Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

IE 7: One year later, and no infomation on 8

Category: Browsers, IE

The IE team has posted on the one year anniversary of IE 7:

It’s been a little over a year since we released IE7 on Windows XP and for Windows Vista, so I thought it would be worthwhile to talk about where we are after the year.

According to internal Microsoft research based on data from Visual Sciences Corporation, there are over 300 million users are experiencing the web with IE7. This makes IE7 the second most popular browser after IE6. IE7 is already #1 in the US and UK, and we expect IE7 to surpass IE6 worldwide shortly.

Perhaps more important than the overall numbers is the positive impact IE7 has made for our users. As you know, we focused a lot on improving security in IE7. We believe IE 7 is the safest Microsoft browser released to date. According to a vulnerability report published today, IE7 has fewer vulnerabilities than previous versions of IE over the same time period. What’s more, the report showed that IE7 had both fewer fixed and unfixed vulnerabilities in the first year than the other browsers we compared.

The post is a little pat on their own back, but this isn’t what developers were hoping for. We all want to hear about IE 8. Mary Jo Foley notes how Bill Gates himself said that Microsoft would provide new IE releases every 9 to 12 months.

Maybe the Christmas present (or winter-holiday-present) from Microsoft this year could be some info?

Posted by Dion Almaer at 6:41 am

2.9 rating from 35 votes


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Please NO!
No IE8 with more sticky-tape and bandages on the one-era-old trident engine. I’ve had enough with IE7.. Please let ’em fix their nieuw engine first and let them wait until 2010 or something to release a new piece of ****

Comment by SchizoDuckie — December 4, 2007

I think Microsoft is playing waiting game with the people of ES4 and Mozilla, probably the Internet Explorer 8 will integrate a different implementation of the EcmaScript, maybe the ES3.1 or something like that.

Besides, Microsoft have a lot of reasons to stomp out advances in Javascript, browser-based applications are open to anyone and M$ don’t necessarily like that.

Comment by DDuarte — December 4, 2007

Do you really care about IE8? There was a lot of hype when IE7 was released, but it was well below expectations.

Comment by Shahid Shah — December 4, 2007

Who cares about IE7?

Will they stop supporting the crippled IE6 so that the web ui design moves into the new millenium? IE6 is still the #1 browser and the #1 reason why we have to put with aging ui!

Comment by getter — December 4, 2007

I can think of at least one good reason to look for IE8, and that is precisely why you are saying not to look for it… IE7 isn’t what we were hoping for as developers. We can’t get a faster JS engine, better CSS support and all that jazz without another version.

Comment by Jon Hartmann — December 4, 2007

I’m guessing they wont announce anything about IE8 until Mix’08

Comment by Magnus — December 4, 2007

@Jon, We aren’t gonna get any of those things with IE8. Do you honestly believe that the so called IE Team actually does any coding work, or if it does, is competent in any way? IMHO, that team is irrelevant, unfortunately, their product isn’t.

Comment by Viktor Kojouharov — December 4, 2007

I’m willing to bet the IE 8 team is comprised of human beings however, too (and maybe a few robots, but hey) – who have feelings as well. Thanks to the diggoblogosphere I think it’s been made fairly clear what developers would like to see as far as standards support and features etc., but a concerted “wish list” certainly wouldn’t hurt.

One annoyance I’ve seen with IE 7 is that rendering of 24-bit PNGs with alpha transparency seems to break when the PNG is a background image, and CSS opacity is also applied to that element. The alpha bits become a solid black colour when CSS opacity is applied, if my memory serves correct.

Anyways, I think with the release of Safari 3 and Firefox 3 presumably coming soon (render/redraw performance on both are quite impressive, by the way,) MS certainly has some stiff competition for browser marketshare.

Comment by Schill — December 4, 2007

Darn Ajaxian making me register now.
Anyways, here’s the fix for IE7; make the IE7 installer the Firefox and/or Opera installer.
Everyone will be happy.

On a side note, I just registered; why on Earth do I need to answer the spam question?!

Comment by helimeef — December 4, 2007

I know for a fact that, several years ago, the Trident team left the Internet Explorer project and moved to the WPF team. Some of them, I assume, split off and “rewrote” WPF in what we know today as Silverlight.

Meanwhile, the Expression Web WYSIWYG editor no longer uses the Trident layout engine that FrontPage used to use. It uses a brand spanking new layout engine.

One of these two should be the foundation on which to build a new layout engine. So who’s it going to be? Expression Web’s layout engine, or Silverlight? Expression Web already speaks HTML. Silverlight already speaks Ruby and Python (and Javascript and C#). Neither of them, to my knowledge, support IFRAMEs, framesets, ActiveX objects / plug-ins, Java applets.

Comment by Jon Davis — December 4, 2007

“One of these two [layout engines] should be the foundation on which to build a new layout engine.”

Sorry, I meant one of these two layout engines should be the foundation on which to build a new web browser layout engine for Internet Explorer.

Comment by Jon Davis — December 4, 2007

That’s a bit harsh. Microsoft has some of the best engineers around and I’m sure that the IE team is no exception.

Would it be nice to hear some news on IE8? Yeah, of course. IE7 ain’t so bad though, its definitely a leap beyond IE6. If the delay of IE8 info is due to the rumored C# script, I sure wouldn’t mind (C# is one of the big reasons that I prefer my Windows machine to my MacBook Pro).

Comment by Andy Kant — December 4, 2007

First of all, that article has some of the most useless crap I have ever read. It better be safer and have fewer vulnerabilities than the previous versions. Also, I agree with DDuarte, Microsoft just doesn’t want to admit yet that it won’t fully support EcmaScript 4 specifications. They know they’d catch hell for it, so they’ll just play it quiet till then.
Also, I doubt anything they say now will reflect accurately in the final product. IE7 was just a catch-up shenanigan, done in a rush. With Apple and Mozilla going along very well with their browsers, I suspect Microsoft will once again procrastinate and come up with another below-standard product.

Comment by Scriptor — December 4, 2007

I am certain that IE 8, if it does come out at all, is going to be terrible, or at best, very underwhelming, just like IE 7.

It is in Microsoft’s interest to promote a good OS-independent web environment, but they don’t see that because they still think as a greedy and insane monopolist looking for a good next quarter return. As long as they keep doing that, their collapse is assured.

Microsoft has no faith in its own ability. This is why they believe they must continue to chain people to the platform. They believe if they competed as an equal in an impartial space they’d lose. If they totally believed in their technical superiority, they would believe they could dominate an open and impartial application space without a problem. But they don’t believe that.

Firefox, Webkit and Opera will be the ones to move the web platform forward. Microsoft IE is irrelevant.

Comment by Leo Lipelis — December 4, 2007

Imagine having new IE version every 9 months…. Imagine having a new bag of random incompatibilities every 9 months. So, two years from now, you’ll be creating your js/css code with patches for IE6-IE10. Damn….

Comment by mare — December 4, 2007

I wish they would just stop and go away forever. With the resources Microsoft has at it’s disposal there is no explanation other than ill intent for the problems with Internet Explorer. They are the largest Software company in the world and produce the absolute worst browser in the world, and not but small margin. IE 7 brought IE up the quality of Firefox 1 or Safari 2. I just spent 6 weeks programming a very robust Javascript application and 2 weeks of it was spent debugging Internet Explorer. Which has no useful debugging tool!

Comment by vance Dubberly — December 4, 2007

Vance: no debugging tool for IE? There’s been a debugger forever and Visual Studio 2008 (which has a free version that includes the JS debugger) does pretty well.

Comment by Bertrand Le Roy — December 4, 2007

@Bertrand, do provide a link to this free debugger

Comment by Viktor Kojouharov — December 5, 2007

Sure: http://www.microsoft.com/express/download/default.aspx

Comment by Bertrand Le Roy — December 5, 2007

I have to agree with @Leo Lipelis.

Interesting article here :

What If They Gave a Browser War and Microsoft Never Came?

Comment by GalloNero — December 5, 2007

The IE Team’s comments explain SO much about what has happened with IE7. Their comments centered almost entirely on security issues.

So THAT’S what they were doing.

They certainly weren’t bringing their browser up to standards. Or implementing all the conventions that Firefox has helped to firmly establish in the Internet community (outside of Tabbed browsing).

And they weren’t focused on usability, either. I’ve seen almost every new user to IE7 search fruitlessly for the refresh button.

It’s clear, at least to me, that IE7 was a half-hearted attempt to look like the team was trying to catch up to Firefox’s functionality. But in reality it was an overhaul to fix the security issues of IE6.

If IE7 were really any good, don’t you think it would’ve surpassed IE6 by now? And what if the IT departments at these major corporations decided to switch to Safari or Opera or Firefox?

One has to wonder how much the elephants in the IT department are inflating the numbers of Microsoft usage across the spectrum.

Comment by Sam — December 5, 2007

I sure hope the layout engine of the future is not that of Outlook 2007…

But i always had a grim vision of the said future… Microsoft won’t announce new browser at least for 6 months. After that they will come up with IE8 + Silverlight 2 + ES3.1 + CSS (look we can render Acid 2). But IE6 will remain because Vista is not very well adopted and XP comes with preinstalled IE6…

Comment by Bundyo — December 5, 2007

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