Microsoft Names IE8, Bill Gates to ‘Look Into’ Transparency

This tidbit from the road just south of Perth as most of Team SitePoint heads for its annual Christmas getaway.

Microsoft has officially announced the name of then next version of IE: Internet Explorer 8. Okay, okay, it won’t win any awards for originality, but at least the announcement provides definitive and public confirmation that the browser is being worked on.

The announcement comes just a day after my own chiding on this blog of the company’s inability to announce even a name for the new browser. Though I’ll admit this is entirely coincidental, what is not coincidence is Molly Holzschlag’s conversation with Bill Gates on the matter at a private preview of plans for next year’s MIX08 conference.

MOLLY HOLZSCHLAG: I’m very concerned about this, because being the person here that’s supposed to be the liaison between designers and developers for the Web and the browser conversation, this conversation seems to have been pretty much shut down, and I’m very concerned as to why that is, and how we can correct it.

BILL GATES: I’ll have to ask Dean what the hell 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 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.

While I’m still skeptical, the quick announcement of IE8’s name following this conversation is an encouraging sign that Microsoft may have—one more time—got the message that what developers want above all else is transparency about the future of the platforms upon which their work depends.

I just wish this announcement didn’t render my editorial in the Tech Times #179 obsolete—it’s scheduled to be sent out to subscribers in a few hours’ time.

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  • http://www.mikehealy.com.au cranial-bore

    That’s why the phrase “At the time of writing” was invented :)

  • Dr Livingston

    umm…

    > but at least the announcement provides definitive and public
    > confirmation that the browser is being worked on.

    they’ve been working on that browser for the last decade, and they’re still working on it? do they need another decade?! ;)

  • ENC

    Personally, I hope they don’t work on it. Who needs a new Ford T when all you need is Ferarrifox ? :)

  • dashard

    I’m a Mac web developer/designer, and the f*cking hoops that need to be jumped through to get a site to work in IE/Win that *just works* in any dang browser on the Mac is so incredibly, exceedingly, unnecessarily frustrating that exchanges like that mentioned in the article just make me livid.

    WHAT IS THE PROBLEM OVER THERE? Surely there’s enough engineering talent to simply get — it — right!

    I hate IE.

  • http://intinfos.com intinfosdotcom

    I think many of us are not currently in love with IE, and so this is not a big deal anymore.

  • http://www.dreamland.de Werbeagentur

    IE has some Bugs but Firefox too. See it clearly, there is no perfect browser on the market.

  • http://www.contractorsnow.net webvicious

    Ya I’m pretty sick of the display issues with IE7

  • issesi sagawa

    Maybe Molly needs to more like woman.

    From Issesi x

  • Sick of IE

    IE7 is certainly a burden when it comes to designing a page that adheres to all web browser standards. I simply stopped using IE as my personal web browser because it crashes all the time. Firefox is much more stable than that Microsoft piece of garbage.

  • http://southeastmx.com bryan_spearman

    The problem here is that MS has been so powerful, and frankly still is, that every goof nut out there using the web just uses IE because it’s on their desktop. So look at your site stats and notice that 90% of your viewers will be using that piece of crap.

    I’m happy for MS becoming a huge success but the problem is, that they really screwed up the web while making their billions. But they had a pretty serious problem on their hands. If you had a company that grew as fast as MS did, you would be holding on for dear life too. Sometimes great ideas such as theirs grow so freak’n fast that not even the inventors can keep up.

    It’s just a tough situation we find ourselves in.

  • Scott Barnes

    At times folks get emotional about technology, but rarely do they provide evidence to support such emotion. Instead generalised sweeping statements are made, opinions are rallied behind and in the end nothing gets resolved as where is the constructive conversation and when does it start?

    Molly raised valid concerns in a forum that counted. All I am saying is folks, you can take a negative attitude to a problem and nothing will get resolved in a manner that befits your intended resolution. Instead, email/contact the IE team(s) or folks you may or may no interact within Microsoft. Start the conversation…

    Rather than talking at us? why not start talking with us?


    Scott Barnes
    RIA Evangelist
    Microsoft.