Microsoft isn’t revealing yet what they plan to deliver with new Internet Expolorer – IE8, but at last MIX conference Chris Wilson, platform architect of Internet Explorer, did share some general directions the team is taking with its next release.
However, Wilson did tell attendees that Microsoft is planning to require Web site authors to “opt-in” to standards mode when developing IE 8.0 sites.
“Five years ago, no one in the top 200 Web sites was using standards,” Wilson said. “Today it is half of the top 200 Web pages.”
Wilson acknowledged that he wasn’t sure exactly what form this kind of opt-in would take. But asking authors to opt in will “give us freedom to do some great things,” he said. By giving Microsoft permission to make IE 8.0 more standards-complaint, authors will take responsibility for breaking pages.
Wilson said to expect Microsoft to be investing across layout, object model and Ajax development fronts in IE 8.0. Specificially, Wilson said Microsoft is investing in making IE 8.0 more compliant with CSS 2.1 layout standards. Microsoft also is working to make the IE 8.0 object model more interoperable with that used by other browsers, and is looking to provide more client-side application programming interfaces (APIs) to support local storage for mash-ups, Wilson said.
Microsoft is planning to make tweaks to IE that will allow developers to more easily add extensions to its browser, Wilson said. He said Microsoft acknowledged that extensions are powerful but potentially “scary.”
He also said to expect Microsoft to continue to invest heavily in advancing its Web development toolbar with the next version of IE.
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