02nd Jul 2013
Microsoft released Internet Explorer 10 with the launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT and has introduced a number of enhancements and improvements in this version. The software giant recently announced the collaboration with GlacierWorks and IE 10 to mark the 60th anniversary of the Everest summit by providing Everest: Rivers of Ice. We had an opportunity to interview Microsoft's Roger Capriotti who spoke about this and IE 10 in general. Read on.
What's special about GlacierWorks partnership with IE 10 and what is special about Everest: Rivers of Ice?
In partnership between David Breashears’ GlacierWorks and Pixel Lab, IE released Everest: Rivers of Ice—a rich, interactive HTML5 site, giving users a look into the changing landscape of Mt. Everest. The goal of the partnership is to communicate and educate the public on the changing landscape of Mt. Everest and its glaciers over the past 90 years. By choosing the web as the medium, over two billion people can now have access to Everest and learn about what is happening to the region’s glaciers. Everest: Rivers of Ice was made using the Rich Interactive Narratives (RIN) platform and HTML5 technology. RIN was developed by Microsoft Research and is a presentation technology for building nonlinear, interactive and cinematic narratives that seamlessly stitch together various media including gigapixel panoramas, videos, terapixel online maps, traditional paginated documents, and data visualizations.
Will this work with any browser? Is it OS specific?
While the site performs best in IE10 on Windows 8 (given the multi-touch capabilities), the site will work on any modern browser that supports HTML5.
IE 10 is also available on Windows 7 albeit as a preview version. Is it any different from the one available on Windows 8? On what platforms will IE 10 be available?
As of February 2013, IE10 on Windows 7 is available worldwide. While we released a preview version beforehand, this is the full experience. As with the case with Windows 8, IE10 is the most modern, fast and secure IE ever. With Windows 8, we re-imagined the browser with IE10 and built IE10 to be the best way to experience the Web on Windows. With that, we want Windows 7 users to have the same experience. Windows 7 users receive all of the performance, web standards security and under-the-hood changes that enable a first class Web experience like those on Windows 8. Some of the features that will benefit customers are:
- Faster across the board over IE9
- Faster loading pages with less CPU usage (better battery life)
- Leading on Webkit SunSpider (updated charts)
- Faster for browsing activities:
- Spell check with auto-correct
- Fast tab closing with the mouse (press x button)
IE10 is currently available on Windows 8 and Windows 7, which makes it available to more than 700 million users worldwide. IE10 also contains compatibility modes for IE 7, 8, 9 and Quirks. If a web page doesn’t seem to render properly in the default Internet Explorer 10, users can opt-in to Compatibility Mode by clicking the Compatibility View button located to the right of the Address Bar. Users only need to press the Compatibility View button once upon visiting a site for Internet Explorer 10 to remember that setting the next time they visit.
What about IE on the Xbox One?
We have nothing to share regarding IE on Xbox One at this time.
What about XP?
Our decision with Internet Explorer 10 was not to build to the lowest common denominator. That pattern has arguably been the norm for browser vendors, including Internet Explorer, for years. The result has been a lot of browser “feature” innovation, while the web that we all use has remained largely a flat experience compared to that of the native apps on your PC or phone. With Internet Explorer 10 we made the decision to help unlock the best web experience possible, which means taking advantage of everything around the browser – including Windows 8 and modern PC hardware. Windows Vista customers have a great browsing experience with Internet Explorer 9, but in building Internet Explorer 10 we were focused on continuing to drive the kind of innovation that only happens when you take advantage of the ongoing improvements in modern operating systems and modern hardware.
IE 10 still looks a lot like IE 9. Is there the IE 9 core still under the hood?
Why do you think people must switch to IE 10? Do you have compelling reasons for that to happen? In other words, how is IE 10 different and better than IE 9.
With Internet Explorer 10, you’ll notice something different about the web—it’s fast, fluid and perfect for touch. Internet Explorer 10 has a touch-first experience that exceeds what’s been done with a browser on a tablet delivering touch browsing, not just browsing on a touch-enabled device. Internet Explorer 10 takes a different, more modern approach to browsing. It puts the focus squarely on the websites you browse rather than the tab and window management activity that previously defined browsing. From tiles on the Start screen for websites to the immersive full screen web experience, we designed Internet Explorer in Windows to be your daily browser for the real web. With its advanced touch and gesture support, Internet Explorer brings to the web multi touch experiences that were previously associated only with native apps.
As for users who are currently on IE9 on Windows 7 or 8, we’ve automatically upgraded them to IE10. Our goal to automatically upgrade Windows customers to the latest version of IE is an important piece in helping move the web forward. The Web is better and safer overall when people run the most up-to-date browser. We want Windows users to have the most up-to-date and safest browsing experience possible with protection against malware and other malicious software. For those who would not like to be upgraded, IE has also recently announced the Automatic Update Blocker Toolkit, which can be used to prevent IE10 from being automatically installed on users’ Windows 7 machines. You can find more information about the Toolkit in this blog post.
Microsoft Internet Explorer was probably at its peak when IE 6 came out. What happened since then in terms of the browser market share? We had expected an increasing web standard compliance to make things better for IE.
As for browser market share, the latest data from Net Apps states that IE worldwide is gaining in all-up share (currently at 55.99%), while Chrome is decreasing their share numbers. As a matter of fact, IE is at a 22 month high in share. As for IE6 popularity, on June 1, Net Apps released their monthly report that showed IE10 surpassing IE7 and IE6’s combined market share. And of course through auto update of IE through Windows Update, we are committed to seeing older versions of IE – like IE6 – drop further in share (http://www.ie6countdown.com/).
In terms of standards compliance, Internet Explorer has one underlying platform that supports HTML5 and enables the same markup to work across many other modern browsers. And with extensive support for additional standards spanning HTML5, CSS3, and EcmaScript5, Internet Explorer 10 provides developers a standards-based platform they can use to write increasingly rich and beautiful sites that are free of plug-ins.
These web applications are easier to deliver with support for several new technologies like CSS3 Floats, HTML5 Drag-drop, File reader API, Media Query Listeners and initial support for HTML5 Forms.
- HTML5 Application performance improves across the board, as well as the ability to deliver better performance with more efficient use of battery life through technologies like Web Workers with Channel Messaging, Async script support, and others.
- Web application security improves using the same markup with support for HTML5 Sandbox and iframe isolation.
Internet Explorer 10 is a next-generation, standards-based browser, focused on great support for HTML5, CSS3, and SVG. For legacy web apps, Internet Explorer 10 supports backwards compatibility, emulating IE9, IE8, IE7, and even some IE6 functionality. Incompatible sites can be easily rendered in other modes clicking on the compatibility mode icon when you visit a website.
In addition, knowing how important web experiences and touch capabilities are to consumers, we continue to help developers create sites built for touch but that also work great with mouse, keyboard and pen. We are actively contributing to the standard work in this area, submitting Pointer Events to the W3Cto allow developers to write to one set of input mechanisms across mouse, pen and touch to ensure they work across all browsers and operating systems. From this, we’re really pleased to see how quickly Pointers has progressed towards a web standard, showing the value of IE’s support to help developers build innovative, touch-optimized sites.
What is Microsoft doing to compete and attract more people to use IE?
Internet Explorer 10 has a touch-first experience that exceeds what’s been done with a browser on a tablet delivering touch browsing, not just browsing on a touch-enabled device. Internet Explorer 10 takes a different, more modern approach to browsing. It puts the focus squarely on the websites you browse rather than the tab and window management activity that previously defined browsing. From tiles on the Start screen for websites to the immersive full screen web experience, we designed Internet Explorer in Windows to be your daily browser for the real web. With its advanced touch and gesture support, Internet Explorer brings to the web multi touch experiences that were previously associated only with native apps. I encourage you to check out our Exploring IE blog post with specific data points regarding IE10’s benefits over competitor browsers.
Most browsers offer an update feature build right inside the browser. IE has traditionally not had this convenient feature. I can already see something similar in the Windows 7 preview version. Is an update feature going to be standard with IE starting from version 10?
Please refer to our answer above regarding our auto-update approach.
There are so many versions of IE out there? Is Microsoft doing anything to address browser fragmentation at the version level of IE?
IE10 is currently available on Windows 8 and Windows 7, which makes it available to more than 700 million users worldwide. IE10 also contains compatibility modes for IE 7, 8, 9 and Quirks mode. If a web page doesn’t seem to render properly in the default Internet Explorer 10, users can 'opt-in' to Compatibility Mode by clicking the Compatibility View button located to the right of the Address Bar. Users only need to press the Compatibility View button once upon visiting a site for Internet Explorer 10 to remember that setting the next time they visit. Internet Explorer 10 is a next-generation, standards-based browser, focused on great support for HTML5, CSS3, and SVG. For legacy web apps, Internet Explorer 10 supports backwards compatibility, emulating IE9, IE8, IE7, and even some IE6 functionality. Incompatible sites can be easily rendered in other modes clicking on the compatibility mode icon when you visit a website.
Why does IE 10 on Windows RT not support Flash? What is the reason for it to use a whitelist?
On March 11, 2013, we updated IE in Windows 8 and Windows RT to enable Flash content to run by default. On Windows 8, all Flash content continues to be enabled for IE on the desktop. As we have seen through testing over the past several months, the vast majority of sites with Flash content are now compatible with the Windows experience for touch, performance, and battery life. As developers improve their Flash content, the vast majority of sites with Flash content that we have tested are now compatible with the Windows experience goals. Of the thousands of domains tested for Flash compatibility to date, we have found fewer than 4% are still incompatible, in the most part because the core site experience requires other ActiveX controls in addition to Flash.
Please refer to this blog post for further information as the whitelist is no longer in existence and our policy has changed-- http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2013/03/11/flash-in-windows-8.aspx
Firefox and Chrome support a lot of plugins and they are popular with users. Is Microsoft doing anything to support more plugins?
Internet Explorer 10 continues to be plug-in free. Internet Explorer 10 for Desktop will continue to support all plugins, including Silverlight.
What is the future of touch as far as the internet is concerned in general and for IE in particular?
I encourage you to check out our recent Exploring IE blog post on why IE10 is built perfectly for touch and why we think touch is the new fast for browsers.
Now, a few questions posed by our readers...
Why does IE lack in features that Safari offers such as Reading List, inbuilt RSS reader, etc.?
With the emergence of new form factors like tablets, browsing needs are more diverse than ever before. For smaller, touch-enabled devices, the ability to browse the web quickly and effortlessly through an interface that is built for touch has become increasingly important to users. For these tablet users, the new browser performance benchmark is touch. Touch has become the new fast and we’ve invested fully in this feature.
A study by Mozaic Group showed that more than 8 out of 10 iPad users say they would be very likely to consider swapping their iPad for a Windows 8 tablet running Internet Explorer 10, if it meant having a better browsing experience.
However, for those who really like this type of functionality in a desktop browser like Safari, there are add-ons available to Internet Explorer (http://www.iegallery.com) for the desktop that give you a reading list or RSS functionality if you want it.
Why does IE in Windows Phone lack Flash support, download manager, night mode features, inability to save web pages to view offline, and number of tabs restricted to just six?
That’s good feedback, but unfortunately we have nothing to share regarding IE on Windows Phone at this time.
Will IE arrive on Android phones?
We have no plans to launch IE on Android.
Why does Microsoft not update IE frequently like other browsers?
Internet Explorer releases are always driven by customer feedback and the quality of the product. Microsoft is deliberate in our approach because we feel a strong obligation to our customers to do so in a responsible manner that ensures they are getting the safest, most reliable product possible.