November 17, 2009

internet explorer 9

NeoWin is reporting that Microsoft will be revealing their Internet Explorer 9 plans tomorrow at PDC.

Here are my predictions:

Microsoft will demo an early build of IE 9 that will feature an all new and super-fast JavaScript engine. They will show an updated Office Web that utilizes JS threading, <canvas>, HTML5 drag and drop events, online and offline events, some kind of local storage, lots of CSS3, including some CSS 3 text and font additions, columns, and maybe some box styling additions.

They will commit to supporting most of HTML5, including adding at least preliminary support for <audio> and <video> tags, local storage, drag and drop, and they'll commit to most of CSS3 but not all of it in time for the IE 9 release

They will also talk about or demo some other awesome capabilities that won't get nearly the press coverage as those items listed above. I expect to hear something about ICC color profiles, and possibly even some cool device DOM APIs like geolocation and orientation.

I predict that we'll all be shocked and that the IE 9 plan will signal that Microsoft is committed to to joining the modern browsers in moving the Web forward.

Microsoft dug a huge hole when it mostly abandoned IE 6 and the Web from 2001 until 2006. Their early efforts at ramping back up with IE 7 were a big disappointment to most Web developers and while their efforts with IE 8 were much better, they're still at least a full generation behind the modern browsers.

That team has some really strong people and they're not going to let another release go by where they're still seen as badly trailing. Not with Office moving to the Web. Not with Search and other web services becoming huge revenue opportunities.

Falling short with IE 9 would be the last straw for Web developers' little remaining faith in Microsoft and so they won't miss this opportunity.

That's my prediction. What do you all think?

update: Bummer, Ina's reporting that we're not going to see IE 9 at PDC.

update: Looks like I got some of this right. Let's all hope that the rest comes to pass as they move further into the development of this next version. When any browser improves, the Web improves. It looks to me like Microsoft is getting more serious about improving the Web. This is good news and the IE team should be hearing our positive feedback and encouragement.

Posted by asa at 2:28 PM