back to article Microsoft man: Internet Explorer had to go because it's garbage

Microsoft says it decided to start from scratch with a new web rendering engine for Windows 10 because keeping up with web standards while maintaining compatibility with older, noncompliant versions of Internet Explorer had simply become too much of a burden. "Fixing long standing interoperability bugs with other modern …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    Let me be the first to say...

    > "Our rallying cry for Windows 10 became 'the web just works'," Morris wrote.

    It's been "just working" for many years, despite your best attempts to fsck everything up Redmond.

    1. Deltics

      Re: Let me be the first to say...

      Only someone who isn't involved with developing apps for the web would say "it just works".

      It works eventually, most of the time, if you squint and look at it out the corner of one eye while sacrificing the odd chicken on most days. If you're lucky. And if after all that it still doesn't work for some reason, try another browser.

      If you don't think that's the reality then you are deluded/uninformed/inexperienced.

      Not that I think Microsoft can do much about it.

      By starting again and eschewing WebKit, going their own way AGAIN, all they are doing is adding ANOTHER variant to deal with.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Holmes

        Re: Let me be the first to say...

        @Deltics - "Only someone who isn't involved with developing apps for the web would say "it just works".

        Another web app developer, sharing his vast wisdom. How useful.

        Maybe I should revise my statement - It's just worked for many years, despite the best attempts of Microsoft and web app developers to fsck it up. And I'll throw Adobe into the mix just for the hell of it.

      2. AlbertH
        Linux

        Re: Let me be the first to say...

        By starting again and eschewing WebKit, going their own way AGAIN, all they are doing is adding ANOTHER variant to deal with.

        Of course - and you can be certain that M$ won't get it right! They'll just introduce a whole new set of incompatibilities for web developers to have to cope with.

        My websites all now warn visitors (if Internet Exploder is detected) that they are using an insecure and unreliable browser on an insecure "operating system" and that the site is unlikely to render correctly on their defective web browser. Our visitors use of Internot Exploiter has reduced to under 3%. People are beginning to realise that M$ isn't the answer (except to some really stupid questions)!

        1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Let me be the first to say...

          So its your users fault? Great customer attitude there Albert.

        2. Ragarath

          Re: Let me be the first to say... @AlbertH

          So you lie to your customers, nice one.

        3. The Happy Camper

          Re: Let me be the first to say...

          That is a terrible user experience.

        4. RyokuMas Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: Let me be the first to say...

          Oooh, how very 20 years ago of you.

          I remember when Netscape started wresting market share from Mosaic (and whoever else there was back then) - suddenly I started seeing sites that were blacked out if Netscape was detected, apart from a little box stating "This site is Netscape crippled", usually followed by a rant on the site owner's part about everything that was wrong about the aforementioned browser.

          Most of these sites I stopped bothering with - although a few were useful for my university work, so would use Mosaic for them and Netscape for everything else.

          Now, this was also the same sort of time that it was trendy to have a hit counter on your site. And I very quickly noticed that on the few "Netscape crippled" sites I did continue to bother with, there was a dramatic drop in the rate said hit counters increased by following their being blacked out for Netscape.

          @AlbertH - you've given us figures stating that the number of IE-using visitors to your sites has dropped to under 3%. But this is kind of like Microsoft's trick with Windows Phones - "we've shipped X thousand handsets... but we're not going to tell you how many we've actually sold". So what about your overall visitor figures - how have they changed since you've added these warnings about "defective" browsers and "insecure" operating systems?

          Personally, if I saw a warning on a website worded in the manner you've given, I'd drop the site like a hot potato, as that sort of message makes me think "they're trying to make me scared and trick me into downloading something that turns out to be a load of spyware".

          ... or is this (and I suspect this purely because of the heavy uses phrasing like "Internot Exploiter", "defective", "operating system" in quotes, etc) just an excuse to have a rant "because it's Microsoft"?

          (For the record, I'm a web developer, and would be the first to cheer if IE was removed from the face of the earth).

        5. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
          Linux

          Re: Let me be the first to say...

          Redmond may have a peculiar notion of web standards, but don't I wish I could trade the buggy and slow Firefox (a.k.a. Netscape and Mozilla and Iceweasel) for a Linux verion of IE 6.

        6. Blitterbug
          Facepalm

          Re: My websites all now warn visitors ...

          That was so dunderheaded and downright inflammatory I feel justified in replying, "well in that case I will do all that is humanly possible to avoid any of 'em". I only wish Lazarus Long was still around to furnish me with something more suitably acerbic..

        7. James O'Shea Silver badge

          Re: Let me be the first to say...

          "My websites all now warn visitors (if Internet Exploder is detected) that they are using an insecure and unreliable browser on an insecure "operating system" and that the site is unlikely to render correctly on their defective web browser. Our visitors use of Internot Exploiter has reduced to under 3%. People are beginning to realise that M$ isn't the answer (except to some really stupid questions)!"

          Interesting. You _do_ know that it's trivial to have your web browser spoof all kinds of things, including which browser it is and what OS its running on, should the user want to? Hint: right now this browser is pretending to be Firefox running on Windows 8.1. It isn't. I have it configured to pretend to be Firefox _precisely_ because I've just come from a site run by an idiot who thinks like you do. As of the end of the month (tomorrow! Hoo-rah!) I will no longer have to have anything whatsoever to do with that idiot and will avoid him and all his works forever.

          1. razorfishsl

            Re: Let me be the first to say...

            You obviously have a very poor understanding of what "spoofing" actually does.

            It's the same as a butch sailor wandering about saying his name is "Shirley", underneath it is STILL a butch sailor.

            There are a large number of websites/ businesses that WILL NOT WORK with anything other than a user running 'windows & I.E" and no amount of 'spoofing' a character string will fix them, in many cases they require a VM of windows XP-8 to function correctly.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let me be the first to say...

      Perhaps it would make more sense if you insert "only" before "just"?

  2. GregC

    Um, what?

    Moreover, he said, Redmond is concerned that other browser makers' reliance on WebKit is creating a "monoculture on the web" – something that today's Microsoft is apparently against.

    Sorry, this is coming from Microsoft?!? What with the open sourcing of .net and now this... Either I've fallen through a wormhole into an alternate universe, satan has his skis on and is at the top of the slope, or there's some elaborate trick going on...

    Yeah, probably option 3 then.

    1. Silviu C.

      Re: Um, what?

      They did not opensource .NET, just parts of it. Enough to make it interesting for server use, not on the desktop (well, other desktops than Microsoft's)

      1. dogged

        Re: Um, what?

        > They did not opensource .NET, just parts of it

        Yes, actually they did. All of it. See for yourself. Quit it with the FUD.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Um, what?

          Yes, actually they did. All of it.

          Whoopsie!

          No. Just .NET Core, ASP.NET, and EF. That's a portion of the .NET framework.

          Also NuGet and the compiler, Roslyn. A fraction of the tooling.

          That's probably all you use, so fill your boots - but there's a lot more to .NET than that.

          Apart from mono, am I missing anything?

          1. dogged

            Re: Um, what?

            .NET Core is .NET from now on. You run .NET core and install any other bits you need via nuget.

            The 4.x framework isn't fully open source yet - and it may never be fully - but that's not really the point. Everything you need to develop new code is open and you shouldn't be using 4.x (after VS2015 is fully released) for anything except supporting old code.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Um, what?

      I don't think Safari, Chrome, and Opera all using a version of WebKit is a good thing.

      1. ratfox Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: Um, what?

        I don't think Safari, Chrome, and Opera all using a version of WebKit is a good thing.

        You can be happy then. Chrome has forked WebKit into something called Blink…

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Um, what?

          You can be happy then. Chrome has forked WebKit into something called Blink…

          Still counts as a version of WebKit I'd say. And Opera also uses it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Um, what?

            Can't see opera having enough of a market share to be worthwhile including in this argument, there's plenty of other webkit browsers too, but they don't have market share.

            Chrome has now forked and has it's own javascript engine

            So that leaves Safari.

            I'm happy for MS to build their own though, hope it works for them and performs at similar levels, if they can just then keep up with the others that would be good.

            Finally more importantly, if they stop supporting anyone using anything less than IE10, maybe the rest of us can stop supporting the hideous creations that were previous versions. I cry every time someone says they have users using IE7 still and they want the site to work still

            1. John G Imrie Silver badge

              IE7

              Thy art lucky lad*.

              We'd dream of be able to only have to go back as far as IE7.

              We still have client's on IE6 and that have no migration strategy.

              We also have a bunch of clients who are getting ready to roll out their upgrade from Win XP to Windows 7.

              IE7, ha. Lucky bugger.

              * The author of this post was born in Yorkshire and knows the the Four Yorkshire Men sketch pre dates Monty Python's Flying Circus.

          2. Piro
            Pint

            Re: Um, what?

            That's the biggest shame. Opera has never been the same.

        2. Number6

          Re: Um, what?

          You can be happy then. Chrome has forked WebKit into something called Blink…

          Just don't go browsing images of Weeping Angels with it.

      2. captain veg

        Re: Um, what?

        Is it OK for Konqueror?

        -A.

    3. Number6

      Re: Um, what?

      I had to stop and read that bit again. Microsoft is concerned with a monoculture coming into existence? are they really reformed or did the speaker just miss the "that we don't control" off the end?

      1. LaeMing Silver badge
        Go

        Re: Um, what?

        Well, when it comes to IT mono-cultures, Microsoft /is/ the leading expert in the field these past few decades!

        1. RyokuMas Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Um, what?

          "... Microsoft /is/ the leading expert..."

          Was. Google have taken that crown of late.

      2. Ian 55

        Re: Um, what?

        I nearly wet myself laughing when I read that.

    4. Deltics

      Re: Um, what?

      Put another way: We don't think a monoculture is a good idea. Unless it's OUR monoculture, obviously.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes Sense

    Embrace and extend is part of IE's DNA. It made IE dominant, but is now a hindrance. It also dates back to that dark period when Microsoft was more interested in screwing the competion, rather than looking after the end users.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Makes Sense !?!?!?!?!

      "Embrace and extend...It made IE dominant..."

      WTF? Sorry,....Wait...WTF? Ugh.....UGHH!!.!...FUCK!! HELP ME!!!!!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Makes Sense !?!?!?!?!

        "It made IE dominant"

        Well IE does still have over a 56% desktop market share...

        https://www.netmarketshare.com/browser-market-share.aspx?qprid=2&qpcustomd=0&qpcustom=&qpcustomb=

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Holmes

      Re: Makes Sense

      @AC - "It also dates back to that dark period when Microsoft was more interested in screwing the competion, rather than looking after the end users."

      When did that "dark period" end? Still the same old MS as far as I can see. Call me when they embrace ODF as their default office formats.

      1. John Tserkezis

        Re: Makes Sense

        "When did that "dark period" end?"

        More recently, but the bit about "looking after the end users" is not quite accurate, it's more like they've changed from screwing the competition, to screwing their customers.

      2. jzlondon

        Re: Makes Sense

        Two things about ODF:

        1. It sucks monkey balls. Really. It's a bad format.

        2. Office file formats in general are becoming less and less important.

        1. ScottME

          Re: Makes Sense

          Mate of mine on Windows 8.1, trying to be helpful, created a document for me using Powerpoint, and saved it in "native" ODP format. LibreOffice (on my Ubuntu 14.04) would not even open it. He then saved it again as ppt, and LibreOffice rendered it perfectly. If that's the best interoperability that MS can achieve, fsck 'em is what I say.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Makes Sense

        "Call me when they embrace ODF as their default office formats."

        Why would they do that when ODF is vastly inferior to Microsoft's own formats?

        However the first thing that current versions of Office ask you to do on launch is to choose between ODF and Microsoft formats - so Microsoft have provided a neutral no default settings approach...

        1. Peter Simpson 1
          Thumb Down

          Re: Makes Sense

          Why would they do that when ODF is vastly inferior to Microsoft's own formats?

          Call me when Microsoft stops changing default document formats with every new release of Office...so we're all forced to upgrade if we want to read the documents someone just sent us.

          I generate all my Word documents using the Word'97 format, haven't had a complaint yet.

    3. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: Makes Sense

      IE was dominant because it came with Windows and users, for whatever reason, didn't bother to download and install an alternative, even though there were plenty to choose from.

      This was the conclusion of the EU, hence the requirement to include other browsers in the setup.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Well…

    … you guys started it!

    How long did we have to put up with Internet Explorer 6's crappiness?

    Years. Many years.

    Windows XP was released with IE6 back in 2002. It was 2006 before IE7 came along, and all that did was add tabs and a few minor rendering tweaks, woohoo! Alongside Firefox and Safari of the day, it was craptastic.

    Three years later we got IE8, the last version that Windows XP users ever saw. Now we're starting to pay lipservice to web standards, but it's still a joke.

    IE9 was the first version that started to get anywhere. It was released in 2011.

    So it took 9 years for Microsoft to get off their lazy arse and deliver a decent browser, and in that time the opposition has overtaken them. First it was the former-Netscape codebase being stripped down producing Phoenix^WFirebird^H^H^H^Hfox, started to get attention.

    Then Apple saw KHTML in the Konqueror web browser, and forked it to become Webkit. Google took webkit and ran with it in Chrome, beating Microsoft over the head with it before forking it to become Blink.

    Both parties here focussing on small devices upon which IE was even worse than its desktop counterpart.

    And now Microsoft is crying because the mess they created is causing them so much pain today? Please excuse me, I have to go outside before I convulse into uncontrollable fits of laughter.

    1. Oninoshiko
      WTF?

      Re: Well…

      Noone's crying. They just said "we are scrapping the old because maintaining it isn't cost effective."

      That's not crying, that's good practice.

      1. John Tserkezis

        Re: Well…

        "That's not crying, that's good practice."

        You just don't see the hypocracy do you?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: the hypocracy

          Goodness... what's a "hypocracy"? A shortage of government? :-)

          1. h4rm0ny
            Coat

            Re: the hypocracy

            "Shortage of government?"

            Is there such a thing?

            1. Alistair Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: the hypocracy

              Only when they're all gnomes.

            2. Ben Bonsall

              Re: the hypocracy

              "Shortage of government?"

              Is there such a thing?

              Yes. Every time Belgium has an election, there is a shortage of government for up to a year and a half. Interestingly, things generally improve during these periods, and then go crap again once they all stop infighting and start working out what they can break.

            3. Ben Bonsall

              Re: the hypocracy

              I should possibly qualify my previous statement- even when Belgium doesn't have an actual government, there are still 6 other sub-governments up and running,

            4. earl grey Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: the hypocracy

              That's just unpossible.

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