Saturday, March 19, 2011

How will IE9 maintain momentum?

Unless you live under a rock, you must have noticed that Microsoft released Internet Explorer 9 this week.

I have been using IE9 since the first platform preview, and I think it's a very solid browser, outclassing every previous Microsoft browser by far. Microsoft finally built a browser which is capable of competing with other modern browsers.


The global consensus seems to be that Internet Explorer has regained serious momentum. Now I wonder how Microsoft plans on maintaining that momentum. IE9 still has some issues to address, and with the HTML5 specifications progressing at this rate, a ton of specs will be stable in the near future.

I think a big part of the future success of IE9 is directly proportional to the ability to leverage these fixes and new features.


As far as I know they are going to continue pushing browser updates through Windows Updates, and this raises a few concerns. A lot of people have disabled automatic Windows Updates. Either they are using a pirated OS, or they simply have disabled them. In corporate environments where IT administrators decide which updates get pushed, often only the essential - security - updates get pushed.

The way Google Chrome leverages updates is far better. Maybe you haven't noticed, but Chrome updates itself on a daily basis. If you open the Task Scheduler you will find GoogleUpdate tasks which run daily. I believe this is one of the key reasons Google Chrome is so popular in the developer community. This aggressive update progress enables Google to implement features, and fix them real quick when something is broken.

Do we really need to wait for IE10 to have support for more HTML5 features? Will the future bring an army of Frankenstein Internet Explorers?
Or will Microsoft revise their update strategy? Something I would like to see them do is decouple the IE update process from Windows Updates, especially for home users. Make web not war, right?

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