A Modern Browser

This morning, Mozilla shared their feelings on IE9 with a post that claims to answer the question, “Is IE9 a modern browser?” While they grudgingly concede that IE9 is “a step in the right direction”, they seem to be operating under a very narrow definition of what “modern” means, that I don’t think matches the dreams that web developers and end-users actually have.

Let me help them with a definition for what we believe users and developers should expect from a “modern browser”:

  • Modern browsers are fast. They take full advantage of the underlying platform to render graphics with the GPU, compile and execute JavaScript across multiple CPU cores and ensure that web applications run as close as possible to the same speed as native applications.
  • Modern browsers enable rich, immersive experiences that could hitherto only be delivered through a plug-in or native application. They can blend video, vector and raster graphics, audio and text seamlessly without sacrificing performance.
  • Modern browsers implement features when they are ready, providing predictable patterns that developers can rely on rather than suddenly breaking or removing specifications. They don’t check off support based on a half-completed implementation written to pass a synthetic test, but validate against a test suite that confirms interoperability.
  • Modern browsers do adopt standards at an early stage of readiness so developers can experiment and validate the specification, but clearly delineate unstable prototypes as such.

It seems that others share this view. The discussion on YCombinator starts with this comment:

Maybe I'm just weird, but I consider issues like performance, reliability, and having a stable foundation to build on to be far more important than supporting your own browser's take on some hypothetical future "standard", which is just IE vs. Netscape all over again. On that basis, IE is currently the only one of the big three that is actually going in the right direction.

And Download Squad concludes its analysis of the Mozilla article with the following:

Don't get us wrong, [Firefox] is an excellent browser -- but more stuff doesn't necessarily equate to better stuff.

To our friends at Mozilla, we admire your passion for the open web, and we look forward to continued competition.

Comments (100)
  1. Anonymous says:


    Microsoft should get of it's SOAP box and put comprehensive browser supporting all CSS specs including gradients, animations, css 3d transformations and websockets. I will not recommend or work every again in a project until those are in your IE. Enough is enough.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Nice going – you linked to video that has profanity in it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why is the Moz being so cranky? Could be that they haven't shipped for a year and are seeing everyone else pass them. Dropped FF for Chrome, will check out IE9 when it ships

  4. Anonymous says:

    I really like IE9, much better than the previous browsers.

    Also I prefer a FAST browser over a painfully SLOW browser (read firefox).

  5. Anonymous says:

    "Don't get us wrong, [Firefox] is an excellent browser — but more stuff doesn't necessarily equate to better stuff."

    That's so misleading! Firefox doesn't do "More stuff", it supports "More Stuff". And supporting emerging and cool functions in a browser does make it better. Having to worry about hack after hack to support all of IEs shitty browsers isn't cool. The only reason people use IE is because it's the default browser on windows. I wish it would go away.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I figure 'modern' isn't the adjective he means anyway. Whoever's browser ships latest is the most modern 😉

  7. Anonymous says:

    I'd feel more inclined to agree with these points if:

    – IE hadn't been the slowest browser historically

    – IE hadn't lagged behind in "interoperability" more than other browsers historically

    – IE 9 actually had the object tag working to spec

  8. Anonymous says:

    Are you dumb or playing dumb, this is a bogus post! We need to a valid and a technical response of why you don't support the items listed in the list of items IE9 doesn't support. Those items are incredibly useful.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I kind of agree, but what's the deal with IE9 not supporting at least text-shadow, CSS3 gradients and transitions?  They've been around for a long time now and they're pretty simple aesthetic enhancements for designers.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Don't say 'Mozilla' instead of 'someone at Mozilla' 😉

  11. Anonymous says:

    In all fairness, as a webdesigner I agree with Mozilla's team. Internet Explorer is an excellent browser – but it requires so much more effort to achieve the same result as in any other browser. If this browser would just be less annoying (Bing search by default?) and start to support some popular and important features (text shadow, inspect element) I'd actually start using it! I would say that the demands of a modern browser would be what people like first, and then the extra features.

  12. Anonymous says:

    You make a valid case about not supporting "bleeding edge" unstable features such as WebGL and IndexedDB. But there's plenty of stuff not supported by IE9 that is relatively stable, and been broadly supported by others for a while. Examples (and correct me if I'm wrong) are:

    CSS3 text-shadow: Loads of sites making use of this, fonts look flat and boring in IE9 as a result

    CSS3 Transitions

    Application Cache

    HTML5 forms: even just a few would be good, such as slider, range picker etc.

    HTML5 History API: there's huge debate and controversy over the use of hash-bangs #! in URLs to make Ajax heavy sites bookmarkable and indexable  (Twitter/Facebook use them), broader support for History API would mean we wouldn't need to use hash-bangs

    While IE9 represents progress, it's still way behind pretty much all the competition, plus IE's long development cycles means it'll only get further behind.

    PS: BTW, this comment box I'm typing into isn't scrollable, can't see what I'm typing, I'm in FF3.6 though I bet it works fine in IE :s

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is not Mozilla speaking in this blog post, this is Paul Rouget speaking on his own blog, not on hacks.mozilla.org or any other official Mozilla website.

    It sounds more like the honest feelings of a Web developer.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hi I'm IE9, I should have been IE8 but we got kinda sidetracked.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Paul Rougte works at Mozilla as their evangelist. So, his job is to speak for Mozilla. I am not sure I get the Paul doesn't speak for Mozilla angle at all.

    Besides that. When a company starts getting all defensive and lashing, it's a bad sign that their product can't do the talking any more.

  16. Anonymous says:

    hahaha do you understand what the word "modern" itself means?

    more development, and less flattering yourself… you have done enought damage to the web community already.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I am surprised Firefox behaves in such childish ways. When did they start becoming this ugly. i always though of them as "do not evil" kind of people. Why do they start this now?

  18. Anonymous says:

    @KickBox You clearly haven't tried Firefox 4.

  19. Anonymous says:

    "Modern browsers enable rich, immersive experiences that could hitherto only be delivered through a plug-in or native application."

    But if you want to support something as simple as drag'n'drop or multiple selection for file uploads you'll need to use a 3rd party plugin or another browser. So when will IE10 be out?

  20. Anonymous says:

    It's good to hear some of the other browser vendors providing a dissenting voice to the disingenuous marketing drivel spouted by Microsoft drones. The crowing tone of these missives is absolutely galling giving the horrendous impact IE has had on progress in web development for years. Have a little humility and just get on with *trying* to catch up with the rest of the world.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I think when all is said and done, sure, the end consumer (well some end users anyway) may love the IE9 experience, but all of us developers are WELL beyond fed up with IE and the continual need to hack (break) our standards compliant code, simply to make well designed and innovative sites function.

    Here we were hoping that IE9 was going to herald the grand entrance of something we could all get excited about… I guess not.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Let me know when IE9 runs on Linux, OS X and Solaris, I'll give it a try.

  23. Anonymous says:

    IE9 is going in the right direction but by testing the RC version I can tell that it is already behind from other browsers. The web is moving towards HTML5/CSS3 and I believe we'll have to wait until IE10 for IE to catch up with current browsers. This is very annoying for a web designer/developer because we always have to use hacks/external libraries o just not implement new features because IE won't support it while the rest do. I don't think your job here is to write a post about what somebody from Mozilla said. If IE9 is great you guys have to prove it by not lagging behind everybody else.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps saying IE9 is not a modern browser is a bit extreme but its really important for the IE dev team to take these comments seriously. Developers are dying to implement the latest technology/standards and even more excited to see it work in IE. The fact that CSS3 gradients don't even work is a real black eye. Given the bad PR IE has gotten in the past I think its really important not to justify sub standard behavior but listen to the comments and implement these features ASAP. Its far more powerful to say "We can do that, no problem" than to say "Well, here's why we can't or won't".

  25. Anonymous says:

    The rich, immersive experience ( ie.microsoft.com/…/Default.html ) dropped my laptop's battery charge from 3:50h to 1:20h. No good.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the quote 🙂

    And good post!

  27. Anonymous says:

    This is just silly. Ask any developer what their favorite browser is and I bet at least 90% wont say IE. And if they do, ask yourself how competent that developer is.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I love zippy graphics as much as the next person (see also: WPF, Silverlight etc) but I think you should maybe also mention security as a key feature of a "modern" browser. I think we can ALL do better in that regard.

    Anyway, looking forward to Pwn2Own, should be fun!

  29. Anonymous says:

    Nice! I was looking forward for this kind of response. I mean, who cares whether mozilla firefox has this and that. I just want my computer to surf internet at blazing speed. Not to wait long lag loading (Firefox, I'm talking about resource hog here) of the piece of browser, and next the site loading time.

    But IE9 is not a full win yet, if they ditch XP (my favourite Windows version). Whaaaat.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Whats the deal with IE9 not supporting at least text-shadow, CSS3 gradients and transitions?  

  31. Anonymous says:

    IE is the bane of any web-industry professional's existence.  Its user base depends entirely on the Windows OS market share.  

    Your definition of 'Modern Browser' above does not point out any disadvantages of other browsers.  It merely attempts to minimize the criticisms of IE9.  If your response to a competitors claim is 'Our product isn't quite that bad', you're wasting your time.

    IE is the lowest common denominator of web-browsing as we know it and likely always will be.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Hacker News !=Y Combinator, but thanks for your input.

  33. Anonymous says:

    While I mostly agree with both sides of this argument, there's one thing you guys (the IE team) seems to keep forgetting:

    They're "improving" the web for *WINDOWS* users.

    If you were to release IE9 for all major platforms (sure maybe it's just Windows and OSX for now…) then we'd be talking about consistency and helping the developer community. By pushing another proprietary browser down our throats we're just going to end up in 2001 all over again. You saw what happened as a result, and we all lost 10 years of advancements on the web.

    What we (web developers) want to see from you guys is that you care about us. All of us. Not just Windows devs. The "web" isn't a Microsoft technology. It's about being open. Start showing that, and we'll respond the way you'd hope.

    Webkit is the only hope left for the web. You guys should have considered using it, and contributing your work back.

  34. Anonymous says:

    This saddens me, as I was under the impression that Microsoft's IE9 team got it.  I know this is a response to Mozilla's comments, but it definitely shows me that the IE9 team is not truly concerned with web standards, but rather still interested in just doing their own thing.  Innovating is great when the basics are supported, but you have to support the basics first!  And yes, CSS3 and HTML5 components are now the basics for a new browser coming out.  

  35. Anonymous says:

    Modern browsers use "Open web technology"… 😛

  36. Anonymous says:

    Is that true IE9 doesn't support CSS3 Transitions, CSS3 Text Shadow, CSS3 Gradients and Drag'n Drop from Desktop?

  37. Anonymous says:

    You need to be an expert to use Windows. The same way you need to be an expert to code for Internet Explorer. That sucks. I stopped optimizing for Internet Explorer 3 years ago and since then i won more users than i lost.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Modern browsers work on Windows XP. Oh, wait, nevermind.

  39. Anonymous says:

    only to find IE6-8 wont run the javascript code which was the main performance enhancement over all serverside data

  40. Anonymous says:

    A broken browser (one that does not support web standards) makes web applications harder to develop and deliver and hinders the ability of mankind to make progress on other initiatives when they are trying to make javascript and css exceptions for IE.  Mozilla's position is shared by the majority of the developers on the platform called the web.

  41. Anonymous says:

    "Modern Browsers are FAST". Yes, but who care how much fast it is if dev must use JS and images to get some basic effects working? It is fast, but if a design need an extra CSS file, and a lot of extra images files, and some JS scripts working to get an effect, then it will slow down the web experience. Serious guys, you dont have to reinvent the wheel right now, just start by making it looks like a circle, please!… the square doesnt seems to work…

  42. Anonymous says:


    I really have to disagree with you. Modern browser are indeed reliable, fast and take full advantage of the underlying platform to provide the user the best experience possible.

    In the other hand, you need to remember that modern browsers are those who do some good for the web, who allow us, developers, to provide rich and innovative online experiences to the user. The web grows, you have more and more awesome, accessible and rich interfaces, because browsers allows them to exist.

    IE was never on the front-line of anything to be true, neither speed, liability of feature support.

    I'm pretty sure that other browser that support most of the latest properties are more fast, reliable and secure that any version of Internet Explorer that the World has ever seen.

    IE team has always used this conservative thinking has an excuse to this ridiculous lack of support. IE is also the only browser where you need to have some nasty hacks to get things done for each different version, because not only it has a lack of support, but also isn't consistent through the different versions released in every 3 years or so.

    Also there are great people working hard to help developers with IE's lack of support (projects like Selectivizr and CSS3PIE are the best thing that ever happened lately for those poor guys that have to spend days trying to figure out why IE doesn't support a css property that exists for the last 6 years).

    So please, instead of loosing your time replying to a post that was written in the first place to help you, to help IE's final release to be better, go do something useful and stop being such a hater.

    Looking forward for IE9's release…

    No hard feelings and all the best!

  43. Anonymous says:

    A modern browser should be able to work in linux.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Oh – that was a Paul Roget(?) article I read before this piece. Whatever – Paul is such a typical French dude. I use FF/Chrome but that guy is irritating.

    I agree w/ above point about not implementing items in a changing spec. MS is right about that. All CSS3 border-radius code e.g. I write I have to keep revisiting to update. Now, I've got a webkit/moz/and w3c standard version of border-radius. One day, I will have to go back and delete webkit/moz versions because recently Safari/FF have moved over to W3C 'border-radius' name convention. Blah Blah Blah.

    MS also makes a good point about GPU accel and having a browser act more natively – too bad I use Linux and am not upgrading my single XP machine any time soon – even for an IE9 beta.

    In the end we're all going to use Nokias again running WP7 as are only computers and comm. devices – so who cares?


  45. Anonymous says:

    @Marco C.

    Actually I have used Firefox. Thanks for asking. I have several browsers installed for work and testing. Firefox just isn't very good, it's just okay. If it had shipped on time it would have been a solid competitors.

    My guess is a year from now Firefox will have been passed by all other browsers. They have just lost their competitive edge.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Doing research (/playing) with the latest canvas stuff, I was really impressed with IE9's speed. I'm glad you guys are dragging IE into the thick of it. Definitely some work left, but keep it up!

  47. Anonymous says:

    Brian Lopez has hit the nail on the head. MS ought to embrace open source, and stop competing with the rest of the browser world to free up more resources for what MS does best: Office.  Does MS not realize that extending open source (or pushing spec's in ways that benefits only their products) in incompatible ways loses them developer support?  Imagine a company that open sourced their browser, allowing others to contribute and extend it, sponsored conventions to try to break the product's security, innovated methods that can be copied to other products… oh, snap, that's google.

    sorry, MS.  i thought you cared about developers…  turns out you think old-style profits are the way forward.

    UPSHOT: modern browsers come from modern COMPANIES.  A fast, stable, usable browser is a good first step, but if you can get the developers on your side, then you've got something that's sustainably modern.  Make a difference, MS, not a browser, and you'll gain our hearts forever.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Good effort, Microsoft. I look forward to having to use a few less "hacks" to support fancy CSS3 properties in your browser, but you're not fooling anybody with this blog post. I'm not saying Firefox is perfect, but it is leaps and bounds ahead of IE9.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Mozilla should spend more time making their browser faster? After trying Chrome, Firefox is too painfully slow to be considered usable.

    Anyways, haters gonna hate; I'm installing IE9 on my Mom's computer as soon as its out (it currently has Chrome).

  50. Anonymous says:

    So, text-shadow seems to be the main concern. I'm actually glad they're not supporting that one. Just because it's an option doesn't mean it should be used. The one and only requirement for a 'modern' browser: significant updates are measured in months, not years.

  51. Anonymous says:

    I've been called a Microsoft fanboy on multiple occasions and even I think this is complete BS. There is NO excuse for not supporting the standards. All you do is make my life (as a developer) HELL.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Modern or postmodern 😉  anyway, I couldn't find any tech list around here of what features ie9 does support,so I'll stick to that the Mozilla post are true, when I develop. Thanks

  53. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft, since you *STILL* won't decouple IE from the operating system properly, people don't update it. People are still on IE6 because it came with Windows XP. But there's nobody still using Mozilla 0.7 (just as old).

    The browser you are peddling right now is the minimum browser you and everyone else will be struggling to support in 2021! It's patently ridiculous but it's true. You are going to hold up Web development for the next decade too.

  54. Anonymous says:

    You are right.

    P.S. Thank you, for IE9, it's pretty good.

    P.P.S. About Moz post – this is just Moz team's attempts to discredit concurent.

    FF is the most unsecure browser, and Moz team try look good.

  55. Anonymous says:

    As a web developer, I want to be able to implement designs without resporting to hacks or having clients say "but it doesn't look the same in IE".  For this reason, I do need IE to support CSS3 Gradients and CSS3 Text Shadow.  Other things are less important, but this is just the rounded corners issue all over again without these two features.

  56. Anonymous says:

    Do you guys realize you'd have no market share, and nobody would use your browser if it wasn't baked into your OS? Anyone I've recommended Firefox or Chrome to has never gone back. Their spyware and malware infections have gone way down as well.

    The biggest favor you could have done with IE9 is give up trying to write your own rendering engine, because man it still sucks. You should have jumped on the Webkit bandwagon, but of course you had to be stubborn old Microsoft.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Mozilla one of the best browsers, but we can't test it,because it is very heavy and gets slow. When I test latest IE9 release, I like it with all new features and as web developer I like new Developer tool ( better than FF 4 WDT  I say ). Keep going, you are on the right way.


    Samir. ( Azerbaijan, Baku )

  58. Anonymous says:


    Look at this:

    `Let me help them with a definition for what we believe users and developers should expect from a “modern browser”:`

    Haven't you guys figured this out yet?  You're supposed to implement AGREED INDEPENDENT standards, not just make up you own and then try and foist that on the rest of the world.  After all these years and so much criticism of MS, you still aren't in the right mindset to provide leadership on the web.  The sooner IE fades in to obscurity and is discontinued, the better.  You have to accept this is a race you lost a long time ago.

  59. Anonymous says:

    I've never seen IE9 in my life, because it can't be installed on XP. I don't want to pay for a whole operating system just to get a "more modern" browser. And after the tons of lies i read on MS sites about how "fast and modern" IE8 is with its accelerators and other crap, i will more easily believe Mozilla, than MS. (MS stands for Malicious Software, right?).

  60. Anonymous says:

    If you're going to include comments (which hold a TON of weight in value we all know), maybe you should read your own.  

    Web developers everywhere complain about IE and EVERY post I've seen from Microsoft has basically just ignored these facts saying "No, you're wrong, look this ONE person likes it".  What do you have to say about that?  Nothing.  You're going to ignore EVERYTHING that REAL people say and continue on like you own the world.  

  61. Anonymous says:

    Why not respond to the content of their argument instead of using vague terms like "immersive experiences"? And bragging about speed only goes so far. IE9 IS lacking features that web-developers need and that are hard and sometimes impossible to emulate. Why make web developers lose their time AGAIN with this new IE version? Mozilla's post might be a bit cocky but they state facts that web developers can't ignore.

    There are so many good browsers out there that show it is perfectly possible to have a browser implement recent standards correctly, that one can't help but wonder if it is really in Microsoft's intrest to do this (and not just pretend to do so like right now). I for one won't recommend IE9 to anyone.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft has failed to make one decent browser in its entire existence. ALL of their browsers have caused hours of pain for thousands of web developers, their companies and their clients. IE 9 is shaping up to be no different. There are web standards. All that is required of a browser is to follow them TO THE LETTER. ALL OF THEM. Microsoft cherry-picks those they feel like supporting and leaves out the rest. Your previous products are all shockingly bad, and yet much smaller dev teams such as Mozilla and Webkit produce superior products that are multi-platform with far reduced resources. I wish Microsoft could be banned from actually making browsers, because you have been holding back the development of a more modern browsing experience for too long, and you have proven yourselves incapable of the task.

  63. Anonymous says:

    I've just run sunspider under win7/iE9 and win7/chrome9 in the same machine and the results speak for itselves. IE is the slower:

    ** TOTAL **:           *4.75x as slow*   285.6ms +/- 0.5%   1355.7ms +/- 0.3%     significant

  64. Anonymous says:

    Honestly, as web developer I am dreading the day IE9 hits mainstream. I didn't believe IE9 was going to be a modern browser even before the post at Mozilla. IE has been playing catch up and holding the web back for years. While IE9 is an upgrade, it sadly holds back devs who want to build more robust sites but are often hamstrung due to having to support IE and its inadequacies.

  65. Anonymous says:

    I have been using the IE 9 RC for about a week now and a really like it for the most part. There are still pleanty of things that are broken in IE 9 (unless it is in compat mode) that work fine on all other browsers (FF, Chrome, Safari, Opera).

    The other thing that kills me is no integrated spell checker. Every other browser has it.

  66. Anonymous says:

    Not sure I'll ever understand why MS doesn't just start using WebKit as a base.  I'm not sure what they gain by creating another browser that designers and web developers have to complain about.

    IE9 might be great now, but you really need to consider what it's place will be in 5 years.  From the looks of it, in five years MS will still be three years behind WebKit and Gecko.  Which brings me back to my first question, why not just use WebKit?

  67. Anonymous says:


    I saw this directly on the heels of the grouchy, MS-hater sounding Mozilla blog post this morning. There are certainly facts on both sides that support both arguments. I do think IE9 is a great step in the right direction and of course can be considered a modern browser. That being said – the problem that people, especially web developers, have with IE has historically been that there has to be a different design and development approach for IE versus EVERY OTHER BROWSER that requires an entirely different level of effort.

    The main complaint about IE, which as a web developer I still feel is valid, is that Microsoft has abandoned Microsoft's core strength which is making things easier and fun for developers (didn't Ballmer – a man who represents the death knell of Microsoft's relevance – make an ass out of himself yelling "developers, developers, developers!"? He should have perhaps said "except those web guys – we hate them"). As it stands, and has stood for a decade now, Microsoft burdens developers with an inexplicably wildly different implementation of the CSS and HTML spec than every other browser making IE the *** child of anyone who considers themselves tech savvy or demands a high quality web browsing experience. Any web developer worth his salt has IE installed merely to test and refine their designs – not for every day use. And it says a lot when professionals in an arena refuse to use your browser other than when they have to.

    SO while I applaud the latest incarnation of IE9, maybe rather than creating a product you have to always defend in forums and blog posts, make one that the professionals who are the thought leaders and drive opinion in their fields not only use but want to share with others. I have never recommended something as heartily as I do Google Chrome when people ask me which browser is the best to use for day-to-day use. And I'm a MS developer and supporter of MS – but as someone whose job it is to know the web, good user experience, and as a consequence which browser to use to maximize that experience, I still cannot recommend IE. And I will not until MS makes a browser that makes it easy to develop for, not just for the lowest common denominator of web users.

    I want to love IE… let me.

  68. Anonymous says:

    There seems to be a lot of anger at Mozilla publishing a list of statistics based on third-party benchmarks.

    What's wrong? The data, or their daring to publish it?

    Meanwhile, I'll stick with the commonly accepted definition of the word 'modern'. I can't afford to redefine it every time I read an MSDN evangelism post.

  69. Anonymous says:

    From an end user's perspective IE9 will be modern, stable and fast.  Maybe even cool(ish).  It will be pushed to desktops around the world.

    As a web-developer, it will do as it has in the past: only support what it supports.  This will, as it has in the past and will do again, force developers to: a) use the lowest common denominator (e.g. no text-shadow), b) use hacks and/or workarounds (e.g. excanvas.js; multiple embed/objects) or c) ignore IE and hope for the best (bad idea generally)

    I personally have spent countless hours fighting (that is what it feels like) with IE to make it do something the other browsers 'just do'.  I am tired of it.  I can't change it but I am very very tired of it.

    I see that history (from a developer's perspective again) will repeat itself.  Especially since I heard that HTML5 specification will not be 'complete' until Q2 2014.  This means that all browsers will pick and choose which features they want to implement.  IE will choose what it thinks is best and the others will sort of work together to be more or less on the same page (picture a Venn diagram with IE9 on the left just touching the overlap of Chrome, Firefox and Opera.  Three years!?!

    Is it not possible for someone at WC3 to come up with a core feature set that can be finalized in the next couple of months?  Maybe an incremental ratification of features would work.  We have already waited long enough for HTML5.


    Back to work with me.

  70. Anonymous says:

    Mozilla's talking heads are probably just upset their falling into the long development cycles that Microsoft was knocked on for years. Microsoft's development team dropped the ball with IE6 and got lazy, because they were top of the game, and from what I've seen with IE7-IE9, they've been making progress, but not nearly enough.

    Microsoft, people are clamoring for IE9 to adopt everything that the other browsers have, and you have the manpower to deliver. The unfortunate fact is that while you have the resources available to support everything that Firefox and Chrome do, the IE9 RC still lacks it, and everyone is waiting to see them. At this point in the game, you're going to have to compete with the other browsers, and Chrome is "theoretically" on top, because they support just about everything.

    The best course of action would probably be to sit back, stop calling the current version of IE9 a RC, and refer to it as a beta again. Go back to the lab and add in all those features that people want, make it stable, and then start calling it a release candidate again. When you can get 100 on the Acid3 tests (http://acid3.acidtests.org/) and 300 on the HTML5 tests (http://html5test.com/), and still have it run as quickly as the Beta and RC do now, then you can release that beast. At that point, Firefox and Chrome will be eating their words.

    BTW, Dominic, I'm using IE8, and the text box is not scrollable, and will constantly try to bump me to the top of the box. I had to type this into Notepad, just so I could see it. Chances are the text box is poorly coded.

  71. Anonymous says:

    Here's one to put in your pipe: I downloaded IE9 and installed it on my Vostro running Vista SP2, and it crashed!!  Blue screen, memory dump – boom!!  Good start I thought!?

  72. Anonymous says:

    That classic MS arrogance is visible in the fact that there isnt a single questionmark in your article. Stop preaching, start listening to developers, and you just might get it right for once.

    You did it (although long overdue) with windows7, Im sure you can do it with IE (9, 10, 15?)..

  73. Anonymous says:

    You people are really morons.  Grow up and support the same features as everyone else.  For crap's sake it's taken you more than 5 years to upgrade IE6 because you were trying to lock up the market.  And don't get me started on ActiveX.

  74. Anonymous says:

    Well, since Microsoft and fanbois claim IE9 to be a modern browser, then I'm gonna code my websites per established industry standards. Certainly Microsoft didn't make IE9 just conform to a subset of that and released a faux test suite to suit their pace of development and competency.

  75. Anonymous says:

    I would be more open to the every day use of Internet Explorer if it wasn't such a thorn in my side for the past 7 or 8 years. Every time a new version is released I hold my breath in hopes that it's up to par with every other browser. I want to see it succeed and become as promising as its competition, but it never happens.

    I don't understand how such simple features (CSS3) are overlooked over and over. I appreciate the focus on speed and performance but I would think it best if the IE team would refrain from releasing new versions until even the simplest of features are implemented. Perhaps it's time to abandon the project altogether and focus on something that uses webkit? I grew tired of waiting for a truly modern version of Internet Explorer ages ago.

    Also, FYI, overflow: auto works much better on textareas than overflow-y: hidden does. Why would anyone ever use hidden overflow on a textarea to begin with? I had to type my comment into a plain text document and then paste it into the comment textarea just so I could see what I was typing.

    The joys of web developer/designer pet peeves and usability failure.

  76. Anonymous says:

    As a web developer, I call BS. I can write my sites and expect them to work according to standards on FF, Opera, and Chrome… then have to <– fix it in IE –> because Microsoft seems to feel as if they don't have to listen to standards. If IE wasn't the default browser when you install Windows, I wouldn't bust my balls to work around the text shadowing, min-width and gradients issues with IE.  Get over yourself, Microsoft, and make an effort to put out a real browser.

  77. Anonymous says:

    "Don't get us wrong, [Firefox] is an excellent browser — but more stuff doesn't necessarily equate to better stuff."

    Paul Rouget's blog post wasn't about "stuff" it had to do with the adoption of modern web standards, namely HTML5 and CSS3. His issue was that the test results published by Microsoft were misleading.

    You can justify your definition of a "modern browser" all you want. I still need to make a separate style sheet for IE when I build "modern" websites.

  78. Anonymous says:

    This atrocious attitude is exactly why everyone (literally, every web developer I've worked with in the last 10 years) absolutely despises, in every conceivable way, Internet Explorer, of all versions.

    Every single point you make can be invalidated. You mention, speed, vector support, video support, audio, and text. Hello, get a goddamn clue. Real "modern browsers" have supported these things for a while.

    Microsoft is simply ignorant, and have caused web developers a lot of pain through the years, and we hate you for it.

    Internet Explorer is the Fox News of the browser world. Full of lies and deceit, yet somehow, with your undeserved money and power, you have embedded yourself into the minds of the unknowing majority. Shame on you.

  79. Anonymous says:

    I wouldn't hate every version of IE nearly as much and nitpick over missing features like text-shadowing if I didn't have to wait years for the next release. Why are you the only browser who releases and then adds no additional support until the next full version? You release security packages regularly so why not web standards updates? Everything you do is years too late it seems and it blows my mind that everyone at Microsoft seems blinded by this fact. Do you seriously think its a mere coincidence that developers curse your name on a daily basis? Do you realize how much extra time and money we spend wasting to support your garbage?? What's your argument for not adding these features… don't want to be too modern? Just f****ing add them!!

  80. Anonymous says:

    The man with the bad haircut (must be a M$ thing) makes a good point.

  81. Anonymous says:

    I think IE9 is a step in the right direction but we really need FASTER ITERATIONS.  We can't have these 1-2 year release cycles.  The web moves faster than that, now.

  82. Anonymous says:

    I gotta agree with the Mozilla guys: IE is consistently at least two years behind all other browsers as far as being useful for the user experience, which comes down to support for web standards.

    The fact is, your browser may be fast, but it's slowing the rest of the world down.

  83. Anonymous says:

    A modern Browser is available for MORE THAN ONE plattform. IE is Windows only, so it can't be modern.

  84. Anonymous says:

    "WarpKat 15 Feb 2011 2:32 PM

    Nice going – you linked to video that has profanity in it."

    Oh no, profanity. Are we 3 years old, here?

  85. Anonymous says:

    Mozilla hasn't launched for a year because they haven't needed to launch for a year. I have yet to come across a problem with Firefox, but have had to redesign numerous web pages just to get them to work in IE8 and IE9. I find Firefox to be fast, useful, bug-free, and straightforward to use. IE8 and IE9 freeze often and don't support many of the features that I like to use. Face it, Microsoft, Mozilla defined "modern."

  86. Anonymous says:

    Tim, MS almost needs two browsers. You need an IE Corporate to be stable and rarely updated to support all Enterprise apps built for it and an IE Fun which could be updated more like Chrome.

  87. Anonymous says:

    "Modern browsers…take full advantage of the underlying platform to render graphics with the GPU, compile and execute JavaScript across multiple CPU cores and ensure that web applications run as close as possible to the same speed as native applications."

    I don't expect my browser to waste any cycles trying to figure out how to do this. This is the job of the OS and must not work differently based on the browser that I use. Another Microsoft fail.

  88. Anonymous says:

    Please consider releasing IE more often, and updating the rendering engine every 6 months or so.

    Also force all windows users to update to IE9 and be done with the mess the previous versions of IE provide.

    If Microsoft actually promoted updating the browser, a lot of other sites would follow, have a message when someone goes to a Microsoft site that their browser will need to be updated, and allow people to update even if they don't pass the genuine advantage thing, while most of us pay for windows, there are lots of countries where piracy is the norm, and if they can't update their browser there will be traces of IE6 & 7 for longer.

  89. Anonymous says:

    Hi Tim,

    I've stuck with IE for a looong time just recently changed to Chrome for the speed improvement(it feels snappy, IE8 more inertia), the plugins and easy tabbing, just kept IE8 for my webmail because Chrome wasn't supported. I tried IE9 and it is an improvement over IE8, because it look and feels a lot like Chrome, but now my webmail didn't work. It's probably some Java thing that's not supported, and your probably right about not supporting it; but I can't use my webmail, so I changed back. Same thing happened with Windows7, I went back to WindowsXP because the VPN client didn't have the CHAP version our corporate router had. Again, your probably right, but I have work to do. Pitty though.

  90. Anonymous says:

    IE9 still lacks support for object getters and setters (except on DOM objects).  This is a critical feature that every other modern browser supports.  NO, IE9 IS NOT a modern browser yet.

  91. Anonymous says:

    Most of the comments are not really addressing IE 9, just rehashing what whiners have been saying (rightly or wrongly) about IE for years. Meanwhile, the users have been amazingly reluctant to moave away from even IE6 – and long after MS was begging and pleading for that to happen just so they could move forward.

    Stop whining and get over it. Users don't give a flying feck at a rolling donut how "hard it is" to write web sites that target multiple browsers. But some of you really need to reconsider what it is you're complaining about in the first place. Take it feature by feature and consider the trade offs involved with implementing each as-is right now with the web the way it exists today. That is what MS has done, and it seems much more developer-friendly than the kitchen-sink approach that FF wants to take – bragging-rights only please a certain segment of users. The rest of them just want the web to work and work fast.

    Judge IE 9 for what it is, and don't try to recreate the past wars. Browser competition is good, and IE 9 has moved ahead of FF in terms of performance. That's why it is now set as default on my machine today. FF wants me back? Show me the performance, because that's what IE 9 has done today.

  92. Anonymous says:

    There is no future in internet explorer. Microsoft should just stop developing such a backward browser.

  93. > "A modern Browser is available for MORE THAN ONE plattform. IE is Windows only, so it can't be modern."

    There is Safari for Mac. Less then 1% users with linux – hm… No body cares.

  94. Anonymous says:

    Dude, none of your points actually refute any of their claims. You just say "They are wrong, here is what is important in a browser." Yes all those things you mentioned are important but thats no excuse for being late to the party, which IE9 clearly is. You don't get a cookie for NOT doing things you ought.

  95. Anonymous says:

    A 'Modern Browser' – for most end users – should mean a browser that is capable of diaplaying modern web content.

    If modern web content is being developed with CSS3, HTML5 etc etc … then a 'modern browser' should be a able to support all of those to as high a degree as possible. (Obviously HTML5 is a grey area but still)

    Partly this is web developer's fault….we may build a site with the latest and greates features (possibly just as a tech-demo) and we tend to abbreviate the compatibility list to "Works in all modern browsers"

    Unfortunately, becuase IE releases are usually YEARS apart rather than months – and these bi-yearly releases are usually less compliant than the competition already out there on release day – we usually have to say "works in all modern browsers – except IE"

    Either your release cycle needs to increase – OR you need to have BETTER support than the others when you release.

  96. Anonymous says:


    I have developed on the web for over 15 years. IE has always sucked. Its is the bane of all web developers existence.

    IE has never followed standards properly and it always seems that the code works fine in all browsers except IE. The amount of css and JS hacks that have to be made just so the site works with IE are ridiculous.

    Why don't you guys start by making a browser that works. Then make it modern.



  97. Anonymous says:

    I've just seen a blog at people.mozilla.com/…/ie9 saying that IE98 is crap.

    Can't post what I think of their blog there so will list it here.

    "Is IE9 a modern browser? No" – Well modern dose not mean better but newer. IE9 is a year later or newer than the browsers it is comparing with.

    "No CSS3 Transitions (for animations)"! – What is it being translated from? One line of Javascript and you can swap one image (frame) with the next one.

    "Doesn't support JavaScript mode". – Well it supports JavaScript, VBScript etc since IE 3.0

    "Doesn't support CSS3 Flex box model". Don't know what that is but if it's a MODULE then it has been added to the basic program.

    "Doesn't support CSS3 Border Image". It's the only browser that will display a border correctly round a video. Others put the border behind the video losing any rounded corners.

    I think the Netscape fans are panicking that their browser is falling feather behind IE.

  98. IE has held back the web and standards for the past 10 years and looks set to continue,  come on MS, get off your box and build a fast compliant browser and we'll gladly use it…

  99. Hexaae says:


    What's waiting the Mozilla team to add a Protected Mode instead of just talking?



    Security has lower priority and a sandboxing system does nothing for them?

  100. I think that IE9 is not a modern browser. But,I think that IE9 is a newest basic browser. Hereafter, only IE9 is a browser of the lowest line, and it is necessary to ruin a browser that is inferior to IE9.

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