Internet Explorer 7

It seems that the endless stream of security problems combined with Firefox’s growing market share have finally had an effect: Bill Gates has announced plans for IE 7. There aren’t that many details yet but it seems the focus will be improved security and better protection from phishing; there’s no news at all on better support for CSS, PNGs and other improvements so for the moment it’s safe to assume the rendering engine will remain mostly unchanged.

There has already been plenty of reaction to the news. Here are a few of the most notable posts I’ve come across:

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  • http://www.lowter.com charmedlover

    Funny thing is that I was just posting on another forum about this same topic :D

    I hope that IE7 can stand up to standards such as Opera and Firefox.

  • Dangermouse

    They just need to rewrite it, start over with new ideas about how they should design it and what their aims are. Otherwise it will (inevitability) just be a patched IE6.

  • OfficeOfTheLaw

    iirc, can’t remember the source, IE7 won’t support application/xhtml+xml.

    Funny, since the new MSN search is xhtml 1.0 strict (sent, not unsuprisingly, as text/html and markup that will undoubtly break when sent as the correct mime type).

  • http://www.lowter.com charmedlover

    It would be pretty sweet if Microsoft built IE7 off of Firefox. But that would never happen.

  • texdc

    As usual, MS is about 6 years behind not just industry leaders, but also industry standards.

    When will people learn that MS is an imitator?
    When will people learn that MS is a slave driver?
    When will people learn that they can be completely free from the bondage that is MS?
    Ever?

    Of course, that would require rational thought…

  • http://www.solas.cc MCsolas

    Tooooo little toooo late.

    Fire fox for life. Who cares about IE 7. SORRY BILL. I really dislike using your products and take any chance I have to free myself from your grasp.

    http://www.spreadfirefox.com
    Almost 25 million downloads since nov 9! Thats progress.

  • http://www.stillthinkinghq.com CubitGuy

    Microsux = Great Sales Company
    Everyone else = Better software

    OK, so maybe “everyone else” is streching it a little…but not much. ;)

    I wonder, if they get flooded with emails about XML/CSS/XSLT support, would they integrate it properly? Then again, maybe I just answered my own question above…

  • http://www.chameleon-systems.com csi95

    IE 7 will be little more than a flashy PR campaign. The rendering engine won’t be touched because Micro$oft will be worried about breaking the millions of web sites that have coded around standards to work with IE.

    This is nothing more than Bill getting mad at seeing Firefox all over the new. Now he’s trying to squash that by a big announcement of his own.

    Yawn.

  • http://www.gauss.info realestate

    Browser security is basic human right. I hope they will make a more secure one.

  • http://www.addictedtonew.com/ jnunemaker

    No improvemnts to the rendering engine? That engine is in need of a serious overhaul. Oh well, I guess anything is better than nothing.

  • http://www.adamthody.com thody

    Too be honest, I don’t even care to see anything new and exciting. If they catch up with everyone else I’ll be happy for now.

  • toyer90

    From the MS link:
    “while maintaining the level of extensibility and compatibility that customers have come to expect”

    What have customers come to expect?

  • Andy Jones

    If they want to improve security then I would disengage it from the operating system. Any defect in IE is a defect for the OS or Office or most of their other products that are tied together.

  • http://uxmal.co.uk petersj

    Looks like this is going to be a security update rather than any changes to the rendering engine. Tabbed browsing might be added if you

  • MiiJaySung

    Yawn, It’s got to the point where no ones care about IE these days. It’s big pile of cack, and everyone knows that even if they work on todays stadards, it won’t be out for another 6 years.

  • andrewtayloruk

    MAC MAC MAC MAC!

    Let’s hope Microsoft see some sense and follow their own MACBU and relase IE7 on OS X as well as Windows platforms.

    Andrew

  • http://simon.incutio.com/ Skunk

    I don’t think there’s any chance at all of a Mac version of IE7. Microsoft announced that they were halting development of IE/Mac back in 2003 in response to Apple’s Safari, and since Safari is an excellent browser in its own right there really is no good reason for Microsoft to change their mind on that one.

  • http://www.designity.nl peach

    To the people who post that they dont care about ie7, it IS important for webdesign.
    Maybe not for you specific but since ie is mainstream and will always be packed with windows, it influences how “the people” view the web.
    Unfortunately, 70% of the people still use ie (source: http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp )

  • gonzo

    We need to WIDEN the gap between IE and Firefox. This would be best accomplished by designing popular websites with must-have apps that depend on the latest CSS/XML standards which IE doesn’t nor will likely never implement. If such sites become popular this could hasten the demise of IE. If such sites contained a link to Firefox as a requirement for accessing the best features of the site a few large sites like these could change the way users think about IE.

  • http://www.dustindiaz.com polvero

    standards and png support…
    that’s all I want for christmas from IE this year.

  • TheAnarchist

    Widening the gap would be a backwards step from a developer’s perspective. What really needs to happen is for browsers to follow strict rendering standards (like XHTML as opposed to HTML). Once we have that cross-browser compatibility, we will be getting somewhere.

    Widening the gap between browsers like Firefox and IE won’t help this – in general, users are stupid, and if they only know IE, they will only use IE.

    It’s a shame that so many developers code ONLY for viewing in IE…

  • Jhames

    “IE7 will be released this year.” Like anyone cares. If MS is unwilling to correctly render pages that use valid (X)HTML and CSS, then why bother releasing anything at all? Not to beat a dead horse here, but IE was ready for the glue factory years ago.

  • mikey

    I teach at a university, and am SHOCKED at how many of these young adults who are becoming so informed and educated about their specific areas of study, but have are not even aware that there ARE other browsers. What conclusions are we to come to among those who are not even THIS informed? It’s a dark, dark world… : P

  • mikmik

    MiiJaySung said:

    Yawn, It’s got to the point where no ones care about IE these days. It’s big pile of cack, and everyone knows that even if they work on todays stadards, it won’t be out for another 6 years.

    Andy Jones said

    If they want to improve security then I would disengage it from the operating system. Any defect in IE is a defect for the OS or Office or most of their other products that are tied together.

    In fact, it seems like every single comment is disapointment and/or disdain for IE.
    IE loads far faster, and I am talking about navigating with an already opened browser.
    IE has fewer problems with CSS now that the box model is rendered properly. It is better all around with CSS.
    IE has a better javascript library – more capable than Firefox.
    THE BIGGY: IE is far more stable than Firefox. I get hangs and crashes with Firefox far more often than with IE.
    I have 19 proccesses showing in Taskmanager at start-up, and approx 109 Mb used RAM. I run Norton AV, Intellipoint, and thats all. There is nothing to cause conflicts with.
    I am on Barton 2500+, 512 DDR, standard settings (no overclock).

    What I don’t understand is how everyone is not just disapointed with IE, it sounds like people are talking about their favourite all-time worst program/app they have ever run!

    IE is just fine with me, although I love the tabbed browsing with Firefox, and I wish MS would get off their butts and add that. All things considered, Firefox has way better features and configuration options, but IE has better rendering and plug-in support.
    MS didn’t disengage IE from the OS kernal because of competition from Firefox, it is an obvious security decision that would be made anyways.
    Active-X controls, even though they are mostly cheesy, give things like transition effects that Firefox is trying to catch up on.
    Last, but not least: IE is no less secure than Firefox, there are unpatched vulnerabilities in Firefox, and security folk at PCWorld say that as Firefox becomes more utilized, it will become more targeted. Add this to the fact that IE IS seperated from the kernel now, many of the exploits will disappear. Considering that IE is 4 or 5 times as prevalent and used more by non-technical idiots because they don’t know how to install and use another browser, it’s looking, to me, like there is no more reason to fear IE than Firefox, and has more rendering capabilities, it is definitely not second class.
    Windows XP SP2 is nowhere near as bad as everyone seems to like saying, it is actually far, far more useable than anything else. It is like a breath of fresh air when I load up XP after a session on Linux (SuSE, Red Hat, Xandros are my Linux OSes).

  • meanses

    I don’t know what hole you came out of… IE has got to be the worst browser to support CSS EVER! You don’t know how many times I’m sitting at my desk pulling out my hair because of all the CSS standards that Firefox can use and IE can’t handle. I find my self having to use overly complex ways to try and solve the problem.. or have to de-grade the quality of my clients sites due to improper CSS support…
    And what

  • http://www.doubledrivemedia.com DoubleDrive

    Thank you for that refreshing comment. The Anti-Microsoft talk just gets annoying after a while. Many of us wouldn’t have jobs if it weren’t for Microsoft (yes, even the weenies who work with *nix). People just naturally like to get on a bandwagon and run with it because it’s cool. Sure Microsoft and it’s products aren’t perfect, but everything has its flaws. Just get over it already!

  • tony

    I found this after looking for some ie7 info. Most of you “techies” trash ie like it’s the worst thing. I’m a develope – I code for every browser (when technically possible) and ie remains my favorite. If ie were to have tabbed browsing, proper png support and complete css compliance would anyone use firefox? That’s everyones’ gripe. However, I’m sure that if ms added those three items folks would find three additional items to hate about ie. The fact of the matter is, most of the complainers are “haters”. I’m sure a great many of these developers/designers have published code that was from perfect!!

  • motionblur

    I hate the phrase FUD, but mikmik just dosed us with a bucket of it.

    Firefox has tabs, is far more feature rich than IE, is securely built from the ground up, and doesn’t crash for me. Firefox renders pages correctly because it has full standards support, include PNG. If Microsoft can catch up to Firefox and add these features, then the world will be better off.

  • Phil R

    “IE has fewer problems with CSS now that the box model is rendered properly. It is better all around with CSS. IE has a better javascript library – more capable than Firefox.”

    Are you serious?! I spend most of my javascript/css time trying to get my completely compliant code to work in Internet Explorer properly. For example… try and get a 32-bit png to display properly with transparency in IE and all other browsers. If they don’t work, they don’t work, but at the moment I’ve got to use javascript to check what the browser is, and if it’s known to render in a odd way then muck about by getting all pngs and adding “filters” to them.

    CSS – I can’t “:hover” over anything except a link which means tag soup just to get a simple tooltip effect. Again, my mouseovers render fine in *any other browser*.

    That isn’t to say that the MS extensions aren’t nice ideas, more un-necessary and a pain in the neck if there’s already a standard (or a standard being developed). If they’re that desparate to let people colour scroll bars (very nice for iFrames), then go through w3c and get everyone implementing it.

    As for all the other stuff, I don’t personally care for IE these days that much, but I’d certainly give it another look if it’s secure, has tabs and probably type-ahead. If people want to use it – and they will – then that’s fine by me, but I’d like Microsoft to do something to help me as a web-developer and the users as well (since I’ll be able to spend more time on content and features than bugfixes.

  • Rick

    this looks nothing but marketing to me. If they want to emphasize security, they should call it IE6.1, not 7.0. An integer number increase in the version implicates MAJOR changes.

  • http://www.limshengming.com pocketsized

    As much as I would love IE7 to have better support for standards, I doubt it will be coming. Between security and standards, I feel that security will be more important in this release (“Our primary goal is to improve security and safety for all our customers…”) When was the last time you saw a newspaper article about web standards? Compare that to the number of articles on phishing, online fraud and even spyware.

    As long as IE holds the lion’s share of the browser market, customers will insist that websites be workable on IE, a job that Bill can just let us web developers handle. Still, I can hope against all odds, can’t I?

  • http://www.kksongs.com/ abhijitb1

    What I don’t understand is, we always talk about IE having the vast majority of “market share,” when IE and other browsers are free. What does it mean to have market share when you’re not making money off of it?

  • momos

    I only hope IE7 isn’t really good, so Firefox can get some more market share. So we have a stronger competition, which will shurely boost the evolution of browsers in general.

  • joengo

    Now http://dean.edwards.name/IE7/ needs to change its name to IE8. Since without rendering improvements to the actual IE7, this project would still be useful.

  • Anonymous

    “If ie were to have tabbed browsing, proper png support and complete css compliance would anyone use firefox? That’s everyones’ gripe. However, I’m sure that if ms added those three items folks would find three additional items to hate about ie.”

    Aaahahahahaha. You just about summed up ALL of the reasons why ie IS IN FACT a piece of trash. I’m a web programmer & designer for a few major national websites, and naturally everything has to be compliant across all browsers on PC _AND_ Mac platforms, and I find that I have to spend over a quarter of my time trying to get things working properly on IE (mostly CSS issues). Anyone who’s in my position or have been coding for any length of time would know what I’m talking about. Javascript work-arounds for png support (which is entirely too complicated for something so simple, so I avoid png as much as possible as a result. Sad.). Mac backslash hacks (no fault of the Mac, just IE that causes the problem, and I’m glad it has fallen to Safari). Underscore hacks. Should I go on?

  • Infest

    “Firefox’s growing market share have finally had an effect with Bill Gates”

    “IE7 vs Firefox 2″ wow..amazing…
    PNG & CSS would be ..grt importance..

  • saurab

    I have personally experienced IE loading up much faster than FF. However, FF is cool in other respects like tabbed browsing, standards etc….
    Also, if someone has noticed.. when I open up a web page in FF that I havent loaded before (do it’s not in the cache), then FF loads up rectangular boxes which gradually get filled up with the images….. IE only loads the image when the image has been fully retreived from the server. What this does is that when you go to a new page with Firefox, you often get to see a large number of ugly boxes which gradually get filled by the images … this looks ugly.

  • steve

    MMM, I don’t know, Microsoft helped come up with the XHTML & CSS standards, then ignored them completely when they built IE, so what was the point in helping come up with the standards in the first place. Everything Microsoft does is a marketing exercise, thats how they got to and why they stay at the top. Microsoft should give people the software they want, not what they can be bolthered to make. They should be setting the standards, not following them [as in firefox]. I use firefox because it follows the XHTML & CSS standards, is safe, is updated quicker and better and is fuller featured than IE. Oh and P>S I’m not a MS hater, hell I sell their products as a living.

  • http://www.realistanew.com Travis

    IE has a setting to make it behave just like Firefox as far as image loading goes. I think Firefox might also have a setting to make it do the wrong thing (imho) and not show placeholders.

  • saurab

    hmmm placeholders for images do have a utility, but that is often for the benefit of the web designer. For the non-tech guy out there, these placeholders dont look professional. Imagine you see a page filled with these “rectangular boxes” which get filled in slowly… this looks awful !

  • Daniel

    mikmik said:

    “IE has fewer problems with CSS now that the box model is rendered properly. It is better all around with CSS.”

    That’s funny. Are you aware of how many errors there are in the box-model rendering in IE6?

    Google it a bit and see what you come up with…

    Good luck.

  • regen_r8

    Working for “the man” in a larger corporate IT department, I am not sure that many corp IT types really understand standards anyway. Our internal web applications are all coded MS only and trying to run them from any other browser (believe me I have tried) results in meltdown/breakdown.

    What corporate America wants is for MS to not break their cluelessly designed web apps whenever it releases a browser. It’s too late, they already drank the cool-aid.

  • Anonymous

    This is by far the best post yet.

    “What I don’t understand is, we always talk about IE having the vast majority of “market share,” when IE and other browsers are free. What does it mean to have market share when you’re not making money off of it?”

    Use whatever browser you want. Coding to just IE standards is necessary at times (depending upon who the final product is destined). Likewise, I have also seen some CSS that didn’t render properly in Firefox, whilst it did in IE.
    And if you want tooltips, simply add “title” attributes to the image/table cell.

    I can remember some of the same complaints when IE was overtaking NS. And I still have to code to NS 4 standards at times (UUUUUUGGGGGHHH!).

  • http://www.yvandermeer.net Aquarius

    Since they’re not making money on Internet Explorer, what is it exactly that is driving Microsoft to continue development on their browser? What exactly are the planning on improving? This may probably seem like a completely crazy idea, but especially if they are going to make IE stand-alone: why not simply include Firefox as the standard browser for (future) Windows versions? Apple has a nice standards-compliant browser with Safari, so I really only see benefits if Microsoft were to adopt Firefox as their default installed browser.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com/ mmj

    [quote=OfficeOfTheLaw]iirc, can’t remember the source, IE7 won’t support application/xhtml+xml.[/quote]
    This is mentioned here:
    http://ln.hixie.ch/?start=1086158925&count=1
    To quote:

    Another point that came out of the discussions is that, in case there was any doubt, Internet Explorer in Longhorn will not support XHTML or SVG.