later being way more important. Scoring 100% on Acid three means that we will have four major browsers that will in most cases, layout a page exactly the same. That means less hacks, less dev time, less QA time, and a lot less money to deliver a web based product.

  70. thecrochunter says:

    Why is everyone complaining? Seriously, I don’t mind the fact IE doesn’t use WebKit but I am just curious of where Trident will go. IE is great because of it’s past. It was the most standards compliant browser around until IE6 came (let us not speak of it again). Sure, IE is behind it’s rivals but seeing that Microsoft are trying to make an effort is good enough for me. You can go on complaining if you want, but I think it’s just pointless. Carry on, I won’t mind…

  71. ieblog says:

    @GM,saurabh: Please see for discussion of IE6 and its support lifespan.

  72. As an engineer, I’d say stop trying to show us new things that we don’t want, like what is an "Excel Web App" anyhow? And why would we care? IE is not the market leader anymore so we have no use for proprietary technology.

    Same goes with The MS Office 2010 Team, they are doing the same thing with HTML support in emails.

    IE9 will be the nail in the coffin for Internet Explorer, and good riddance.

  73. Can’t help but feel like testing 100 different standards (despite your issues with Acid that no other browser whines about or messes up so miserably) is probably a little more meaningful than "look, we can finally do corners!"

    Very impressive that by maybe 2011 your browser will have finally caught up with where the rest of the market has been for years. Well, at least as relates to corners. I’m sure you’ll still be in the dark ages on hundreds of more important issues.

    You seem really proud of your "in last by not as much" status on the SunSpider tests. If your Acid3 compliance is still at 32/100, I’d say you’ve still got a lot more code to write. Combine that with the Microsoft tendency to load your products down with useless features instead of improving basic compatibility and reliability, and I’d say your release version will probably look a lot more like the IE8 benchmark.

    Listen: We don’t want IE9. No one does. It’s just another hassle. Fix IE8, and work on getting your users to actually use it. Then just stop making browsers, and encourage people to download Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome or anything else that doesn’t actively make the internet a more infuriating place to develop and surf.

  74. Nick says:

    EricLaw – I think the thing that irritates most of us is that a team of developers (you guys) are telling us (millions of professional designers and web developers) what constitutes "best practices" for User Experience.

    The fact is, the field is called User Experience DESIGN for a reason. Provide us (designers and web developers) with compliant, working tools, and let *US* worry about the user experience. You should *not* be dictating to us on this matter, especially when there are other development teams out there who are responsive to our needs, and provide platform-independent standards compliance without workarounds.

    I don’t mean to take this out solely on you – I realize you work as part of a team, and many decisions are out of your hands, but collectively, Internet Explorer is despised by everyone who has ever had to go back and neuter their code because you ignore US by refusing to provide the baselined standards.

  75. Rob says:

    Graphics acceleration isn’t available on other browserse YET! Don’t act like IE9 will be the only one if it truly will be.

    And showing us IE9 still sits at 38/100, even when you say it will get better, should be embarrassing to you when you consider every other browser is pushing up against 100 right now, if they aren’t at 100.

    I read in this post a lot of PR talk and little substance. We heard all this when IE7 came out. Then IE8. And IE9 will still be far, far behind every other browser when it ever comes out.

    IE continues to lose market share and, more importantly, developer interest.

  76. dutchguy says:

    Hmmm, concerning canvas "Hardware accelerated graphics". Are they talking about the fonts part or is there more? I mean, if they are using DirectX for drawing it surely won’t be too hard to support some canvas-like API.

  77. blanph says:

    Great! Cannot wait to use 96 point Gabriola on all my sites and rest assured that there won’t be jaggies! That was on the top of my list of wants for IE9!

    I didn’t want anything else like,…er…better standards support. But you’re right. Jaggies on large fonts is much more important than just being able to <fill in the freakin’ blank regarding web standards that ms seems to be blissfully ignorant of>.

  78. GM Chicken says:

    @ieblog, thank you for the link.

    I understand the reasons for not forcing an upgrade, but that does not mean I agree with them. Especially as I cannot see a time when customers will want to spend the time and money in upgrading browsers. Does this mean we will be stuck with IE6 forever?

    I can see that upgrading browser versions amongst corporations could be expensive in both time and effort, but surely Microsoft could help out there? What is to stop IE maintaining itself? Valve manage to roll out updates to games silently via Steam, forcing all users who want to keep the product active to use the latest version.

    Surely self maintaining software would be the  best idea for everyone? Customers would not have to maintain their browsers themselves, and Microsoft would not have to support and release updates for multiple products.

    IE6 is hampering web application progress.

  79. Damn Lies says:

    Firefox and Webkit are hardware accelerated already.

    Nice try Dean.

  80. Accelerated 2D graphics in IE9 can mean one of three things:  SVG, Canvas or both.  So looking forward to hearing more in the future.

  81. anony.muos says:

    I request someone from the IE team to please give a straight answer right away. Will IE 9 run on Windows XP SP3 and Windows XP 64-bit SP2? If yes, will the XP version continue to use GDI? How will DirectWrite and Direct2D for XP be handled bcoz there’s no WDDM! You can’t kill support for an OS that 70% of the installed base use.

  82. Adam says:

    As a web developer, IE has been making my work needlessly difficult for years. I’m sure you guys are talented and well intentioned, but I wonder if you have any idea of the hell that is trying to support multiple versions of IE. The only reasonable way to support even just IE7 and IE8 at the same time is to gimp IE8 to render like IE7 and then hack it into place.

    The only update I’m interested to hear from you is that you have decided to use WebKit as anything else that you do is just going to mean more work, more headaches for me and my colleagues.  

  83. Michael says:

    What if Microsoft developed a Mac version of IE9. Then all us Mac developers wouldn’t have to invest time in keeping VM of Windows running just to test (and re-test) our sites.

    That would make me happy. Test different versions of IE – like in IE Tester – in IE9 would make me even happier!

  84. Cal says:

    @Adam: They’re not using WebKit, not in IE9 and not ever. If that’s the only announcement that would interest you, you should go read a fantasy novel and avoid the IEBlog.

    @Lies: Ummm… you sent a link to an open-source graphics library. It in no way defends your line of argument. If you’re suggesting that this library is in use in browsers on Linux (a platform 1% of customers use, and which rarely has optimized drivers) it’s a pretty pedantic point.

    @blanph: Some people care deeply about text quality.

    @nick: If your "best practices for user-experience" include slow drawing performance and poor text quality, you’re in the minority. The point is that "standards" alone isn’t enough– they have to offer a QUALITY implementation to offer an appealing product.

    @Joeseph Silvashy: Would you quit whining if they showed the same performance improvement in Google Docs?  As for the "IE is not the market leader" remark: What are you using to measure? IE’s marketshare is still 200% of all competitors combined.

    @Casey: a 100% score on ACID3’s hundred tests has very little to do with interoperable layout. There’s a reason that the CSS2.1 test suite has many thousands of tests.

  85. "What if Microsoft developed a Mac version of IE9. Then all us Mac developers wouldn’t have to invest time in keeping VM of Windows running just to test (and re-test) our sites."

    With the move to DirectX/Direct2D that is now even less likely to happen, in my opinion.

  86. Hubert says:

    It would be really great if Microsoft were to build a good web browser for once. I guess this post is like everything else I’ve seen coming out of Redmond, only full of promises.

    What about you do things the right way and THEN you communicate about it, instead of talking about a potential future ?

    Work on supporting CSS, fonts, JS, HTML5, […], correctly and fully. Work on making it easy to upgrade. Communicate about IE6 being outdated, like Firefox does for Firefox 2. Seriously consider passing tests, instead of proving again that you don’t pass them.

    THEN, expose the work done.

    Seriously, communication isn’t that hard to understand, but Microsoft proves again that not only they can’t produce anything worth using, they also don’t know how to talk about it.

  87. pete says:

    come on guys, this is not enough. you should try harder!

  88. Alex Newman says:

    This is really fascinating. For the longest time, I feel like we as Windows users have not really been offered a web browser that utilizes the power of our platform, which is all in its fantastic handling of graphics and media. I really felt left out where Apple plugs Safari right into the underbelly of Mac OS X. I can’t wait to see what the IE team can do in terms of working with the platform.

  89. Developer says:

    It is too early look. I need more.

  90. says:

    Uh, what a bunch of whiners in the comments!  Switching text rendering to DirectWrite is *good*.  And competing with the other browsers is good, too, even if they have not caught up yet.

    @ie team: This looks like a promising start. Please keep going and show us more nice features!  (Maybe some XHTML+SVG+MathML at last?)

  91. Damn Lies says:

    @Lies: Ummm… you sent a link to an open-source graphics library. It in no way defends your line of argument. If you’re suggesting that this library is in use in browsers on Linux (a platform 1% of customers use, and which rarely has optimized drivers) it’s a pretty pedantic point.


    It’s CROSS PLATFORM buddy. Believe it or not open source software can run on Windows too.

    The point is their assertion that no web browsers are hardware accelerated is a bunch of crap. Firefox and Safari most definitely are, and have been for some time.


    @Adam: They’re not using WebKit, not in IE9 and not ever. If that’s the only announcement that would interest you, you should go read a fantasy novel and avoid the IEBlog.


    I know. They are trying to make a poor clone of Webkit instead. Because that makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE.

  92. Larry says:

    Give up MS.  You never seem to really want to take standards compliance seriously.  Stop screwing it up for all the developers out there.  If Steve B really believes in the "Developers Developers Developers Developers" mantra, then why does he insist on subjecting us to the continual pain of IE?  You’re a laughing stock to developers at this point.  Steve B’s mantra should be "WEBKIT WEBKIT WEBKIT WEBKIT"

  93. Jeff says:

    What’s to be excited about? A web browser that’s how far away and still only scores a 32 on the Acid 3 test? Why reinvent the wheel and in the process break it? Webkit please!

  94. Brent says:

    1)Make it easy to test all popular old versions 6-9 through the developer toolbar. Not just one version back.

    2)Developer toolbar needs a lot of TLC – compared to Firebug, it is a real bear to use.

    3)Don’t ignore our complaints – it isn’t always in everyone’s best interest to do your own thing. If you’ve read this far you’re on the right track.

  95. Damn Lies says:

    This is really fascinating. For the longest time, I feel like we as Windows users have not really been offered a web browser that utilizes the power of our platform, which is all in its fantastic handling of graphics and media. I really felt left out where Apple plugs Safari right into the underbelly of Mac OS X. I can’t wait to see what the IE team can do in terms of working with the platform.


    Safari runs so well on Mac OS X because it has a frecken Quartz backend.

    But Webkit is MODULAR and supports multiple backends. Microsoft could write a Direct2D backend for Webkit. This would make more sense.

  96. Phil says:

    Please for the love of god stop making IE. You current "browser"s cause me to cry every day.

    How can you guys make such broken software.

    Also, great, now IE can suck up my GPU’s performance rather than CPU trying to visit websites. Guess for Google JS applications we will need Quad SLI with 2 gtx 295’s to get the same performance as Google Chrome?

  97. Mark says:

    lies, you need to check your assumptions before you start accusing people of lying. Just because there are experimental builds doesn’t mean that it’s what’s in the real build used by FF Windows users.

    "Gecko SHOULD take advantage of these hardware capabilities, both for performance and for visual features."

  98. Colin Powell says:

    @Cal  Thanks for trying to refute points, but I feel you will be consumed by the massive wave of soul crushing gravity that is IE. There are always benefits to various new pieces of software, and the improvements the IE team is making on IE9 are cool and noble.

    If this were, say Opera, I would be impressed (though, ironically they have demonstrated a keen grasp of standards). As it is, why can Microsoft not see the disaster that is their web browser business model? The battle for proprietary browser software was fought and done by 2004. Webkit and Gecko won. They are open-source and beautiful. There is no business model in web browsers anymore…no money in it. Apple pulled out a wonderful browser in less than two years by choosing Webkit as a base.

    It is an ignorant person that cannot see the benefit to building on what those before you have done. While I’m sure there are all sorts of excuses for why MS cannot buckle down and convince those at the top  (or the teaming masses, desperate for less work doing upgrades) the value of making one big, important shift, they are only excuses. Grab a rendering engine and lets see a decade and a half of crappy web rendering vanish.

  99. Chris says:

    Are you kidding guys? Everyone who sais that this is "awesome" or "great" has no clue! I mean IE9’s scripting engine is even slower than FF 3.6’s and 32/100 in the Acid3 test is less than poor. Seriously!

  100. Arieta says:

    This is very impressive.

    It’s like the first browser war 13 years ago… IE had a significant disadvantage, but had by far the fastest developement speed, and brought many things in first (css1 was an IE first, I think frames too).

    Hardware accelerated rendering in browsers is something I’ve always wondered about, why it wasn’t included in browsers. But I guess it is now possible to do this, and stay relatively compatible, thanks to the new desktop composition in Vista / Win7. Before that, you would’ve had to code a whole 3d framework for it (and render it in a GDI window), but now all of that is built-in the OS.

    But, given how slow you release new versions of IE, I’m sure that all other major browsers will also support it by the time you come out with IE9.

    Still, wishing you the most luck on the new release.

  101. Damn Lies says:

    "Firefox’s transition to Cairo is significant. Written in the C programming language, the versatile Cairo graphics library is a vector-based drawing API that supports a wide variety of backends. Cairo can take advantage of hardware acceleration where available and simplifies cross-platform graphics application development by providing an internally consistent and cohesive framework that emphasizes platform-independence. Similar in function to Microsoft’s Windows Presentation Foundation (formerly called Avalon) and Apple’s Quartz 2D, Cairo has been widely adopted within the open source community and is currently used in numerous open source applications and frameworks including the GTK toolkit and GNOME desktop environment."

    3D hardware acceleration is coming in the form of 3d transforms (which I highly doubt IE will support), but that’s not the same as "hardware acceleration" in general. Firefox is capable of sending vector information directly to the GPU for processing, as opposed to rasterizing it. THAT’s hardware acceleration.

  102. Samer says:

    Cool stuff, can you also make IE9 a mandatory update? otherwise we would have to deal with IE6 through IE9, it’ll be easier for the world if IE users will only be using IE9 🙂

  103. michael says:

    Fix IE’s problems before going for improvements. End of story.

  104. squarer says:

    Would have been so easier for you to integrate WebKit and then concentrate on the UI and other features.

    It’s nice that IE9 supports some CSS3 properties but I would be way nicer that you communicate to your clients about IE6 and 7 being so outdated.

    And, as a developer (and I guess everyone here is more or less a developer) I’d be way more enthusiastic about hearing that IE6 is dead than hearing about the brand new IE that will do stuffs Opera does since 2006.

  105. Tame says:

    Did DOM 2 support make it ? Some of these specs are 10 years old, were co-edited my MS, and we are still waiting for IE to support it… It’s nice to focus on bells and whistles, but it would be great to have real support for other stuff as well…

  106. Oh, please… leave us alone once and for all! You left Trident for years and we’re still paying the consequences. Too late for playing the Pr0s now, sorry.

  107. John says:


    IE9 is still FAR BEHIND Firefox 3 and Chrome.

    – Web Standard should be Top Priority!! Why you don’t care??

    – Where HTML 5 support? <video>, etc.

    – Acid 3 Test for IE9.. Only 32/100 ?? (Firefox: 93/100, Chrome 100/100!!)

    – Why are you giving web developers a really hard time? We have to test in IE6, IE7, IE8 and then IE 9 🙁 (Please use WebKit, problem solved!!!!)

    – Why JavaScript Engine in IE9 is not fast as Chrome and Firefox? (You even admitted it lol)

    – Chrome Plug for IE is faster than IE – you should be ashamed IE Team.



  108. Joe Stevens says:

    Do MSFT a favor and please keep IE9 in the oven until you can pass the ACID 3 test at least. Chrome is making you guys look incompetent even though you probably aren’t.

  109. Dan Storm says:

    I cannot share the excitement. I would like MS to stop producing IE altogether.

  110. Brett Merkey says:

    Before we get excited about rounded corners, consider supporting basic functionality needed by Web-based applications.

    Microsoft Internet Explorer still lacks support for such basic features as non-scrolling data table headers. W3C specs for HTML indicate a way to do this easily (from the developer point of view) that is supported by Firefox.

    IE does not support fixed table headers except thru a hack only supported in IE Quirks mode.

    Please get off the glitz and deliver some basic functionality and bug fixes.

    Brett Merkey

  111. Daniel says:

    Don’t make it fancy, just catch up to what the rest of the world is doing. And make an attempt at ridding of the world of IE6 please.

  112. Frank Sacci says:

    Oh why doesn’t IE just hopp on the WebKit train? More than that, I’d encourage MS to force their userbase to abandon IE 6. I’m developing for asian/east asian markets and we still have like 35-40% IE 6 usage and about 90% IE usage over all.

  113. Scott says:

    I would also state that my opinion is that Microsoft should go the way of Apple and Google and just use Webkit.

    Also, I would like to vent my own frustrations with the current IE soup that plagues web developers to this day.

    Please, if you really care about developers like your CEO says that you do, fix IE once and for all and let us out of this unholy nightmare bred of Cthulhu, Ballmer, and Gates.

  114. Anthony says:

    Sooo, you’re saying use one of the other browsers as they are much faster than ie8 today?

  115. GreLI says:

    Unfortunately, IE8 doesn’t fully support CSS2.1. For example if you write a block of text and position an anchor over it (because standards doesn’t allow including blocks in anchors) you will not able to click on anchor. Cursor will be I-like and aimed to do text actions. This is bug from previous versions of IE that wasn’t fixed.

    One other bug that semitransparency in PNGs doesn’t work with alpha-filter. One only chance to make work it is to use combined AlphaImageLoader and Alpha filters which is much more slower (read: don’t even try—your business will lose money).

    It’s pity that Microsoft doesn’t mentions Opera browser. It may takes only 1% in global market share, but it plays more appreciable role in local markets. So, it’s one of the most popular browsers in Russia. Developers from Microsoft are aware of it, I know.

    Does 3D acceleration means that on systems with fast (or not so slow) CPU and slow GPU (such as integrated graphics) browser will work much slower as it take place with filters now?

  116. Sander Aarts says:

    How can one single visual ‘nice-to-have’ be more meaningful from the point of view of web developers than a test that checks the support of more than a hundred aspects from a wide range of standards?

    Being able to install IE9 on Win2000 and up would be much more ‘meaningful’ for web developers.

  117. Where is the download link? Why can’t we just test what you’ve done?

  118. FremyCompany says:

    Great news ! I appreciate the way you’ve put your concentration on things that really matters, and not specially ‘hypes’ found on the web at the moment.

    Hum, BTW, still no date for the next IEChat ?

  119. James says:

    Question is, who cares…

    You’re bleeding market share, and it’s just not worth the effort to bend over backwards to support IE.

    The state of the art has moved on, you’re not it, the ActiveX lock-in model has failed terribly, and you’re not much good at anything.

  120. Petooge says:

    Many people here have stated that webkit would be a nice solution. Microsoft don’t have a problem about using webkit because it’s open-source (BSD or LGPL), don’t delude yourselves. If anything, Microsoft would probably like to switch to webkit.

    The trouble is that they need to maintain backwards-compatibility with the kludge-ridden history of internet explorer. There are a lot of Enterprise systems out there using legacy web based front-ends to their databases. They can’t switch to webkit, their system is hopelessly proprietary and won’t work.

    Microsoft’s IE team have a lot of hard work ahead of them. Achieving standards compliance while detecting old-school proprietary code is difficult to say the least.

    Why would the IE team want to waste time on the <video> tag, SVG or accelerated canvas? Don’t they want Silverlight to fill that gap?

  121. zz says:

    …and still no word on a builtin download manager. is it in plans?

  122. Bernd says:

    Ok, why don’t you just do what other browsers do and THEN do what other browsers don’t do?

    I would love to hear a statement like: "Dear web developers, we did it: CSS 3, latest JavaScript standard and HTML 5 full support. No ‘this is draf’ excuses anymore. We also stopped walking the wrong direction: No rendering modes, no vml, no active x and so on  – just the standards perfectly. Oh, by the way we have that cool hardware rendering stuff that makes our browser very fast." I believe most web developers dream something like that.

    But this post sounds like: "Dear web developers, we did it – not, again: Well aaaahm, anyway, we have that hardware rendering that others don’t have." Please stop that behaviour. We aren’t silly.

    If someone writes down history of the web between 2000 and 2020, I’m sure he will write something like: "The web as we know it today was a long evolution. A lot of techniques rised and fall. Not always the best browser had the highest percentage. We could be 5 years ahead if IE would have join the right way a few years earlier."

    So please make a big deal – not a pseudo deal again. IE 7 and 8 failed. Don’t make mistakes again. I would love to praise IE and to be able to give you positive feedback.

  123. status please says:

    @Dean – Questions that need answering re: IE9

    01.) ECMAScript EventHandling – in or out?

    02.) Canvas – in or out?

    03.) SVG – in or out?

    04.) HTML5 Audio/Video – in or out?

    05.) VBScript – out?

    06.) VML – out?

    07.) XHTML – in or out?

    08.) MathML – in or out?

    09.) @font-face – in or out?

    10.) base64 – in or out?

    11.) GeoLocation – in or out?

    12.) Accelerometer – in or out?

    13.) Web Workers – in or out?

    14.) new HTML5 input types – in or out?

    15.) fully public (respectable) bug tracking – in or out?

    16.) WinXP support – in or out?

    Plus – Mobile IE (WinCE/HTC/…) is it safe to say that this vector of IE is dead?

  124. Nice to see that IE9 is shaping up to compete with the other browsers in terms of standards compliance. As a web developer I’m very happy with that. Good work!

    On a side note, what are you doing to do about a doctype switch this time? Another version for IE9? I hope not.

  125. Roman says:

    Oh, forget HTML5! Forget canvas, and CSS 3, and Acid3, and SunSpider, and even jaggies.

    But implement XHTML support! Unlike the aforementioned, it’s an old, stable technology. What’s taking so long?

  126. Richard says:

    Well done, you’re almost catching up to existing browsers. Congratulations.

    Please, think of the internets: adopt webkit or give up and do something else.

  127. Vyacheslav Lanovets says:

    I am not a Web developer, I do arguably more interesting Windows CE stuff, but I did not have issues with rendering of my HTML when I had to code something (even in IE6). In fact, I like original idea of the Web Page, which flexibly adapts to any screen resolution and allows to change font size. All these "professional" Web "designers" use a lot of fixed pixel layout and SMALL fixed-sized fonts. Having created problems both for users and themsleves by fixing font sizes and using pixel grid, they now blame rendering engine.

    The same goes for Javascript engine. I did not have any performance issues in IE7 with Gmail/Google Reader. And I am the person who went decreasing nested menu showing delay in TweakUI for XP because it was too slow. So complaining about JS performance is strange.

    Having too much performance to win in silly JS tests can have its drawbacks too: there was an interesting test publushed a couple of months ago when web browsing in IE consumed less battery than browsing in other browsers.

    As I am an end user when it comes to Web, I’ve tested different Web browsers and I have encountered only 1 (one) site that IE had issues with – it’s (and reason is obvious).

    On the other hand, all other browsers had a issues with numerous web sites. Firefox produces very ugly looking pages. Webkit-based browsers have better looking output but crash too often and there are sites which look very bad.

    Google Chrome (and, IIRC, Safari) produce larger fonts than other browsers. That’s an interesting thing, because it looks ok, but, if web developers will start using smaller fonts, then these site will be harder to read in IE. I am not sure, if it’s intentional.

    Technical reasons aside, Microsoft should not adopt Webkit because Web will be less usable then, at least 2 years.

    And I don’t believe in perfect code. But code coverage matters, and when it comes to IE, I am pretty sure that many people in world have been trying to break it. I cannot say the same about Webkit.

  128. Mike says:

    Great to have some news, please keep it coming regularly!

    Reading into the fact that acid3 is shown and since that contains some SVG tests.

    I hope we can assume SVG will be included.

  129. Bob says:

    If it isn’t a standard (or inline to be one), don’t add support for it.

    We need to get over this hump IE or you’re going to continue to be a third-rate browser.

  130. Justin says:

    Your browsers are bad and you should feel bad.

  131. Anonymous says:

    This post makes me more depressed than anything…  A good point was, "Why not adopt WebKit?"

    Do it, and add features to it… Why must you re-invent the wheel (in a crappy way, no less)?

  132. Rich says:

    The webkit route would be good but then you’d have layer on activex support… among other proprietary IE features.  I wonder which is easier… evolving IE or regressing Webkit.

  133. Anthony H says:

    @John: – Why are you giving web developers a really hard time? We have to test in IE6, IE7, IE8 and then IE 9 🙁 (Please use WebKit, problem solved!!!!)

    How do you figure? As long as IE 6-8 are supported, we have to test in them. Just switching the rendering engine doesn’t change the fact that testing is needed, it would just mean 9 doesn’t take nearly as much extra work.

    What should be done is to cut support to IE6 and let those stubborn users have their way and force IE7+ users into consistent upgrades to IE9 and beyond. That way the developers can officially do away with IE6 development and only worry about the current IE version.

    MS should look at Firefox. Whenever there’s an update, I know about it pretty quick, because the browser tells me so, prompts me to upgrade, and handles the installation process. No real work on my part.

    Windows updates do much the same thing, but the only things that are really labeled ‘Important’ regarding IE are security patches. Well, they may see it that way at MS, but I think true web progression is important too.

  134. Bill Nalesnik says:

    It certainly appears that hell hath no fury like a web developer scorned.  

    I applaud the advances that have been made.  The only thing that would be nice is if the newer versions of IE could run in older versions of Windows.  Testing for 10+ browsers is an insane task – especially when half are IE.   Thanks for the work you are doing.  I look forward to seeing the finished product.

    I am glad to see that you are progressing toward the adoption of the standards that have been accepted by the community at large.  This can only help the web become a better place.

  135. Sam says:

    Please adopt webkit, or update IE8 before introducing another useless browser.

    Your browser would get no traction if it wasn’t for the fact its included in all Windows PCs and auto-updated.

    If the fact that bundling browsers that aren’t updated (IE6) isn’t destroying the Internet, then your blatent ignorance of standards is.

    Considering you probably have more resources at your disposal then any other browser producer, you’re just so miserably behind.

  136. Miguel says:

    I have not had a good impression of Internet Explorer since 2003. On the other hand I know that making a web browser is not easy task, and behind it there are great engineers.

    But, taking into account how things currently are, it seems not a crazy idea to take Webkit as the renderer by default and keep the different versions of Trident for backwards compatibility.

    Don’t you feel a little bit frustrated when there are free (as in freedom of speech) alternatives that you could adopt as the renderer and include accelerators (a great idea) and so?

  137. Look, I am happy that Microsoft is still working on IE.  When the browser can render and perform as well as Firefox and IE, I’ll stop blocking its users from using my newer web applications.  

    The basic problem isn’t that I don’t want customers who use IE 6/7/8, the problem is that I can’t afford the time that it takes to develop a site that works decently in all of the versions of IE.  Getting Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome, etc… to render properly is easy, and I can ensure a quality experience.  I don’t feel that the current versions of IE offer a quality web application experience so I don’t support them.

    I don’t want to stop anybody from improving their software, but seriously for everyone that wants Microsoft to embrace WebKit or Gecko, forget it, competition is good.  Just stop supporting IE, tell your users to download another browser until IE works as well as its competition.  Complaining is useless without action.

  138. Keith says:

    By the time IE 9 is out, it will be late 2010. By then, the IE market share will have dropped below 50%. If IE 9 doesn’t implement a much broader set of HTML 5 technologies, then IE is dead. User experience potentials will be too much higher on Chrome, Safari, and Firefox for developers and the public to ignore.

    But I would really welcome a disappointing IE 9. It would kill IE once and for all.

  139. Keith says:

    But I guess the larger question might be:

    Will IE 9 be Chrome Frame compatible???

  140. Xiao says:

    Good efforts, but seriously, please don’t release IE9 if it ultimately fixes some bugs and creates some other bugs.

    Unless IE9 has major improvements, I’m talking reducing most (if not all) of the rendering/css bugs, also with ZERO new bugs; unless that is done it will just mean another conditional statement in the <header>.

    I mean this is becoming ridiculous, both IE7 and IE8 are just broken DIFFERENTLY.

    So unless you guys are able to introduce ZERO new bugs, please don’t even bother.

  141. Nnp says:

    Love IE.

    Just add Auto-Update feature in IE6-IE7-IE8 to upgrade IE9 just like FF. so after auto-update all we have is IE9. so exciting about IE9. IE Rocks.

  142. Jeff says:

    I don’t know why they put comments on this blog. They don’t care what we, web developers, have to say unless it’s someone telling them how good of a job they are doing. This is a poor looking browser to add to a list of poor browsers. I don’t care what phase of development they are in. They need to support what webkit and gecko support before trying to outshine them. It’s just a complete joke.

  143. ita says:

    Rounded corners and better font display are just toys.

    It would be much better and more productive for everybody to support directly either the <canvas> tag (HTML 5) or SVG (javascript games, etc).

    But i guess that would result in a conflict with the Silverlight department?

  144. Top of the list priority for me (probably mentioned elsewhere):

    * Fix DOM so it can style "unknown" elements by default. This way we’ll have HTML5 support in IE9!

    * Apart from that, go with the flow I guess 🙂

  145. Anthony H says:

    @Kieth: Right… You just stay positive. 😛 At this point, IE is fairly analogous to the cockroach. You can step on it, blow it up and irradiate it, but now you have an annoyed radioactive abomination that’s going to go breed more annoyed radioactive abominations.

    IE isn’t going to die unless Microsoft wants it to, but they think it’s really worth their time to keep developing it, and act like they aren’t years behind. As entertaining as it would be to see a truly horrific IE9, the fact of the matter is that web developers will still have to use it, because there are people out there that don’t know that there is anything else.

    Personally I’m praying for a miracle on this one and hoping MS manages to get standards compliant in time for the release, instead of sticking with the vista method and pushing their product out regardless of compliance, functionality or testing, having it fail, and claiming it as a win.

  146. Marcus says:

    Never have I seen so many be so daft. I think what the IE team is doing is great. Those of you who think they should adopt the WebKit engine aren’t thinking at all. It would be a step backwards, instead of a step forward. Do you have any idea how many people would complain because their sites no longer work? I’m not talking about your lolcats or youtube’s, either.

    I also see a lot of people contradicting themselves when they say MS should fix rather than improve. I’m all for improvements to Javascript and web page rendering, but I also hope there will be improvements to the overall browser’s performance (opening/switching tabs, toolbars, etc).

  147. avo says:

    Rounded corners. Faster scripts. More selectors. Awesome. I’m really beginning to like IE lately.

  148. blabla says:

    Stop whining, yawn.

    HTML 5? Get real!

    Seriously, what are you people doing, that requires full CSS 3 and HTML 5?

    Here are the top 20 sites:

    None of them are fancy. Stop trying to masturbate with useless fluffy features.

    How old are you people?

    And by the way, the video tag is not a done thing. The choice of codecs is still controversial.

    Some more things to think about:


    It is estimated, again by the editor, that HTML5 will reach a W3C recommendation in the year 2022 or later. This will be approximately 18-20 years of development, since beginning in mid-2004. That’s actually not that crazy, though. Work on HTML4 started in the mid 90s, and HTML4 still, more than ten years later, hasn’t reached the level that we want to reach with HTML5. There is no real test suite, there are many parts of the spec that are lacking real implementations, there are big parts that aren’t interoperable, and the spec has hundreds if not thousands of known errors that haven’t been fixed. When HTML4 came out, REC meant something much less exciting than it does now.

    For a spec to become a REC today, it requires two 100% complete and fully interoperable implementations, which is proven by each successfully passing literally thousands of test cases (20,000 tests for the whole spec would probably be a conservative estimate). When you consider how long it takes to write that many test cases and how long it takes to implement each feature, you’ll begin to understand why the time frame seems so long.

    (In the interests of full disclosure, the W3C’s official line is that the HTML5 spec will be complete, with interoperable implementations, in late 2010. However, that same timetable gave a date for First Public Working Draft that was eight months premature, and the W3C, as of the predicted date for the third milestone, Candidate Recommendation, had still not come anywhere near reaching the second milestone, Last Call. You can make your own judgements regarding the W3C timetable’s credibility.)


  149. Joeri says:

    Rounded corners, wow! This is so advanced and modern. 32 out of 100 in Acid3, cool! No one else can do more!

  150. Esben Sundgaard says:

    It looks very good, looking forward to IE9! Can’t wait to see the performance boost of using Direct2D and DirectWrite.

    And I still think IE8 is the best browser on the market today!

  151. Jeff says:

    @blabla yeah there’s nothing fancy at all about what Google or Facebook does. Except that Facebook’s entire site is going to be Ajax soon. And Google? Yeah those guys really do some plain boring stuff. FAIL!

  152. Michael Norton says:

    Standards are made standard for a reason. Not because you should be able to go and do your own thing, as you have many times in the past, but because the Internet should be a unified experience for everyone, and I’m concerned that you don’t realize this. Time and again, Internet Explorer has thrown the rules out of the window, blazing its own path which has led to a browser that is literally worse than every other browser combined. You’ve made a start in trying to buck this trend, but it’s not enough.

    Additionally, I’d like to see IE9 distributed automatically. Your users cling to older, less compliant versions like moths to flame. This needs to stop if we are to develop the internet the way it should be developed. Google Chrome updates in the backend, without even prompting the user. This is the way to go.

    I would love to be able to include IE in my list of browsers that are worth using. But right now I can’t, because it sucks.

  153. Blabla says:

    Oh, and stop with the webkit lunacy. Yes, Apple uses it, but Apple is in a entirely different position.

    HTML rendering is a very important cornerstone of many Microsoft products:

    Visual Studio, Windows itself, the whole .net stuff, Office and so on. They all depend on IE to some extend. It’s just not a wise business decision to outsource such an important functionality. You lose control and depend on another entity for your core products.

    No one would do this. Apple can do this, because their bread and butter products are not their developer stuff.

  154. Jason says:

    OK,firstly keep it up! Nice to see that you are focusing on some standards, these are all great. However. The rest of the world already did and have moved on. So the question is will there be any of the really important stuff, like HTML 5:




    I really hope so, for IE’s sake.

    Keep up the work

  155. Drew says:

    My real concern here is standards support.  Please be on top of HTML5 and CSS3.  That’s all I really want/need.  Be on the cutting edge of that and you’ll win over the developers. This is the case with Firefox, Safari and Chrome.

    As someone else said: "What about the new HTML5 tags – audio, video, and canvas? And what about geolocation, accelerometer, web workers and SVG?"

    @blabla: The reason people aren’t doing things that require full CSS3 and HTML5 support is because IE (among others) doesn’t support them!  We can’t utilize these features until all the big players implement them.

  156. blabla says:

    There is indeed NOTHING fancy about the google site. HTML wise that is.

    Facebook is going Ajax, and? Ajax has nothing to do with HTML 5 or CSS3.

  157. Hoopz says:

    "Oh, and stop with the webkit lunacy. Yes, Apple uses it, but Apple is in a entirely different position.

    No one would do this. Apple can do this, because their bread and butter products are not their developer stuff."

    You do know that Apple created WebKit right? They took the buggy and outdated base of KHTML and brought it into the 21st century through many years of development. It went from being the ugly duckling to being the fastest, most feature rich rendering engine out there.

    Also, AFAIK Safari is already hardware accelerated, by virtue of running on Quartz (in OS X).

  158. Aaron says:


    Thank you Drew, well said.

  159. I just want someone to officially answer this: Why not use WebKit for IE9 on standards-mode sites and keep Trident for quirks-mode (for compatibility)?

    As long as there is an actually good reason, I’ll honestly accept it.

  160. blabla says:

    "You do know that Apple created WebKit right? They took the buggy and outdated base of KHTML and brought it into the 21st century through many years of development. It went from being the ugly duckling to being the fastest, most feature rich rendering engine out there."

    And? Doesn’t change the fact that their core products are not in the same category as microsoft’s core products.

  161. Boo says:

    Just another web log comment.. pay no attention.

    IE Team: Great job guys.  Really.  No sarcasm.

    I applaud the IE Team for focusing (in IE7 and 8) on the USER instead of the designer.  While the designers do like to complain long and loud, as a USER of IE I am very happy.  It’s solid, renders well, and renders fast (even on 5 yr old hardware).  Most of my time is spent READING or LOOKING at a web page.  From that point of view, a couple milliseconds difference in rendering between IE and the WebKit croud is nigh imperceptable.  IE waits for me at the same speed as all other browsers.

    Again, you are doing a great job.  Keep at it!

  162. jason says:

    @blabla "I am not a IE groupie by the way, just annoyed by modern web devs and their desire to clutter up more stuff."

    If you actually bothered to read and understand the HTML 5 spec you would know it’s purpose is the opposite of what you stated. I get the feeling you don’t know what your talking about.

  163. blabla says:

    "AFAIK Safari is already hardware accelerated, by virtue of running on Quartz (in OS X)."

    That’s like saying IE is already hardware accelerated, because it runs on DWM (in Vista)

  164. Tony says:

    Chart 1 is very impressive. How did you collect the data for it? Can you release the code for the application used to measure those stats? I think it will be very useful for designers to understand what the consequences of their code mean to the performance of the browser.

  165. John Hunt says:

    If you’re someone on the IE9 team, please sort it out, and by that I mean make it work properly (css etc) or sabotage it (make it install a good browser on first load or something.)

    My word I hate IE.

  166. blabla says:

    "If you actually bothered to read and understand the HTML 5 spec"

    So, you have read all 700 pages of it?

    Yea, sure.

    The only thing I hear about html 5 is the video tag that everyone cries about. That’s clutter, because that thing is, as it stands now, a hack. No one seems to agree about the codecs. And that’s not the only problem.

    As it stands now, flash and silverlight make more sense to do it.

    And seriously, is it really a good design decision to cram everything into the browser? For what were plug-ins designed in the first place?

  167. Hubert says:


    Have you ever checked google maps ? Or gmail ? Yes, Google is VERY Fancy. Well, it is for IE, not for Firefox.

  168. CatBread says:

    "When any browser improves, the Web improves. It looks to me like Microsoft is getting more serious about improving the Web. This is good news and the IE team should be hearing our positive feedback and encouragement"

  169. Paul says:

    Glad you’re acknowledging you have a major performance problem relative to other modern browsers and are attempting to fix it. Although I don’t know why you would reveal you’re doing hardware acceleration as part of that. Given your release schedules versus your competitors, that gives them about four releases to implement it before you ship 9. Anyway, hopefully you’re going to get betas out early. You have a lot of users that are starting to give up on IE.

  170. blabla says:

    "Additionally, I’d like to see IE9 distributed automatically. Your users cling to older, less compliant versions like moths to flame. This needs to stop if we are to develop the internet the way it should be developed. Google Chrome updates in the backend, without even prompting the user. This is the way to go."

    On what planet are you on?! Man seriously, this blog is filled by borderline lunatics.



    Administrators of large companies would never allow this thing to be installed. NEVER. They would rather keep IE8 until the second coming than that.

    And if MS would force a download somehow, then they will be brought to court and sued for billions. (EU!)

    Yes, Google can do stuff like that, but MS can’t.

    Internet Explorer is installed on almost all corporate networks, chrome isn’t.

    IE has 65% market share, chrome only 3.5%

    If you’re an underdog, you can do far more things.

  171. Steve says:


    Flash and Silverlight are plug-in hacks that poke more security holes in the browser. They are a symptom of the need for a standards based solution, not a solution themselves.  

  172. Mark Scholten says:

    As so many other web-developers I am very fond of SVG.  It’s scalable, clickable, easy to understand, light-weigth and very fast. Every time when I have finished a new website I have  to spend hours to convert everything to VML; Notice that not everything looks the same; spending more hours to shift everything in place etc. This in fact more than doubles the lines of code that I have to write and maintain. So inline SVG support would be nice.

  173. Mike says:

    Hope we’ll be able to emulate IE7 with it, I’m already doing that for IE8 to avoid testing in another crappy browser. Why do you think world need another version of this browser? This experiment should be terminated immediately!

  174. Al Billings says:

    blabla, Flash is the cause of somewhere between 25% and 50% of all browser crashes (regardless of the browser). Personally, I’d rather have the video tag and turn off flash (wait, I do using Flashblock in Firefox).

    This is leaving aside that Flash is the closed source product of a single company and doesn’t really adhere to any standard. I don’t really need Adobe to own my ability to use video on web pages.

  175. The General Public says:

    Until there’s native SVG support and performance across the board that beats the other available choices, I don’t really care.

  176. JustAnOtherWebDev says:

    If the IE-team with feel any of the pain webdevelopers go through each day trying to support all these different IE-versions, they would be in constant 24-hour pain.

    Really market share because of bundeling is the only reason we even try to support it.

    Please, please, make a browser which supports older platforms, something (alteast XP). And make something which makes sure people don’t have to deal with IE6 never ever again. Make sure people can upgrade easily.

    Do something useful or don’t do anything at all. Just creating a new version is not something useful if it doesn’t replace the old versions.

  177. Simon Charette says:

    Here’s the bugzilla SOLVED cairo tracking bug.

  178. blabla says:

    "Have you ever checked google maps ? Or gmail ? Yes, Google is VERY Fancy. Well, it is for IE, not for Firefox."

    That’s not fancy.  Unless you consider bing to be "fancy" as well:

    With fancy I meant what you loons here want. And google is pretty conservative in that regard, their site doesn’t look like zengarden.

    That’s how google got successful in the first place: While their competitors had fancy, cluttered webpages with tons of useless functions, consisted just of two buttons and a search bar.

    But I guess you guys here can’t even remember the days when altavista and lycos were big.

    Stop being altavista wannabes. You’ve got now  stable css 2.1 and html 4 (fully supported by all browser, standard and all), deal with it.

  179. I’m really hoping text-shadow support will make it into the release.

  180. JustAnOtherWebDev says:

    Make it easy for webdevelopers to test with older versions. IE6, IE7, IE8 and probably IE9 all have their own bugs. New bugs in things that worked in previous versions.

    Make it so the original renderengines/jscript-engines are placed side by side on disk and can be tested seperately.

    But most of all make sure IE6-users get something newer. Tell these companies to stop using IE6. Don’t tell them you’ll still give them any support.

  181. mike says:

    Awesome IE!  Rounded corners in 2010 is like Chevy announcing they’re coming out with a car that will compete with the 2008 Prius.  ( ._.)

  182. Bash says:

    Artificially making a browser not support XP should be criminal monopolistic behavior.

  183. Kenny says:

    Do the world a favor – STOP DEVELOPMENT! Ship any one of the other browsers. I mean come on, you know you guys cant deliver on this – give up already.

  184. jeff little says:

    >I’m impressed, can’t wait for what else is coming in IE 9!

    Firefox 3.6 is in beta…

  185. Tristan says:

    Cute.  Very web developer knows anything from Microsoft will have issues.  In this carbon centric world, do us all a favour and use webkit and be done with it.  By continuing drag IE along you are forcing many people to spend longer hours at work thus emitting ever more carbon.  Please think of planet and use webkit!!!!

  186. Jean-Philippe Martin says:

    Here is my wish list for IE9 (we are near Christmas no ?!! ) in this order :

    – Better Javascript performance. (Seems to be greatly enhanced by your sunspider test displayed)

    – Support for Harmony (latest javascript std)

    – css 3 (seems to be in good shape)

    – video audio tag, svg, canvas

    – acid 3 100% (imply a lot of the above !)

    – extensions a la Firefox

    Thank you.

  187. rufus says:

    im with the other guy that said adopt the webkit engine. Its open source and will always be more up to date than IE ever will. Microsoft I love windows 7 but as a web designer there needs to be an automatic updater or something to get people moving from IE6 on up. Its such a hassle having to test on so many browsers already. IE was great. it brought us to where we are today, but accept defeat and move to an open internet standard…

  188. Mike Gale says:

    It’s pretty amazing to read some of the comments here.  IE is widely used guys.  If you’re not able to develop for IE why not learn how.

    Keep up the good work.  By all means do the standard things, but please lets get back to pushing the browser forward.  Browsers have been held back for maybe a decade, a lot of useful things that should have happened haven’t.

  189. Steve Robinson says:

    It’s great to hear about the improved standards support and performance improvement coming in IE9, but I have a question in regard to the sub pixel positioning and it’s relation to clear type rendering.

    Looking at the GDI example it’s clear that sub pixel rendering is being used to smooth the vertical stems (such as the slow curve of the ‘i’ of Direct2D) and it looks great, but I realise at small sizes this involves snapping the  font to the pixel grid. This has the side effect of sacrificing the original font designer’s outline for readability and clarity.  At larger sizes this is less of an issue, however clear type still has the horizontal jaggedness –  the top of the D is a prime example.

    Although I can see the benefits of sub pixels positioning to smooth the horizontal curves,  considering I personally still thing the GDI looks better on the verticals, how does sub pixel positioning effect font rendering in relation to the pixel grid when used at smaller more traditional sizes?

    Or to put it another way, Is Microsoft abandoning is investment in clear type and adopting sub-pixel positioning to more faithfully reproduce the original font, or will the rendering transition between clear type for smaller sizes and sub pixel rendering for larger font sizes.

    Or something else of course.

    Damn it I’m boring…

  190. Aaron says:

    "I don’t understand why you don’t just adopt the webkit rendering engine and call it a day. seriously, it’s open source, and it runs circles around IE."

    I agree. Safari uses Webkit, as does Chrome.  If Microsoft would use this combined with a fast open-source Javascript engine for IE9, development costs could be funneled toward FEATURES that would make it stand head and shoulders above the rest. Plus they would be doing the world a huge favor by helping to standardize the fundamentals, which will translate to lower development costs and more $ to spend on Windows 7 and the like – and it’s good PR for them as well 🙂


  191. laughter says:

    Am I to understand that you are BOASTING about PROGRESS by showing off how you’re:

    – still dead last in a javascript speed test,

    – still dead last in the ACID3 standards test,

    – still can’t pass a CSS selectors test everyone else nailed long ago

    That’s some very impressive results alright, I must say. Keep it up.

    Oh and whatever you do, don’t make any attempts to actually add anything of genuine use to web developers like xhtml, SVG, MathML, webforms, media queries, <video>, <audio>, web-workers, server-sent events, @font-face, canvas, web sockets, geolocation or even any attempt to actually support proper DOM APIs. That would just be silly.

  192. mogden says:

    I’m happy to see rounded corners and faster Javascript, but it seems like pretty small potatoes compared to what I was hoping for – at least 2008-era HTML5 support with video, audio, SVG, and Canvas.

    Come on guys, you are the wealthiest company on Earth, and supposedly developers are your prime audience.  So why is IE universally hated among web developers?

  193. Chris says:

    "Please stop developing Internet Explorer in favor of better browsers like Firefox and Chrome. It’s been so hard designing for IE."

    +1 to that.

  194. Aaron says:

    "I agree. Safari uses Webkit, as does Chrome.  If Microsoft would use this combined with a fast open-source Javascript engine for IE9, development costs could be funneled toward FEATURES that would make it stand head and shoulders above the rest. Plus they would be doing the world a huge favor by helping to standardize the fundamentals, which will translate to lower development costs and more $ to spend on Windows 7 and the like – and it’s good PR for them as well :)"


    FEATURES does not mean proprietary tags and the like – it means things such as the ability to use and write extensions.


  195. Garth says:

    Good stuff. Looking forward to its release.

    I agree with some of the other comments, native accelerated canvas/video support would be a great addition.

  196. Robert says:

    But will you finally add really CSS opacity and not the lousy Filter version? It’s a nightmare trying to animate stuff in IE with the filter not working in opacity. We need true opacity at the CSS level like the other browsers

  197. net says:

    I would also add a complete (= explicit resume/pause capabilities) download manager to the wish list. 🙂

    Anyway, good job. Based on your charts, the performance seems to be improving.

    I am looking forward to trying an alpha/beta release.

  198. Jon Davis says:

    Hey it could be worse .. people could still be using IE6.

    Oh wait …

  199. Nick says:

    @cal – of course my best practices don’t include an experience that performs poorly. Of course standards aren’t the only thing that is important, but you’re off your rocker if you think that drawing performance and text quality (which should’ve been handled properly eons ago) is more important than being able to properly digest and display 100% compliant, semantically written code to display the entire page PROPERLY.

    User Experience designers know how to make sure things work as they are supposed to, within the given constraints. That works to our advantage and disadvantage. In this instance, it is most certainly a disadvantage.

    The problem is that the IE team’s goals & milestones now, and seemingly when IE9 releases, are actively hindering innovation. Feature sets we can use at-will with other browsers are ignored, in favor of arbitrary decisions that are made out of scope and out of context from what is going on in the real world.

    A good generally true analogy:

    You are Michael Phelps, the best Olympic swimmer to date (Google Chrome, FireFox). You are babysitting your 4 year old nephew, who can’t swim (Internet Explorer). You decide to take this nephew to the pool (The Internet).

    You are forced to wear water-wings in the pool, because your 4 year old nephew can’t swim without them.

    Chrome/FireFox are forced to perform at sub-par levels on the internet because Internet Explorer is years behind in development.

  200. dlh2009 says:

    Keep up the work!  We are going to have to blow Chrome, Firefox, and Safari out of the water.  MS won the browser wars once, they can win them again!

  201. Bryan says:

    I love how the IE team dismisses Acid 3 and other tests because they include edge cases and "things sites don’t commonly use." Why is it that the other browser makers can pass Acid 3 and the IE team can only whine about it?

    This is like the kid in high school saying that the SAT isn’t REALLY a good predictor of his scholastic performance — he may be right, but it IS a good predictor of whether he’ll buckle down and learn what he needs to learn to pass it and get into college. Same with Acid 3: it’s as much a test of browser compliance as it is a test of the folks that made the browser.

    Whine less, code more.

  202. Bryan says:

    Add me to the list of folks calling for IE to ditch their proprietary rendering engine and replace it with Webkit! I would literally dance a little jig.

    Let’s not forget that webKit is the rendering engine not just for Chrome and Safari, but also for Android, iPhone and Pre. It’s taking over and it’s got Apple and Google behind it. It’s ALWAYS going to develop faster than IE’s rendering engine.

    Hell, if you used webKit, you wouldn’t have to whine about Acid3 being an unfair test! And you might have time to bring your javascript engine out of last place.

  203. Adam says:


    You do realize that for the spec to become a fully qualified standard (by the last revision status of the w3c) that it needs two independent solutions.  The problem is that the spec clearly defines how everything should be handled (from errors, validation, checking, display, sending) everything will be the same.  This stability and consistency (something that the IE dev team could learn) will provide the quickest path to development ever.  No longer will dev’s need to adopt special tricks and hacks just for IE.  No longer will dev’s and sites be restricted to what IE supports, web browsing will finally be an open and truly innovative experience for all who partake in it.  No longer with patents and courts rule what happens, the people will have the only say in what goes on in their internet.

    Oh, it’s cool to see IE support things that the other major browsers have supported for quite some time.  I guess it’s time for MS to force business IT "techs" into the 21st century.

    The IE dev team should really look into webkit, the development there is far superior to what is going on.  Even if IT techs have to adopt new security and testing protocols, with the past experience and changes that MS has pushed it will be no different than IE5 to IE6.  Plus with the extra development and push from companies (MS/IE’s main usage area) business related applications and solutions could see there way into fully fledged resources for the world to share.

    It’s time for MS to step into the light and realize that they are being shoved out of center stage.

  204. Bleh says:

    Your browser is bad and you should feel bad.

    Stop messing around and use Webkit, what’s your problem!

  205. robert says:

    WebKit would be nice … but this front end developer will be very happy if you can just get some of the CSS3 working, improve overall script performance, and basically mimic webkit. 🙂

    thanks team. but don’t make cowering remarks just because a spec is in draft. these days specs get adopted b/c they are a good idea front end developers use, not just because one or another big company says they are good.

  206. Joe says:

    Acid 3 is not based on working drafts and IE9 is not the only browser with hardware acceleration. You’d think Microsoft would do some fact checking.

  207. Michael says:

    People keep focusing on displaying webpages… I stopped using IE in favor of chrome because a new tab comes up significantly more quickly. In chrome, a tab appears instantly. In IE, it takes multiple seconds. Whats the point of having webpages rendered quickly, if the fricken tab takes time to come up?

    IE9 team, I really do want to use your browser again. Please just make it so everything happens FAST. I don’t care about these webpage display tests where the differences are barely noticeable- just make it comparable to FF and Chrome, and you’ve got me back.

  208. keep it up says:

    It’s all catchup, but it’s good catchup. It’s appreciated, keep it up.

  209. JustAnotherGuy says:

    Is ie 9 being developed for win xp?

    Captcha: 548

  210. Anton says:

    What’s really embarrassing here is that other’s can’t support IE features because the code is locked down, but IE developers could literally look at how Webkit and Gecko solve these issues and use that code – there is no excuse for performance this bad.

    Why not make Trident open-source, that way FOSS developers could fix all your mistakes, and actually port versions to other operating systems.

  211. JR O says:

    I’m not surprised that you guys are ignoring what’s going on around you once again. (you’re FEATURING border-radius support? Seriously?)

    I am puzzled at why you would post about this. I mean, you are a smart guy. Why would you post about

    a) a browser that is universally vilified by devs

    b) in a state not much better than IE8

    c) with features that other browsers have had since before twitter (heh)

    .. and expect anything but these comments? The sad thing is that the few comments that seem to be positive are probably sarcastic ("I can’t wait to see more…").

    Why, Dean? Why?

    As of right now IE9 looks like it sucks and, more importantly, will make developers’ lives more miserable.

  212. Mitch says:

    Can the next folks who say "use webkit" read this first please:

    The sense of entitlement ("we demand that you tell us all your plans now!") and control ("we demand that you make people upgrade from IE6") is bizarre.

  213. Brian from the Mid-Atlantic says:

    Performance gains and better compliance with standards are terrific, but I hope that in trying to pull fully even with your competitors in those areas you guys won’t neglect to focus on another basic area where IE needs major improvement: reliability/stability. I’m on the verge of giving up on IE as my first-choice browser (as a user and sometime developer) not because its JS engine is too slow or because it won’t do HTML5 video, but because tabs hang frequently (on all kinds of web pages) and the whole browser gets crash happy far too often. I’ve really enjoyed the overall rock-solid reliability of Windows 7 (excluding IE as a component, of course) so far, and hope that IE can be brought up to that standard very soon.

    Looking forward to IE 9,

  214. DavidP says:

    Maybe it’s just me but I think people these days want things now, not in forty seconds (

    I’d like to see a quicker release schedule for IE.

  215. chris metropolis says:

    No, really, stop making IE. Just bundle an open source browser with your OS, and make EVERYBODY happy.

    The world will not progress properly until you do so.

  216. prediction time says:

    Well since this is what MSFT has announced thus far – history indicates that we shouldn’t expect anything more in terms of fixes just a half dozen useless new features instead of supporting standards.

    Thus my prediction:

    * no SVG support

    * no Canvas support

    * no W3C event handlers

    * an ACID3 score of no higher than 54

    * no audio/video tags

    * no extended HTML input types

    * no XHTML support

    * no web workers

    * no improved developer tools

    * no new addon architecture

    * no @font-face support

    * no fix for the published WMP privacy bugs – still blaming other browser vendors and the WMP team for a proven IE bug

    very new technology that MS will sweep under the rug.

    * no resource bundle support

    * no SPDY support

    Things that will be added that developers don’t want or need.

    * something that allows WPF/MS-only technology to be embedded/used in the browser rather than support an equivalent web standard

    * more non-@font-face based font support to further ruin the cross-browser extended font support effort

    * additional FuzzyType[TM]-like enhancements that may enhance readability at the expense of other browsers by yet again diverting from published public standards

    * only Vista+ OS support. This will make developers scream and pull their hair out trying to get a VM set up for multi-browser testing

    * two new "features" like slices and accelerators that will just clutter the browser and not take off in any way just like the previous two didn’t

    Key Finder for 2010/2011 when IE9 proves the above predictions correct:


  217. dave says:

    From your chart at the top, the only reason why IE 9 even looks in the ballpark, is that you scaled the chart to show IE 7 performance, which was so terrible, all the browsers JavaScript ran like lightning compared with it.  Redo the chart scaled so IE 9 is full height (so, don’t show IE 7/8 performance) so we can really gauge the relative performance of IE 9 to the other browsers.  All the current chart shows is that IE 9 isn’t completely out to lunch compared with the other browsers.

  218. trian says:

    So I guess Opera is now the one behind, since Opera still doesn’t support corner-radius (and no word on when it will be supported)

  219. Chris Adams says:

    Any chance of IE nightlies? As a web developer this has been a great win for Firefox, WebKit & Chrome to help us keep track of what’s coming – I’d love to have the same for IE, particularly if it were standalone for automated testing.

  220. trian says:


    you can gauge the IE9 performance by looking at the numbers on the left, so IE9 is under 2000ms, while Firefox 3.6 is somewhere around 1500ms, Safari and Chrome are under 1000ms.

    It seems IE9 will actually be faster than Opera 10 in Sunspider (until Opera gets Carakan that is).

  221. juozas says:

    I’m a web developer and I feel I speak for many of my co-workers when I say that:

    1) IE6 is the worst thing that has happened to us.

    2) we don’t care about smooth font rendering as much as we care about HTML5 tags, SVG

    3) we would be overjoyed if Microsoft dropped Trident and adopted Webkit – there are too many browsers for us to support already and Trident browsers are frankly the worst. With Webkit IE our situation would improve immediately and our lives would get easier.

    I don’t mean this as a troll. I don’t have a "sense of entitlement" and I don’t expect Microsoft to actually use Webkit. I’m just restating what most web developers feel.

  222. Kevin says:

    To summarize this post:

    "IE used to really suck.  Look at this new version that sucks less, but is still worse than all other browsers for speed and standards."

    If IE9 was released tomorrow, it would be out of date.  Please stop development and exit the browser market, it’s hurting everyone.

  223. Ian Muir says:

    Wow, there is quite a bit of misguided hate going on here. For anybody who actually builds web sites for a living, this is great news.

    IE isn’t going to magically disappear and they aren’t going to switch it to webkit. However, IE9 is getting pretty damn close to other browsers and I’d be willing to bet they have a smaller dev team than most of the other major browser vendors.

    If you’re a professional developer and you have issues with IE, take the time to write a constructive comment.

    For Example:

    CSS3 support is a critical improvement for my team. We spend a lot of time creating graphics for things that could be rendered using CSS3. This forces us to use more bandwidth and severely affects the maintainability of our sites. Better CSS3 support will have far greater impact than Canvas or SVG support, as CSS3 as greater impact on our development process and user experience.

    See guys, that wasn’t hard and it’s much more likely to be recognized by the IE team than juvenile insults.

  224. Christo says:

    Acid 32/100?, Thats terrible!!

    Web developers have had enough of your retarded browser, open your ears and JUST ADOPT WEBKIT ALREADY!

  225. Why no Webkit says:

    Why won’t they switch to Webkit? Google and Apple managed to do it.

  226. why says:

    Ian Muir.

    Why no Webkit. Google and Apple using it, it’s available there for Microsoft to use also. That way they can focus on other things. It seems silly that they continue to maintain their own renderer which is so behind others.

  227. Zoasterboy says:

    Could you guys make this one compatible with everybody else?

    IE breaks all of my web apps. All of my web apps are full of crutches because of IE.

  228. RichardDB says:

    Breathe. Take your time. Get it right, for once…

  229. once again says:

    once again a full mark of FAIL for using a JPEG for the bar chart.. then converting it to a PNG to post on this blog.. when will you folks learn?

    PNG Only for screenshots! DO NOT USE JPEGs unless you are taking photographs.

    Don’t forget if you have ClearType running to turn it off before you take the screenshot so that the image isn’t ruined by sub-pixelation.

  230. ddne says:

    A new download manager for sure .Saving webpages in ie is still a pain

  231. Robin says:

    Well done guys on making the leaps forward from IE6 to IE8.

    You are getting much closer to providing a consistent platform for us web developers to build upon, but please endeavor to continue this progress and not go in to propriety feature mode  before the compatibility job has been finished. I know you have some way to go to get there but we web developers have benefited hugely from your recent advances.

    Please keep your css3 and HTML5 implementations inline with current browsers as this gives us something to build upon as we try to take advantage of the advancment in browser technology.

    Remember we are an important part of your client base who in large part deliver the web experience to your customers and already take advantage of other browsers css3 compatibility like rounded corners and opacity etc, so give us the opportunity to give a great cross browser experience to all of your customers and not just the Mozilla and webkit and opera browsers.

  232. Dekker says:

    Please, please, please just get the basics right, and make it so you can extend it, rather than having to wait another 4 years for a new version.  Just get it right please please please, I’d rather have standards than a sprinkling of CSS3, theres no point putting in new stuff if the underlying stuff doesn’t work!

  233. MAP says:

    Few requirements for IE9:

    1. Must work on WinXP (including the hardware acceleration).

    2. For the hardware acceleration, it must fall back to software if the GPU doesn’t fit the requirements. And, in cases where older GPUs can do hardware acceleration, but are actually slower than than the CPU, there must be a way to configure IE9 to always use software rendering. Even if IE9 can use heuristics to determine the best mode, there still must be a advanced user setting as sometimes the user knows best.

    3. With <!DOCTYPE html>, IE9 must support addEventListener and EventTarget etc.

  234. cliffclof says:

    I wish the world would quit using IE.  I like the guys post that says. HEY LOOK..  "IE used to really suck.  Look at this new version that sucks less, but is still worse than all other browsers for speed and standards."

    I wish people new how type in a website and download a good browser.

  235. Here’s your chance to Just make amends with a world of hateful developers by just adopting webkit. 99% of users don’t even know what a rendering engine is, or that it’s different from one browser to the next. You can still have your IE look and feel, but please, please, please… just use webkit.

    Otherwise you just breed hate and conspiracy theories like this one:

  236. developer says:

    I find all the "adopt webkit" comments interesting because 3 years ago they were adopt Gecko.

  237. Will Hughes says:


    The calls three years ago for ‘adopt gecko’ were correct, and still just as valid now.

    Webkit is currently more advanced, but Gecko is still progressing at a faster pace than IE appears to be.

    Given the number of extremely talented folks working for Microsoft, I don’t see why there isn’t a huge push from Microsoft to invest the resources necessary to make IE a top-notch browser.

    Perhaps there is, internally, but from an outsider’s perspective – it doesn’t look that way.

  238. letseatlunch says:

    by the time this released all the other browsers will have this AND BETTER

  239. Bryan says:

    "I find all the "adopt webkit" comments interesting because 3 years ago they were adopt Gecko."

    Gecko is certainly better than Trident, but I find that it’s still more aggravating than working with Webkit browsers. For example:

    – Firefox puts dotted borders around links on click. Yes, you can stop it with CSS, but that’s an extra aggravation. A small one, sure, but there nonetheless. This isn’t an issue in Webkit.

    There’s more examples like this. Gecko doesn’t have any *major* issues, but it still has many small annoyances that are simply not issues on WebKit browsers.

    I design sites for Safari first, double check them in Chrome, and then hack everything up to work correctly in Firefox and IE. Obviously, that takes about 10 minutes for Firefox and 9 years for IE.

    Either way, Gecko isn’t the flagship rendering engine for the web anymore.

  240. Wow, these comments are unbearable. I feel like I have to apologize, on behalf of all the thinking citizens of the net.

    I’m happy to see you driving IE’s standards up so far in the past few years. I can see, from the above comments, how the mistakes of the IE6 team has damaged your reputation so horribly.

    I’d like to believe all of Microsoft is coming around. Office 2007 is beautiful, Windows 7 sounds like it runs amazingly, and IE is quickly swooping back to a semblance of standards.

    Just make sure it’s easy for developers to test in IE6/7/8.

    Keep at it!

  241. Joel Coehoorn says:

    I’m most curious to know what version of javascript will be supported: AFAIK, IE8 is still using 1.5, while the rest of the market has moved on to 1.7 or even 1.9, and there are some features in the later versions I’d really like to be able to use some day (in, you know, 15 years or so after IE8 is finally no longer a consideration…)

  242. URPradhan says:

    Still it has a way to go to stand aside with Chrome and Firefox. Also see the flexibility given by Firefox to develop a plugin/addon using XUL and JavaScript, but some one even can not think of creating a new plugin/addon on IE because of its complexity of using COM/ATL/WTL/C++. I can only wish if Microsoft really think of it to give simpler plugin/addon development process for developers.

  243. Jalpino says:

    We need better DEVELOPER TOOLS, or atleast the ability to allow someone else to build them (think Firebug). Please…

  244. xx521xx says:

    It’s kind of hard to get interested in this knowing that XP users probably won’t be getting access to it. I hope MS will prove me wrong on that point, though.

  245. Sam Johnston says:

    Just focus on security, speed and standards – these are the main pain points with IE today.


  246. Paul says:

    kill IE.

    have any other browser as a default with windows installation.

    It takes the people 3 years to let go of a old IE browser and worse than than some institution relay on the security flaws on IE to make there apps work.

    IE Give up!

  247. Lepe says:

    For 100 million USD a year (which is MS budget for IE) I think you can do better than that. Sorry but for those people that applause this progress, it seems you are not developers and you care nothing about standards. Keep going, you are 3 years behind!!!

  248. NoMoreIE says:

    We don’t want more IE. Its better if you use Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera or any other (not IE based).

  249. Roland says:

    The only explanation I have for the excessive hate and rage postings is the recent release of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. It’s a shame, really!

    As anyone can clearly see, the IE team is now fully committed to standards and performance. OK, the’ve fallen behind again since IE8 as Chrome and Firefox versions are being released in even more rapid succession recently. But the IE team is on the right track, and if they could come up with such fundamental improvements in just three weeks, we can look forward to lots of improvements in the next months. I only wish that the IE team would release more often. We’ve seen Firefox 3.0, 3.1, 3.5, and we’ll see 3.6, 3.7, and 4.0. And then we have IE8, probably 12 months to wait, and then IE9.

  250. whywebkit says:

    why people want IE to use WebKit? Why not just ask Microsoft to drop IE and use Firefox/Chromium as the standard browser?

    Really, I see no reason why IE should adopt WebKit, or Gecko, or whatever. IE should just stop, and Microsoft should just take the Firefox source code or Chromium source code, compile it and re-brand it as Microsoft Fox or Microsoft Chromium, instead of trying to stuff WebKit/Gecko into IE.

  251. raymond says:

    Looks great but what about border-image and canvas support?

  252. john says:

    Why not just give up?  Adopt Webkit or something.  I mean, if you’re this far behind and you’re not selling the product and making money on it, what is there to gain?

  253. Ian Muir says:

    Apparently the collective argument is that Microsoft should just give up because there are other better browsers.

    What software company do you all work at where giving up at the first sign of competition is an acceptable policy?

    Oh and FYI, webkit is only at 8% market share even with the combined marketing forces of Apple and Google.

    FYI #2, WebKit only exists because the KHtml guys were tired of Apple taking over their engine. Webkit is the result of a large corporation screwing an open source project, then re-releasing it for corporate gain.

  254. Björn says:

    No, they are NOT on the right track.

    They are, as always, throwing everything that is standards-compliance down the drain and making every single developer who’s not using their own tools for developing hate them.

    32 on acid3?!? This is the end of 2009. 32/100 was expected WHEN ACID3 WAS RELEASED. Any modern browser would score 90+ (the two browsers i actually use score 93 and 100), 32 means your browser is BROKEN.

    No canvas-support? Go IE-team!

    No SVG-support? Let’s cheer for the redmond-team!

    This is a complete and utter trainwreck, just drop it already. Just compile WebKit as a DLL and write a nice little window that wraps the renderer and call it a day. And be happy that your stuff isn’t open source, because if other people in the business could actually see the mess of a browser you’re writing, you’d never get another job in the industry. It’s just THAT bad.

  255. Fred says:

    I really hate Internet Explorer, but i must say: Congratulations. This is a really good news, and I hope that this update will come ASAP, so i might reconsider.

    Now the question is how MS will encourage the IE6 and IE 7 to update to IE 9, so all the web design could move ahead?

  256. Hank says:

    @lepe: I’m not sure if someone lied to you or you just like to make things up, but Microsoft has never disclosed what they spend on IE on a yearly basis. They have not disclosed the number of employees that work on it either. So, while you can say: "Microsoft makes lots of revenue" you cannot honestly claim anything about how much they spend on developing IE.

  257. Andrew says:

    wow, this is really great news for all developers around the world. great work microsoft, hope this keeps up!

  258. URPradhan says:

    As a usual practice Microsoft does not follow standards rather it creates standards for self 🙁

    I had several sleepless nights while i was creating an IE plugin. To add a drop-down menu button to the commandbar I had pulled all my hair ! Then by hook/crook I managed to do that for IE6/7 using the nasty pointer, and when I test it on IE8 it failed ! Coz IE8 completely changed its internal structure from its predecessors.

    Then I developed the same plugin for Firefox. You can not believe amazingly I ve completed it with in couple of days !!! Thanks to Firefox, XUL, JavaScript. Microsoft should learn something form Firefox.

  259. Paul says:

    URPradhan… you do understand that YOU are a big part of the problem, right? When you use undocumented interfaces and hack into the browser to build add-ons that don’t use the supported mechanisms, YOU create reliability, performance, and security problems. Why would you do that? Stick to the supported extension API and you’ll have far fewer problems.

    Yes, Firefox has a nice extensions API. It also allows extensions to badly break the browser, wreck performance, introduce security problems, and so forth. That’s one of the reasons that Chrome is getting a lot of attention right now– the release build doesn’t support any meaningful amount of extensibility, and hence they don’t have these problems. Of course, now that Google is adding extensions to an upcoming version of Chrome, they’re signing up for the same nightmare.

  260. Shamol says:

    What i miss as a developer in IE is tools to debug apps.. this is the main reason for developers to adopt Firefox cause it has fire bug which is fun to work with.

    IE has to meet up to this. it must build a better developer Tool bar that what it has.. IE 8 does have a tool but its so Slooow to work with.. and makes my PC hang..

    I like to See IE with better developer support. and I think if they do that.. it will beat firefox and chrome.

  261. URPradhan says:

    @Paul…Thank you for your comments. But even if FF has allowed developers to write unsecure plugins, its more popular among the end users than IE. FYI, FF also making wall into their own code for plugin developers in their 3.6 version. As a developer-cum-user I like FF extension development process than IE. I really had a very bad experience while working on IE plugins, particulary adding a drop-down menu button to the commandbar ?

  262. anony.muos says:

    Be sure to take a look at before deciding it won’t run on XP or the XP version will be a half-baked GDI one.

  263. MSMS says:

    From a profit-motive standpoint, I don’t really understand Microsoft continuing to develop Internet Explorer (at least on Trident). It makes Microsoft look clumsy to developers ( i.e. the people you might want to write software for your system ), and it tarnishes Microsoft’s brand in general.

    People have clearly been trending away from IE because they feel IE is not a top-of-the-line browser. Since the browser is probably the most-used application on the vast majority of computers, Microsoft is really hurting its overall image by appearing sub-par in that department. I would get their stubbornness if they really had the market cornered, but they don’t anymore. Clearly standards-based browsing prevails in the end, so the proprietary fluff isn’t doing anything to increase their market share. It’s almost as if they want to lose market share.

    And then the R and D aspect… They spend how much money developing IE? Webkit or Gecko would make so much sense from a monetary viewpoint…

    It’s the kind of corporate strategy higher-ups typically get fired for…

  264. Halil says:

    "Will it run on XP?"

    Good question, in worst case it will be Vista , 7 browser only. I see it running under XP with disabled D2D acceleration.But all that acceleration thing is dust in ppls eyes,i think they are hiding their proprietary analog to canvas and even WebGL.

    I dont even hope for 100/100 Acid3 test that sounds like SF.

    Good that they finally will rework their JS VM to meet today’s expectations.

  265. Manuel Strehl says:

    I agree to MSMS. Microsoft buys lots of crappy companies just to let them vanish. Why not buy Opera and get an up-to-date browser gratis?

    Just to re-emphasize some technologies IE9 seems to miss (but that are urgently needed by web developers as myself): web threads, web storage, SVG, canvas, support for OGG vids and audio, support for application/xhtml+xml MIME type, …

    What we non-MS web developer don’t need is an IE9 tailored to specifically render the Excel web app.

  266. Lepe says:

    @Hank: Here is the reference of those 100 million USD.

  267. I was hoping allong with many others in the comments that HTML5 also was supported in IE9.

  268. someone else says:

    @Lepe: You do realize that article gets the $100 million figure from a decade ago, prior to IE6?

  269. Mitch says:

    OMG, what’s the aggregate noun for "webtards?"

    Software development is hard. If it were easy, it would be called "English," you could make it up as you went along, and you would get a college degree in it without trying.

    Development is not easy. It takes work to actually have "customers" (aka "vistors") have a good experience.

    Standards won’t set you free (people write them, they’re vague, and there’s a shortage of real test suites). Whining won’t set you free. And neither Google nor Webkit will set you free.

  270. Paul Huizer says:

    Thanks MS, it’s clear that your are focussing on the right priorities.  I appreciate the fact that you continu to work on IE. I’m confident the experience for both users as developers will be improved significantly again with the IE9 version.

    A lot of people seem to ‘hate’ (?) MSFT and find it necessary to bash on msft on each and every corner of the web, I think that is outrageous! If you don’t like microsoft, go and visit some other websites, instead of hanging around here and spoil every opportunity to have a normal conversation on IE. Disrepectfull comments are so not-done!

  271. Toffe says:

    This post would be better if Microsoft actually answered all of the follow-up questions, for example this one:

    Even better would be if answers from [MSFT] guys and [Microsoft] guys showed up with a different background color, so that one could find them easier.

  272. bibo says:

    Really glad, you go this way. Standards, Standards, Standards !

    What’s the following on CSS features support ?

    Some coming out of head.

    – border-image

    – flex box model

    – gradient

    – font-face

    – @media queries

    Keep this good work.

  273. pranny says:

    IE9, most welcome. Developers will undoubtedly be delighted. The real challenge lies in compatibility. Most of my clients still use IE6, and i have a hard time fixing CSS issues across IE6. Will Microsoft drop support for IE6 as the momentum for IE9 is already being gathered?

  274. Manuel Strehl says:

    @Paul: It has nothing to do with hate (well, just a little, when you developed for IE6 long enough, but leave that aside).

    It is more the appearance, that MS (remember: the world’s most powerful software company) works for years and years on its browser (remember: today’s most important piece of desktop software) and still can’t get it alongside with its competitors.

    MS executives screwed it up closing down the development team after IE6, but the more they should now focus on getting the browser up-to-date.

    @IE developers: You always have a hard time publishing your results. Please, please convince your executives to give you more resources! I don’t have any objections against IE being used by lots of people, and I can imagine the hard work you put in Trident, but developing websites for literally all browsers first _and_ then for IE[6-8] separately again is what gives it its bad name.

  275. Lepe says:

    @someone else:

    Yea… Actually I took that information from wikipedia (which resulted to be outdated). However I wonder if Opera has a higher budget than IE? because Opera is by far better than IE in terms of standards.

    Just compare:




    For nothing Opera was one of the first to accomplish 100/100 in the Acid 3 test.

    I agree that it would be better if they just change Trident to be Open Source.

  276. Manuel Strehl says:

    Another point worth mentioning: Progressive enhancement:

    I see lots of websites (e.g., the WordPress backend, and that is no ‘little designer’s playground’) using phantastic new CSS properties which make the page look all fine in FF, Safari and Chrome (Opera is missing some parts here). Then I turn to IE and the same page looks all chiseled and "normal". The developers just don’t care anymore for browsers with poor support for these all-new features.

    Imagine now a typical IE user looking over his friend’s shoulder and seeing a completely different and more elaborate view of the same page he looked to minutes before.

    Then he switches to the brand-new IE9 expecting to see the same great enhancements. He will notice some rounded corners and stuff, but many enhancements will still be hidden to him (like @font-face with OTF fonts or this:

    To put it in a sentence for decision-makers: IE will loose market-share, and a lot, if it can’t catch up really fast.

  277. The updates certainly look promising! The step from Internet Explorer 7 to Internet Explorer 8 was huge from a developer point of view, it brought better support for CSS 2.1, quite some necessary DOM fixes and better performance throughout the browser. Internet Explorer 9 will surpass that as well, especially the initial SunSpider test results show that parts of the Javascript Engine saw their performance tripled.

    However, reality says Internet Explorer is still quite far behind on other browsers. With the new V8 Javascript Engine from Google, standards support of Opera and the flexibility of Firefox you will have to pull some amazing tricks to get back in the league. One primary thing that bothers me about Internet Explorer is the update policy. Compare Internet Explorer with Google Chrome; Chrome has alpha builds every week, beta’s on a monthly basis and major versions about every six months. Firefox, Opera and others have frequent updates, fixing the bugs which slipped through the testing phases. Internet Explorer, however, has far less updates, causing bugs (and especially security-related bugs!) to remain active in the browser for way too long. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to start using minors as well, with bi-monthly updates for example? That would allow bugs and features to be implemented on a far more frequent basis, which also brings quite some (positive) publicity with it on numerous news websites.

    Another thing I’m missing is involvement in developing the standards. In the past few years Microsoft hasn’t been extremely active in working drafts of the W3C, usually your replies wait until a document enters the Last Call phase. This is a pity! Considering Internet Explorer still has a huge amount of non-standard HTML-tags, CSS functions and features implemented, you obviously have lots of idea’s about how to improve the Internet. Why not share it with others, and actively cooperate in developing the actual standards? I know a lot of people, especially those creating the specs, can be quite hostile towards Microsoft, but there’s only one way to change that.

    I’m looking forward to future updates, it sounds good, there’s still a long way to go however!

  278. Daniel Steigerwald says:

    Please, think twice before adding new useless obtrusive features, as IE7/8 did.

    For example

    – IE7 browser clear type easily destroyed by opacity

    – IE7 awful click sound on location change

    – IE8 obtrusive web slices icon on selection -> can be disabled by web developer!


    cleartype only for non opacited element

  279. Taavi says:

    PLEASE add tab save feature 🙂

  280. It’s always good to hear about another browser version under development.

    I’d really like to hear more about HTML 5 markup & CSS3 support.

    The Direct2D & JavaScript work sounds great.

    Keep up the good work,


  281. Mitch 74 says:

    Now THAT is nice news! Thank you guys.

    It would be nicer if we could get a more complete list of what Acid3 tests fail (a screencap of the message box one gets when clicking on the ‘A’ of Acid), because there still are some failed tests that impact the layout: border is too thick, no drop shadow, Acid still in red… But I guess this may come in later.

    Considering that the Office team is working on SVG support (at least a partial one), I would guess that we might see some in IE 9; can you confirm it?

    Last, the Acid3 test results are still rather low; dare I guess that DOM2, including events, won’t be fully supported, or is that under scrutiny?

    About people citing Safari and Firefox making use of Cairo: Cairo is a very nice open-source graphics rendering library that allows hardware 2D acceleration in many cases, and very fast software rendering fallback if hardware acceleration is not available/unsupported. However, it is still incomplete – thus, saying that no browser do full 2D hardware acceleration is actually true. That doesn’t prevent IE 8 in WinXP to be slow as molasses in my VM when moving a DIV in realtime, while Firefox, Chrome etc. are blindingly fast in that same VM. If using Direct2D (a replacement for DirectDraw?) can fix that, yay.

    I’m not complaining about the improvements, which are really great news, and I hunger for more good news like that.

    But, personally, the part that really pisses me off is that WinXP won’t see IE 9, since Direct2D will be VistaSP2/Win7 only. Now that’s one way to tell netbook users (of which there are many): "suckers!"

    Or, they’ll go and switch to Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera… And since one may want to use the same browser on all computers…

  282. ironic says:

    I find it extremely ironic that people who call Microsoft a monopoly and blame them for trying to snuff out the competition is getting in line in droves to ask the company to switch over to WebKit (and please stop acting like WebKit is the epitome of rendering engines – Here is a hint: It’s not). Isn’t competition a good thing? What’s the down side of letting IE’s rendering engine compete with WebKit? If it is not good enough for you, you can switch over (or keep) to another browser of your choice.

    IE team is doing a *good thing* by trying to improve their -free- software. It is extremely early in the development of IE9 and we don’t know what the final product will look like so instead of telling them to remove themselves from competition, how about we state what we think should change in the new IE and be a little constructive? It sounds a bit more useful to me but then what do I know ?

  283. Blaise Kal says:

    Internet Explorer is enormously behind other browsers, while users are very sticky to their older IE browser versions.

    This is a horrible combination for web developers.

  284. fisherwebdev says:

    I want to remind everyone that Microsoft invented XmlHttpRequest and implemented it as a non-standard feature in IE 5.0.  So that kind of innovation should be applauded.  

    But that kind of innovation goes BEYOND the standards, not in disregard of them.

    I too have wasted countless hours dealing with IE and it’s problems.  Please, Microsoft IE Team, bring IE to 100% Acid3.  Even if it means adopting WebKit.  You cause tremendous damage to Microsoft by angering developers with a non-standard platform.

    Just think of the potential meme MS has before them with a 6 / 9 marketing campaign.  Make it real, and you really can turn the tide — for yourselves and everyone else.  Get those IE6 people to upgrade to a standards-compliant browser!

    And please make sure canvas is in there too.  At least.

  285. nxy says:

    Please, please, please — move to WebKit. IE is losing market shares rapidly, but if you adopt a good rendering engine (no offense) you are right up there with the top browsers available and you will gain the following advantages:

    1) Less rendering development, more time for browsing experience

    2) Less market share loss

    3) Happier dev commity

    4) Endless goodwill from dev community

  286. Sarath says:

    What about Windows XP platform especially with Direct2D? Windows 7 and Vista (soon to be support DIrect 2D) still not ruling the market.

  287. David says:

    If the stats posted above were actually pertaining to IE7, it would have been great, if they had been for IE8 they would have been borderline acceptable, but that they’re actually related to IE9 shows how desperate the situation truly is with IE development.

    Whilst I know asking for webkit to be adopted is nothing more than a pipe dream, as it would involve MS putting the needs of web designers and the betterment of the internet in general, ahead of their self interest to impose an archaic proprietary renderer on us, I can’t stress enough how much such a move would be celebrated among the web development community.

    My only other comment is to ask that you at least sort your opacity solution out. I often have to disable animated effects using png based images, because IE can’t render them without drawing big black lines around the graphics.

    It really is a sorry state of affairs on every conceivable level.

  288. anony.muos says:

    If you use WebGL, you can be compliant with an open cross-platform standard like OpenGL and you can support the XP platform as well. But no, you insist on using Direct2D/DirectWrite to drive more Windows 7 sales. As I currently see, WebGL does the same thing as what you’re proposing with DirectX and it’s already present in the Firefox and WebKit nightlies.

  289. Sunil says:

    Just give up.


    The amount of pain that IE causes myself and the webdev community as a whole is unnacceptable.

    Every time an IE has come out, I’ve had an open mind. I’ve thought to myself "maybe this isn’t just another pig of a browser to support. Maybe this time things will be different and the wounds can be healed"

    Every single time I have been overcome with dissapointment.

    If you can’t bring your vehicle up to working standard, then take it off the road.

    Rather then try to keep pushing this sorry, worn mule up the road, just take it out the back and shoot it in the head. Give it a final pat along the scrappy tick-ridden remnants of its mane, and swiftly put it out of its misery.

    Please don’t make me support yet another IE.

  290. JM says:

    I have only one request for the next incarnation of Internet Explorer; MAKE OPENING TABS INSTANT. Badly written addons make opening tabs a pain. Even something that *needs* to be enabled like Java delays opening tabs by a second. Why not open the tabs instantly and load those addons in the background!

    I’ve seen computers where opening a single window for internet explorer until you can enter an URL in the addressbar take 30 seconds. That is just mad.

    Show the new tab directly, enable the addressbar directly and then commence loading all those addons, these are a lower priority!

  291. weeegod says:

    Please add HTML5 support, canvas support, SVG support, CSS3 support, rounded corners support and decent transparent PNG support.

    Thanks in advance!

  292. njedanjedan says:

    I really hope you will change disturbing popup blocker behavior – i.e. when popup window is blocked, and I temporarily allow a site to show popups, IE reloads a page — it made me pay some bills twice on my e-banking account. This must not necessarily be only IE issue, but my bank’s application, but good browser should not reload a page and do a HTTP post again. Take a look how Chrome does it. Copy good behavior.

  293. weeegod says:

    PS: maybe you could just adopt webkit instead of reimplementing everything. developers would be super happy and hug you a lot.

    Thanks in advance!

  294. Andy says:

    i have to agree this is just another version of ie we will have to write more custom css for.

    sad fact is on a project i end up spending the majority of my time writing extra css  for ie 6, 7, 8 when i could be doing something constructive.  If the ie dev team really cared about us they would have the decency to auto wipe old ie browsers and force upgrade to the latest version so we wouldn’t waste time and money supporting their past mistakes.  its ie that holds us all back from easy standardised coding practices and also holds back advancement of the web and how we view it.

  295. Steven says:

    Why not ditch Trident and use WebKit or Gecko and then concentrate on giving IE fantastic security and features instead of annoying us all with a faulty, permanently out of date and proprietary rendering engine?

  296. weeegod says:

    > Why not ditch Trident and use WebKit or Gecko and

    > then concentrate on giving IE fantastic security and

    > features instead of annoying us all with a faulty,

    > permanently out of date and proprietary rendering

    > engine?

    I agree! Adopting webkit would not be giving up. It would be focusing on better features for the user instead of trying to fix a buggy engine.

    It would be awesome for the community if Microsoft joined the effort to improve a proven engine while enhancing the user experience in other fronts.

    And you could rename it to Microkit, or maybe Microcute!!! Aw, how lovely!

  297. StevenMc says:

    We need:

    – Sub-pixel rendering in text

    – Sub-pixel positioning for block level elements and character spacing

    – Rounded corners

    – PNG transparency

    – CSS3 Compatibility

  298. Mandy says:

    @ironic: " What’s the down side of letting IE’s rendering engine compete with WebKit? If it is not good enough for you, you can switch over (or keep) to another browser of your choice.

    IE team is doing a *good thing* by trying to improve their -free- software. "

    First, IMHO IE is not FREE as it comes bundled in Windows and we pay Windows licenses. Second, if they were to let the users choose their default pre-installed browser, then I could call that competition.

    The problem is that many people use IE just because it is already installed and they don’t know even the difference between IE and Internet. As you can see, most of the web developers don’t use IE as default browser (unless they are .NET developers).

  299. Mischa says:

    Venting ie anger is always fun.

    My request: make the lameness less lame to have to deal with

    — have a cross-platform version of ie that can render as ie6-9.

    — otherwise we are all ACTUALLY GOING to have to run FOUR VMs just to make sure that users can see our "PAY" and "SIGN UP" buttons.

    — that is so painful.

    If there isn’t enough support at MS to deal with this START A FUND. I would PERSONALLY contrib at least $200 if I could have some assurance of a non-lame ie.

    Plus, think of all the design companies that probably spend at least $5k work of programmer hours / month on IE alone. Just make a site, have them give you that money, and then make ie not suck. It would be profitable for MS!

  300. Manuel Strehl says:

    Please move *not* to WebKit! A web with IE on one side and all others on the other is no better than a web divided between pages supporting Gecko features and pages supporting WebKit features.

    Go on, push Trident to become a decent rendering engine! Diversity is beautiful.

  301. sam says:

    Saying that IE is FREE is like saying that your "default" car stereo is free just because it was not charged separately.

  302. jason says:

    Nice to see that you guys delete comments

  303. Kristaps Karlsons says:

    Can’t you just stop? Please?

    Or at least – at install stage – let people to choose his/hers browser (IExploder/Safari/Firefox/Chrome)?

  304. Adam Brunner says:

    An update to IE9 will be mandatory from IE6, IE7 and even IE8 via Windows Update in the near future? Or just to IE8 from versions IE6 and IE7? If not, no one will update to newer versions because they don’t know how!

  305. Lepe says:

    Really Dean, if MS can’t handle the pressure to have IE up to time, then leave it and adopt an open source engine… for the sake of all developers I beg you!

    How many comments you need to realize it? Its unfair for all those people that are working (very hard) to try to bring the best to the web, while we (developers) can’t use it just because IE does not support it. So that led us to two alternatives:

    1) wait # years until IE support it (or sometimes just give up as SVG, at it seems it will never be included)

    2) drop IE support and opt to ignore its existance. Even more, push other people to drop it.

    Don’t you see where IE is going? Listen to these people’s comments and have a rest.

  306. Juan Medín says:

    Like many people posted above, the best thing me as a developer would be IE9 adopting WebKit. It’s tested, known, freely available and with open source.

    I share the opinion of my fellow developers.

  307. Lepe says:

    @Manuel Strehl:

    Sorry, but it is not that way. If IE actually could adopt Webkit or Gecko (which I sincerely doubt it), it would instantly improve web development in so many ways. Why? Standards. Webkit and Gecko follows standards, so we (developers) don’t need to worry about which browser are people using. No more <!–[if IE 6]> .

    That is the whole idea! If IE continue releasing Trident, we will always have to test IE6,7,8,9 and so on.

  308. Pete Austin says:

    Please switch to WebKit. Apart from the obvious advantages to developers like me, this would help MS to write portable Web apps to compete on the leading smartphones, which are – let’s face it – never going to allow Silverlight in.

  309. Simp's says:

    Hey, this looks promising!

    But could we also — please please please — have an IE9 frame for IE6?

  310. Aleksy says:

    It would be great if I could use css without worrying about different rendering by different browsers.

    I will wait for IE9 to come out but based on previous releases I would think it will be the slowest browser available and the one that causes most problems for web developers.

    I hope I am wrong.

    I agree with others – adapt Webkit or Gecko and it will make things easier for everyone – IE developers, web developers, end users. Clearly a win-win situation.

  311. Neil C says:

    Right, so what you are saying is that you are just about getting to where firefox, safari and opera where about 2 years ago ?

    Is this a joke ?

    Give up.

  312. There might be lots of reasons why you don’t support installing multiple versions of IE side-by-side. But how about a plugin for IE 7/8/9 (like ChromeFrame), that simulates IE6?

    So if you wanted to use a site that only works in IE6, you’d type in ie6:

    Or is it not possible for the same reason simultaneous installations aren’t possible?

  313. Marty says:

    I’m a web developer. Web standards support is my highest priority.

    IE6 is a major headache. IE7 is better. IE8 is better than IE7. But none comes close to Firefox, Chrome, Opera or Safari for web standards support, which makes life easier for developers.

    Want developers to love IE9? Make sure it supports web standards.

    IE9 should:

    – pass Acid1, Acid2 and Acid3 tests

    – Wide support for CSS3

    I can’t imagine I’d be telling anybody that IE9 will finally be a great browser to use. Don’t disappoint me this time!! 🙂

  314. "As we improve support in IE for technologies that site developers use, the score will continue to go up."

    That sounds like you’re playing catchup with the developers. Is that how it’s being played? I hope it’s just me reading that wrong.

    Developers hold back using some features because the browser support isn’t there. The browser support must come first for us to be able to make us of it.

  315. Christine says:

    Sounds great, but how do you force people to USE it rather than IE6! LOL.

  316. Philip Kahn says:

    I’m glad you guys are making progress, but honestly — if you guys don’t make a massive, concerted effort towards the standards and put the frills secondary, I think IE’s market share will continue its justified decrease.

    I can write CSS once, and the core code once, and it works in Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and various *nix browsers, with page layout differences on the order of 1-3 pixels in placement.

    I then have to fight with IE to get it to have a "mostly compatible" look with every other browser.  Often I just serve different code to IE.

    I’ll believe you are actually committed to standards, and progress toward smoothing the web, if you take the top 500 websites, ignore all IE based code (and serve the site with a different user agent), and they all still look and act right.  Until then, sites I build all use switches for Chrome Frame and notifications that IE is a hobbled experience.  I really do hope, though, to see progress from you guys, and wish you the best of luck. I hope i am not disappointed!

  317. Simon Ford says:

    Someday in the future people will look back on this article as a milestone in the gradual decline of MS.

    To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Build a worse mousetrap, and the your existing customers will slowly walk away"

  318. spellchecker says:

    IE9 absolutely must come with a spellchecker built in.

    There is no excuse for not having this included.

    This isn’t hard at all in fact there is a public 21 line python spellchecker available and its been ported to every language under the sun.

    I will be extremely disappointed if this is not implemented in IE9.

  319. Yogee says:

    Oh god, please no. Then we have 3 M$ Browser I have to keep apart. Thats at least one conditionel comment more. Please, please, please stop with this! If you decide to go on, may I suggest to think about your customer and the developers first, not how you can make a bigger mess and try to make up for the last 10 years of doing nothing!

  320. yogee says:

    edit: well, not nothing. its more BS that you produced all these years and made our dear web developer world so ugly and frustrating!

    I bet at least 3 heartattacks in the last year of developers were caused by IE 6 bugs.

    Just start thinking. I bet you will see that a regular update (like 8.1, 8.2 and so on) will help a big deal to kill IE 6. Wrks with any other browser that is not M$ – so please, start thinking!

    and also, a refund for all the lost hours bugfixing your stupid Browser would be greatly appreciated!

  321. fu says:

    "one of the many limitations of use of non-standard filters"

    O RLY? And who, exactly, created those non-standard filters in the first place, ignoring other options? I believe they appeared in IE 6, right? Oh no, that was a totally different browser, right? IE9, Now 30% Less Evil! Trust Us!

  322. JG says:

    "IE9 won’t have any of the problems IE8 did. Trust me."

  323. Anthony Kimball says:

    Mad props to the team for their high-quality work.  Please, can we get this on Android?

  324. Brian LePore says:

    As someone who is completely hindered by the poor performance of Webkit’s getComputedStyle function, I beg you *please* do not switch to Webkit.

    Besides, it looks like you’re making good advances with your HTML/CSS rendering engine. It’s the JavaScript engine that needs the most work and that is not a part of Webkit to begin with. Heck, just adding addEventListner, removeEventListener, with support for DOMContentLoaded, will quiet many of the critics in that regard. Sure, everyone will have their own little bit that they’d like added (I’d personally love to see ranges and selections covered), but you’re not going to be able to satisfy everyone.

  325. Ben says:

    Is this a joke? You’re bragging about achieving 32% on the acid 3 test?!

    Do you have no pride? Surely after all the criticism of previous versions of IE and its total lack of support for web standards it would be a matter of pride to get over 90%?

    Why is there no impetus in Microsoft to improve IE? This is absolutely ridiculous. It’s not exciting at all. You’re just prolonging the pain that web developers have gone through for decades. I don’t want "features"! I want consistency. I can build my own features thank you very much.

  326. Avo says:

    The amount of negativity you guys receive for this great work makes my eyes hurt. Sure, IE6 is bad, but IE8 is actually somewhat useable; and it looks like IE9 will be actually -fun- to work with again.

  327. Tim Acheson says:

    IE8 is the best web browser, however there is scope for further improvements. I very much look forward to IE9!

    There’s been a lot of talk about HTML 5 arising from this early look at IE9. I would urge fellow web developers to look beyond the  propaganda from certain corporations, and remember that HTML 5 is NOT yet an official specification for the web, it is still a DRAFT and as W3C repeatedly point out adoption at this stage can lead to problems later:-

  328. Chris L says:

    Just make it standards-compliant and everyones happy. Please.

  329. Paul says:

    Please do not ignore people’s comments and do something to improve the reputation of IE. I’m hoping for 100/100 this time.

    Your users have a tremendous difficulty to upgrade to newer versions so I suggest you better get it right this time.

    Web developers can’t support 4 different versions of a buggy browser. That is impossible!

  330. Krues says:

    Please stop putting aftermarket spoilers on your chevy nova.  We want *standards support*, not crappy new features.  The fact that we’re still having to code around your previous *THREE* mistakes is unacceptable.  Either commit 100% to standards in IE9, or start using Webkit to render.  Or just give up entirely.

  331. anony.muos says:

    I think MS is going to use Direct3D retained mode or DirectDraw for XP. Backporting Direct2D means backporting WDDM. I just won’t settle for GDI if Vista and Windows 7 are getting Direct2D and will switch immediately even though I’ve been loyal to IE so far.

  332. Will Peavy says:

    @Jeff Schiller – An example: line 15 of Acid3 uses the :root selector. :root is defined in Selectors Level 3, and as far as I know Selectors Level 3 is a working draft.

  333. Will Peavy says:

    @IE Developers – congratulations on the JS engine performance. I’m looking forward to trying it out.

  334. Mark says:

    Ian Muir wrote: "What software company do you all work at where giving up at the first sign of competition is an acceptable policy?"

    That’s a straw man: Microsoft don’t make any money from IE.

    What software company do you work at where time and money is invested in solving problems for which vastly superior solutions are freely available? I hope your VCs are very tolerant.

  335. Chuck says:

    Hey, guys. PLEASE stop developing IE. There are a lot of GOOD browsers now, let us choice one of them and remove IE from Windows.

    Why to waste your time trying to fix something that has been always wrong?

    IE is the WORST browser EVER.


  336. Anonymuos says:

    The thing that matters most to me even above standards support is how fast can you deliver since you are way behind? I’d be happy to be proved wrong but I bet IE9 won’t RTM in 2010. And if it does, IE11 won’t come before 2012. This slow release cycle in a thriving cut-throat web browser market is unacceptable and which is why your market share is continuously falling. Please accelerate your release cycle for IE to become an acceptable browser. I’m so tired of how it is ALWAYS playing catchup. For once, can’t you lead the way?

  337. Jack Frost says:

    I guess Microsoft _STILL_ didn’t get IE right with version 8.  Looking forward to version 13. 🙂

  338. Gaetan Lauff says:

    I have a dream …

    Please do us all a favour and stop developing browsers. And then with the next Windows Update deinstall all IE Browsers worldwide.

  339. surveyork says:

    You’re bragging about achieving a meager 32% on the acid 3 test? Most major browsers get 100%. Firefox gets 93%. And you brag about 32%?

    Please do us all a favor and stop developing browsers. Why waste your time trying to fix something that has been always wrong?

  340. brad dunbar says:

    You guys are already taking a beating here but I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t express to you the pain we all go through for Internet Explorer.

    I’m embarrassed for you, because you’re missing the punchline.  At the current rate of market share drop, combined with the growing lack of confidence that Microsoft can live in the web, IE9 will not matter.  Not even a little.

    Take a different direction.  Do it fast.

  341. Chris says:

    This is really pathetic MS. How can you even claim this is good when current browsers run circles around the numbers that you have just posted.  Especially the Acid 3 test.  What a joke.  Let me know when you actually give a damn about making a standard compliant browser.

  342. asdf says:

    surveyork: They are not bragging about 32 points in Acid3, they are bragging about how they managed to, in THREE WEEKS OF DEVELOPMENT TIME, to do a 160% improvement over the IE8 results – AND at the same time adding css3 border-radius and selectors, making javascript 6x faster, and adding gpu-accelerated display.

  343. Allan says:

    Wow, so much anger and emotion over a web browser. I hope that MS is listening, developing for IE must really be painful. But beside expressing this anger it would probably be helpful to try and explain to MS exactly what is wrong with IE instead of just asking them to stop developing it…

    MS is not going to adopt webkit any time soon (one should never say never), so while suggesting it is only fair, it’s probably fruitless. Lately, there has even been talks about how webkit is being branched, and how there are differences between different webkit implementations. So adopting webkit might not even prove to solve the problem. We might as well tell Google and all the others to stop developing their browsers and just leave IE on the field. That would give us a standard browser :-).

    No, instead let’s just keep pushing MS (and everyone else) to keep adopting newer standards so that we can push the limits of what’s possible in a browser. Let’s tell MS that we want them to pass the ACID3 test 100% for IE9 (at least it looks good on paper). Remember browsers IE8 and down do adhere to some standards, they’re just old standards.

    It’s fair enough to say that javascript performance is not all there is to the speed  of browsing the web, but at the same time it’s great to see MS increasing performance. Keep pushing. It sounds like people expect IE to be better than the rest. Being last, but close (and as fast as FF3.5 in js), is not enough to quelch the anger and pain apparently.

    I read somewhere that IE9 is only 3 weeks into development. By that measure it’s good to see how much they’ve increased performance. Maybe they should do an IE 8.1 release so that we don’t have to wait too long to get those javascript performance benefits. Many people seem to forget that there actual was an IE5.5 released between IE5 and IE6, so they could do it again.

    On the other hand it’s kind of shocking if they’re in fact ONLY 3 weeks into development. IE8 was officially released on Windows XP, Vista etc. on March 19. Does that mean that MS has been doing nothing with regard to development of IE for 7 months?

    I’m guessing that the integration that they did of IE into Windows is hurting them now. It probably slows development considerably. Separating IE from Windows sounds like a good idea. It also allows for side-by-side installations of different versions of IE, as it has been suggested in the comments. What a great idea.

    One thing I would like to see in IE9 is faster startup-times. I use Google Chrome partly because I just starts up faster. Again that’s weird, because being so integrated into the os, one would think that IE would be faster, but instead, might the weight of Windows be dragging IE down?

    DISCLAIMER: I’m a Google Chrome user myself (because it just feels faster) and a program manager NOT a developer, so there are issues that I don’t really know about.

  344. The true M says:

    32/100 in Acid 3? Come on!

    I mean, I don’t see a problem with a browser that’s probably still in early development stages to be far behind the current standards. That’s normal (in fact, I typically spend a week writing code that doesn’t work at all and then get to ironing the bugs out).

    But the "excuse" for the result is what bothers me. No "this is normal for an early dev state", but a jab at the test itself.

    Which may lead people to believe you’ll (once again) decide that maybe supporting some things "isn’t so important" and you’ll rather concentrate on making the colour more shiny instead of fixing the rusty engine.

  345. developer2 says:

    Standards, schmantards.

    Frankly.. I am sick of standards! There, I said it!

    The biggest innovations on web happened in the browser wars. Netscape created javascript and Microsoft created Ajax. (rich text editors were introduced by IE also).

    If they would have followed "standards" most sites would today be on the same level as the typical geocities page from the mid 90s.

    There needs to be another browser war with PROPRIETARY EXTENSIONS (yes I said it!) like in the glory days, when Javascript, AJAX and RTE were invented, BECAUSE there was no stupid waiting for "standards" from the academic circle jerk known as w3c.

  346. Ari Pernick says:

    @allan: "Three weeks of development" doesn’t mean what you think it does. If you look at this e8 post (, Windows 7 only had 18 weeks of development.

  347. Fnord says:

    Please keep on developing IE – I’ve been in the webdev business since Mosaic 0.9 days and I’d hate for this ongoing train wreck to end.

    Where would I get my entertainment? How would I get my kicks if I was unable to continue writing abusive comments in IE-specific CSS sheets?

    I used to fear Microsoft, now I pity it. Instead I fear Google.

  348. Tim Dobson says:

    32% today on ACID3 is, well, embarrassing when ALL the other major browsers are up in the 90% range.

    Stop putting up a smokescreen and actually admit that you’re performance needs to improve for you to stay competitive.

  349. CoolArsh says:

    I have a suggestion. Why dont you make SilverLight support Native to IE9. No need to download anything special for silverlight.

  350. Tim Acheson says:

    A typical response to this in the anti-MS community has been to suggest that IE9 is "late" with the "rounded-corners feature".

    I feel obliged to highlight couple of very important points which blow this type of response clean out of the water.

    1. Timing. CSS3 is still a draft specification, as is HTML5. IE9 is ahead of the W3C roadmaps.

    2. Compliance. Introducing new features is less important than compliance with standards. Having to do things differently in different browsers is not good; it’s clearly bad for everybody. (Mozilla and Webkit added this feature earlier, but they each did it differently and in a way that does not comply with the specification. Such unilateralism is good for instant headlines for individual vendors and cheap PR for competitive corporations, but clearly in the long-term this impedes progress and must be discouraged not celebrated.)

    A colleague of mine used the analogy "IE9 is late to the party". On the contrary, to coin a counter-metaphor: more accurately, IE9 is on time and showed-up wearing the correct dress-code!

  351. Swit Outlaw says:

    They’ll get sued if Silverlight was native to the browser.

  352. Chris says:


    What a stupid post. Back in the days of Netscape, IE was actually innovative. Today it a much different story.  They are years behind in compatibility and standards (yes there is that word you hate).  Fact of the matter is… standards are the way the web is going and if IE isn’t going to follow suite and support it… they are going to be gone like netscape (one can only hope actually)

  353. Hellster says:

    Yay , finally implimenting hardware graphics accelleration will be nice , i hate the lag in browsers when you get a page full of pics and you just get a pile of artifacts when scrolling.

  354. You don’t have to cause problems for an entire industry anymore. There is this thing called WebKit.

  355. Stifu says:

    Unlike most commentators here, I like what I see. This is encouraging. And I’m clearly not an IE fan.

    And although I’m a web dev, want to push standards, CSS3, HTML5 and all that… The Acid3 is a mediocre, overrated test. It’s a shame newbies don’t realize that.

    On the other hand, whoever thought it was a good idea to pretend all of this has been achieved in just 3 weeks needs to be bitch slapped. This is an insult to both readers and the IE devs who did all that work, not to mention it ridicules the work done on past IE versions (as in, if you can get that much work done in just 3 weeks, why only now and not earlier?).

  356. Ash says:

    Honestly, I wish you guys would just back out of the browser game. With the unwillingness to offer updates for improving CSS support and only small steps between major revisions to make IE standards compliant, it’s nothing but trouble. There are a few browsers out there, as you’re well aware, that are doing far better at making developer’s jobs more reasonable than you are. I know your job isn’t easy, and that you can’t build off another company’s rendering engine, however, you can definitely improve. Here are some ideas:

    1) Stop implementing proprietary functions in your browser.

    2) Start offering on-the-fly updates for improving standards compliance (Windows Updates for IE Standards Compliance).

    3) Make it a point to be standards compliant.

    4) Make your rendering engine open source.

    Get with the program, you’ve been left behind.

  357. Adam says:

    Another version of ie to support…. Great!

    Wow, your only now adding rounded corners.

    At the very least can you force users to update from ie6 and ie7?

  358. The_Redmond_Kid says:

    Fix your RSS feed.  When I subscribe to a feed, I want to be taken to my default reader (RSSOwl) I don’t want to navigate through 3 pages only to end up at IE’s confusing reader.  FireFox makes this possible.  Why can’t IE? Damnit!

  359. Allan says:

    @Ari Thanks for pointing me to the article, which is interesting in its own right. I just can’t seem to find what you’re referring to, maybe I’m blind :-). AFAICT it says that they had several 3 month long milestones, each with 6 weeks of development and 6 weeks of integration. That would make for much more that 18 weeks.

    Nevertheless if you’re telling me that 3 weeks is actually more than 3 weeks, I’ll trust you :-).

    @chris I kind of get where @developer2 is coming from. He’s just saying that he’s not worried about standards and that he’d rather have innovation than being bogged down in the loooong process it is to find common ground. Might be stating the obvious, but I think we need both. It’ll always be a balancing act.

    Competition and choice is good!

  360. Skoovy says:

    What we need a a number of CIOs around the country to come out publicly and ask MS to get out of the browser market or to use a standard like Webkit. MS does not give a gnat’s fart about the individual developer. Every addition is an attempt to subvert and control the web. They don’t care if you web devs live or die. In fact, most of the execs would probably push the "get a million dollars but someone, somewhere dies" button.

    If all that IE6 proprietary garbage at internal company websites is a problem, just maintain a version of IE6 that runs on every new OS release. Call it the "Legacy Corporate Intranet" browser or the "Our Buttwipe IT Guys Really Raped Us By Tying Us To All This Turgid Proprietary Pig Crap" browser.

  361. trooty52168 says:

    @ieblog – Dear ieblog:

    Does the fact that there are 331 comments on this page and approximately 80% of them are people asking you to a) focus on complying with standards instead of some new "excel web feature", b) stop the development of IE, and c) consider the amount of work you cause web developers signal a red flag? Is this a cause for concern at Microsoft? That is my question.

    I hope you can consider, beyond these practical matters of compliance and requests to discontinue the IE product, a larger problem looms. You are doing a disservice to society by providing unsuspecting PC users with a built-in, hard-to-get-rid-of web browser that does not conform to "the rules," yet is provided by the most recognized and trusted computer authority on planet earth. Can you see why that is confusing and possibly unethical? I, and many other developers, recognize that are slowing down the development and potential of the internet as we know it. The frustrating part is that we, developers, feel you pretend not to understand this fact. By talking about some new "excel web feature" and glazing over your 23/100(?) score on the acid test, you’re tacitly communicating that implementing your proprietary features are more important than facilitating the growth of knowledge and well-being for your users — us, the people. It is for this reason, I believe, that Microsoft will be remembered as inconsiderate by future generations. Your actions speak contempt, I am afraid.

    Could you please issue an IEDELETE.EXE service pack for all versions of Windows immediately? Users can be prompted to then install Opera, Chrome, Firefox, or another open source browser of their choice after IE is 100% deleted and destroyed. This is just an idea to consider, there are probably ways you could turn it into profitable event — maybe charge people to uninstall IE? Just an idea…

    I hope you will please consider the sentiments of the majority of users on this post. When you wake up, log in, and check out your code in the morning, just think: "People don’t want what I’m coding."

    Everyone would appreciate it.

  362. Kam says:

    Although I use FF mostly, I still hope IE to be continued.

    Still wish IE can have a strike back.

    With Windows 7, I also wish IE6- user base will drop a lot.

    BTW, I strongly wish IE can allow multiple version on the same PC. Or even portable.

  363. Kam says:

    To address the IE6 problem, release a portable IE6,IE7,IE8 and encourage corporate user to upgrade the built-in IE to IE9.

    I think if IE can make ACID3 100%, there would be much less complain.

    Except the ‘graphic world’, I think most websites do not use the ‘latest standard’ since they don’t know what browsers their users are using. They are much more conservative than people posting here.

  364. developer2 says:

    Yes, that’s what I am saying. I don’t get the webkit talk here.

    IE is standard compliant already. With CSS 2.1 and XHTML 1.0. Are there really scenarios where you need CSS 3 features?

    But anyway, that’s what I am not talking about. So, the wish is that all browsers should use the same engine.. What’s the point in having different browsers then? Different spellcheckers?

    What a boring world that would be. I say: Go proprietary extensions! They are what made the web today. The W3C is too esoteric and too academic.

    And if it means creating different pages for different pages, go with it. May the best extension win.

    It shouldn’t be that difficult to create different markup depending on the browser with an CMS.

    The desire here is an uniform world that is ruled by some weed smoking academics. To hell with it.


  365. Anonymous says:

    Oh really? You think you can start supporting CSS 3 features when you can barely support 2.1?

    Really Microsoft?

    Down with IE.

  366. marcos says:

    A question for the IE team:

    Have you tried to replace Trident with a modern rendering engine ( Webkit, Gecko, Opera ) ?  

    Recently Google made this with its Google Chrome Frame. Why can’t you tackle the "IE problem" this way?

  367. developers says:

    "I hope you will please consider the sentiments of the majority of users on this post. When you wake up, log in, and check out your code in the morning, just think: "People don’t want what I’m coding."


    By all statistics, IE is still the market leader. Whether it is by pre-installing or what not doesn’t matter much. The raw number matters.

    Judging business decisions on the comments of this blog? ZOMGROFLCOPTER.

    This blog just "attracts" the "right" people. It’s not a true view on the general population.

    That’s like judging the health of the general population by taking a poll on an AIDS forum.

  368. BB says:

    Can you please bring back the inline autocomplete for URLs that was present in IE7 but, for some unbelievably stupid reason, was removed from IE8?  The "Smart Bar" that replaced it is a poor substitute, and the worst part about it is that you guys *removed* functionality when it was not even needed.  Please don’t make those mistakes again, and please rectify this error in this new version.

  369. developer2 says:

    The last comment is mine, misstyped the user name.

  370. Allan says:

    @trooty52168 I agree with you that IE should be uninstallable. I the meantime Apple doesn’t allow uninstalling Safari 4 either. Not the best of decisions I think. Other than that, there are stil plenty of people who use and like IE and don’t care much about other browsers.

    Just did a search for "uninstall safari osx" and found that at least one person wants to uninstall Safari 4 because it is "a memory hog, slow, unstable and makes other parts of OSX slow too.

    Let’s all encourage Apple to stop developing Safari 😉 and let’s stick (be stuck) with what we’ve got. I know, I know, there are probably reasons for the aforementioned problems with Safari 4 and it DOES render javascript faster than IE. Hope people can still see my point.

  371. Ashok says:

    Thanks for being honest here. I have seen some ridiculous comparisons trying to prove IE8 is better than firefox and chrome.. Those comparisons does nothing useful other than being used as a laughing stock.

    It would be really good if IE improves on performance, standards compliance(saves the developers a hell lot of job – If you don’t like the standard, why don’t you participate and change the standard) and stability…

  372. Pepe says:

    The comments here only confirm my long held belief that web developes are the whiniest group of people that God ever invented.

    So having to develop for IE makes things harder for you?  THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE GETTING PAID FOR!!  Your jobs are sooooo much easier than those of so many others that have to work ten times as hard for one tenth of the pay, and here you are whining, like you do on all other web developer message boards and blogs.

    Secondly, everyone simply adopting webkit makes webkit the single point of vulnerability/failure.  Since webkit’s marketshare is in the single digits, nobodies bothered to attack it.  How do we know if it would hold up once it became the primary (and only?) target?

    Third, if everyone adopted a single engine, stagnation would result.

  373. viktor says:

    32? oh.. silly browser ever 🙂

  374. Jacob Straszynski says:

    Can you guys just please switch to Webkit. Please? I will bring frankincense to this holy event. I know it might seem daunting but maybe you’ll be blessed enough to have a prophetic young intern show up that hacks together a Microsoft branded webkit over the weekend.

    Maybe he can even migrate Internet Explorer’s  distinguishing features like accelerators and icons.

    It’s on mobile devices. It’s fast, open (you like that right, codeplex), already scores 100/100 out of acid 3 (not some promise that it will in a year).

    Leap into the future instead of continuing to catch up with the past.

    When IE9 comes out will it support canvas? By that I mean, will it actually work properly? Your record suggests probably not. How about svg?

    Most likely, we’re going to have idiosyncratic annoyances like the peekaboo bug rear their heads once again. And developers everywhere are going to have to write blog posts that get 1000 trackbacks detailing how you can overcome the canvas incarnation of peekaboo bug if you first draw a purple pixel at coordinate 0,0 append a <div> tag after the canvas tag, then use some broken css markup that, counter-intuitively, fixes things. It’s like every release, the IE team gives developers a fantastic new puzzle to solve. Far better than those 5 star Sudoku problems I get every Saturday.

  375. Andy Ford says:

    This is encouraging. However, referring to CSS as "mark-up" doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.

  376. Cupids_Toejam says:

    Ive given up on testing in IE when designing a website. Too much trouble! If a visitor comes to my site with IE, i direct them to download a standards compliant browser. If everybody does this, everyone will stop using IE altogether. Man, how nice would it be to never have to worry about IE support. Wishful thinking? Not if we all work together.

  377. Leandro says:

    From what I see in the graph above IE9 will be much faster than previous versions but it will still be the slowest browser. How can it be possible? Good news are the fact that at least this new release intends to be more compatible and standard respectful which seems to be a good decision as web browsers are increasing in numbers and getting better every day.

    Anyway, from now I’m not considering to switch to IE9 but keep my Chrome or Firefox web browsers, which are great!

  378. Hank says:

    lepe: You need to read more carefully. Not only are the numbers you cited a decade out of date, they’re also quite imprecise.

    The figure you cited for IE in the 1990s includes "marketing costs" which for many companies dwarfs product development costs by a huge amount. Some movies, for instance, cost millions to make and hundreds of millions to promote.

    As for your skepticism that Opera spends more than IE on development: Who knows? Consider that Opera’s entire business is their browser, so they’ve got no other priorities to direct revenue toward. Further, IE has ~600M more customers than Opera does, so it stands to reason that their support and operations costs are far higher.

  379. Scott says:

    IE 9 provides nothing to web developers…that is unless they code specifically for this 1 browser. Also, where is the mention of platforms this is being developed for? Will this work on Mac/Linux?

  380. Tony says:

    I’ve been a Microsoft supporter for years – but I am now running FireFox and love it.  

    Sorry MS – your browser stinks in comparison.  I’m with pretty much every web developer in the world here – you should be 100% compliant with standards.  That would go a long way.  

    We spend all of our time trying to get our sites to work with IE – we just don’t have time to mess around with new widgets you build even if we wanted to deploy an IE only site…

  381. Mark says:

    scott– You clearly didn’t read the post. IE9 better supports standards and it’s faster. What web dev *doesn’t* benefit from this?

    No, IE9 isn’t going to run on Mac or Linux; IE5 (~1998) was the last version that ran on those platforms.

    tony– You know that Firefox is not "100% compliant" with standards either, right? Shouldn’t you be running Opera, which is more compliant than Firefox?

  382. Nnp says:

    i said "text-align:center", but stupid FF does not understand,and these FF supporters are saying that its easy to develope app to FF, wtf. keep going IE team. dafari 4 is even worst then IE6.

  383. Rich says:

    Please stop. We have two excellent open source browser implementations, webkit and firefox. Why in the world do we need IE? Your javascript engine is one of the slowest out there, your support for CSS standards is still lagging and we’re tired of hell of having to support IE6, IE7 and now IE8. Just go away MS. No serious web developer wants you in this game anymore.

  384. As a hobby, I’m currently developing a web based 2D game using <canvas>. Until IE is able to support that tag, I will have a message that prompts the user to download a more capable web browser.

    I suspect in the coming years, as the web continues to evolve as a universal development platform, we will see more sites chose the same approach.

    Considering the history of innovation that IE has (I haven’t forgotten that XMLHTTPRequest was a Microsoft innovation!) it would be a shame if IE were to be relegated to the role of "That thing you use to go download your real browser when you buy a new computer."

    I understand that Microsoft is trying to compete with Adobe in the RIA space, but I think it is time to admit that like applets, Flash, Flex and Silverlight will become obsolete as time goes by.

    The winner will be the one who develops great libs/frameworks for HTML5/Canvas.

  385. Geoff says:

    I don’t see why you don’t just pick up WebKit or Gecko, put it in your own UI, and contribute to it.

    Developing the IE engine further is pointless and destructive.  We will all continue to curse you daily until you stop.

  386. John Blogs says:

    Dean, I have an idea for you…

    Why on earth are you making these fixes to IE9. People are still using IE6, 7 and 8 and not everyone will be fully migrated to IE9 for years to come.

    Why not rollout the rendering engine fixes as updates to the previous browser versions, because seriously you (Microsoft) sure do write some buggy software. That’ll make all the web developers in the world happy.

    IE7 should have been a fix for IE6, IE8 should then have been a fix for that.  You can use a meta tag for switching rendering modes just like you did in IE8.  Quit releasing new versions until you can render a webpage properly and on par with browsers that actually support standards.

  387. Steven says:

    If you guys won’t be supporting Canvas and WebGL, then how about supporting "WebGDI+" and "WebDirectX" 🙂

  388. Keith says:

    I hope Microsoft does not seriously abandon Trident. I have investments in Trident’s codebase as a developer and end user and we already have 2 major vendors based on WebKit. As much as I hate the current level of standards support in Trident, I don’t wish to ever go away. Just bring it at par with the competition in a big bang release (that should be IE9). The lesser versions you take to reach a competitively acceptable state of standards, the less developers will hate IE. MS has to understand testing on IE6, IE7, IE8, IE9 and so on although easy now with SuperPreview and virtual machines isn’t exactly an exciting thing. Please bring full support for DOM2, DOM3, CSS3, XHTML, SVG, HTML 5, ECMAScript, MathML, XForms, Canvas, other XML technologies, color management, WOFF in this release. IE9 has to be your Windows 95 or Windows 2000.

  389. Scott says:

    @Mark – I don’t want to argue. I read the article completely before posting. IE9 does NOT offer anything beneficial to web developers. Who cares if it "better supports" standards…How does that benefit them? Less hack code they have to write for the NEW version if IE??? That argument is ridiculous.

  390. Sam Neil says:

    Switch back to the IE6 interface and I’ll switch to IE9 tomorrow.

  391. Alex says:

    Permitanme que me ria y me carcajie, jajajajajajajajajajajaja

  392. The Truth says:

    This is borderline ignorant. Yeah, a new IE version to despise!

    Remember the CSS DirectX filters, or the IE CSS javascript expressions? Or what about the IE7 Emulate tag. Microsoft is proud of hacks, many, many hacks. How about fixes, real fixes, some call them standards; because they should be the standard!

    What other proprietary madness will you add? CSS styles written in VB?!

    Also, stop posting your Acid Tests, its pathetic. You should be ashamed: 32/100. Haha.

  393. Will Peavy says:

    @everyone – I’m a web developer. I’ve worked on enterprise web applications used by some of the largest organizations in the world, and I can tell you that making interfaces work across different browsers is not that difficult. If you know what you’re doing, cross-browser compatibility is a TRIVIAL part of the software engineering process. If you think making websites work across browsers is "difficult", then honestly you should find another profession – you’ll never be any good as a web developer.

  394. Mehmet says:

    It’m glad that IE developers are sharing some information about IE9’s performance in acid 3 and css3 tests.

    Although acid3 score is low compared to rest of the competition, I hope it’s going to be 100 by the time it’s released.

    The improvement in the text rendering is great news, using direct2D is a step in the right direction.

    What I’d like to know in the next blog update is, specifically which standards is going to be supported, and to what extent? Canvas and HTML 5 is the main concern for most developers. I’m sure planned features are definite, as you are developing.

    Since IE 8 we can specify the rendering engine by meta tags in the document, is this going to be the case for IE 9, if so what are the choices?

    As a developer who spends a lot of time trying to make things work on 3 versions of this browser, I think IE should have its rendering engine, because competition is good thing, as long as you follow standards properly.

  395. Seniha says:

    Why I am away from IE7+ is simply because its Favorites pane becomes unresponsive to mouse scrolling when the page starts loading.

    Developers are important but end-users are awaiting simplicity.

  396. Pavel Verevkin says:

    Are you kidding me, guys? DirectX acceleration of rendering? As far as I remember, 2D graphics performance has not been a problem since the beginning of 1990s.

    I understand that you are being pressed NOT to support HTML5 properly, because Silverlight (and Flash) would become irrelevant if it is universally supported.

    Dear web developers. There is no point to get frustrated about poor standard support. Standard technologies always become "least common denominator" (remember C++). If you want cutting edge, use the best proprietary technology out there, making sure it has large user base and income stream behind it to protect your investment. So far you have Flex and you have Silverlight, both very good and getting better (looks like JavaFX is starved and Google is abandoning Gears for the hope of HTML5). Choose your poison.

  397. Cupids_Toejam says:


    LOL, you speak about how easy it to code for multiple browsers. If we knew what we were doing, it would be a simple task. This is kinda funny, but if we all built sites that look like the one you’ve provided, the internet would be a very sad place. Yes Will ,im sure all browsers will render your page the same. Oh, and what a great leap you’ve taken in your html5 DTD. HAHAHAHA

  398. Jaap Aap says:

    Same here: svg, canvas and html5 please

  399. Matt says:

    A good read. In previous versions of IE, management have hidden from things such as relative performance and the acid tests, instead choosing to use their own biased tests and out of date standards.

    So it’s refreshing to see the team show that in terms of performance and standards that there is a long way to go, but they seem to be tackling this head on instead of hiding and complaining. This, coupled with the new features and new rendering system could see a return to form for IE.

    If they can pass Acid3 and match Chrome for speed, they can finally be proper runners in the browser market (and by this I mean that although they have the most used browser, it is by no means the most popular (as most people use it by default, unaware of the other choices)).

  400. Greg says:

    Direct complaints about inclusion/exclusion of different web standard components to the WWW HTML comittee.  They’re responsible for ever expanding the standard without removing obsolete features.  MS, or any other browser maker, cannot continually support an ever increasing complexity of web layout features.

    This is why web tests, like acid, and web standards should have compatability levels.  This allows clients on different platforms (micro ones on phones to full ones on desktops) to support different levels of the specification.

    The video standards group figured this out long ago with MPEG4.

    -> MS should provide a compatibility level validator for web pages to identify use of non-standard html/ie6 features

    -> Advocates of open source code should consider the cost of supporting it, its quality (including maintainability), and if it has a 10+ year expected lifetime.

    -> Open source is not necessarily the answer since many projects boil down to the efforts of 2 or 3 developers and die out when those developers quit.  Open source OCR software has made no meaningful progress in the last 10 years and next generation projects (Tesseract) are nowhere near production quality.  This does not fit into a production environment unless you want to pay a large upfront cost an an ongoing large yearly cost for maintenance (i.e., your time).

    I’ll give you 1,000,000 lines of linux kernel code and tell you ‘you have the source and can make it do anything you want it to do as long as you have an infinite amount of hours and money to invest in learing/modifying the code.’  That cannot be the basis for a business case of using that open source code.

  401. Michelle says:

    Google spanked Microsoft when they released Chrome Frame.

    Suck it up, learn the lesson, and at the very *minimum* release your own freaking IE6 plug-in to allow users stuck with IE6 for whatever reason to join the modern internet.

    Even just some improved basic, common CSS and JavaScript improvements. Please!

  402. nav01 says:

    Take it from what Google said about their OS.

    "Speed, simplicity and security were the key components of the design"

    All of Microsoft needs to follow this rule.

  403. ByteEater says:

    XHTML with XML MIME type, please? XSLT 2.0, XForms 1.1, SVG 1.2 Tiny at least?

  404. Meph says:

    Why is everyone saying that they should adopt WebKit? What’s wrong with Gecko?

    Also, I’m glad that Microsoft are now willingly supporting standards. Rather than complaining, why don’t we all actually give them time to catch up.

    Although I would like to see XHTML support.

  405. Fustrated Developer says:

    Please FORCE UPDATE IE6! You’ve wasted trillions of dollars as every damn developer out there had to do the same job 3 times over! Multiply that by the amount of websites out there…

    And yes +1 for we don’t care what new features you have – just go with webkit already! Your company was founded around the idea that everything should be standardized. It’s time to take a hint from 1980!

  406. No more IE pain please says:

    * The best technical decision is to adopt webkit.

    * The best business decision is to adopt webkit.

    * The best marketing decision is to adopt webkit.

    * The best decision for the web its users would be to you adopt webkit.

    Would you adopt webkit pretty please?

  407. apathetic says:

    +1 adopt webkit. That would be amazing. Well, at least Microsoft engineers have finally heard of the Acid Test.

  408. Rob says:


    You’re deflecting. Don’t tell us to criticize the W3C for Microsoft’s problems when Microsoft is a member of the W3C and co-chairs the HTML5 group. They wrote and signed off on the standards like all browser vendors do.

    And you say open source is not a solution because no one maintains that but Google, IBM, ATT and countless other large companies have heavily contribute to open source projects for years. The claim that open source is two guys in a basement doesn’t hold water.

  409. Adrian says:

    I hate the negativity in a lot of the comments here. Why are some people taking what has been posted as all that will be in IE9?

    Yes IE still looks to be behind, but at least its moving forward (as slow as it seems to be). This blog tells me that Microsoft knows there are problems and *are* doing something about them.

  410. I know you can move the refresh and stop browsing icons to the left hand side. But please, for the love of god, allow the HOME icon to be moved to the left too! It is so annoying on the right.

  411. T minus 9, 8, 7, 6... says:

    So if there’s an IE9, then there are 4 IE browsers to worry about?

    I think IE could become significantly more meaningful if the Microsoft browser deployment model had some SERIOUS RE-TOOLING.

    That’s your biggest problem.

  412. MikeFM says:

    Please make IE9 way more standards compliant. I’m really tired of Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Chrome all showing things okay but IE having constant issues (even IE8). It’s a daily battle around here.

  413. MikeFM says:

    Just base IE9 on WebKit or Gecko so we can stop having all the darn standards issues.

  414. Stevie says:

    Ive got it

    why dont you install

    windows 3/4/5/6/7/8/9

    all in the same pc for backwards compat reasons


    you can keep that 2 bloated junk

    windows messenger

    used to like that

    same again bloated junk now

    and forced installs of

    other stuff in the background

    another thing you can keep

    im getting to the point where i dont even want to try ms products anymore

    on the side google never seem to let me down

    with lightweight does what it says on the tin apps

  415. York says:

    How about a simple fix such as background colours for Fieldsets working correctly?

  416. Kaba says:

    The comment section is far more valuable than the article itself.

    From personal experience. I found an issue with Chrome, I logged a bug for it and it was fixed and rolled out in 2 months.

    I logged a bug about IE8 regarding it’s incorrect rounding of font sizes (which is a problem for maintaining vertical rhythm) and was told they won’t fix it, but they will look into it when HTML5 is complete.

    Seems like open source is far more reliable.

  417. AJ North says:

    Thanks for your intriguing and interesting article; as described, IE9 looks to be a significant milestone for the MS browser.  Echoing others’ comments, I too hope that it will be compatible with XP, and also decrease load time.  A smaller footprint would also be desirable, as well as the ability to selectively suspend script at particular sites.  All the best.

  418. Kaba says:


    Surely a web browser on a computer should maintain the highest "Compatibility Level".

    I can agree that a phone should be allowed to

    support a different level of the specification… but that’s because the device has limitations. There’s no excuse on a home computer.

    Microsoft has enough time and money to build a new browser. Honestly, I think a lot of developers would agree that they should take as much time as they need.

  419. Eliminate all previous IE versions says:

    Again, this is absurd. From a product standpoint, I think IE will continue to loose browser share and generate the ire of developers until it rehauls its browser update methods. IE 5, 6 and 7 must be eliminated with automatic updates. This should be a non-negotiable for any company serious about competing in the browser market.

  420. ombarg says:

    Regarding the suggestions to the IE Team about replacing Trident, i believe that the better decision is go with Gecko, it is a mature engine and is becoming faster , faster and faster.

  421. Eduardo Valencia says:

    Wow webkit sucks,this is the future …

    Good hob Internet explorer team,lets reach 100/100 in acid 3

  422. ideas says:

    How about this:

    If all browsers could have all the engines (like plugins), something like Chrome Frame, we could specify in a tag which engine we are using like:

    <meta engine="presto" />

    In this way, developers could choose any engine and engines could not follow standards (letting them to be as much creatives as they want). Like Flash.

    I think that could fix all this madness!!

  423. ideas says:

    Just to add to my previous comment… In that way, browsers will focus to improve usability, and engines to improve display features. I think it is not an impossible thing to do…

  424. River says:

    It looks great.Hope it can be installed on XP.

  425. zack says:

    please stop. just give up.

    IE development is already 3 years behind the competition.

    The internet would be a wonderful place without IE – just imagine developers having the freedom to develop STANDARDS COMPLIANT web apps without the BURDEN OF MAKING ENDLESS TWEAKS AND HACKS TO FIX INTERNET EXPLORER’s errors and shortcomings!

    IE is probably the worst, most ‘brand’ damaging piece of software Microsoft has ever released, please don’t repeat the error with yet another SUB-STANDARD browser release!

    🙂 z

  426. thomas says:

    @Fustrated Developer

    "Please FORCE UPDATE IE6! You’ve wasted trillions of dollars as every damn developer out there had to do the same job 3 times over! Multiply that by the amount of websites out there…"

    Every web developer on the PLANET agrees with this!

    Hey Microsoft! ..if you want to buy a vast amount of instant goodwill in the developer community, KILL IE6!!! kill it dead!

  427. manuel says:

    ..webkit?  – whats not to like! actually work properly for a start!

    continuing develop IE is just to demonstrate what bad programmmers achieve with unlimited time and unlimited resources!

  428. Sergei Y. says:

    So, IE9 is going to have:

       1. css3 selectors (= less elements/classes)

       2. rounded corners

       3. fast javascript (= animations)

       4. gpu acceleration (= animations)

       5. better font rendering (= text animations)

    Guys, this is great news! Best news in years! Very pleased to hear this, and can’t wait to see the new browser released. If this pace of changes continues, I might stop recommending Firefox to my Windows-using friends. It won’t be a necessity anymore.

    Also, keep pushing people to upgrade from IE6. In upgrade alerts, emphasize “better security”. This is the only thing that will make “conservative” people upgrade. Example:

           “Hello! There are some fundamental problems with the security of your browser. Please upgrade to the latest version to keep yourself safe from hacking. It’s free, there will be no activation nagging at all, and it’s super-easy to do. You can do it yourself right now. Here’s how: …”

    I don’t know about Microsoft in general, but the Internet Explorer Team has definitely become more open, honest and upfront about the issues, and, most importantly, relevant technology-wise. Please keep up this positive direction!

  429. Greg K says:

    Well the tone of these comment is generally please stop innovating with proprietary features and improve your STANDARD COMPLIANCE PLEASE!!!!!

    I think IE has been the bane of web developers and designers for the last 3-5 years. I don’t think I’ve used a single ‘web accelerator’ from IE8 but I’ve sure banged my head on the wall with no HTML canvas support, lack of CSS2 selector support etc.

    I hope we see significant improvements before you decide to release this version of IE as it takes years for botched previous versions to die. All of us web developers have to live with those mistakes for years to follow.

  430. Cory Nelson says:

    Holy crap am I disappointed in the web development community posting all this flamebait.

    Dean, I hope you’ll keep posting development updates for us.  I’m very excited for DirectWrite’s integration.  Drink lots of milk, need to keep that backbone strong 😉

  431. Sergei Y. says:

    Please introduce an official way to run multiple IE versions (IE7, IE8, IE9) side-by-side while preserving the authentic behavior of each version. Current third-party solution (MultipleIE) does not give 100% authentic results, which makes people set up VMs (if they are on Windows) or set up multiple VMs instead of just one (if they are on Mac/Linux).

    Also, vote up for the W3C-style event handlers, and I’d also like to see font-weight/font-style properties supported inside @font-face.


  432. dtrim says:

    To all those who want IE to support the video tag :

    really, do you want another browser supporting the video tag with the… umm… WMV format?

    It’s already bad enough for Apple to support H264 and Firefox Theora. So you guys want Microsoft to go in with WMV or something?

    No more browser should even try to support the video tag, until Apple and Mozilla make up their mind on which codec is going to be the standard.


  433. dtrim says:


    "What a stupid post. Back in the days of Netscape, IE was actually innovative."

    What a stupid post, back in the days of Netscape, IE invented ActiveX and VBScript. So now you are saying those are good things? So you want people to be innovative to invent more things like ActiveX? LOL.

  434. TinkyWinky says:

    With Internet Explorer 9 you’re patching an obsolete software (IE8 < IE7 < IE6 < IE5…).

    We need a fast navigator written from scratch, and not a 1995 navigator with some changes. Download Google Chrome.

  435. Tihiy says:

    Please don’t make bad design decisions like providing your own Direct2D/Write libraries.

  436. Larry says:

    Do some of you hear what you are saying? You are so lazy that you would force end users and businesses to update their software because it’s to much of a pain to code for older software. It’s not about you! It’s about the end user who paid money for software that they like and do not want to upgrade. Most people are more than happy with IE6,7,8 and will be happy with IE 9 as well. I have a question for all you lazy sacks. What happens when Goggle pulls the funding of FireFox in the next couple of years and they go out of business?…ie NetScape. We have been here before my friends either man up or find a new job.

  437. T. R. Tinker says:

    Compliance, smooth rendering and rounded borders are all great, but the name of the game is SPEED.  Firefox, Safari and Chrome run circles around IE8 for page rendering, and I am hoping you’ll find a way to meet or beat their marks.

    Looking forward to a BETA release.

  438. developer says:

    Please, in the name of the WORLD, give up developing IE once an for ALL!!!!

  439. K. B. McHugh says:

    OMG, if I hear one more cracker knocking-down IE in favor of Firefox I think I’ll go postal.

    I’ve been developing web pages and web appliciations since the Internet replaced the ArpaNet and Firefox causes me just as many problems with non-compliance as any other commercial browser out there.

    Firefox is NOT golden; its quirks and its failings are just different.  And there are just as many of them; arguably more.

    Seen Firefox handle a multi-line textarea with a long string?  Every other browser on the planet knows how to wrap that long string EXCEPT Firefox.

    When IE8 was released, I dropped Firefox like it was a hot rock and never looked back.  I don’t miss it.  It’s a camel (what you get if you let a committeee design a race horse…).

    I would like to see support for numeric font-weights, from 100 thru 900 in IE9.  Been waiting for it for years, and you can do it.

  440. If IE9 doesn’t support SVG, which has been a solidified W3C recommendation/standard since 2003, I won’t support IE9.

  441. Sandeep says:

    All web standards should be supported by IE9. Keep breacracy and marketing stuff aside (atleast for a moment). I want to see IE in top position. For that, IE has to improve drastically in-terms of product quality and the UI. I hope to see a refreshing and simple light-weight UI. Both IE7 and 8 are too cluttered out-of-the-box(Oh god! it is too irritating to see all those menu options unless I hide them). Think something like a ribbon interface for IE?

    No users are not dumb or novice anymore. Everyone’s computer habits have evolved. So, you also need paradigm shift.

    Good luck Microsoft. I want you to win.

  442. Dan says:

    For the love of God, PLEASE just give up already. It already took 8 tries to discover that you guys just can’t create a web browser. Either use webkit  or don’t make another browser.

    Just think of all of the millions and  millions of dollars wasted on developer time spent fixing things for IE.

    Those could have been sent as donations to better, open source browsers. 🙂

  443. blanph says:


    Truly, I care very deeply about text quality; however, I could live with jaggies (really and truly live with them) if IE9 team said, you know what, web standards (particularly: layout and advanced css selectors) are more important right at this time than the rendering of large scale fonts…

    (And frankly, I find cleartype a misnomer — should be called smear- or blur- type).

  444. Will canvas finally be implemented?

    Why Microsoft always take the hard and slower path…

  445. Paul McKeown says:

    and no mention of xhmtl (i.e. html served as xml, not tag soup) either – xhtml 1.0 has been about for a decade, xhtml 1.1 for years and html 5 will support xml serialisation too.  Finally on ie, too?  PLEASE?

  446. If I actually _still_ cared about IE, I’d tell you this: just fix bugs and implement ratified* standards!

    * Sorry, but you can’t claim that all (any?) of the below standards are still in a draft state!

    Specifically (and these are NON-NEGOTIABLE):

    1) Correct, complete CSS 2.1 support

    2) DOM Events support

    3) High quality implementation of all widely supported parts of CSS 3

    4) Correct detection/handling of XHTML MIME types

    Until you have achieved those, please *DON’T* release another version of IE–it would actually make things WORSE than we have it now.


    But, then again, I don’t really care.

    I’ve moved on to FireFox for browsing and Flex for software development.

    Maybe you should get together with your marketing team and have a ‘full and frank’ discussion about the state of the browser marketplace and what your priorities really should be. Today’s IE (and what you’ve announced for IE9) is NOT a competitive offering.

  447. Mark Smith says:

    @ Michael Butler,

    "If IE9 doesn’t support SVG, which has been a solidified W3C recommendation/standard since 2003, I won’t support IE9."

    Since no browser out there can really support the W3C SVG standards yet, I guess you won’t support any browser out there anyway.

  448. Eric Stoltz says:

    Please, Microsoft, stop making browsers. Just adopt webkit and add your own UI.

    Do you realize how frustrating it is for developers to create a site, test it in standards-compliant browsers and then have someone yell out "Oh My God! Look what IE is doing to the site!" Then we all have to run over, try to figure out what sort of unknown bug is screwing up our work, and stay late into the night to come up with a kludge, just for IE.

    And please, STOP DISTRIBUTING IE6 with netbooks. The irresponsibility of this policy just boggles the mind. You’re working on IE9 and you’re still selling IE6 to unsuspecting consumers. Incredible.

  449. Ibrahim says:

    I would like to see a built in download manager so i can pause my downloads and continue later

    just like  Firefox or Chrome

  450. laughter says:

    @prediction time (

    Excellent post. I’d back that – have you placed bets?

    @trian (#9925001)

    If you’d actually researched what you’re talking about, you’d realise Opera is the FIRST and ONLY browser to support the border-radius (as opposed to vendor-specific variations) and it’s already released (and hardware accelerated) in their mobile browser.

    @Ian Muir "For anybody who actually builds web sites for a living, this is great news."

    I build websites for a living – this is not great news. This is no more good news than png support in IE7 or IE8 passing ACID2. Painfully slow advances that are far too little too late and represent the same old business as usual laziness and unwillingness to meet the needs of developers – how that’s good news is beyond me.

    "Better CSS3 support will have far greater impact than Canvas or SVG support"

    The greatest impact is defined by what is practical to develop – which is dependent on what clients support. If all clients supported SVG and canvas, the whole web would be running on them and they’d be as relevant, or more relevant than CSS3 – in fact, we actually wouldn’t need a lot of CSS3.


    "by the time this released all the other browsers will have this AND BETTER"

    All the other browsers ALREADY have this and better.

    @Joel Coehoorn

    "I’m most curious to know what version of javascript will be supported: AFAIK, IE8 is still using 1.5"

    IE doesn’t use any version of Javascript – Javascript is a proprietary Mozilla technology. They have produced an ECMA-262 version 5 test-suite though if that’s of any relevance.


    "From a profit-motive standpoint, I don’t really understand Microsoft continuing to develop Internet Explorer (at least on Trident). It makes Microsoft look clumsy to developers ( i.e. the people you might want to write software for your system ), and it tarnishes Microsoft’s brand in general."

    Excellent point. An answer to this baffling question would be nice.


    "OMG, what’s the aggregate noun for "webtards?"

    Software development is hard."

    You might have a point, if you weren’t talking about a massive multi-billion dollar corporation who’s way behind competitors with tiny resources and budgets (or none at all). If development is that hard – how is the iCab browser (developed by one person) so far ahead of IE?

    @Paul Huizer

    "A lot of people seem to ‘hate’ (?) MSFT and find it necessary to bash on msft on each and every corner of the web, I think that is outrageous! If you don’t like microsoft, go and visit some other websites"

    It would be great if developers had that luxury – instead we are forced to support IE.


    "IE is standard compliant already. With CSS 2.1 and XHTML 1.0. Are there really scenarios where you need CSS 3 features?"

    It does not fully support CSS2.1 (as claimed), it has NEVER had ANY SUPPORT for xhtml whatsoever in any way, shape or form, and I assume you are most certainly not a developer if you don’t even realise that practically every new webpage being developed today is ALREADY making ample use of CSS3.

    @K. B. McHugh

    "Firefox is NOT golden; its quirks and its failings are just different.  And there are just as many of them; arguably more."

    Firefox is certainly one of (if not the) worst "modern" (read non-IE) browsers when it comes to standards support – but seriously, claiming that it is anywhere near as hard to develop for as IE is just laughable.

  451. colin says:

    I don’t get why MS is bothering rebuilding Trident for IE9. They should just adopt Webkit or Gecko and move on. What a waste of resources. How many engineer salaries do they have on the Trident team, who are basically just reinventing the wheel, with no perceivable ROI?

  452. Sid says:

    This is a good start…but clearly there is a lot still to be done.

    I just hope that IE9 has a shorter dev cycle and that fixes for bugs will also be pushed to lower versions…

    Can we have a more frequent update on the feature list/support enhancements?

    All those asking webkit to be used -its the same when IE was almost the only browser in the market…let there be competition.

  453. ieloyal says:

    Let me tell you Microsoft IE team that if you do a half-baked IE9 on XP minus Direct2D and DirectWrite, I in spite of being a loyal IE user when everyone switched to Firefox will abandon IE and switch. I need full IE9 support complete with all technologies on Windows XP. Can’t miss out on hardware accelerated because MS only put it in the latest OS. Other browser vendors will definitely put hardware acceleration on XP via OpenGL. The marketshare is yours to lose if you don’t support IE9 equally on Windows XP SP3.

  454. Matt says:

    Google uses Webkit, Apple uses Webkit. Webkit is the future! Why can’t you accept it?

  455. Georgie says:

    Does anybody actually still use IE? I mean, voluntarily (enterprise deployments don’t count)?

    I stopped using it when Firefox came out.

  456. Frank Rizzo says:

    I really wish Microsoft would stop wasting my time with these crap browsers.  IE9 will be no better then anything currently on the market.  By the time you guys release it, the bar will be even higher.

    The amount of time that developers waste trying to get a site to work on your crap browser is astounding.  You are holding back innovation on the internet.

    Microsoft needs to focus on the things they are good at.  Creating a browser is just not one of them, leave it up to the Pros at Google, Apple and Mozilla.

  457. I am thoroughly impressed with what has come of IE9 so far. To be honest, I tend to shy away from IE, and use more substantive browsers like Firefox for plugin support, and Chrome for speed.

    If IE could introduce an open plugin support, I would be happy to move back to IE. Im noticing lately that Firefox and Chrome have some memory issues that IE8 doesnt seem to have.

    Anywho, good work guys!

  458. Ed says:

    Way to go on more standards support.  Hopefully someday we’ll be able to test in IE/Firefox or Webkit and just know that it works in the other browers.

    I’m hoping for CSS text-shadows and box-shadows.  They’re already supported in Webkit and Firefox and they’re really handy to have as a lightweight alternative to loading a bunch of images and cluttering markup to get something to look classy.


  459. Ed says:

    haha- I’m flipping through other comments and it seems like use Webkit is a common theme.  I’m not sure why you don’t- if you really want to please developers that’d be a HUGE jump.

    Otherwise I’m not sure why IE is still closed source.  It seems like you’ve got nothing to lose and the world to gain by opening ‘er up.

    Anyway I applaud your pursuit of standards, even if progress is slow.

  460. Antje says:

    Big tip: When released, make it an optional update, not important: and do develop the IE8/Trident engine removal tool for Windows 7, please.

  461. Jason says:

    For developers some of you just don’t get it.  MS can’t kill of IE6 due to government agencies and other enterprise level companies.  These companies are too lazy to spend the money to correct their web apps to work with newer versions of IE or other web browsers.  Yes you could lay the blame on MS (and many of you will) but MS is not wholly at fault here.

    MS likewise can’t kill off Trident or move to something entirely different for the reasons listed above.  At work we’re stuck on IE7 because a vendor wrote an add-on for software we use that is incompatible with IE8 and this vendor is most likely never going to update the add-on.  Our only option at that point is to find new software.  Well that’s extremely expensive and also a lot of work due to planning, design, implementation, training and support.  It’s not something we can do overnight nor is it something we can do quickly.


    You need to boost your standards support.  Period.  I don’t care whether something is draft or what not.  You need to be 90+/100 for Acid3 if not 100/100.  You need to be 100% CSS3 and HTML5 compliant or nearly there and send a Service Pack later completing it.  

    You need to keep in mind that if you’re 10% slower then Firefox 3.6 beta right now you’re still not nearly fast enough.  3.6 will only get faster as will Safari and Chrome.

    I’m a strict Firefox user due to the extensions but IE can still be a very good browser.  MS you need to put forth the effort that you put into Windows 7 for IE9.  Listen to the developers of the world.  Don’t be Apple and say "we know what users want."  Actually give the developers what they want.  This isn’t a hard concept to grasp.

  462. pixelslut says:

    +10^∞ for WebKit adoption.

    I still dont understand why you have to be so bullheaded and "roll your own" for the rendering engine. Or why you focus on creating "solutions" for tertiary problems when you havent solved core problems/implementations of things other browsers are covering.

  463. MT says:

    It would be very nice to see faster CSS pseudoclass :hover rendering (for example, when background color changes on hovering element).

    In IE8, this is tremendously slow and very unusable (especially when *many* links are side by side on the page) unlike *any* other browser. Compare hover rendering speed in IE8 with that in Firefox and you will see what I mean. Thanks.

  464. Antonio says:

    Boy, it looks like we got a WebKit zealot group with so many requests to adopt webkit. Just ignore them. Trident can and will be better than the other engines.

  465. Paul McKeown says:

    My comments seem to have dropped off – all I asked for was xmhtl – was that so bad that I should get censored?????

  466. ieblog says:

    @Paul, you’ll find your original comment among the hundreds of other comments above.

    Only comments that violate the rules are dropped. (

  467. Eric Stoltz says:


    You said "MS can’t kill of IE6 due to government agencies and other enterprise level companies.  These companies are too lazy to spend the money to correct their web apps to work with newer versions of IE or other web browsers.  Yes you could lay the blame on MS (and many of you will) but MS is not wholly at fault here."

    I just bought a new MacBook Pro. Does that mean Apple should have made sure I can use Photoshop 1.0 on it? I’m sure you can’t use DOS software on Windows 7.

    At some point you need to move on and not allow legacy software to rule your world. Seems to me like 10 years is well past that point. Especially when Microsoft continues to sell IE6 today. That’s just ridiculous.

  468. Ben says:

    Please keep releasing new IE versions every 6-12 months so developers/dev companies that dont create for IE go out of business  trying to put exceptions for each version ty.

    For consumers and most sites javascript performance ( kind of anoying its the bench mark) is not relevant  anyway with direct drawing performance and quality for the render can be significantly improved more than offsetting javascript for most sites.

  469. Raghu says:

    Yet another browser.Why can you people just reduce the number of browser to 2 or so.It really hard for a web developer like me.Just pleading you kill some of you browsers.

  470. Raghu says:

    Am a hardcore Microsoft supporter and developer and I want Microsoft to lead in the market share.If you want to dominate the market,first you have to accept we are loosing market share and that too really fast.Its hard to accept that Firefox is really fast in all the aspect but thats true.If firefox can work with windows OS better than IE,just i dont no what to say.Make developers happy and life of users easy.Hope IE9 solves these issues

  471. scsi says:

    Same story…

    Microsoft viewing themselves as pioneers in the PC world when in reality they are thieves in business ideas and financial gain

  472. terminal7 says:



    # re: An Early Look At IE9 for Developers

    Friday, November 20, 2009 11:25 PM by scsi

    Same story…

    Microsoft viewing themselves as pioneers in the PC world when in reality they are thieves in business ideas and financial gain

  473. Mark Johnson says:

    Firstly, I hope that the 32/100 score is going to improve. From a web developers point of view, standards ARE everything, and if you want to stop developers categorising browsers into "Internet Explorer" and "Proper browsers", you need to pay attention to that.

    Secondly, PLEASE add SVG support to IE. By ignoring SVG you’re holding back the whole web – unilateral SVG support could change the face of web design, and IE is the only missing link!

  474. Anuj Shukla says:

    I think you guys should release these javascript engine improvements as IE 8.4/8.5 so that it will give a message to community that

    MS is really working hard to catch up with other browsers in terms of js improvemnts/standard compliance and it will also help in retaining the market share of IE.



  475. Jason says:

    @Eric Stoltz

    You do realize that those Government agencies pay MS millions in order to continue supporting IE6?  If you honestly say you would still cut off IE6 support and lose those millions you are lying.

    Do I think it is stupid?  Absolutely but MS is a business and they’re not going to cut off millions of dollars for the sake of a few developers who want the whole web run by Webkit.

    Bottom line is IE9 needs to NOT break anything IE7/IE8 based and needs to be compatible with IE6 based stuff while supporting Acid3, CSS3 and HTML5 at a minimum.

  476. SeenTo says:

    Really? Having three browsers in circulation isn’t enough? Have Microsoft completely lost the plot?

    You do realize that a huge percentage of users don’t upgrade, so designers and developers are still working to keep sites compatible with IE6.

    Until that monstrosity, along with IE7 and IE8, are completely eradicated there will be nobody who can use the new features in IE9 as they won’t work for the majority of users.

    I commend your efforts to develop a decent Microsoft browser but you first need to find a way to rid the world of the old ones.

    Having four Microsoft browsers to develop for will be the final straw for many and if it becomes that way you should expect to see a whole lot of sites that don’t support IE at all, instead recommending that users switch to Firefox or another REAL browser and you will be out of a job.

  477. Paul McKeown says:

    Hmmmm, it’s funny with all the Webkit fanboy commentary suggesting that MS replace Trident with Webkit.  Webkit is good, but if MS were to go that route, surely Presto! MS could easily afford to buy Opera and get a large chunk of the mobile browser market, as well as a conformant and competent modern desktop browser.

    Anyway, I doubt either is going to happen, just hope IE 9 catches up with the competition, which means:

    – javascript/harmony

    – standard event listeners (there’s an idea!)

    – standard version of <object> so that we don’t have to write a gazillion lines of gumf just to embed a little Flash vid (swfobject 2 is good but why should I need it?)

    – xhtml – come on it’s long overdue!

    – xsl 2.0

    – mathml

    – svg

    – css 3 (ALL – everyone knows what it is – so no excuses about lack of standardisation)

    – html 5 (e.g. doctype html, semantic structural markup tags, canvas, audio, contentEditable and UndoManager, drag-and-drop, copy-and-paste, offline storage, all the parts that are becoming standard already or are at least working draft – MS could even help set the standard isn’t that what is supposed to happen; forget <video> I guess as it’s never going to get standardised properly, the new @font-face)

    It would be nice if MS could support any emerging @font-face standard that everyone could agree on – could MS get behind WOFF – or am I dreaming???

    – supported on XP SP3 as well as Vista and 7.  – more developer tools

    – all the user goodies that we have gotten used to on other browsers (download manager? detachable tabs? etc.)

    – Mozilla type plug in support

    – better user configurability of the chrome

    Big list – don’t disappoint!  

    Oh and Q3 2010, no later!

    It’ll be Christmas soon, pity you can’t put in my Santa stocking!


  478. iseem says:

    I’m still on IE6, but I’m really considering upgrading to IE7 soon. I avoid the cutting edge, because it sounds too sharp.

  479. iseem says:

    My friend told me I should upgrade to Windows 7, and I was like, dude, your sooooo clueless, I’m already on Windows 98.

  480. iseem says:

    So, I have this awesome branding idea for you guys. You should call IE9 "Web 2.0". You know, like, it’s the internet only newer.

  481. iseem says:

    So, like, there’s this thing on my computer called ‘My Computer’, and I was wondering, like, when my computer crashes, which is, like, all the time, is it my computer crashing, or is it ‘My Computer’ crashing. Ya know?

  482. Paul McKeown says:

    When I said "more developer tools", I really do mean it.  Surely there isn’t a company in the world that knows more about software development?  Surely?  Come on, distill some of that experience into support for web development.  IE 8 was a good step, but come on, MORE!

    One small (but dreamy nice) easy quick hit: support for navigation using link rel, like Opera and SeaMonkey (and Lynx 🙂 for that matter).  Could even squeeze that one into an 8.1 release.

    Which lead onto another very important point: improve your IE development process.  Why this big bang development with release schedule by big number only (6.0, 7.0, 8.0; 5.xx was the last with minor number updates)?  Perhaps release 9.0 with some low hanging css3 and html5 fruit, then 9.1 with some more and 9.2 with even more?  The big bang cycle is very inefficient… and there is so much to do!  Lots of small steps must be better, surely?

    And better communication – this blog is wonderful – but surely involving the community must help you with issues of mutual trust and must also improve the understanding of what the real issues are?

    And maybe my point about Presto wasn’t so far from the mark, co-operation with Opera might be beneficial to both parties (better technology for MS, better marketing for Opera).

    Anyway thanks for listening.  Good luck with IE 9, it’s important.

  483. Paul McKeown says:

    Oh and spell checkers for IE downloadable from MS rather than scratching around for stuff from 3rd parties.  That is a necessity – we’re living in the world of the Internet forum, the blog, the wiki – that really ought to be another 8.1 feature….

  484. mogden says:

    Since it seems like IE isn’t going to get with the HTML5 program for the next decade, if ever, I think I’m going to start requiring ChromeFrame.  I really cannot be bothered supporting this bucket of bolts any longer.  Life’s too short to lose years of it supporting IE.

  485. Django says:

    Just a note to the "developers" who seem to take this personally:

    maintaining your weblog no one reads does not make you a developer.  If you don’t want to debug for multiple versions of market leading software then just debug for whatever browser you use – because you’re the only one who cares.

  486. Paul McKeown says:

    On the subject of Javascript, DOMContentLoaded would be a very welcome improvement…

    You lads have your work cut out if you’re going to make me happy!  But I know you’ll do it. 😉


  487. guerilla says:

    Why is it that the most powerful software company in the world struggles so much to make a quality web browser and firewall?  The computer science guys I knew in college were super smart.  Does something happen when MS hires them?

  488. Eduardo Valencia says:


    -CSS 3.1

    -Download manager

    -Integrate multiple windows into tabs in IE and viceversa. Stack and unstack tabs.

    -Faster webpage browisng

  489. CSMR says:

    Good developments here, keep up the good work.

    In my view the major missing feature of IE7 is color managment. The tech media doesn’t give that much attention but to my mind without it, every web page is rendered incorrectly.

    SVG support is also important, it would be great and overdue for IE to support this.

  490. @ Brett Merkey

    > Microsoft Internet Explorer still > lacks support for such basic  

    > features as non-scrolling data

    > table headers.

    Overflow property does not apply to table-row-group objects (like <tbody>) unfortunately

    I personally filed the bug on this

    but then someone pointed out that it was not a valid CSS 2.1 bug.

    > W3C specs for HTML

    > indicate a way to do this easily

    > (from the developer point of view) > that is supported by Firefox.

    Yes but they do not have to support it in order to claim to comply with CSS 2.1.

    I assume you refer to this webpage:

    > IE does not support fixed table

    > headers except thru a hack only

    > supported in IE Quirks mode.

    works in standards compliant rendering mode in IE 7 and IE 8.

    regards, Gérard

  491. nemeseri says:


    Nice point on SVG and Canvas support. While MS trying to push silverlight they will never ever support any open technologies that are competitors to their product.

    WHY don’t you make a webkit based default browser and leave IE8 there as an option for companies and users who needs this for their older web apps?

  492. joshua says:

    I see that there is a lot of rage from the web designer/developer community, and I can relate. I have spent so many hours of my life "breaking" and "hacking" my well formed standards compliant html, css, and JS to work in IE.

    I guess I am tired. tired of continually trying to fix problems that I don’t understand why they exist in the first place. Tired of testing my website in all the non-MS browsers, having it work, then opening up IE 6, then 7, then 8, and having to find new ways to fix new problems in all three. Problems that just don’t exist in any other browsers.

    I am tired of having to find tricky ways to debug my javascript in IE.

    I am all for new web browsers. All for new technologies, all for making software better. Good job to you guys for trying to make a better browser. I am sure the issues on your end are far more complicated then I can understand or care too.

    I hope one day I can love IE and sing it’s praises. But right now, all IE does (any version) is make my life harder for no reason. And I hate it. Best of luck.

  493. @ Dean Hachamovitch

    1- Many weeks ago, I told you about confirming and reactivating bug 409470 and bug 364028. They still have not been reactivated. Why?

    2- Many weeks ago, we told you about leadership on web standards compliance (valid markup code and valid CSS code). Still today, the Engineering Windows 7 has 1809 validation markup errors. Years ago, we told you that new webpages entirely under the full control of  microsoft are created and all fail to pass markup validation. It’s still going on and on today in end of/late 2009:

    3- I’m not interested so much about passing acid 3 test and supporting CSS 3 as much as fully supporting and complying with many mature web standards. How about telling us in a clear, straightforward manner how well is this IE 9 build doing with

    a) confirmed and entirely reproducible crash bugs that affect IE 8

    b) confirmed and entirely reproducible hang bugs (CPU activity maximized) (e.g. bug 366200, bug 414807)

    c) confirmed and valid DOM 2 Core bugs we filed

    d) confirmed and valid DOM 2 HTML bugs we filed

    e) DOM 2 Events support

    f) unfixed but valid and confirmed CSS 2.1 bugs we filed

    g) unfixed but valid and confirmed HTML 4 bugs we filed

    h) UAAG recommendations: always resizable secondary windows, restoring menubar, scrollbars, minimum (threshold) font size for content, rendering ALT text for images as inline and expanding the image placeholder dimensions as required by the alt text, etc.

    i) form handling, form submission bugs and form related bugs

    4- This IE 9 build now supports rounded corners. Can you tell us if such IE 9 pass the inheritance bugs on border-width and border-color?


  494. @ trian

    > So I guess Opera is now the one

    > behind, since Opera still doesn’t > support corner-radius (and no word

    > on when it will be supported)

    Opera (Presto 2.3 engine) supports CSS 3 border-radius:

    regards, Gérard

  495. Rick says:

    I’m tired of IE, regardless of the version. IE6 has to completely disappear from the face of the earth and IE has to allow add ons like Firefox does. I do recommend Firefox to my clients because it works the way that I expect. Adopt a standard (because we have to,) and then impress me by being W3C compliant across the board.

  496. @ Dean Hachamovitch

    > With IE8, we delivered a highly-

    > interoperable implementation of CSS

    > 2.1 and contributed over 7,200

    > tests to the W3C.

    Out of 47 tests I submitted to the W3C CSS test suite, IE8 fails 36 of them. How is that IE9 build doing on those 47 tests?

    There is now also a bunch of other (public, accessible) CSS 2.1 tests that IE 8 fails. All coming from web developers. How is that IE9 build doing on those tests?

    > Standards that do not include

    > validation tests are much more

    > difficult to implement

    > consistently, and more difficult

    > for site developers to rely on.

    Fair enough. How well is that IE9 build doing on these public accessible DOM tests (DOM 1 Core, DOM 2 Core, DOM 2 HTML)?

    Gérard Talbot

  497. Does sound cool, and actually smart.


    P.S.=> I’d long ago, circa 1997-2001 iirc, seen DirectX &/or OpenGL built into usermode code (in Delphi via things like progress bar paints for example), but, not applied as well for performance purposes in practical use (as it should yield in theory @ least for rendering fonts and such, etc./et al) as it does in a browser, so, good application of the technology Microsoft. Make faster hardware do a job it is capable of doing, offloading the system CPU too in the same pass of optimization/kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

    I’d actually test it just to see how noticeable this will be in practice & if I end up using it? You’d have done your jobs… apk

  498. 黃俊銓 says:

    Just wanted to add my voice to the people calling on Microsoft to stop work on Trident and just adopt WebKit.  Let’s focus on the future of the internet, not technology 5+ years old.

  499. Many of these posts here are evidence of the immaturity that represents the market user-agent developers must contend with during product developement.  This is unfortunate as technology innovation must be sacrificed at the developement layer in favor of marketing considerations that may potentially hinder technology developement innovation.  This is a cyclical problem that if not proactive and forcefully corrected by user-agent vendors may significantly slow and reduce innovation of the web as an application layer in the future.

    If IE9 were to make a solid stance to not support HTML5 and/or CSS3 I would be extremely proud of their market leadership.  HTML5 and CSS3 are not standards.  Premature adoption will severely handicap efforts to make any necessary radical correction to the concerned standards specifications.  The inability to make corrections to known technology flaws from standards introduced to the market takes years to remove in favor of the intended processing where a correction to a standard that has not entered the market requires virtually no cost or effort.  This is another indication of immature interests driving conditions they may be counter-productive to technology interests.

    Unfortunately, if the degree of immaturity continues to dominate user-agent developement as a business on the web and where technology innovation occurs, such as at the standards layer versus the developement layer, it seems innovation is being progressively terminated.  Such conditions are unfortunate, because the effects will not be immediately apparent and when they become apparent it will be too late.

    I am a fan of IE and with each new release significant improvements are made.  I have only two requests:

    1) that IE9 support application mime types.

    2) that IE9 allow a user to select an option to support strict processing of markup only.

    While IE8 focused strongly advancing support and conformance for CSS2 processing my request is for markup processing.  Watching the browser to optionally fail on a markup error, such as the processing of XML, will help developers know where errors occur in their markup code.  No other browser supports such a method of testing.  If IE9 were to support such a feature it would become my primary browser of choice as a developer.

    In closing I want to say good job on the hard work and I look forward to the first beta release.

  500. Lloyd O'Daniel says:

    For the love of Pete, please put color management into IE9! My customers and I use Firefox strictly because of this. Ever hear of photography? I dislike having to load 2 browsers. Make IE9 complete and this won’t be necessary.

  501. Gareth Sibthorpe says:

    I would like to see a faster startup time on IE and a faster browsing time and loading up of webpages despite of any plugins or toolbars etc being loaded into it!

  502. may says:

    smartscreen filtering is not blocking this malicious website: the website shows fake AV scan/UAC alert. it has a trojan downloader:JS/Renos which MSE dectected and clean.

    URL Removed


  503. ieblog says:

    @may: You can report unsafe sites using the Tools / SmartScreen Filter / Report Unsafe Site option. I have reported this site and the download that it links to.  Thanks!

  504. Hank says:

    >>nemeseri said "While MS trying to push silverlight they will

    never ever support any open technologies that

    are competitors to their product."

    You’re demonstrating a profound lack of knowledge of history. Have you heard of HTML? HTML was a direct competitor to the prior standard for document exchange (Word .doc format). Have you heard of PDF? It’s a direct competitor to Microsoft’s XPS Format, but Microsoft makes PDF export available for Office. The list goes on and on and on.

    The idea that Microsoft isn’t going to invest in web technologies due to Silverlight is absurd. If that were the case, you’d’ve never seen IE8 come out, there would be no IE9 forthcoming, and Silverlight would be *significantly* more of a competitor to Flash.

    >>mogden, if you’d done ANY research at all, you’d know that IE **Eight** already supports HTML5 features that Chrome doesn’t (e.g. HTML5 DOM Storage).

  505. may says:

    I already reported it yesterday.

    the malicious website also will not allow user to close the browser if user don’t click a button in the pop-up message. I had to kill the process in taskmanager just to be safe.

    Next version of IE should have the ability to kill the browser process with a button or in the tab context menu. Some user will not know how to close application using task manager.

  506. Will Steele says:

    One thing I think would be a nice trick would be to have the ability to use tabs like workbooks in excel.  Being able to have multiple tabpanes in the same client area would be helpful.  Also, a built in utility or bho to automatically scroll any web page could be useful; I know there are javascripts out there that automatically do that, but, I would like that feature from the browser, not a script.

  507. @ Dean Hachamovitch

    > Standards Progress. Our focus is

    > providing rich capabilities – the

    > ones that most developers want to

    > use – in an interoperable way.

    Your IE blog post: 192 errors

    Verify for yourself here:”>

    Your IE blog site: 1132 errors

    Verify for yourself here:

    Your Microsoft Engineering Windows 7 site: 1809 errors

    Verify for yourself here:

    Every single MSDN webpage has about 100 validation markup errors, does not use a strict DTD, even has numerous validation errors in the code examples from which ordinary web authors are supposed to learn from.

    Microsoft has to comply with its own commitments to web standards.

    Microsoft should lead by showing the example, should promote proper authoring and coding practices in websites under its control. There is no reason as to why *all* of microsoft-controlled websites have failed so bad at validation (markup and CSS code) in the last 11 years and this is still going on.

    Gérard Talbot

  508. Nikunj Bhatt says:

    Microsoft is doing very nice job from their starting in the software industry.

    I am a developer and when IE8 launched, I downloaded it and I liked it very much for its many improvements for developers, but it lacks of speed.

    Ms is trying give us new features but it doesnt need to announce a new version. I have seen that Ms is always giving updates only for security of their products and not for the feature enhancements. They need to break this rule. Instead of announcing of new version, they should release an update for IE8.

    Is Ms wants to show that they are going very fast in the development of their products and providing new technologies in just a few months? I dont think so.

    So, do not announce a new version , just update the current versions. This will not let people get bored of IE as they are used to use the version since many months/years.

    And I think IE is providing the rendering how a novice thinks while writing CSS for a page. (Especially in the box model. Means, its easy for a novice programmer/designer to design CSS for IE.) As other browsers are following the rules, only a very good designer (who knows, for example, merging of margin of two adjacent DIVS) can design CSS for these browsers. So, the CSS rules/standards for the box model are need to be changed.

  509. someone says:

    isn’t it better if the web browser would use both the cpu and the gpu? also , use as many cores as possible?

  510. please explain says:

    So in IE8 we had 3 rendering options:

    1.) Quirks Mode (~IE5)

    2.) Standards Mode (~IE7)

    3.) IE8 Standards Mode (IE8)

    so when IE9 is released we now have the problem that was predicted when IE8 was in beta.

    IE9 will have 4 rendering modes – further ruining the web.

    1.) Quirks Mode (~IE5)

    2.) Standards Mode (~IE7)

    3.) IE8 Standards Mode (IE8)

    4.) IE9 Standards Mode (IE9)

    As a web developer I have NO INTEREST whatsoever in maintaining sites across all 4 of the above. Especially since I don’t have to mess with any of this in other browsers (they are the equivalent of IE10 in terms of standards support)

    Please specify exactly what the plan is for all of this.  I’d hate to have to resort to more sill HTTP headers and Meta Tags just because IE can’t keep up.

    In addition, since all my sites now support the excellent Google Frame plugin – please indicate that continued support for this plugin and others will be maintained in IE9.

  511. mogden says:

    Austin Cheney seems to have missed the point that the modern browsers already support a nice subset of HTML5 / CSS3 that really helps speed web site development.  Yes, these implementations are not complete, but they are a hell of a lot better than IE8 + rounded corners.

  512. tombh says:

    I honestly thought this was some kind of April Fools joke when I read this post. But alas it’s real and quite frankly I’m insulted and bitterly dissapointed.

  513. MGE says:

    OK: You are coming around with features, that other browesers support since ages. Might be a Stept forward.

    But it is not enough to launch another IE. You have to find strategies to get rid of the old rubish IE6 and IE7.

    It’s bad enough to torcher the web with yet another half baked something. But having 4 of them flying around basically broke the web.

  514. aaa says:

    Gérard: has: 39 Errors, 2 warning(s) 59 Errors, 42 warning(s)

    Validation links are grossly overrated, and usually don’t have any meaningful implications.

  515. Stifu says:

    @aaa: The Google markup is optimized for speed and bandwidth, not because they can’t code. MSDN pages, on the other hand, are messy. I can’t even autoscroll them properly (middle click + move) with Firefox, it only lets me scroll horizontally rather than vertically. Scrolling horizontally moves the top header, too, which is clearly a bug.

    Try it:

    So yes, the fact the code is nasty does have an impact.

  516. yet another developer says:

    Well, you can create new versions of IE, but someday you’ll realize that the only people who uses (and likes it) is the developer team.

    Take a look at

    Thanks God IE is (almost) just an ugly remember…

  517. One that not important walked by says:

    Next IE version will utilize Direct2D and DirectWrite to accelerate rendering. Great but don’t know when will it be released, even alpha version release date is not available.

    And now there is a firefox testing version that using the same DirectX technology at

    for developers testing and tuning performance.

    According to previous version’s release schedule, it seems Mozilla may released an accelerated browser before Microsoft. At least they have a version can be downloaded by user and developer, and this version can be installed with their current browser without needing a VM. This means even a third party developer can utilize Microsoft technology before you (Microsoft developers).

    Dear IE developers, at this speed you failed to catch up, should you hurry up or give up?

  518. Greg says:

    – HTML needs to be broken down into complexity levels

    — Devices of all types/capabilities can support a known standard level of complexity and be tested against that standard

    — Browsers can be certified against a particular standard complexity level

    — Browser development path, project plans can target specific complexity levels and specific features

    — Narrowly drawn add ons to a standard, math markup/layout, can be put into the more complex levels

    — Use of non-standard features can be identified and minimized by W3C web page validation against the different complexity levels and set of standard built in components

    —- Parts of the standard can be implemented in abstract by dedicated multi-company/multi-opensource teams and be BSD licensed for use by all browsers

    —- Obsolete/depreciated features can be listed as such and be flagged by W3C validation tools.

    —- Development tool vendors can provide validation as a part of the web page project build process (and flag non standard feature or obsolete feature usage as errors to be corrected)

    —- Developer can code against a specific standard complexity level and enforce that by W3C validation tools

    —- IT departments can validate third party applications using the W3C validation tools before purchase.

    —- Vendors of third party software can list the standards complexity level they support and are validated against.

    The piecemeal and lack of coherent standards is why the web layout/web programming landscape is overly costly.

  519. Hank says:

    @"yet another developer": You are living in an echo chamber and you don’t even realize it.

    Before you cite the W3Schools site, you should probably read it first.  Here’s a direct quote:

    "W3Schools is a website for people with an interest for web technologies. These people are more interested in using alternative browsers than the average user. The average user tends to use Internet Explorer, since it comes preinstalled with Windows. Most do not seek out other browsers. These facts indicate that the browser figures above are not 100% realistic. Other web sites have statistics showing that Internet Explorer is used by at least 80% of the users."

  520. Another thing that’d be nice to see in IE9, imo @ least (being primarily an OPERA user here is why), would be something like Opera’s "paste & go" feature, that Opera has in its "URL Bar" entry field for website access.

    This in its URL entry field, where you right click on it!

    I love it, because the popup menu has a "paste & go" feature, NOT just "paste"…

    (& thus, in Opera, there is no need to press the "go arrow" etc., if you copied a URL from elsewhere & pasted it into the URL bar (no sure what this entry field is called in IE, FireFox, or Opera to be honest about it, but the point’s there)).

    Again though, also reiterating what I stated above?

    Once more – This idea to use DirectX as the "rendering engine" for graphics &/or fonts in the browser proper itself? A great, smart, & EFFICIENT idea…

    I.E.=> "Kill 2 birds with one efficiency stone", in making FASTER HARDWARE (GPU’s are faster than CPU’s @ quite a few things) do the job faster (rendering graphics + fonts), & at the SAME TIME? You’re also offloading the CPU (so it can process OTHER WORK going on @ the same time, faster as well).

    Nice job MS, & it will be a pleasure to test this out once you release it, because in theory @ least? It sounds great.


    P.S.=> I used to be an "IE Fan", back circa IE5 (because @ the time it was "worlds ahead" of other browsers, but imo @ least, Opera’s largely "out-innovated" both Mozilla & MS, to the point where you folks copied features (both Mozilla & IE/MS did, tab browsing anyone (just to name 1)))…

    It’s time you folks "out-innovated" Opera for once, & this is looking to be such a time, provided you can pull this off (& I am certain you can @ MS). I’d like to see this actually, because on an INTRANET (internal to work environs LAN/WAN)? IE still rocks, & especially with ASP.NET server side apps.

    You "pull me away from Opera", though, for general online internet usage too though??

    Hey – You folks @ MS will have done your jobs, & done them right, because it’d take some doing & this little tidbit you’re working on sounds really great… & just MIGHT "do the job" (along with securing IE as best as possible too of course, but, imo that’s a TALL undertaking)! apk

  521. ZafixLaquiz says:

    Eu quero e meus amigos aqui no Brasil também!!! 😀

  522. Brian says:

    Microsoft, please adopt Gecko/Webkit, your latest is still worst-in-class.

  523. Alex says:

    Hopefully you will have MJPEG support in IE 9. IE is the only major browser that current does not support this. Many IP cameras use this. As a developer it very frustrating having to create custom plugins for IE just to support MJPEG.

  524. Xepol says:

    True, passing Acid 3 does not mean you fully adhear to the standard, but utterly failing in the first 10% means you aren’t even trying.

    I’m definitely leaning towards the camp that asks why are you still wasting time on the tried and failed Trident engine – it’s time to join the webkit effort.

    Eventually Google is going to figure out that Chrome needs an actual UI, and then you’ll wish you had listened.

  525. nshdw says:

    I like how people are whining about IE9 only scoring 32/100 on Acid3, which is already higher than IE8, despite the fact that it’s barely in its alpha stage. Amusing.

  526. Manuel Bua says:

    *Adopt WebKit*

    Stop messing up with the web and *adopt WebKit*: Firefox/Safari/Chromium *are* being hardware accelerated for some time now (, welcome to the past.

    *Adopt WebKit*

  527. Pipo Lambert says:

    Congratulations guys!!!!! This is awesome! I cannot wait to get my hands on IE9 – very, very glad to see IE back in the innovation game. I have not felt this way since IE 5.5, which killed competing browsers with its innovations.

  528. Why dont Microsoft just buy Mozilla and rebrand firefox as Internet Explorer 10

  529. ulon says:

    IE will die, and you -IE developer- will kill it. Why do you have to create different version incompatible with each other? Why don’t you just update 8 to 8.1 with those changes?

    Eventually, people will leave IE because it’s a mess and more and more web developers recomend other browsers.

    IE must die, and I suposse you are doing your part by implementing crappy propertary API’s and running behind of other browsers.

  530. Everyone seems to have a lot of negative things to say about IE9.

    I have to admit, since IE7 and on, my time developing for multiple platforms has gotten significantly easier. IE7 and 8 work pretty much the same way. I’ll bet that styling for IE9 will be the same as well. With that assumption I can do the following:

    <!–[if gte IE7]–>

    That way I’m styling for IE7 and everything above it.

    I also read in some comments about people wanting HTML 5. Start using it! Just throw this in the top of a JavaScript document:

    // I’m using jQuery for this example:




    I’m only using a few HTML 5 tags in the code example, but you should get the idea.

    Get started building!

  531. Beau Claar says:

    Are we going to get MathML support?  PLEASE!! No more plugins for xml.

  532. Ned says:

    Someone said: "When any browser improves, the Web improves. It looks to me like Microsoft is getting more serious about improving the Web. This is good news and the IE team should be hearing our positive feedback and encouragement"

    Sadly. It’s attitudes like this that make the evolution of the web go backwards.

    When a browser improves features that are only of value to "their" browser users while disregarding the experience of "all other" browser users they are not enhancing the "open web" experience, they are degrading it.

    The web is (and always will be regardless of how much money you throw at it) a public space, MS does not have the right to proprietarize it no matter how much money they pore into it.

    By that definition every proprietary feature they stuff into "their" browser makes it less and less a free and open environment and more and more a private (closed) space where only "their" browser users can benefit form their so called enhancements. This is why we are in trouble right now, MS seem to think that if they offer more mundane features more people will use their product but this is a very poorly perceived marketing direction, because the more MS push this "THING" on it’s current path the more "WE" the people who know WTF is going on are going to push our users away from it, until they at least start to support the standards that have been around for years.

    It’s really quite a simple trade off for IE;

    Standards support that equals the standards support offered by the other players (to make the lame developers happy).


    Ooh, ahh, fonts without jaggies (for the drones… Like jaggies will make the web fail? BS, it’s IE that will make the web fail).

    If they just decided to shut down this whole IE PROBLEM by switching to an open-source (webkit/gecko/etc..) their value would increase ten fold in less than a millisecond, it would also (potentially and very likely) improve the evolution of the web (and MS in general) because they would find themselves in a position where they would be able to aid (and influence) this evolution rather than impede it.

    Imagine if the IE team were able to share their knowledge and experience with an open-source project like webkit or gecko!! I think you would find that the IE dev team would have a lot to offer to one of these projects and we could all benefit from that input far more than if they waste their time trying to maintain a browser on life support…

    To put it plainly, IE is like a race horse with a broken leg, it’s no good for the race so they need to make a hard decision, the problem they seem to be either unwilling or unable to make that decision, but regardless of what they decide they cannot win the race because it’s already finished. Scratch IE.

  533. Nathan says:

    Sorry IE team but the term "Trying to sell ice to an Eskimo" comes to mind…

  534. Marian says:

    Please stop asking the IE team to go Webkit.

    Gecko is definitely the way to go. Just my 2 cents.

  535. Paul McKeown says:

    MS update has just pushed through a fix:

    Very interesting – correcting msxml doctype handling to support xhmtl…

    Can it be true – or is IE finally going to support application/xhtml+xml ???

    I must be dreaming, but such a nice dream.  Tell me it’s true!

    Probably not, the problem happens anyway when using xml with xsl, but I can keep dreaming nevertheless!

  536. Mark says:

    How about the working groups actually publish a coherent set of standards (ideally: HTML 5, CSS 3 and ECMAScript Harmony) along with exhaustive, objective tests, and nobody gets to release a browser that doesn’t pass those tests? Once they’re all passing, /then/ you can start competing on script execution speeds, pretty text-rendering and other bobbins.

  537. David Mortaz says:

    You have lost us to Google’s Chrome already due to speed!  When I reboot our machine, I am up and running with several sessoins of Chrome for at least 2 minutes before the IE 8 session hits our home page!!

    Is IE9 going to fix this!?  I doubt it.

  538. Paul says:

    Another IE release, another bunch of breathless articles about how this IE version is going to be the one to make up for how terrible the previous releases are.

    Like with IE7, and IE8, I’m sure we’ll find IE9 is yet again behind the game by the time it arrives.

    Microsoft moves too slowly these days…the brain trust has left the building.

    Hardware acceleration? You’re nowhere near the performance of other browsers and you have to pull tricks like this to just compete? Oh dear…

  539. Gixx says:

    Multi-column support please please please!

    column-count: 3;

    column-gap: 1em;

    column-rule: 1px solid black;

    It’s more urgent than anything else! Average screen width is far above 1600 pixels now. The 1280 is the low-end nowadays. The available layouts are about to become totally unreadable.

    Please MAKE IE9 SUPPORT MULTI-COLUMN! Really. Seriously 🙂

  540. Steve says:

    I honestly don’t see how a publicly-traded company bothers spending time, resources, and, most of all, money, on a free browser.  I mean, MS has never gotten IE right, and one cannot assume they will start anytime soon.

    But, while you are it, please, please, please make the browser’s interface totally customizable.  See Firefox if you want an example of how to provide options on layouts.

  541. Rickyh says:

    So how about you guys start earning your crust and implement webGL! When online gaming in browsers begin your numbers will dwindle. Don’t miss this trick like you miss every other spoon-fed idea.

  542. shubelal says:

    Excellent guy !!! , if it completely support HTML5 and css3, but please no more hack in IE9. So please keep in mind if u going to release IE9. thanks

  543. I’m glad that IE9 is at the door, but i’m dissapointed that Windows 7 is already out and it wasn’t supported with the new browser. Meanwhile Mozilla introduced new version for W7 which will be in use in about months.

  544. Charles Bandes says:

    Are you guys even trying to compete anymore? It seems like IE9 is trying to be almost as good as _current_ standards-compliant browsers, but with a ship date so far in the future, that it will surely be just as laughable compared to its then-current competition as IE8 was when it was released.

    The suggestion to move to webkit is a good one – there’s no reason to stick with a proprietary and broken technology when a good, free, working one is staring you right in the face, ready for you to use today.

    If you guys insist on continuing with the IE path, there are some things that simply must be done:

    – Full CSS3 compatibility

    – Full, real, javascript/ecmascript compatibility

    – Get rid of all the proprietary IE-only crap (ActiveX especially)

    – Properly support @font-face (TTF/OTF) and ditch EOT

    – Speed it up, a lot

    – Make sure that if we look at a site in a working browser like FF, Chrome or Safari, IE can render the site to look and work the same, without markup or scripting changes.

  545. Derek says:

    I consider it to be a sneeky way to tie web-browsing to high-performance hardware, as a way to make a case for not embracing netbooks and continuing to sell Windows

  546. MacGyver says:

    So wait; let’s get things straight:

    – people are requesting Microsoft to implement DRAFT specifications in IE9.

    – the same people are blaming Microsoft for adding DRAFT specifications to IE6, which later got changed in the final spec resulting in the non-standards mess we are in now!

    Hello wake up and smell the real world!

    Here’s a riddle for you all: what if in a year some DRAFT HTML5 stuff that is already implemented in browsers and used by webdevelopers changes? Are you going to shoot down Firefox or Chrome or whatever for their non-standards (*gasp* proprietary) implementations ?

    Great work IE guys, IE9 is looking great.

    Only one thing: get it out ASAP!

  547. commenter says:

    I say keep Direvt2d and Directwrite, but use them to power the standards IE has yet to support (like canvas) that way, the graphical horsepower could actually help the performance so IE could boast more. why try to make your own standard when you could just use windows to super power existing ones, and make your browser look better in the process.

  548. gizmo says:

    "people are requesting Microsoft to implement DRAFT specifications in IE9"

    Uh? They implemented HTML when it was a draft, didn’t they? And SVG is a *recommendation* since January 2003, but where is it in IE? It doesn’t matter if it draft or not, IE just made the web walk in circles for a while. Time to move forward.

    Oh, btw: "IE is Being Mean to Me". A funny music, listen:

  549. Pavel Kuts says:

    Oh no! I’m searching on fixes for IE’s problems, I  stumble here and now realize that in coming months I will have to… quadruple my workload. This ain’t fair.

  550. Ian Walker says:

    Never would have believed that there were still so many worthwhile reasons to upgrade!

    Keep up the good work guys

  551. I am writing to encourage the IE9 developers to go out have some coffee, take a long lunch. Then come back to the office and play some Xbox.

    The longer it takes for IE9 to be released the less time I lose having the deal with ANOTHER second-rate browser. Okay fine, IE6 was ahead of its time when it came out. But my point stands.

    25% of web development time is lost due to cross-browser issues. Do you really want to make it worse than it already is?

  552. Please consider delaying release until IE9 passes Acid 3 and supports HTML 5 media tags. Anything less will continue to hold back the progress of web development. If Trident is too broken to fully support CSS 3, why not use Webkit?

  553. anuj says:

    as in IE user, all I want to say is:

    I hope IE doesn’t go down the same path as Opera.

    Opera used to lag behind, for any type of browsability (such as it took time for Opera guys to update their browser before latest Gmail version could be opened in it)

    similarly, if i open google wave now in IE8, i need to install google chrome frame to view it properly. I would like IE9 to bring me at least in par with Firefox 3.5 or google chrome, if not better than those so that I don’t need anything other than just my browser for viewing any kinda page.

  554. Abbass TBH says:

    Great! Then I shall reduce multi-browsers usage while developing sites. Hope to be way better than IE 8 and more efficient.

  555. anonymous says:

    Count me as a switcher to other browsers with hardware acceleration on XP the moment you stop supporting XP with feature parity.

  556. anonymous says:

    My hopes for IE9:

    – Support for SVG, APNG and MNG.

    – Compliance with web standards.

    – Pass Acid1, Acid2 and Acid3 tests.

    – Full support/functionality for CSS3.

  557. I hate new IE menu (since IE7). Way not the classic menu? All menu items are hidden. When I need to instruct a user by phone how to display the menu items is a BIG sacrifice.

    Take a look:

  558. First things first says:

    Please take care of first things first.

    Do everything possible to get rid of IE6 and IE7.

    Then provide browser updates with the same rapidity as Firefox.

  559. First things first says:

    Google now advertising on Google home page to "Install Google Chrome (A faster way to browse the web)".

    What would Microsoft advertise? "Don’t update to IE7 or IE8 or IE9 because applications you made for IE6 might only work in IE6"?

  560. tom3k says:

    dont worry guys… it wont matter the slightest bit, by the time ie9 is released everyone will be running google chrome frame and we wont need to worry about html5 or proper standard compliance on microsofts end 😉

  561. Eduardo Valencia says:

    Go IE Team

    Lets crush Firefo,chrome and opera!

    – Full CSS 3.1 Support

    – SVG Support

    – Download manager

    – Faster web browsing

    – Merge multiple windows into tabs featureS or viceversA!


  562. anon says:

    I agree on the part of APNG / MNG – and would like to add JPEG2000 too. Most pc’ are fast enough these days to decode it and it’s about time to get some alternatives to those lossy formats like gif and jpeg.

  563. anon says:

    MS just doesn’t get it. They’re playing catch up in everything important: cloud, smart devices, web (browser).

    If I was on the board of MS, I would can the whole IE team. IE9 will be irrelevant. Simple question, if a webkit based browser from MS was the default browser, would anyone use Chrome on Windows? This would not only hurt google, others would be powerless to do anything about it. How could you take MS to court for embracing open source technology?

  564. Don Reba says:

    Anon, playing catch-up is an intentional strategy. Microsoft has made its fortune on it.

  565. yesudeep says:


    """Just another web log comment.. pay no attention.

    IE Team: Great job guys.  Really.  No sarcasm.

    I applaud the IE Team for focusing (in IE7 and 8) on the USER instead of the designer.  While the designers do like to complain long and loud, as a USER of IE I am very happy.  It’s solid, renders well, and renders fast (even on 5 yr old hardware).  Most of my time is spent READING or LOOKING at a web page.  From that point of view, a couple milliseconds difference in rendering between IE and the WebKit croud is nigh imperceptable.  IE waits for me at the same speed as all other browsers.

    Again, you are doing a great job.  Keep at it!


    You sound a lot like you don’t understand anything about designers.  The designers want the USERS to have the best browsing experience possible.  IE doesn’t let them deliver that.  IE ignores the designers, it ignores the users.  How hard is that to understand?

  566. mrmu says:

    wow!!~ I really looking forwrad to see ie9.!

  567. Aldo says:

    Instead of releasing a new version of IE you should better release a forced "rendering engine update" for IE 6, 7 and 8.

  568. nitro says:

    This website uses vector technology VML and HTML + TIME sous IE6-7-8-9

    demo :

    blog infos :

  569. Mike says:

    Please stop.

    For the sake of the millions of hours designers spend working around IE every year, just stop.

    Use WebKit, or Gecko, just stop these "improvements".

    Acid3 Test at 32 in 2010? Please, you have to see that you failed!

  570. Matt says:

    Mike, you are confused… the currnet year is 2009. The score of 32 is after 3 weeks of development of IE9, according to the PDC talk, which is an improvement of about 3.6 points per week.

    It’s been another week since then (excluding the holiday) so at that pace, IE’s score is probably about 36 now. By the end of the year (assuming 3 more weeks), the score ought to be around 47. By April of 2010, they should be at 100.

    Of course, ACID3 is not really very useful… Even Firefox says that:

  571. Alan Gresley says:

    CSS3. Good job with support for rounded corners. Maybe an end of nested divs are over the horizon.

    Will IE9 support hsla color? Will IE9 support background-size? Background-size will allow for flexible width faux columns.

  572. Alan Gresley says:

    We all know what problems IE had with the Box Model but really, why does my version of IE8 show this test case wrong?

  573. Matt says:

    @Alan: The problem is that your CSSClass page is in Quirks mode. Make it a Standards mode page and it looks just fine.

  574. Tyler says:

    I’m convinced that Microsoft Software Engineers (which is a loose title, because engineers are by nature problem SOLVERS, not creators), hate all Web Developers, and the internet, and users, and computers.

    Dear Microsoft,

     On behalf of all web designers, please stop making web browsers.


    -The Internet

  575. The Internet says:

    Dear Tyler,

    On behalf of all of the Internet, please stop posting silly rants and pretending to speak for a billion people you’ve never met.

    Thank you.

    -The Internet

  576. This does not look promising at all. It still seems that you guys are missing the point and that IE will remain to be the 100% standards incompatible browser.

  577. Andrew says:

    Please add SVG support with support for alternate external SVG stylesheets.  Also please allow the SVG stylesheets to be overridden (for accessibility).  Please add WEB-ARIA support for SVG.  Less of a priority, but nice to have:  XHTML support.

  578. Ian says:

    @Victor: 100% Standards Incompatibility would be an impressive achievement.

    Troll elsewhere.

  579. Uncle Bob says:

    What scares me is when Microsoft starts talking about "the standards that developers care about". This is Microsoft oblique-speak for "we are not planning on being as standards compliant as the other browsers, and we will define our own set of what’s important rather than listening to developers"

    I’m optimistic that the insecure dinosaur that is IE6 will die soon, however.

  580. Matt Hargett says:

    I’m very excited just to see acid3 rendering more correctly; the jump in passing tests is icing on the cake. While acid3 does have some dubious stuff in it, I still think it’s important for IE9 to compete along that axis.

    I’m curious if the JS engine does dynamic recompilation based upon runtime sampling to increase code locality of the JIT’d code. Can anyone answer that question?

  581. Matthew Raymond says:

    @Sylvain Galineau [Microsoft]:

      Let’s look at the various W3C specifications used in Acid3:

    DOM2 Core         – Recommendation (2000)

    DOM2 Events       – Recommendation (2000)

    DOM2 HTML         – Recommendation (2003)

    DOM2 Range        – Recommendation (2000)

    DOM2 Style        – Recommendation (2000)

    DOM2 Traversal    – Recommendation (2000)

    DOM2 Views        – Recommendation (2000)

    HTML4             – Recommendation (1998)

    HTML4.01          – Recommendation (1999)

    Media Queries     – Candidate Recommendation (Call for Implementation)

    Selectors         – Last Call Working Draft

    XHTML 1.0         – Recommendation (2000)

    CSS2 (@font-face) – Recommendation (1998)

    CSS2.1            – Candidate Recommendation (Call for Implementation)

    CSS3 Color        – Last Call Working Draft (formerly CR)

    CSS3 UI           – Candidate Recommendation (Call for Implementation)

    SVG 1.1           – Recommendation (2003)

    SMIL 2.1          – Recommendation (2005)

      Out of all these standards, only two are below Call for Implementation: Selectors Level 3 and CSS3 Color. Both of these are Last Call, which is the last stage before Call for Implementation. CSS3 Color was a Candidate Recommendation at the time Acid3 was released, but was returned to working draft status several months later.

      I’ll grant you that the newest @font-face work is in the CSS3 Font Working Draft, but since IE already has partial support, and given how long it’s been in CSS2, I don’t see why we should give Microsoft slack on this, especially since they’ve failed to implement TrueType font support for entirely political reasons.

      Given how stable these specifications are, there really isn’t an excuse for IE9 scoring 32/100 in Acid3, even in it’s current alpha state. Safari 4.0 and Opera 10 already pass. At least Mozilla has the excuse of having XUL and XBL built into the browser engine, and yet Firefox 3.6 Beta 4 scores exactly three times better (96/100). I suspect that if Microsoft can’t top 80/100, they’re going to be a laughing stock.

  582. Matt says:

    @matthew: "they’ve failed to implement TrueType font support for entirely political reasons."

    Yeah, respect for intellectual property is "political." Any other lies you wish to share with the class?

  583. forced update of IE 5, 6, 7, 8 says:


    "Instead of releasing a new version of IE you should better release a forced "rendering engine update" for IE 6, 7 and 8."


  584. dev says:

    I say to you the same words Mr. Smith said to Neo:

    You must know it by now. YOU CAN’T WIN. It’s pointless to keep fighting. Why, Mr. Anderson? Why? WHY DO YOU PERSIST?

  585. B says:

    Seriously, guys, if you’re not going to bother with Acid3, don’t bother at all. Developers are sick and tired of having to write one version of their website for standard-compliant browsers – and another, hacked site for IE.

    Yes, I know the MS mantra is "all Microsoft, all the time". If you guys had your way, we’d all be writing purely for IE, in ASP, running on IIS… but that’s the mentality that brought us the dark ages of IE6.

    If you’re going to seriously complete with the actually decent browsers out there, you need to take web standards seriously. Honestly, you’d be better off throwing out Trident all together and adopting Webkit and calling it a day.

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