Another version of IE in circulation. Great.

Oh fantastic. I return from a few days holiday to discover that Microsoft has issued a ‘platform preview’ of Internet Explorer v9. So now that’s four major releases of Microsoft’s monopolistic browser in circulation: and I can’t even install IE9 for testing purposes, because it doesn’t – and won’t – run on XP, the version of Windows I currently prefer to use. (Well, ‘prefer’ is maybe a bit strong.)
This is just getting ridiculous. proposes that Microsoft should make IE open source – noting that it wouldn’t lead to a revenue loss, as it’s a free product anyway, and might lead to some benefits. I still find myself leaning towards the equal but opposite solution: that Microsoft should adopt an existing open source rendering engine, and compete on the basis of the functionality built upon and around it. Google did that, building its Chrome browser around the open-source Webkit originally developed by Apple – which itself had its roots in the open-source KHTML.
It’s somewhat remarkable to see the Microsoft website heralding its 55% compatibility with the generally-accepted ACID3 standard: partial compliance is just another way of saying ‘not compliant’. The versions of Chrome, Safari and Opera (all running satisfactorily on my apparently ‘not modern enough’ machine) already score 100%. Others – Firefox, even Opera Mini and Android – are already scoring in the 90s.
So as a result, it’s depressing to see us moving further and further away from a single global standard, for the frankly pretty mundane task of getting the right elements in the right place on the page. This is all just wasting my time, and your money.

2 thoughts on “Another version of IE in circulation. Great.”

  1. Can’t help but think this would have been a far more positive post were it not for the rugby this afternoon.
    Not sure I can bear to watch the England game, mind…

  2. Let the record show that I wrote the post in question well before Ireland’s capitulation to the Scots. Proceedings at Croke Park didn’t lift my mood much, though. đŸ˜¡

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