Thursday March 29, 2007 22:01

MTS07: Beating up IE

Posted by Channy Yun

It’s the third day at last. For me, there was the most waited time “Internet Explorer and direction” as one of web standards evangelists and Firefox developers. In draft agenda, it was written in IE8 and direction by Molly. But, Pete LePage, a product manager of IE team leaded talk with participators. By saying of Pete, Molly could not join this meeting because of speaking on AEA Boston.

He said there are some product managers on product part such as security, web developer tool and same structure of product development part by Chris Wilson. I asked how many people in IE team, but he didn’t say correct number and estimate a number of hundred.

He introduced the IE’s basic direction with Chiris’s presentation file in used Browser War II panel. 1. No war: it’s over competetion era with propertary features. They ackgnized web stanards is importatnt. 2. No broken web- there are over 0.5 billion IE users in the world, so it’s important gradually to transit web standards not to pain web designer and developers.

He also wanted to get requirements for IE next version(IE8) to make a spec. In fact, Molly joiend Micorosoft as a educational consultant and tought them about needs of web desioners and developers.

But, many attendee raised questions on fundamental problems of IE. For example, they suggested to transfer Gecko and Tamarin engine or to open Trident or to charge the next IE decision to community because IE7 originated by outer innovation such as Firefox. Someone blamed web developer tools made by MS has BROKEN WEB.

Somehow Pete was confused, but he said it’s very difficult decision and Trident has been baked with Windows platform. Anyway he want to hear all of concerns, suggestions and requirements with an open attitude. On spot, he got some of them. 1) Support of various media type (ora, jpeg), 2) Canvas from WHATWG, 3) Add-on to be easier than COM 4) Inline search 5) transition of quark and standard mode in dev toolbar. (They are NOT next IE’s spec BUT opinions of attendees.)

I asked whether IE team cooperate with other browser vendors in WHATWG or not. He said they want to lead active on W3C body. (Chris is co-chair of new HTML working group in W3C.) But, he told that has gotten in touch with other vendors in panels of Browser War II and SXSW in this month.

He explained the quark and strict mode of IE and fixing more bugs in strict mode on IE7. According to Ben Galbraith, Microsoft worried about incomplete patent issue of WHATWG by IP on Apple canvas (Whereas W3C has patent free policy for all vendors as well member bodies.)

Maybe Pete was not pleasant for a hour, but he did his best with listening closely. He let us know his email address and requested all of things to fix in IE to attendees. I think if Microsoft thinks web is public resource, it’s not good of custom event that form and break team every five years. It must be guaranteed user-driven innovation of IE regardless to the strategy and resource of Microsoft. Anyway thanks for efforts of new IE team.

2 Responses to MTS07: Beating up IE



March 31st, 2007 at 3:22 am

I met Pete and Molly at Web Directions North not too long ago. Pete didn’t present there but he introduced a speaker and Microsoft was a sponor of that conference, including people from the Expressions team.

One irony is a survey of the audience revealed most of the people at Web Directions North used Firefox or Safari, there were a lot of Apple laptops in the audience. I of course was in the smallest minority of all being an Opera user.

With Microsoft’s decision to abandon support of the Mac platform for IE and never having supported *Nix I’ve given up on IE myself. If I need to test for it at work, I guess I will, otherwise I just make sure my stuff is valid or reasonably valid and if it doesn’t work in IE c’est la vie.

I don’t think the average web surfer cares anymore, they use the browser that comes with their machine, which is why IE is the number one browser, their standards support is a matter of pride rather than a business strategy.

I thought you wrote earlier that ActiveX was prominantly used in Korea thus forcing websurfers to use IE and Windows… ActiveX isn’t exactly an open standard.


Samir Chopra

April 18th, 2007 at 6:51 am

Hi Chan, I was present at MTS-07 as well, and have written a bit about it on my blog at

I would appreciate any comments you might have!


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