Back in November I blogged about “Customising IE8 To Drive Users to Your Website”. Despite the final version of IE8 not yet being released both Yellow and the BLACKCAPS have deployed their customisations.
Back in July last year I sought feedback on an action plan on “How we can rid NZ of IE6”, since then page gates targeting IE6 users on microsoft.co.nz and msn.co.nz have seen large conversion rates. Yellow has gone one better and this morning taken the bold move to launch a page gate to upgrade not only IE6 but also IE7 users who visit their website to a Yellow customised version of the IE8 Release Candidate.
If you click to download you get an installer for your operating system if it is supported (they have chosen to support Windows XP, Vista 32bit & 64bit versions). Yellow also has deployed a page to provide their customers with more information about why they should install IE8.
After installing you will notice a few customisations.
- The title bar of the browser reads “Windows Internet Explorer provided by Yellow.co.nz”
- There are three home page tabs.
- Default search is set to “Yellow Search”, a customised Google Search with callout yellow listings and Google AdSense. Of course I would have preferred to see Live Search used here but working with customised search API’s is the smart thing to do to “add value” to your own search offerings and drive additional search revenue for your business.
- The Yellow Search is also included as an accelerator along with a “coming soon” Map with Yellow Maps accelerator. This enables users to select some text and then click the accelerator link to search the highlighted term.
The http://search.yellow.co.nz site was built by Keith Patton, Jon Beattie and Darren Wood over at Marker Studio. They chose to build it in ASP.NET on Windows Server 2008 where the existing http://yellow.co.nz is JSP on Apache proving the advantage of a website implementing an API when working cross platform.
The other IE8 project to launch recently is a live scoring web slice for New Zealand cricket. Back in 2005 Christchurch based Gus Pickering and the team at NV Interactive (formally Lupo Data Concepts) built a .NET client scoring application that powers http://cricinfo.com (the world's leading cricket website, ranked number one in all of its major markets) read the case study about that development.
Earlier this year the same team built the new BLACKCAPS website. The site is hosted on Windows Server 2008 and uses the latest version of ASP.NET. The site introduced live scoring for all domestic cricket matches in New Zealand. Data is collected by a client scoring application and WCF services are used to deliver updates which are rendered via AJAX on the client website. When you visit the site you get presented with a list of current games that you can subscribe to the scoring for. Read more about the project on the NV Interactive website.
In the 4-month period of 1 October 08 to 27 January 09, the new site racked up 6,251,531 page impressions. This traffic figure does not even include Live Scoring visitors.
Sam Langley a web designer at NV added the mark-up to expose these live games as web slices in IE8 without writing any browser specific loops or code.
NV Interactive worked with New Zealand Cricket to deliver an exciting new website in time for the 2009 season. The site includes live scoring for all domestic and international games that the BLACKCAPS are involved in. Because of the way that that NV developed the scoring system, it was very easy to provide IE8 users with a premium experience via a web slice without creating any browser specific code.
Matt Pickering – Managing Director NV Interactive
Over the weekend there was a new video released comparing IE8 performance against other browsers which is also worth a look.
There is a lot happening with Microsoft Web Technologies this week with the MIX event kicking off in Las Vegas. Unfortunately I didn't make the conference this year but if you are an early bird you can watch the keynotes live at http://live.visitmix.com kicking of 5AM (NZ Time) on Thursday and Friday mornings. Dean Hachamovitch GM of IE is presenting during the keynote on the second day and you can check a full list of MIX09 speakers (including NZ's own Chris Auld) over here.