IE9: Doing Something Right?{1}

by Robert M
The article I read is titled “IE9 Leads Pack in HTML5 Support? Not Exactly,” was written by Scott Gilbertson for The article’s introduction explains that (surprisingly) in the first round of HTML5 support tests, Internet Explorer 9 came out above Opera, Chrome, Firefox, etc. Although, he congratulates Microsoft for finally making IE a not laughable browser choice, he explains that the reason that the browser came out looking so hot on the browser tests is that the standards were very narrow, and that they happened to be narrowed in a way that made IE9 look better than the other browsers. The test in question only looked at “attributes, audio, video, Canvas, getElementsByClassName, foreigncontent and XHTML5,” things that IE9 happens to do pretty well in. But, Gilbertson explains, “IE9 lacks support for Web Workers, drag-and-drop features, SVG animations and the File API, all of which are vital components for building useful web applications, and all of which enjoy considerable support in other browsers.” He also points out that IE9 is behind all other major browsers in terms of CSS3 support, which is just as vital as HTML5. He also noted that the areas that IE9 was rated highly in were areas that Microsoft were pushing Silverlight in before switching to HTML5 focus.

Interesting read for a couple key reasons. Firstly, it is a prime example of why you should not believe everything that you read. Even when someone claims to have a study as evidence, it is always imperative to actually look at the study, instead of letting laziness/willingness to trust get the better of yourself. Although it’s good to see Microsoft actually trying to compete with other browsers instead of just pumping out a weak browser that only your grandma will use. Although, the article was written in 2010 so it’s now common knowledge that, despite the small swell of hype in early 2011/late 2010, IE is still the bottom dog when it comes to the browser game.

Admittedly, Microsoft seems like it’s trying pretty hard to not seem like Microsoft (especially with Windows 8). I believe IE 10 is supposed to come out in sync with the release of Windows 8, so hopefully the browser will finally meet people’s expectations instead of just being something that you have to switch defaults away from as soon as you buy a new computer or install a new OS.  Though, from my experience with the Windows 8 developer beta a while back, I’m not exactly blown away by what I’ve seen. In fact, quite the opposite, but I guess that’s for another blog.


Gilbertson, Scott (2010).  IE9 Leads Pack in HTML5 Support? Not Exactly. Wired.


PS: This isn’t related to this article, but while doing reading for my last post I came across this site:

It has some pretty cool examples, and the resources page is worth a look. It wouldn’t work right on my netbook though, so keep that in mind my tiny monitored friends. I figured it wasn’t worth disrupting class over, but is cool nonetheless.