or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Software › Mac Software › Microsoft considers adopting WebKit for Internet Explorer
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Microsoft considers adopting WebKit for Internet Explorer

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
Addressing a developer conference in Sydney Australia, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the idea of using WebKit as the rendering engine within its web browser was "interesting" and added "we may look at that."

Ballmer chanted his hallmark line "developers, developers, developers" to engage participants at the Power to Developers event, but was apparently caught off guard when a student attendee posed a question about Microsoft's own internal development efforts.

The student put Ballmer on the hot seat by asking, "Why is IE still relevant and why is it worth spending money on rendering engines when there are open source ones available that can respond to changes in Web standards faster?"

"That's cheeky, but a good question, but cheeky," Ballmer replied, according to a report by TechWorld. Ballmer explained that Microsoft would need to consider the future of the browser and determine if there is any lack of innovation for the company to capitalize upon with 'proprietary extensions that broaden its functionality.'

"There will still be a lot of proprietary innovation in the browser itself so we may need to have a rendering service," Ballmer said, adding, "Open source is interesting. Apple has embraced Webkit and we may look at that, but we will continue to build extensions for IE 8."

Ballmer also admitted the delays in moving from IE 6 to IE 7 during the development of Vista under the Longhorn project. "But I don't what to go there," he said.

While Microsoft rapidly developed IE up to version six in 2001, new innovation stalled after the apparent death of the rival Netscape browser between 2000 and 2001.

The lull in Microsoft's browser efforts afforded Mozilla the opportunity to release and refine the Netscape code into what became Firefox in 2003. During the same period, KDE shipped the fast and lean KHTML browser engine, a project Apple built upon to create WebKit, the rendering engine behind Safari 1.0, also released in 2003. That web browser renaissance spurred Microsoft to deliver a new version of IE in 2006.

WebKit has subsequently been chosen by a number of developers to serve as the foundation for their web browsers and other web related tools. That includes Nokia's mobile browser, Google's new Chrome, and of course the mobile Safari browser used by Apple's iPhone.

Embracing WebKit as the basis for new generations of IE would enable Microsoft to benefit from its standards compliance and raw speed, while still enabling the software giant to extend its features with proprietary extensions, just as Apple's Safari browser adds unique features such as bookmark management and syncing, Dashboard Widget clipping, and SnapBack.

It would also give Microsoft a functional mobile browser to replace Windows Mobile's Pocket IE, a poorly regarded and nearly unusable product based on a very old version of Microsoft's proprietary web engine.

Adopting the WebKit rendering engine in IE would also dramatically simplify the work currently required of web developers, who have to test their code to work properly against both web standards and the quirky behaviors of the various versions of IE. Additionally, WebKit would give Microsoft a top performing JavaScript engine necessary for handling the next generation of web apps, such as those based on SproutCore.
post #2 of 59
About time, I'm sick of always having to include ridiculous amounts of extra code in a website to cater to IE's ass backwards web standards.
post #3 of 59
I think they dont have much of a choice, Buy Opera and get a very good browser. Or use Webkit and start building around it.

i dont think Desktop browsers matter much. Those who dont like it will use Firefox anyway. But their IE engine is so &*^ that just dont work on Mobile device.

There are only two kind of people in this world.

Those who dont understand Apple and those who misunderstood Apple.

Reply

There are only two kind of people in this world.

Those who dont understand Apple and those who misunderstood Apple.

Reply
post #4 of 59
Should MS use webkit? Yes

Will they? Certainly not in IE 8, but possibly in IE 9.
post #5 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariofreak85 View Post

Should MS use webkit? Yes

Will they? Certainly not in IE 8, but possibly in IE 9.

That sounds like in the next 2 or 3 years judging for the timeline above.
post #6 of 59
Null.
Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
<(=_=)> (>=_=)> <(=_=<) ^(=_=^) (^=_=)^ ^(=_=)^ +(=_=)+
Reply
Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
<(=_=)> (>=_=)> <(=_=<) ^(=_=^) (^=_=)^ ^(=_=)^ +(=_=)+
Reply
post #7 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Ballmer explained that Microsoft would need to consider the future of the browser and determine if there is any lack of innovation for the company to capitalize upon with 'proprietary extensions that broaden its functionality.'



How clueless can this guy be?
post #8 of 59
Oh god, this would be a wet dream come true. Never gonna happen though.
post #9 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"That's cheeky, but a good question, but cheeky,"

Translation:
"We don't want to admit that we do not have the ability to develop a better browser and use a competing package from our main competitor who has shown to do the job better, faster, and cheaper. But we're willing to spend a 1/3 of a billion dollars to show tell the world we know better!"
post #10 of 59
If MS actually did this it would be the first intelligent move MS has made in a long time. It's free, fast, lightweight, and standards compliant. It would even take back some of the marketshare taken from FF... but I think their pride will not prevent from actually doing it.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #11 of 59
The IE team was dismantled except for a core team called IE SE - which translates to "IE Sustained Engineering". What this means... is a product is dead and the SE team simply puts out hot-fixes for any pertinent issues. This all happened during that great legal battle that Microsoft had with the States.

I know this first hand because I was a part of the great IE team.. and was asked to join the IE SE team... i know this for a fact... and it is possible to verify this information. However... it is not easy since MS would not willingly come forth with the info since it would cast a rather bleak cloud on their "honesty" at the time of the trials as well as after.

-Pilya
post #12 of 59
Don't get too excited about this. While it is probably a great idea for Microsoft, and if done properly it could make life easier for everyone remember Microsoft's history. When they decide to "incorporate" something, they start with a shared platform, then hack the crap out of it until they are no longer compatible and keep pushing it until the original is dead.

This would simply be standard operating procedure for Microsoft.
post #13 of 59
This story is amazingly inaccurate. Though I can't quote exactly what Steve said, I was present at the talk and he in no way implied that Webkit would ever be used for IE. He did say it was interesting, but he also firmly stated that a proprietary closed-source engine is the solution MS has chosen and they are going to stick with it. The main reason is so that they can implement proprietary extensions before they are standards -- something Google is doing with Chrome, before you get all anti-Microsoft (Gears, for example, they even mention this in their delightful little comic).
post #14 of 59
Oh great, now we have to test our code in:
Safari
Mac Firefox 2 & 3
Windows Firefox 2 & 3
IE 6 & 7 (8 to come)
Chrome
IE Webkit

That's 10 browsers, if not more.
bb
Reply
bb
Reply
post #15 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by nizmow View Post

The main reason is so that they can implement proprietary extensions before they are standards.

There is no reason why you can't use a standards compliant browser engine and then add your own extensions to it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Oh great, now we have to test our code in:
[...]
That's 10 browsers, if not more.

It doesn't matter how many browsers there are if they all conform to web standards the word for web developers becomes considerably easier.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #16 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There is no reason why you can't use a standards compliant browser engine and then add your own extensions to it.

IE8 is standards compliant, I assume you mean open source, which is something else altogether.

Regardless, I suppose you're right. It's probably more work, but Google have done it with Chrome. It might be harder if they don't want their extensions to be open sourced as well -- sometimes open source licensing can be quite dangerous.
post #17 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by nizmow View Post

IE8 is standards compliant, I assume you mean open source, which is something else altogether.

Regardless, I suppose you're right. It's probably more work, but Google have done it with Chrome. It might be harder if they don't want their extensions to be open sourced as well -- sometimes open source licensing can be quite dangerous.

From what I've read, IE8 is far from standards complaint. They only recently changed their stance of defaulting to standards compliant, thereby not requiring websites to add a code to turn on standards compliance in IE8. They might be saying they are standards complaint but they are far from the level of compliance that Gecko, Presto and Webkit engines are.

Comparison_of_layout_engines_(HTML5)
Comparison_of_layout_engines_(DOM)
Comparison_of_layout_engines_(CSS)
Comparison_of_layout_engines_(XHTML)
Comparison_of_layout_engines_(SVG) A lot of those are new so we really can't expect them to be implemented right away, while many are pretty pointless additions and will probably never get included, looking at the Acid3 test—which I believe only tests for standards before 2004—shows that IE8 is still woefully behind the other popular browsers.

Acid3#Desktop_browsers
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #18 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

From what I've read, IE8 is far from standards complaint. They only recently changed their stance of defaulting to standards compliant, thereby not requiring websites to add a code to turn on standards compliance in IE8. They might be saying they are standards complaint but they are far from the level of compliance that Gecko, Presto and Webkit engines are.
Comparison_of_layout_engines_(HTML5)
Comparison_of_layout_engines_(DOM)
Comparison_of_layout_engines_(CSS)
Comparison_of_layout_engines_(XHTML)
Comparison_of_layout_engines_(SVG) A lot of those are new so we really can't expect them to be implemented right away, while many are pretty pointless additions and will probably never get included, looking at the Acid3 testwhich I believe only tests for standards before 2004shows that IE8 is still woefully behind the other popular browsers.
Acid3#Desktop_browsers

The majority of these are standards yet to be released. Acid3 includes CSS3 tests, for example -- this is not final yet. So basically all of those links are pointless.

I know it's not ENTIRELY standards compliant -- no browser is -- but we're just getting a bit picky here.

Regardless, I didn't come in here to defend IE8, I don't even have it installed. I just came to point out that this story is extremely misleading and largely nonsense.
post #19 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by nizmow View Post

The majority of these are standards yet to be released. Acid3 includes CSS3 tests, for example -- this is not final yet. So basically all of those links are pointless.

I know it's not ENTIRELY standards compliant -- no browser is -- but we're just getting a bit picky here.

Regardless, I didn't come in here to defend IE8, I don't even have it installed. I just came to point out that this story is extremely misleading and largely nonsense.

IE8 doesn't even support a lot of CSS2 standards.
post #20 of 59
Webkit! Webkit! Webkit! and Gecko!!!! No more Trident, bury Trident!!!!

Well this is very good, finally Microsoft is toning down their big ego. By having only 3 rendering engine on the web (WebKit, Gecko, Presto), it will make it much easier to develop and debug websites cause all of those 3 rendering engines is cross OS compatible (Webkit - Safari (Mac, Win), Chrome (Win, Future-Mac) ), (Gecko - Firefox (All OS Compatible), (Presto - Opera (Mac, Win). Trident is IE only and only run on Windows, so developing on the Mac is much harder cause you must switch to Windows to debug for IE browsers.

Bedsides among all those 4 rendering engine, Trident is the worst of em all, the other 3 is doing quite well in rendering, only need a few tweaks.
Apple is a hardware company, dont believe me? Read this Article!. For those who understand my message, help me spread this info to those who dont get it.
Reply
Apple is a hardware company, dont believe me? Read this Article!. For those who understand my message, help me spread this info to those who dont get it.
Reply
post #21 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It doesn't matter how many browsers there are if they all conform to web standards the word for web developers becomes considerably easier.

Actually yes, you'd still have to test your site with each browser to check for implementation bugs. Even if most of the browsers used WebKit it would be different ports based on different revisions. Some even don't use the same JavaScript engine. As long as not all WebKit implementations are bug-for-bug compatible web designers will still have to test each browser individually. Hopefully it will make browser-specific modifications less necessary though.
post #22 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnathan View Post

About time, I'm sick of always having to include ridiculous amounts of extra code in a website to cater to IE's ass backwards web standards.

Yep, that was my first thought too, but you just *know* they will add asinine extensions to it that everybody will feel they *must* use. Apple did too, you know: the search field and the slider. Fortunately, nobody uses them and they are gone in iPhone.
post #23 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by nizmow View Post

The majority of these are standards yet to be released. Acid3 includes CSS3 tests, for example -- this is not final yet. So basically all of those links are pointless.

I know it's not ENTIRELY standards compliant -- no browser is -- but we're just getting a bit picky here.

Regardless, I didn't come in here to defend IE8, I don't even have it installed. I just came to point out that this story is extremely misleading and largely nonsense.

um, sorry, but you are wrong on a lot of points here. First of all, though many of the standards linked to are still in development, the fact that the other major browser engines have much better support than IE8.0 makes the links NOT pointless. Secondly, your poor attempt at minimizing the significant deficiencies in standards compliance in IE 8.0's rendering engine by falsely calling it "nitpicking" shows that you have an inherent bias here, so everyone should take your claims about IE with more than a little skepticism..

As to your comment about the story being "extremely misleading and largely nonsense" -- such a claim requires a well-articulated argument for it not to ring totally hollow..
post #24 of 59
My attitude to Mircosoft Internet Exploder is, Who Cares what they do.

I have a all Mac home and I will not even bother to look at a PC, since the great computer software company can not develop IE for Apple (nothing since IE5 for Mac) I do not need them to surf the web. I can do that with either Firefox or Safari and do it cleaner and faster. I do need Microbloat to surf the web.

Mircosoft can take a long walk 0ff a short dock and I would not even bother to throw them a life ring.

That car saleman that MS has a CEO talk all he wants and I will simply ignore that idiot.
post #25 of 59
I hope that MS sticks with IEx for as long as it takes.
post #26 of 59
Quote:
I hope that MS sticks with IEx for as long as it takes.

Huh? Why? WebKit is just the browser rendering engine. It has nothing to do with how the browser looks and etc.
Apple is a hardware company, dont believe me? Read this Article!. For those who understand my message, help me spread this info to those who dont get it.
Reply
Apple is a hardware company, dont believe me? Read this Article!. For those who understand my message, help me spread this info to those who dont get it.
Reply
post #27 of 59
Once more...

ABOUT BLOODY TIME!!!!!!!!!
"Who are you going to believe, me or your eyes?"
Reply
"Who are you going to believe, me or your eyes?"
Reply
post #28 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by nizmow View Post

This story is amazingly inaccurate. Though I can't quote exactly what Steve said, I was present at the talk and he in no way implied that Webkit would ever be used for IE. He did say it was interesting, but he also firmly stated that a proprietary closed-source engine is the solution MS has chosen and they are going to stick with it. The main reason is so that they can implement proprietary extensions before they are standards -- something Google is doing with Chrome, before you get all anti-Microsoft (Gears, for example, they even mention this in their delightful little comic).

Thank you for restoring my faith in the world - I thought I had drifted into an alternative reality.

Microsoft will shift to an industry standard when h*ll freezes over-- and maybe not even then.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
post #29 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

While Microsoft rapidly developed IE up to version six in 2001, new innovation stalled after the apparent death of the rival Netscape browser between 2000 and 2001.

Which indicates that as usual they were only interesting in grabbing market share and not in creating anything that benefits their users, given the appalling state of IE6.

I once read that around that time Microsoft considered the browser "complete," and didn't see any point in further development, assuming, perhaps, that their own technologies such as .NET would take the internet by storm - predictably that didn't happen. Given Ballmer's quote that they are "considering the future of the browser," they still haven't grasped that the browser is the foundation for all future web applications, and preferably without Microsoft's rubbish extensions. Chrome is how browsers ought to be - a secure, robust platform for running web applications.

Using WebKit should be a no-brainer for them, given IE8 Beta conforming to, what is it, 20% of the ACID Test? They've proved they cannot write a decent browser, so they should just use one that works. Not that I care what MS, of course.
My Android phone is the worst phone I've ever owned.
Reply
My Android phone is the worst phone I've ever owned.
Reply
post #30 of 59
This would be so awesome! Our web application renders so slow on Internet Explorer, but is a speed demon with every other browser. I'm also guessing that if this happens, it won't be any time soon. Probably IE 9 or even 10.
post #31 of 59
Null.
Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
<(=_=)> (>=_=)> <(=_=<) ^(=_=^) (^=_=)^ ^(=_=)^ +(=_=)+
Reply
Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
<(=_=)> (>=_=)> <(=_=<) ^(=_=^) (^=_=)^ ^(=_=)^ +(=_=)+
Reply
post #32 of 59
you have to laugh at Balmer on the "cheeky" comment when you realize a common description of their browser is....



<...... a poorly regarded and nearly unusable product based on a very old version of Microsoft's proprietary web engine.>

Cheeky?\
post #33 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by themoonisdown09 View Post

This would be so awesome! Our web application renders so slow on Internet Explorer, but is a speed demon with every other browser. I'm also guessing that if this happens, it won't be any time soon. Probably IE 9 or even 10.

I don't think it will ever happen.
MicroSoft never admits they have a terrible product, and describing "opensource" as having a lack of inovation clearly means at the top they don't even understand the issues confronting them let alone have a strtagey to deal with it.
post #34 of 59
The only reason Microsoft ever uses a standard is to fork it.

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

Reply

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

Reply
post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erunno View Post

Actually yes, you'd still have to test your site with each browser to check for implementation bugs.

Yes, hence my comment "becomes considerably easier" for web developers.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #36 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Translation:
"We don't want to admit that we do not have the ability to develop a better browser and use a competing package from our main competitor who has shown to do the job better, faster, and cheaper. But we're willing to spend a 1/3 of a billion dollars to show tell the world we know better!"

You've got that right; its all about dogma - you'll never ever *EVER* hear in a million years a Microsoft executive go, "that is a f*cking great piece of software, lets drop out useless backwards proprietary riddled POS and adopt this opensource one instead". You'll never see.

Whilst Apple is out picking the best of what the IT world has to offer - Microsoft is stuck in NIH land like Apple were 15-20 years ago.
post #37 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Oh great, now we have to test our code in:
Safari
Mac Firefox 2 & 3
Windows Firefox 2 & 3
IE 6 & 7 (8 to come)
Chrome
IE Webkit

That's 10 browsers, if not more.

Just for the record, I f!!@ing hate f!@#!@ who stick to IE6 as on date. I recently did work for a website which had 27% of IE6 traffic....
Most of us employ the Internet not to seek the best information, but rather to select information that confirms our prejudices. - Nicholas D. Kristof
Reply
Most of us employ the Internet not to seek the best information, but rather to select information that confirms our prejudices. - Nicholas D. Kristof
Reply
post #38 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by nizmow View Post

This story is amazingly inaccurate. Though I can't quote exactly what Steve said, I was present at the talk and he in no way implied that Webkit would ever be used for IE. He did say it was interesting, but he also firmly stated that a proprietary closed-source engine is the solution MS has chosen and they are going to stick with it.

Yeah, it's kind of funny how people seem unable to understand the answer Balmer gave. They have no intention of using Webkit.
post #39 of 59
If IE moving to webkit means better website compatibility with other webkit browsers, I'm all for it.
post #40 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

Yeah, it's kind of funny how people seem unable to understand the answer Balmer gave. They have no intention of using Webkit.

I don't doubt it, his answer was very clear - but adopting WebKit would still be their best bet, because they obviously can't do the job themselves and are incapable of keeping up with emerging standards.
My Android phone is the worst phone I've ever owned.
Reply
My Android phone is the worst phone I've ever owned.
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Mac Software
AppleInsider › Forums › Software › Mac Software › Microsoft considers adopting WebKit for Internet Explorer