back to article Microsoft claims IE8 is 'a leap forward in web standards'

Microsoft may have failed the Acid3 test with the release of its Internet Explorer 8 browser, but that hasn’t dampened Redmond’s spirits a jot – in fact the company is busy making all sorts of noises about its new-found web standards credentials. The software giant claimed on Friday that the arrival of IE8 represented “a leap …

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RUN IE6 on it

Was getting a score of 4 with that!

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It is a big step forward, really

Because it means IE6 is that one step closer to dying a horrible painful death. IE8 isn't perfect, and it isn't up to the standards of Firefox or Opera, but c'mon, kudos at least to MS for making it worlds, leagues, whole galaxies better than that IE6 piece of shit we still have to fudge our code for. When the world is ruled by IE 7 and 8, you'll notice how much easier it is to code for the web, and when IE7 goes, you'll really notice.

That said, I'd rather have FF any day of the week. ;-)

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Paris Hilton

LOL

The software giant claimed on Friday that the arrival of IE8 represented “a leap forward in support for web standards” even though Microsoft notched up a miserable 20 out of a possible 100 in the Acid3 browser test.

Epic fail in every sense of the word!

From this point forth Microsoft has officially lost the plot.

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Benchmarks and Committees

I get: IE 8 - 20/100,

Firefox 3.07 - 71/100,

Opera 9.64 - 85/100.

The question is, how unbiased is ACID? Benchmarks and products can co-evolve to reinforce each other, but that doesn't mean Firefox is a better browser or even that it displays more webpages correctly.

In fact, firefox fails to display a lot of older web content correctly, because it obeys W3C rules that retroactively broke the semantics of some commonly used pre-style-sheet tags (like <font>). Both Opera and IE chose to ignore some of those rules, because much more of the web is displayed the way it was intended to appear.

It is also likely that the W3C is an arena of battles between corporate forces, trying to change the standard definitions to their own advantage and to their competators' disadvantage. That's the reality of big standards committees.

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Anonymous Coward

Too little too late

Please MS, give it up. It's in it's genes to fail at every standard, which it didn't invent itself.

To say that it will comply is just a smokescreen.

You will see that the 20/100 score will be celebrated as a victory.

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in fairness....

firefox only gets 71 % - fails on all the colours, doesnt animate smoothly

opera fails also, with 85% (but looks crap)

i wont even bother with safari lol

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Linux

Point missed about MS contributed tests

Microsoft are obviously contributing tests to W3C that IE8 pass, but that Opera and Firefox fail.

It's probably the only way they can drastically improve their score compared to the others!

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Anonymous Coward

@ AC @ 16:05 GMT

> From this point forth Microsoft has officially lost the plot.

Microsoft lost the plot years ago. Minimally, with Vista.

The problem - at least, a problem for anyone who cares about things like standards, freedom, openness, or computers generally - is that Microsoft has enough of an installed base, and enough of that base is terrified of trying something different (I'm talking about corporate-type entities, not just individuals), that Microsoft has more than enough inertia to carry itself on for a good long time yet. Apple simply doesn't want to play, and much as I personally love using linux, I still don't see it as much more than a nominal competitor in a handful of areas.

Nobody with a brain voluntarily uses Microsoft products, but that fact alone will never constitute a serious threat to Microsoft's dominance.

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Gates Horns

Leap Forward

20% sounds like a failure to me, let alone a leap forward. This is just marketing spin but no doubt there are people out there stupid enough to swallow thaiscrap.

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Gates Horns

One step forward, two steps back

OK, so they still can't even get the standards right on their newest browser that promised the world and delivered nothing. They introduced it last year promising 100% standards compliance with a compatibility mode for older sites. Oh dear, not quite what we've got.

To top it all, they have totally f*cked up the UI in the process so now it looks absolutely terrible - what the hell are those stupid buttons doing there, where the new tabs should go?

Google Chrome is a much better, leaner and faster browser - and they are not even trying. They have said they don't even want to get a big share of the browser market, they just want to use it to push new web technology.

MSIE8 and beyond: rest in peace. I can see it now - when Windows 7 comes out the reviews will be along the lines of great OS, shame about the browser.

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Does any browser get 100%

I get 71/100 with firefox 3.07 on ubuntu 8.10.

Anybody out there getting 100%???

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The score is misleading

Getting 100/100 is not a pass, people.

http://www.webstandards.org/action/acid3/

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Walking the talk

Amusingly enough, the site for IE8 does not validate to the W3C standards, with 141 errors.

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@ Don Mitchell

I see, the tests are biased against Microsoft. They must be losing their edge when they can get shafted by a mostly toothless committee. Lame excuse.

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Pass the Benylin.....

*cough* SVG *cough*

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@Liam - Safari

You should try Safari - Safari 4.0 Beta (at least on OS X) gets a nice round 100/100!

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Happy

Leap Forward

Give them a break: 20/100 is still a leap forward from the 14/100 that IE7 scored. At this rate IE21 will be the business!

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On the nature of the Acid tests

"I wont even bother with safari lol"

You should: it gets 100/100 on Acid 3 and has since the last major patch.

Acid 3 is a pretty tough test, however. Acid 2 is more than sufficient for rendering traditional web pages (which is what it tests for). Acid 3 is designed with highly dynamic content in mind, and tests howa browser responds to lots of scripted and AJAX-like events. Many quite basic asumptions about how a browser behaves will need to be reevaluated to cope with that sort of content. Passing the test is only a first step.

All of the ACID tests are based on adherence to a well-established set of design principlas, however, so please, don't question its bias. WaSP assembled these test to assess compliance with a very well documnented set of engineering specs; not some political agenda. In software, as in metal: good engineering is not a matter of personal opinion.

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Kelly, you owe me a keyboard

And a new pair of lungs. I just breathed coffee as I guffawed at this, which I took as a masterpiece of understatement:

"IE8, which is a Windows-only browser, finally landed last Thursday. It is the first version of Microsoft's browser to be compliant with some key industry standards including HTML and CSS."

Upon reflection I suppose it means the *whole* HTML and CSS standards, but it still made me laugh like a drain, and then nearly drown.

Steven R

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Linux

Leap but Mind the Gap !

Ah ah !!!

The name says it all, M$ are Internet Explorer when the others got a map and are navigators.

To$$ers, I whish I'll see the day Ballmer's got a penguin stuck up his bum.

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OMG

IE8 doesn't even display the reference rendering correctly!

http://acid3.acidtests.org/reference.html

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Gates Halo

Is it just me, or

... do I finally discern the long-trumpeted anti-Microsoft bias for which this publication is supposed to be known (it always seems more anti-Apple to me)?

Passing ACID 3 was never a stated goal of IE8; the very laudable goal was to make IE fully compliant with CSS 2.1. This will definitely make developers' lives easier, while ACID 3 is quite esoteric. I'm pretty sure I read all this here, so shame on you for going the easy I-strangle-your-newborn route.

Of course, Microsoft are still playing catch up with the other browsers after IE's six dead years, but I feel that praise is due for picking the right first step towards proper standards compliance.

If you really want to beat up the new version, why not pick Microsoft's utter silence on the subject of SVG support? Doubtless SIlverlight is to blame, but lack of SVG is now IE's main impediment to web innovation.

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Ray
Gates Horns

death of a dear old friend

Amen, amen. Lo and thus it came to pass that the Young did Replace the Old. Hark ye, the News; a Sad Demise, yes; IE6, whose Extended Service Pack Release Schedule will not have been ENTIRELY IN VAIN, though its Days are now Indeed Finite and Readily Enumerable... But Witness and Wonder on this New Phoenix, Born from the Ashes to Save Our Desktops from the SCOURGE of TAN HACKS and various MARGIN BUGS and DODGY HEIGHT RULES to bring Balance To The InterTubes, etc. blather, rhubarb, whatever.

But uh, hold on... Haven't we heard this before? Didn't they say that IE7 was gonna be all about standards and shit? And didn't they ALSO say that about IE6?

YES, THEY DID. they TOTALLY TOTALLY did.

They said IE7 would be more standards compliant but it was still crap. Instead, they gave you a bit better than IE6 mode and IE6 mode. Now, apparently, we get a bit better than IE7 mode but ALSO IE7 mode AND IE6 mode free into the bargain. and extra mode to code for! O larcky larcky us. How does this make things better? It just means we have to discover more new hacks every few years and write even more useless code.

And you think IE6's days are numbered? Are they f***. How many corporate internets run IE6 only software. Truck loads, that's how many. I remember people saying IE6 was on its way out 3 years ago when IE7 came out as everyone would get the Windows Update. Complete BS. I remember people saying that about IE5 EIGHT years ago and it was still registering hits last year, NO LESS!!

And now? IE6 is still the 3rd biggest browser with ~20% of the market and we'll still be writing code for that heap of sh*t in 3 years to come, mark my words. IE6 is a F*CKING VIRUS and will be on the Internet as LONG AS THERE IS ONE.

W*nker$ always f*ck it up, don't they? It's like they do it ON PURPOSE to PISS ME OFF.

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Re: On the nature of the Acid tests

"You should: it gets 100/100 on Acid 3 and has since the last major patch."

The latest released version gets 75/100. A little ahead of firefox (71). Both leave IE8 in the dust of course.

The betas might do better but don't confuse the issue by claiming that the released versions can do something they can't.

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Re: OMG

Pic:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamiekitson/3379910900/

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Firefox 2

Even ancient Firefox 2 (which I still use because I don't like v3) gets a score 51 on Acid 3.

So I really don't know how Microsoft can be bragging about a pathetic score of 20 with their latest brand new browser.

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Ed

@Daniel - On the nature of the Acid tests

Unfortunately, Acid3 has become the 'processor MHz' of the browser wars; while it is a very well thought out and useful test of esoteric functions, it does not really tell one much about how a browser works in the real world.

What most commenters don't realise (or just conveniently forget) is that many of the Acid3 tests are checking for compliance with *draft* specifications (CSS3, HTML5, etc) which will not be published 'standards' for a considerable time.

It should be noted that NO browser, including FF Chrome or Safari, is even 100% compliant with CSS 2.1 yet :(

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Gates Horns

One-legged man on 6 pints of ale

"Microsoft claims IE8 is 'a leap forward in web standards' "

For Microsoft.

But in real terms it's about as much of a leap as a one-legged man who'd drunk six pints of old ale could manage.

In truth, IE is still shit compared to everything else.

The power of lock-in. IE has probably retarded web -development by about a decade. Imagine what the web would be like by now but for IE.

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Everything from MS is now claimed to be the best ever

Unfortunately, it's never true. Why anyone still chooses to use any of their crap is an amazement to me. I gave up on MS years ago. And no, we do not have to give a software vendor a break when the 8th generation of their browser still scores so badly. Saying that this particular turd doesn't smell quite as bad as the last turd doesn't make it any less a turd.

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Jobs Halo

The score from here

Thus far: IE 8 20/100, IE 7 8/100, FF 3.0.7 74/100, Opera 9.64 84/100, Safari 4 (public beta) 100/100, Google Chrome 1.0.154 79/100. So IE is getting there slowly, very very slowly but surely. So by version 14 or 15 it should be getting roughly the same score as of the other semi decent browser. Yayyyy for MS /golf clap.

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100% is possible though

"What most commenters don't realise (or just conveniently forget) is that many of the Acid3 tests are checking for compliance with *draft* specifications (CSS3, HTML5, etc) which will not be published 'standards' for a considerable time."

An alternative view would be that since one browser can get 100%, there really is no excuse for every browser (or its beta) to be able to do the same.

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bah...

let's all go back to using Mosaic and loading web pages without all the crap. Get rid of flash and get back to basics. When a website requires that you have a quad core and a sli/crossfire gfx setup to load the page without locking up your system for 10-30 seconds, it's gone too far. Remember the day when sites were full of the information you actually expected on the site and was presented to be read rather than make you sit through a few skits or flash presentations before getting to the info.

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@zenkaon

Opera 10 beta gets 100/100 on the acid3 test

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Go

<yawn>

BFD

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Don't count IE6 out yet...

....isn't the IE6 rendering engine the one being used in new versions of Windows CE/Windows Mobile/whatever they're calling it now?

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Anonymous Coward

a leap forward in web standards

If your shoe-laces are tied together

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Unhappy

Not to mention

Using it can ruin the reading of el reg. Makes you wonder which standards they're aspiring to.

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Jobs Halo

@Tony Hoyle

Erm, safari 4 beta scores 100/100.

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Black Helicopters

MS contributed tests, eh?

Test 1 - Select Help - About. Does it say "Microsoft"? Yes? 100 points. No? 0 points.

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A Good First Step

It's enough for me that at this first attempt by MSFT to support web standards, IE8 passes acid2 with flying colors. I don't doubt that there are bugs that will bedevil us as we learn more about it, but for now, IE8 is a welcome addition to the list of modern browsers.

It will be a Good Thing® if MSFT will continue active development and issue timely bug fixes and improvements.

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Anonymous Coward

Acid3

Opera 10 Alpha also gets 100/100 on Acid3!

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IE7 Scored 14?

I get the same 71 as everybody else with FF: no colour, no animation. I've quite possibly disabled the animation anyway --- I just do that sort of thing!

On a whim: tried IE7.

Just a screen-full of mess. Nothing discernable, no numbers.

And IE7 I have not, in any way, messed with, added to, or changed the configuration of: I almost never use it.

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Jobs Horns

...is IE a lost cause?

Out of 27 submitters of comments to this article (as of now) only 2 or 3 stuck up for Internet Explorer, and even then they used the word "esoteric" as regards the test IE8 actually failed.

Semantics aside, I view this as progress. Even the "Anonymous Cowards" have fallen silent on the issue of IE. Web standards, or the lack thereof, gave Microsoft an edge. Now it is considered a faux pas to just code a website for IE access only.

I think Firefox did the Internet a favour, even if that was never the intention. It raised awareness about standards and opened the door for other browsers that adhere to these standards. Maybe there is hope after all. Who wants to get locked into a one browser, one operating system and one Internet scenario?

I am waiting to hear from those that think that an Internet Explorer dominated Internet is to the benefit of mankind rather than a single corporation.

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MS Was Never Aiming at Acid3

IE8 is a huge leap forward from IE7 and older in terms of standards compliance. Don't believe me? Try Acid2 on them. IE8 gets it right, while 7 is not even close. That means that IE's rendering is now much, much closer to the other browsers', to the point where it's no longer necessary to write separate code solely for it, so, while it's still some way behind the competition, at least now it's playing in the same league now.

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You gotta love it

“I encourage other browser vendors to contribute to the W3C’s CSS 2.1 test suite so those tests may be used by any browser under the W3C’s license,”

MWAHAHAHAHAHA. It's like hearing Jack the Ripper saying "I encourage all the other Londoners not to gut prostitutes".

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@Jason Harvey

Is this your abacus? I found it where you tied your horse.

I'll send it over on the next postal carriage.

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IE8 - standards compliant? March Fools. Oops!

Welp, Internet Explorer 8 doesn't render my very simple website correctly. Better than IE7? I don't think so. It seems to pass 6 tests and 1/2 dozen other tests, for a total of 11 tests. No wait, that can't be right.... Hmmm. Microsoft math :)

This is what I found.... IE7 can't render my simple website the same as any other bleeding-edge browser. IE8 corrects some of the things IE7 breaks, and throws in a few extra wrinkles, effectively negating any benefit.

I found IE8 rendered pages a tad faster, but not fast enough to warrant the additional security headaches Microsoft software is known for.

I run Firefox v3.1 Beta 3 (soon to be re-versioned Firefox v3.5):

- With Tracemonkey javascript engine enabled, javascript runs fast enough to be less objectionable.

- Web pages that matter to me layout correctly.

- Not that the ACID3 test is gospel, but Beta 3 hits 93/100, and the animation is smoother than v3.07, but still not there. It fails on one of the colored squares. Even if it hits 100/100, it needs more work.

- I'm yet to get any malware infestation. Touch wood.

Microsoft is "trying" to become standards compliant, but not "honestly trying". We're not really seeing the leaps and bounds promised, as usual. Is IE8 better than IE7? Perhaps. Faster? Yes! Safer? That's yet to be seen. The savior of the web? Far from it. Free? Not free enough. Easy add-on development? Nope! Can open sourcers audit the sourcecode?

Even if Microsoft got IE8 right, passed ACID3 100/100 and performed the animation smoothly, never let malware get a foothold, never required another security update, and came with a coupon for free Windows 7 Pentultimate, I wouldn't switch.

Attention Microsoft fanboys and fangirls - good luck! You'll need it.

Time to give my PC an IE Enema, clean out all the crud and toxins.

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Alert

Opera10 = 100 on Acid3

Ho hum, IE8 is out; nice faux effort on standards support. Let's see if IE9 hits 100 on Acid3 when their upgrade cycle deems it...hopefully not 5 yrs like from IE6 or even 18 months like IE7.

Note that (my quite stable) Opera v10a is showing a cool 100%; thank you very much. ;)

And for those that don't seem to understand what Acid3 is (and can't be bothered to search for it before posting), it's a difficult web standards test by a web standards group designed to stretch browser makers to homogenize web app development as it relates to cross-browser support...as opposed to the mud soup we have now trying to make old versions of IE display web sites properly.

Opera has been hard-charging on this (even if no one else cared to mention it), and now Apple is joining also, to make it easier on developers to support Opera Mini/Mobile, Mobile Safari and their desktop equivalents...with minimal fuss.

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Anonymous Coward

re Acid2

It took until NOW for IE to pass the Acid *2* test!? Dear lord... Everyone else passed it 2-3 years ago. I will believe that Microsoft cares about standards when they are not the last one to implement a standard.

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