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Opera vs. Microsoft


justsomeguy
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This is worth a mention here. Opera Software has filed suit with the EU against Microsoft. They have two complaints in their suit. The first one is the familiar complaint that they want Microsoft to unbundle IE from the OS and give consumers a choice of which browser to use. I hope they win with that one, but I'm not holding my breath. It's their second complaint that I'm really interested in, I haven't seen this before.

Opera requests the Commission to implement two remedies to Microsoft's abusive actions. First, it requests the Commission to obligate Microsoft to unbundle Internet Explorer from Windows and/or carry alternative browsers pre-installed on the desktop. Second, it asks the European Commission to require Microsoft to follow fundamental and open Web standards accepted by the Web-authoring communities. The complaint calls on Microsoft to adhere to its own public pronouncements to support these standards, instead of stifling them with its notorious "Embrace, Extend and Extinguish" strategy. Microsoft's unilateral control over standards in some markets creates a de facto standard that is more costly to support, harder to maintain, and technologically inferior and that can even expose users to security risks.
For years Microsoft has been all but ignoring the constant pleas from web developers to get standardized, obviously they aren't interested in budging on that stance or having a good relationship with the web developer community. This is the first lawsuit I've seen that is trying to legally compel Microsoft to follow the same published standards that everyone else does. If the EU courts find in Opera's favor, it will probably be a turning point for web development, everything after that will be different then everything before it. You can find the press release from Opera here:http://www.opera.com/pressreleases/en/2007/12/13/This may also amuse some people:http://humor.beecy.net/geeks/web-design/web-design.gifThis story is also the first story listed in the science & technology section on Google news today, so apparently it's getting quite a bit of press.http://news.google.com/nwshp?hl=en&ned...967&topic=tThis posting contains a nice graphic as a reality check:http://blog.wired.com/monkeybites/2007/12/...-to-the-eu.htmlIndeed.. it's days like these that make me proud to be an Opera user. I can't find any mention of this in the internet section on the MSNBC website, I guess it's not very important to them, but they do have 4 articles about Facebook.
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There has been a little discussion, mostly speculation, on what IE8 is going to look like.http://www.molly.com/2007/12/05/conversati...t-transparency/The link is a partial interview with Bill Gates and there are speculations on what the new rendering engine for IE8 will look like. Yes, there will be a new engine for IE8. The most likely guess is it will be based on Expression's (Silverlight) rendering engine.I am happy to see Opera pushing Web Standards and I am just as frustrated with IE as the rest of you but I will be very surprised if anything comes of it. Yes it is important for MS to start following standards but if a court starts dictating how they "have to" write their software then that will be a sad day for software development as a whole.I completely understand other companies frustration with IE being bundled with Windows but seriously they wrote the OS. No one complains that Linux bundles Firefox in their OS or Apple bundles Safari with OS X. Why is this any different just because they are the biggest target? Should they be forced to remove Windows Media Player? How far do you go once you start down that road? They aren;t forcing us to use Windows. There are alternatives.Just my 2 cents. (I don't expect many to agree with me)

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You set 'em up, and I'll knock 'em down.

The link is a partial interview with Bill Gates and there are speculations on what the new rendering engine for IE8 will look like. Yes, there will be a new engine for IE8. The most likely guess is it will be based on Expression's (Silverlight) rendering engine.
Speculations? Guesses? It was speculated that Vista was going include the database file system, what happened there? Bill Gates personally, and Microsoft as a whole, have been saying for years that they are committed to standards. Have they? About Silverlight ... Silverlight is Microsoft's answer to Flash. If IE is Microsoft's answer to Netscape, then I really have no interest what their answer to Flash is. It would be very naive to think that the "Silverlight experience" would be any different then the "IE experience" that I have been dealing with for the past several years.
I will be very surprised if anything comes of it
OK, yeah, I'll give you that. I don't expect a lot. But I have hope. If Microsoft isn't going to listen to developers, maybe they'll pay attention to their bottom line. It's the only hope I've got as a developer, continuing with the "develop for everything, then make it work for IE" mantra doesn't really hold when it appears that a viable alternative might just be "develop for everything".
No one complains that Linux bundles Firefox in their OS or Apple bundles Safari with OS X.
That's because Linux, Firefox, and Apple are not monopolies. IE is essentially a monopoly. Microsoft is certainly a monopoly. The argument is for greater competition. If I see a field that is composed of IE, Firefox, Safari, Netscape, Opera, Not Just Browsing, etc, I will be much, much happier then if I see IE (70%) vs. Firefox (20%) vs. everyone else.
Why is this any different just because they are the biggest target?
It's not because they're the biggest target. It's because they became the biggest target due to unfair practices. Think about this. If you just landed on Earth from another planet, and you want to take up web development (as many extraterrestrials do), and you see the field composed of 5 browsers that all work much the same, and one browser that is radically different. You would develop for those 5 browsers and say to yourself "that one browser is doing their own thing, I'm not going to waste my time developing for that when I could be supporting all these other people with one effort". But you would be wrong, because that one deficient browser dominates the market. Then you are forced to develop at the lowest possible standard. That seems backward to me. I shouldn't be forced to develop at the lowest possible standard. Microsoft should be forced to develop at the highest possible standard, or at least the standard that everyone else is developing at. If a company is going to bust their ###### and spend god knows how much money to make sure their product is the dominant product, regardless of how illegal that is in the first place, then they need to be held to a higher standard. I'm sick of this CSS1 BS, I'm sick of it. Opera supports a lot of CSS3 that I want to use, and I can't. I'm developing a site right now that I am optimizing for Opera. I guarantee that when it goes live I'm going to receive "problem reports" from people using IE6. When I get those reports, I'm going to give them a link to opera.com. I'm done with IE, Microsoft has been abusing my goodwill for 10 years and I'm done with it.The sad fact is, I have no choice. I have to spend extra time and money on every goddamn project I'm involved in, and for what? Because Microsoft couldn't get their ###### together? Sorry, I'm not behind that. I like WinXP, and at this rate I feel like that is the last Microsoft product that I'll have a good impression of.
They aren't forcing us to use Windows. There are alternatives.
Really? For you and I, sure. We can install the Linux distro du jour and be merrily on our way. But that's not the case for Joe Consumer, and like it or not, both of use work for Joe Consumer. That guy buys his computers from Best Buy or CompUSA or whatever you crazy canucks have up there, and Microsoft has inked deals with those retailers to exclusively carry Windows-based computers. I can't think of a single retail store where I can buy a Linux-based PC here in Arizona. I can buy Windows, and I can buy Mac. If I want to buy Linux, I can either buy a computer online or build it myself. Neither of these alternatives are things that the average consumer is interested in, they go to the store and buy their computer. And Microsoft has made it damn sure that computer runs Windows.I'm done with it, Microsoft has abused my trust too often for too long, and I'm done with it.
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I understand you completely. I am not saying MS shouldn't provide a higher quality browser. I hate developing for IE as much as you.Actually Dell sells Unbuntu based PCs and, as you said, consumers can just as easily buy a MAC without having to build it themselves.Apple tried this with the iPhone forcing buyers to use ATT and then got mad when people hacked it for other carriers. That type of thing happens all thet ime and nobody took Apple to court. Everyone is just upset, for good reason, because the dominant browser is a worthless piece of crap. the dominant ISP where I live has what you could call a monopoly and offers the worst service I have ever seen so I switched to another company that has better service and who is starting to eat into that monopoly.I am a software/web developer and I would love it if IE would catch up to the rest of the browsers but I also work in a company that provides network infrastructure and I see customers everyday that are lucky if they can find the on button for their PC. Making them install there "browser of choice" just adds another expense they have to pay for.In short yes MS needs to get with it, I just don't think the courts have a place to dictate what software companies do.

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here is an article looking at why this could be a bad thing. I like point #1, #2 just sounds like the usual MS mantra which is complete BS since Ie already has quirks and "standards" mode. Just leave quirks mode as is and get "standards" mode up to actual standards.http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=1042

1. Should antitrust courts be the ones in charge of determining which versions of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), XHTML, Document Object Model (DOM) and other Web standards are the ones to which all browser/Web developers should be writing? Participants in various standards bodies can't even agree among themselves which version of these standards is the best. How are judges supposed to wade through the browser-standards confusion in a good/fair way?2. Would it be positive for customers if Microsoft were suddenly forced to create a version of IE that looked good on paper, in terms of more complete standards compliance, but which broke third-party and custom Web applications? Microsoft has argued that it is trying to avoid this situation with IE and is working on various ways it can make IE more standards-complaint without breaking existing apps, completely upsetting the partner/customer universe.3. With Mozilla, Firefox has proved you don't need government intervention to wrest a substantial percentage of the browser market from Microsoft. You just friends with deep pockets (like Google) and a community of dedicated developers plus a guaranteed customer base who prefer anything other than Microsoft technologies.
UPDATEAnother not so favorable review http://meyerweb.com/eric/thoughts/2007/12/13/bad-timing/. I think Eric makes some good points to consider here.
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Don't tell me you haven't thought about doing that yourself.We all know everyone is frustrated enough with IE to sue the MSIE team if they could. What Opera are suggesting with the standards support part is for something I wish MS did too: kiss backdraw compatability goodbye. If they did that, IE7 would have been better than what we see now. True, migrating sites would be a pain, but considering all hacks that were eliminated anyway (in favor of conditional comments), I'd say it would have been worth it.About the "fix" Andy Clarke suggests, I don't think this would ever make it. Opera has marked the beggining of BW2 (Browser War 2), true, but if the representatives of the implementors haven't participated in the specs' creation, they won't be implementing it. They are more likely to instead form their own standardizing organization and agree between themselves what to implement. This can have terrible consequences, as it would mean the Desktop browsers would be completely isolated from every other medium out there, thus parishing the promise of device independance.And if the war really goes on, then imagine Opera and Firefox implementing "broken" CSS3 specifications, while IE creates new proprietary stuff. If the war goes on, there's nothing any governing body can do. There sure wasn't in the days of BW1 as far as I know (I knew nothing about the web in those days). Worse - imagine them implementing proprietary stuff of their own. Oh, the horror!!!As for whether court should judge whether a browser is to get standards compliant - I think not, but in the case of Microsoft, it should be either that OR allow the user to select a browser to install upon first usage of a generic "Internet" icon. What will incompetent end users do you ask? There are two options:1. They suddenly get smart and make a choise for themselves. The exact browser they choose from that point is based solely on previous experience, which despite what you may think won't always include IE.2. Call IT guys like myself to answer them the question "How do I connect to the internet?". After my answer they will either choose whatever I tell them (and my answer would be Opera, Firefox coming in second) or will get frustrated and just say "Ohhh... install Windows [XP/Vista/version not having this issue] instead of this damn Windows [version having this issue], will you?!?!". Most people I know are forgiving though, so they're more likely to do the first rather than the later.BTW, here in Bulgaria, there are laptops that are sold with Linux, but not with Ubuntu or KDE and the like i.e. not GUIs. They come preinstalled with some command line linux OSes. I usually reinstall those PCs too, since recently with Vista instead of XP, because XP doesn't have native support of AHCI and some laptop's BIOS-es don't have a setting to switch SATAs to IDEs or if they have, it seems not to do the trick.

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I hope Opera does win in this.I am with you all on the "fed up with microsofts unfair practises" etc etc.I can find plenty of stores over here in the UK that sell vista, hardly any sell XP, and i have yet to find a computer high street store selling Linux, or even Macs actually.I'm with Opera in this..although i use Firefox mainly. Anyone who goes against microsoft is in my good books :):)

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Actually Dell sells Unbuntu based PCs
I've heard about those, I've never seen one in a store though.
1. Should antitrust courts be the ones in charge of determining...
Maybe not antitrust courts specifically, but I do think there should be some government or at least official oversight. As we can see, it hurts people when their is none. Governments have pushed various standards quite a bit, recently there was a big to-do concerning governments officially supporting document formats, with Microsoft trying to push their format. Governments should do the same with web formats, if a government adopted CSS2 as a standard and refused to let their staff use a browser that did not support CSS2 I think you'd see Microsoft do an about-face pretty quickly.
Participants in various standards bodies can't even agree among themselves which version of these standards is the best. How are judges supposed to wade through the browser-standards confusion in a good/fair way?
Oh come on, there's an acceptable way. Compare developers directly with each other. If Microsoft is currently implementing things from standards that other developers were working on 4 years ago, then they are behind the curve and need to be penalized. It sounds a little harsh, but I think that's true. If you're a developer working on an application and you're behind the curve you should have a period of time to either bring your product up to snuff or take it off the market. Staying behind everyone else, especially when you're the dominant player, hurts the marketplace. If the developer isn't going to take it upon themselves to fix their product then there should be someone with the authority to protect the marketplace from that developer.
2. Would it be positive for customers if Microsoft were suddenly forced to create a version of IE that looked good on paper, in terms of more complete standards compliance, but which broke third-party and custom Web applications?
###### yes! Of course that would be good, start over from scratch, scrap what you have that doesn't work, and get your stuff together. Who gets penalized if scrapping backwards compatibility for one version causes old applications to stop working? The people who developed for IE in the first place. Microsoft doesn't want to penalize those people because that would mean that developing for IE was a bad idea, and Microsoft wants to keep people developing for IE so they keep people using IE. Yeah, sorry, some people are going to have to pony up some bucks to change their applications but it's time to break from the past. If the alternatives are "continue with the current process, have applications that only work with IE" and "break backward compatibility, applications will work with any browser", the choice should be clear.
3. With Mozilla, Firefox has proved you don't need government intervention to wrest a substantial percentage of the browser market from Microsoft. You just friends with deep pockets (like Google) and a community of dedicated developers plus a guaranteed customer base who prefer anything other than Microsoft technologies.
Well sure, but it really doesn't help that much. According to thecounter.com, for November 07, 80% of people still use IE, with 48% of people using IE6. So more people are still using IE6 then any other browser, what has really changed because of Firefox? Not a whole lot, only 13% of people use it. The remaining 7% use Safari, Opera, Netscape, Konqueror, et. al. Firefox isn't going to change the game, and Microsoft sure as ###### isn't going to change it, so we're back to the courts. If there isn't an agency that is giving Microsoft a daily or weekly fine until they come up to standards, then Microsoft is not going to come up to standards. That's a fact. Thinking otherwise, given Microsoft's history, is incredibly naïve.
BTW, here in Bulgaria, there are laptops that are sold with Linux, but not with Ubuntu or KDE and the like i.e. not GUIs
Yeah I expect people in other parts of the world to look at what's going on over here and make decisions so the same thing doesn't happen in their country, but U.S.A. is definately the land of Microsoft.
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Yeah I expect people in other parts of the world to look at what's going on over here and make decisions so the same thing doesn't happen in their country, but U.S.A. is definately the land of Microsoft.
There are actually more Windows laptops here too, but there are *some* linux ones. We have no MACs though. Isn't that *some* sort of a competition to Windows in the U.S.?
If there isn't an agency that is giving Microsoft a daily or weekly fine until they come up to standards, then Microsoft is not going to come up to standards. That's a fact.
Oh yeah!!! I'd just LOVE to see that happening. As far as I've heared, they're still paying 1 million per day for being monopolistic... or was it until recently that they covered it all?
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We have no MACs though. Isn't that *some* sort of a competition to Windows in the U.S.?
Not really competition, more of a niche market. According to thecounter.com, 93.4% of computers in Nov07 were running some version of Windows. During the same period Mac operating systems accounted for 4.5%, with Linux, WebTV, Unix, OS/2, Amiga, and "unknown" making up the rest. So 4.5% doesn't represent a lot of competition, it's more of a specialized or niche market for specific kinds of users (i.e., people who think that a picture of an apple on their hardware increases the value of the hardware by twice as much).
As far as I've heared, they're still paying 1 million per day for being monopolistic... or was it until recently that they covered it all?
Yeah that fine ended. I believe they ended up getting fined over 600 million until they released a version of Windows in Europe that didn't have Media Player bundled with it.
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I just saw this update letter from Opera while looking at css3.info. It seems court was never in the question. It's just a complaint. The European Commission themselves must decide if they are solely going to take actions against Microsoft without Opera's definite participation.

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That's a pretty good post. I read the article by Andy Clark as well, and I tend to agree with him. I don't think that people implementing standards should define the standards, I think that people using the standards should define them, with the people who will need to implement them only advising what is and is not technically possible to do. Consider this: the Microsoft representatives on the CSS Working Group could purposefully hold back acceptance or features while their company develops Silverlight to replace it all anyway. Simply put, when the vendors define the standards you get the possibility for a lot of corporate BS that you wouldn't have with a group of users.That article by Eric Meyer I think is a load of crap though. I was following him up until this line:

When IE7 came out in late 2006, it wasn’t a great leap forward for web development, but it did bring IE more or less in line with where browsers were at the time
No. It. Didn't. That was one of the major complaints, was that this "big upgrade" didn't even get it close to where other people were at the time. Firefox and Opera were working on implementing CSS3 when IE7 was released with only partial support for CSS2.1.http://www.webdevout.net/browser-support-css
After all, they were doing five years of catch-up with a pretty small team.
That illustrates Microsoft's committment to standards. In fiscal year 2007 MSFT made gross revenue of over $51 billion, with a net income of over $14 billion, and Eric is claiming that we should all give them a high-five for getting half of CSS2.1 done in 5 years with a small team? Shouldn't they put a little more effort into it, maybe, I don't know, only make 13 billion that year instead of 14, and put a little extra money (i.e. a billion dollars) into trying to not ###### off every web developer out there? Maybe that would be a good investment? MSFT apparently doesn't think so, and that's why I support Opera on this.
But not if developing the browser becomes more of a liability than just walking away from it altogether. They can’t do that, you say? Oh, but they can, and at a corporate level would probably love nothing more than to do so. With Silverlight, there’s the opportunity to create browser-like internet applications that support no open standards, answer to no external specifications.
Oh, God, PLEASE let Microsoft drop IE and move to Silverlight for all their internet applications. That will give the internet back to people who give a damn about it, and Microsoft can take their ball and go home. I'm sure every developer out there is just itching to support Silverlight just as soon as Microsoft pinches it off for all us little people.
What I’m advocating is that rather than attacking the laggard right when he’s showing promise of catching up and being part of the team again, it might be better to help him along, maybe even say a few words of encouragement.
Err.. how about we punch the laggard in the face for being the biggest laggard for the past 7 years? So Microsoft kills all their competition (sorry Netscape), puts a stranglehold on the browser market, forces everyone to develop for their substandard POS software, and then they release a new "version" that should have been a patch for IE6 and I'm supposed to tell them "good job"? EDIT: I don't think so!
It’s the wrong move at the wrong time, sending precisely the wrong signal to Microsoft about the importance of participating in development and support of open standards
But we're sending the message because Microsoft is not realizing the importance of participating in development and support of open standards. Good god, Eric. Pay attention man. One of his readers left this comment on that article:
I really think IE8 needs to support SVG. Just think of how many more new apps and growth the web could have with that standard. The only thing holding it back is IE.
That can be applied to pretty much every other standard or spec that has been implemented over the past several years by everyone except Microsoft.I really think IE8 needs to support <tech>. Just think of how many more new apps and growth the web could have with that standard. The only thing holding it back is IE. Edited by Jonas
language...
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I just had an epiphany while I was raging in the parking lot on my smoke break. This is pretty much what my feelings boil down to, and come from. This is a brief history of my internet development experience:IE4 released: OMG!! THE INTERNET!! This is hard. I hope IE5 is better.IE5 released: OMG, CSS!! A few things fixed, a lot of new bugs, still hard to get things to work right. I hope IE6 is better.IE6 released: OK, same interface, new security features, new bugs, that damn rendering bug is still there. I hope IE7 is better.IE7 released: Huh? Where's the refresh button? OK, a little bit of CSS2, that's an improvement. Too long to wait for a skin update to IE6 and a new security model.Now, what am I saying at this point? Am I going to turn around again and say "I hope IE8 is better", like a lot of people online are doing? No, I'm not going to do that this time. One definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. I know exactly what IE8 is going to be, I would *love* to be proven wrong but I seriously, seriously doubt it. It's going to be much the same upgrade that IE7 was, it's going to look more like a point release then a major upgrade, it's going to have a new security model (again), it's going to leave out a lot of things that people were hoping for, it's going to be several years behind everyone else, and it's not going to contain any significant innovation. Just like IE7. And after it gets released Microsoft is going to do a lot of self-congratulatory back-patting while saying how committed to standards they are.So that has been my experience with Internet Explorer while I've been online, in a nutshell that's why I feel the way I do. And this is what hit home for me: I don't have a choice. It would be ludicrous for me to walk into one of my clients' office to demo the site or application I just built for them and say "Yeah, this part doesn't really work in IE, but don't worry, it works in everything else". I would get blank stares and probably wouldn't get paid. As much as I hate IE (and I do), I have no choice but to support it, Microsoft has ensured with their monopoly that I must support their product if I'm going to have any decent career doing this stuff. So if Microsoft is going to force me to support their product, then I feel like I have the right to force Microsoft to adhere to the same standards that everyone else does. That's about it.

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Well there is a chance, however small, you may just be proven wrong. MS has said IE8 will have a new engine so unless they feel the need to further prove they are completely clueless and not implement standards in a brand new engine then we should see something good in IE8.Also I highly doubt Silverlight stands a chance of replacing web applications. If Flash didn't why would we expect Silverlight to.

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I really do hope that I am proven wrong, I just don't have a lot of faith in Microsoft at this point. Hopefully they are putting the resources towards IE8 that it requires.

Also I highly doubt Silverlight stands a chance of replacing web applications. If Flash didn't why would we expect Silverlight to.
Flash wasn't a Microsoft product. VBScript is obviously a much slower, less powerful language then Javascript is, so why do we see all the ASP examples in VBScript? It's a Microsoft technology, that's why.
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Inorder for Silverlight to replace web applications as we know them all developers would have to switch to .Net/C#. Silverlight is very heavily integrated into Visual Studio and Expression Studio. You can write the animation code (XAML) by hand but it would take you forever the code that is generated is massive.My guess is we are only going to see .Net developers adopting Silverlight, I am being pushed down that path by my boss who is hoping Silverlight will deliver better performance and less load on our servers (not sure how that will workout).

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My major complaint with Microsoft has been the lack of communication with regard to IE, both ways. They haven't seemed to listen to developers and they haven't seemed to give a lot of information about their goals with IE. But now there's some encouraging news. I'll try to give a timeline about events of the past few weeks.On December 4th Microsoft held their 7th Mix n' Mash conference, where their managers and developers talk about what's going on with the different product lines. There was a group of 10 bloggers that had an opportunity to speak directly to Bill Gates. Here's a transcript of one conversation:http://www.molly.com/2007/12/05/conversati...t-transparency/Molly asks Bill Gates why the communication from the IE team has stopped lately, why developers aren't getting any news about IE. Bill responded with this (Dean Hachamovitch is the IE manager):

BILL GATES: I'll have to ask Dean what the ###### is going on. I mean, we're not - there's not like some deep secret about what we're doing with IE.MOLLY HOLZSCHLAG: But they're not letting people talk about it. I do realize that there is a new engine, there is some other information, and this information is not being made public - we are being asked not to talk about it. So, I'm concerned about that.BILL GATES: I'll ask Dean what's going on. I mean, is IE 8 represented at MIX? I assume it is....MOLLY HOLZSCHLAG: I mean, really IE 7 made some great advances, so . . .BILL GATES: No, and believe me, Dean gets this stuff.MOLLY HOLZSCHLAG: Oh, Dean totally gets it, and that's why I'm concerned, because they have always been so forward facing. BILL GATES: I'll look into it.MOLLY HOLZSCHLAG: Yeah, do. It would mean a lot to the design and development communities.BILL GATES: I mean, I will look into it.
The day after, on December 5th, possibly as a result of that exchange, the IEBlog had this posting:http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2007/12/0...explorer-8.aspxSo Dean's response was to talk about how IE8 is now the official name. That's the communication that he comes out with after all this. Whatever. But all is not lost...Then a week later, on the 12th, Opera filed their complaint with the EU over IE and standards. A week after Opera filed their complaint, today, the IEBlog has this:http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2007/12/1...-milestone.aspx
As a team, we've spent the last year heads down working hard on IE8. Last week, we achieved an important milestone that should interest web developers. IE8 now renders the "Acid2 Face" correctly in IE8 standards mode.
While at first glance I was skeptical of the timing and the screenshot, they also have both a video of the test being taken and the email showing the checkin of all of the source code files from the "Green branch", which was probably the source branch that was devoted to standards or ACID2 specifically.So, this is a very encouraging sign. To put this into perspective, the version of Firefox I have installed, 2.0.0.11, does not pass ACID2 (who wants to start a pool about how long it takes the Firefox team to release a "final" version that passes?).If Microsoft and the IE team are serious about resuming their relationship with developers then that would be a very good thing, in that case the major hindrance for developers would be people using IE7-. People using IE5 and IE6 should be forced at gunpoint to install IE8 when it ships, who's with me?
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Yes that needs to happen. If IE8 isn't ready by the time XP SP3 ships they should at least force IE7 in the upgrade to speed the retirement of IE5 and IE6. IE8 needs to be a forced update no question there.If IE8 does indeed pass Acid2 then things are looking even better than I had hoped. On the other hand knowing they were developing a new engine, it would be stupid not to go all out.If MS hopes to win back any support and have any respect in the browser market they need 100% implemented standards and a new engine in IE8 is the perfect opportunity.

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IE 8 will pass Acid2?!?! OMFG!!! WOW!!!I knew Microsoft would evenually be KICKed in the right direction, but I wasn't expecting that to happen SO soon after the complaint. Instead I thought MS were *just* going to start working on the Acid2 test, whereas until now, they'd be rebuilding their old engine and experiment with different ways of triggering the new engine. Instead it turns out they were pretty close to it all along and now they are ready with that part... well... I guess that is the impression they give to everyone when they don't share any updates as to what's happing.The video they give a link to also shows their progress towards all theese months. Everything they've missed to say that they've added as a "likely candidate for the final release, provided it doesn't break backwards compatibility".... something among those lines would have been enough for me. No guarantee, just a possiblity. Now, they're giving it all... I guess that's the MS approach - rarely, but a lot of [bug fixes/additions (of new features AND bugs)].I too hope IE7 will make it as the default browser for XP SP3. Hopefully that would eliminate IE6's market share. And if you're concerned about IE5... be concered about Windows 98... I mean, IE5 is only used by people with Windows 98, which in turn use VERY old computers. Computers are now cheaper, but some people are still... well... to put it mildly - dull. That, or they need Windows 98 for some of its unique capabilities. I recently had a customer that needs it because it has the font Terminal, which he uses to mimic the note from cash register. Other people often need it because of the native MS-DOS included. Old DOS applications can't run on XP's command promt. They need the real thing 98 provides.For those people, the only salvation, believe it or not, is IE6. Nothing more can be done for Windows 98 at this point.

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Right now IE5 and 6 represent about 50% of the market together, once that number gets down to around 5% we can probably start dropping support for it. As far as DOS goes, that's what DOSBOX is for!http://www.dosbox.com/If we can get an emulator to run games then most likely it will run anything else, games tax the system more then most applications. Even Valve Software uses dosbox to run the old DOS-based games that you can buy through Steam like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, etc.According to thecounter.com, it looks like 3x as many people are using Win98 than are using IE5. Oddly enough, about as many people use IE5 as use Linux.

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The blog post makes it sound like they have been working on the new engine for awhile so chances are they only thing Opera's complaint has done is pressure MS to give us an update on what they have been working on all along.As for Win98, only about 0.76% of people use Win98 (http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=10) so as far as I am concerned too bad for them. Once IE6 drops below 5% I am going to forget it ever existed and let those small number of users deal with it.What I want to know now is will IE8 be available, even a forced update, for XP or will it be Vista only. Since Vista share is less then 10% having IE8 for Vista only is not much of a solution, it needs to be released for XP also (Win2000 would be best but I'm not holding my breath).Also what are they planning for JScript (JavaScript or whatever). Are they going to bring that into the modern age too. Honestly passing the acid test is great and all but unless they give us full CSS 2.1 and ECMAScript 3 (or equivelent of Opera/Gecko/Webkit) then IMO they will have failed. If they release a beta in the 2nd half of 2008 as projected they will have had 1.5 years which should be long enough to deliver a browser that is worth competing with.

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What I want to know now is will IE8 be available, even a forced update, for XP
Yeah, that's the big question. It needs to be available for XP the same way IE7 is. If Microsoft is trying to increase the separation between the browser and the OS then that shouldn't be a big issue.
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Right now IE5 and 6 represent about 50% of the market together, once that number gets down to around 5% we can probably start dropping support for it. As far as DOS goes, that's what DOSBOX is for!http://www.dosbox.com/If we can get an emulator to run games then most likely it will run anything else, games tax the system more then most applications. Even Valve Software uses dosbox to run the old DOS-based games that you can buy through Steam like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, etc.According to thecounter.com, it looks like 3x as many people are using Win98 than are using IE5. Oddly enough, about as many people use IE5 as use Linux.
Well, if you ask me, there's even the more reliable way of using VPC... I've been trying to push this on my customers as much as I can, but none have "taken the bate" for now. The reason is their computers are all too old to run VPC, and unless they have a guarantee that an emulator like DOSBOX is going to work for their specific program with their specific data, they're not going to accept it.
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