What are future versions of Internet Explorer going to be like?
February 17, 2004 2:51 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know what the future holds for Internet Explorer? From what I know, IE6 SP1 is the last standalone installation of IE, bar a rumoured upgrade sometime this year that will feature a pop-up killer. What I am really interested in is what we can expect from the browser that will be included with Longhorn. Is it basically going to be Internet Explorer 7, in that it will simply have a few new features hacked in but essentially be the same base code? Or are they planning something more radical, like a re-write of major components and improved compliance with existing web standards and support for newly emerging standards? Anyone got the inside info? Cheers.
posted by chill to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
 
As far as I've read, it seems unlikely that there'll be any major improvements to IE in the foreseeable future. If you want a browser for Windows that's very good right now and still being worked on, you'll probably have to look to Mozilla, Mozilla Firefox or, possibly, Opera.
posted by Nick Jordan at 4:36 AM on February 17, 2004


Windows XP SP2 includes a few new features for IE, such as the aforementioned poop-up blocker, a proper download manager, as well as a new firewall program. No talk has been made of fixing any standards compliancy issues. It's a non-issue to Microsoft, they've got 90% market-share, why fix something that doesn't appear to be broken?

I can't comment about the version of IE in longhorn, as I'm not prepared to sacrifice my production machine to a dodgily-obtained alpha version, but I would hope that it does conform to standards (although the cynic in me wouldn't be suprised if it didn't.)

I think it's still another year or so before Longhorn is anywhere near release, and it will take a while after that before it's taken up in any major fashion.

Developing for IE is here to stay for a while, unless a massive Firefox/Mozilla/Safari/Opera evangelisation campaign can be started.

I've managed to convert a few of my friends to the church of Firefox/Thunderbird. The promise of less email viruses and security holes tends to sway them.
posted by cheaily at 4:55 AM on February 17, 2004


Pure conjecture: IE will cease to exist as its features will be rolled into Explorer, but the guts will remain more or less the same as they are today. Microsoft rarely throws away code, particularly code with a huge installed base, and I suspect Longhorn will move to more of a KDE model: The filesystem browser, network browser, and web browser will be pretty much the same piece of software with different views.
posted by majick at 6:52 PM on February 17, 2004


IE7 will apparently be part of Longhorn in 2006(?) and not available for previous OS's. What new features and such it may include I have no idea.

majick - I believe that although what you describe - IE will cease to exist as its features will be rolled into Explorer - was MS's plan and roadmap for most of the 90's, they've reversed 180 degrees on that.

I have no links on that stuff, though.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:18 PM on February 17, 2004


Cheers folks. majick, that was my first impression when I heard that there would be no future stand alone versions, I seem to recall Gates saying years ago that browsing for a file on the internet should be no different to browsing for a file on your PC. But I think that possibly the anti-trust stuff put an end to that vision.
I'm a total Mozilla convert myself. The reason I asked the question is that I've spent the last few years developing in house software that only runs on IE5.5 and above, and I feel I just need to know what the future holds so I can plan for it well ahead of time.
If I find out anything I'll post it here.
posted by chill at 1:47 AM on February 18, 2004


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