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  Internet Explorer 8 in the Works
Time: 08:50 EST/13:50 GMT | News Source: | Posted By: Robert Stein

One Microsoft official at CES has told that work has already begun for IE 8, the next version of Internet Explorer, and we can expect to see a final product within 18-24 months. In addition, there are reportedly no plans for an interim service pack, but rather focus completely on the next version, which will compete even more directly with Firefox.

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#1 By 16045 ( at 1/11/2007 9:28:14 AM
Yeah - question mark needs to go...

But anyway - this sounds cool. 18-24 months is a long time though. I'd like to see it in 12 if they could manage. At least an IE 7.5 or something.

#2 By 65179 ( at 1/11/2007 12:23:41 PM
18 is way too long for a browser when it's lacking CRITICAL rendering abilities...6 months is the right time....once they reach a certain "developed" stage, they should have taken 18 months.

#3 By 15406 ( at 1/11/2007 2:10:41 PM
#1,2: 18-24 months is the perfect amount of time to sit back and see what Firefox and Opera are doing and then copy it.

#4 By 2960 ( at 1/11/2007 2:30:05 PM
Maybe they can actually fix the printing problems this time.


#5 By 13030 ( at 1/11/2007 3:28:00 PM
#3, that reminds me of an old tale. (I don't know how true it is.)

An executive with Motel 6 was asked how much money they spend on researching new motel locations. He said, "None." Asked how that was possible, he replied, "We just build near Holiday Inns. They've already done research."

#6 By 38147 ( at 1/12/2007 11:58:27 AM
#3 Right. And soon we'll be seeing Opera and Firefox copying IE 7's printing engine and tab thumbnail view.


#7 By 2960 ( at 1/12/2007 4:16:31 PM

Why on God's green earth would Opera or FireFox copy that busted-ass printing engine that's in IE7?

Seven versions, and it STILL can't print pages without clipping off the right hand side.


#8 By 72264 ( at 1/13/2007 12:01:44 PM
The best time frame for IE 8 would be the Longhorn / Vista SP1 release. Since Vista will be getting a new kernel, a new rendering engine would almost be just an afterthought.

#9 By 32132 ( at 1/14/2007 2:48:53 PM
#7 "Seven versions, and it STILL can't print pages without clipping off the right hand side."

Print preview first. Then print. Works just fine.

#10 By 72345 ( at 1/15/2007 11:37:45 AM
Help me out here -- we're whining about IE when FireFox is available. "Maybe IE 8 will fix this..." or "IE 7 still has this problem..." You're killing me. The user experience browsing with FireFox blows IE outta the water.

There IS no comparison in terms of accessing web information, navigating a clean browser GUI, or just enjoying the rich content of a splashy website. Why do you suppose IE 7 looks (and tries to feel) like FireFox? The ONLY reason IE 7 hit the street was Redmond's reaction to the popularity of FF. And if FF were a privately owned browser, you can bet MicroSoft would have bought it and squashed it.

None of the browsers are perfect. W3C web standards aside, all the browsers are deficient one way or another. Don't believe me? Then create a website using DHTML/CSS and make it cross-browser where MSIE, FireFox, and Opera all play the same. It's not trivial. Not only do those 3 browsers not agree together on W3C standards, they also don't uniformly render common HTML elements (e.g. a form checkbox or text input control).

Want quirks? How about FireFox's cache issue? It's not a problem until you serve dynamic content and have to force FF to NOT read from it's (new and improved memory) cache. You can disable at least 5 of its cache parameters, or push HTML headers, or add entropy to each URL called, and FF might start working correctly. And developers, tell me you like onPageShow. It's like having a "second onLoad" to have to consider.

MSIE.... where do I start? Here's a browser that began life lazy and kept at it. Framed content is rendered by invoking a new instantiation of the browser object for each frame of the page. Gee, that's memory-efficient. In lieu of fixing display problems where the alpha in 24-bit PNG images is obliterated, we are given AlphaImageLoader. It's better than nothing, not real straightforward to use, and a mere stopgap. There are those who think this filter is a feature -- not a fix. "Hat's off" to marketing. As far as browser security goes, draw you own conlusions about ActiveX objects and secure scripting and and buffer overflow exploits. IE's insecurites stem from its tight integration to Windows, itself a horribly insecure OS (but that's okay, Vista will make it right). Ask yourself why Gates shipped a browser that lets a website, using very ordinary javascript, read your computer's cut-and-paste buffer. And when you activate one of the (far too many) security options to inhibit buffer access, you also have to tell IE that it's perfectly safe to play SWF media. By clicking the content. Each time. You want to play it.

Folks use IE because they were exposed to it. It's not better, just ubiquitous. Those of you who'd rather lament its shortcomings instead of utilizing a better browser, sound alot like those who will complain the day MicroSoft unveils it's flavor of linux: it's just not as good as Redhat.

#11 By 53756 ( at 2/7/2007 12:04:25 PM
...I remember being online in 1994. My shell account and pine were something to complain about, IE7 isn't. FireGerbil might be a little better but it lacks that standard Windows look and feel. ...And exploits for the flaming gerbil (FireFox) and that other fruity browser (Safari) have been popping up left and right. They only seem secure because they're not relevant yet.

FireGerbil, at best, has 10-20% of the browser market. says it's only 11.69, and that FireGerbil's share went down 0.46 percent since November 2006. I'm so sick of people acting like the stats they give me from W3Schools (claiming as high as 30% FireFox) are a fair representation of the net. ...Those are web developer browser stats.

If I had one wish it would be for sites to stop designing pages for FireGerbil all together. It's a complete waste of time.

But besides the truth behind those stats, almost EVERY flaming gerbil user also has IE. ...So, if your page only allows IE users will simply flip browsers. The only people I know of who don't upgrade IE6 to 7 are stupid, or using an illegal copy of Windows. No one can argue that IE6 is better then IE7.

Also, there are some features in IE7 that the flaming gerbil doesn't have. That IE7 tab-view (Ctrl+Q) is very nice. I browse 5+ sites/tabs per instance and I use that view constantly. I really like how it updates in real time as the page renders. That's hot.

I hope IE8 takes advantage of WPF and .Net. Every page should have flash-like graphics without the flash limitations, and Javascript isn't enough for rich client side functionality. WPF and .Net could make this and more easily possible.

This post was edited by brien86 on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 at 12:18.

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