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Microsoft to focus heavily on HTML5 for IE9

updated 05:35 pm EST, Thu March 4, 2010

IE9 to be more modern, with HTML5 support, more

Internet Explorer 9 may get a beta release with a heavy HTML5 emphasis at Microsoft's MIX 2010 developer conference in mid-March, according to escaped details. Hinting that IE9 will have comprehensive support for HTML5 is a scheduled briefing at MIX 2010 titled "HTML5 Now: The Future of Web Markup Today." Opera Software's Molly Holzschlag will present the party and has said to expect Microsoft to bring browser storage and other HTML5 features.

Another session will focus on scalable vector graphics (SVG), a technology supported by most other browsers and especially those that recognize HTML5. IE Senior Program Manager Patrick Dengler will be the head speaker at the talk, known as "Future of Vector Graphics for the Web."

Currently, IE8 gets HTML5 capabilities like plugin-free video playback and SVG only thanks to add-on features from third parties. Google's Chrome Frame is the most conspicuous example and inserts the web engine from Chrome on top of Microsoft's browser.

Microsoft's IE team has previously stressed higher JavaScript rendering speeds and CSS support. Standards support has been a talking point, but the company hasn't said how close it realistically expects to get in compatibility: its earliest version only scored 32 points on the well-known ACID3 standards test where browsers like Apple's Safari 4 are already known to get perfect scores.

These changes should bring Microsoft's browser more in line with more modern competitors that include Safari as well as Chrome, Firefox and Opera, all of whom either already use a pre-final version of HTML5 or otherwise follow web standards more closely. Observers have often criticized Microsoft for being slow to adopt standards, as IE's presence on all Windows PCs means that developers often have to write with it in mind even when it produces errors or lacks certain features.

IE8 currently ships with Windows 7 systems but is only roughly current with features supported in 2007, including CSS 2.1 and a few HTML5 tools, mainly offline storage elements. Microsoft has usually justified the absence of modern features like HTML5 by claiming that they aren't finished and ratified by the W3C, which governs software on the web. The software giant has thus far only supported firmly set standards but has also been chastised for falling short of these in some areas as well. [via WebMonkey]

By Electronista Staff


  1. nowwhatareyoulookingat

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2009


    great reporting

    "...Apple's Safari 4 are already known to get perfect scores"

    Why kind of statement is this? You make it seem that Safari is not generally available, like there's some small subset of Safari users using a prerelease version that gets this perfect score, instead of the widely available, released months ago, public, supported version of Safari.

    A more reasonable, accurate, understandable statement would be phrased like this:
    ...Apple's Safari 4 already get perfect scores.

  1. Okonomiyaki

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2003


    higher JavaScript rendering speeds?

    Since when do you need to render JavaScript? I guess they mean execution speeds. And, by the way guys, bra-vo! The past two generations of your "browser" have made huge improvements in this area. IE6 was in last place but IE7 was only second to last! And now IE8 is just third to last! I'm sure that if you work hard, IE9 will be even faster than the previous 3 versions making it 4th to last.

  1. ClevelandAdv

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2004


    HTML5 or MSML5

    I'll believe it when they deliver it.
    MS has not followed any web standard yet, why would they start now, especially with Capt. Blowhard Ballmer at the helm -"shiver me timbers those Google scalawags are puttin' out browsers with built-in standard compliance...and after that sea monster Mozilla almost sunk our ship.

  1. ADeweyan

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2004


    A little concerned

    I'm not sure I wouldn't prefer they focus on bringing their browser better into line with current standards than starting work on the new ones. There are still non-standard elements in IE7/8 that date from early, pre-standards work that they've never bother to rework to be in line with standards. I think it might be better for them to wait, and then get it right the first time, since they have been so resistant to change things after the standards are ratified.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    acid tests

    The acid tests are not tests of HTML 5 compatibility (which would be hard, since the standard hasn't been set yet). It's just whatever pieces the writers of the test 'deem' worthy to test.

    And I don't know if they still use it in their tests, but the original acid tests were not just to test your capability to render the standard, but to also handle error conditions. Here's an idea, how about finding a way to get those damn web-site designers to actually code valid HTML/CSS/Javascript, rather than have the browser try to figure out what to do with c*** coding?

    If an OS X program has an error in it, the program crashes and burns. The OS doesn't try to 'fix' work around the problem, it's the programmers job to do that. Same with HTML!

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006



    It's more like,

    Microsoft, providing technology implemented last year by other browsers, sometime in the future. (We promise! For real! We'll squirt it out like the brown zune!)

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