With .NET 4.0, writing reliable managed extensions for Internet Explorer has become possible. Unlike previous versions, each extension will run against the CLR it was compiled for instead of mindlessly grabbing the most recent version. Alas, COM interfaces are still needed.
Dean Hachamovitch, General Manager for Internet Explorer at Microsoft, has announced that IE9 will use only the H.264 standard to play HTML 5 video. Microsoft seems to have become very committed to HTML 5, while Flash loses even more ground. The announcement came the same day Steve Jobs detailed why Apple does not accept Flash on iPhone and iPad.
Microsoft has released a preview version of Internet Explorer 9 with improvements in performance and adoption of standards like SVG, CSS, HTML5 and more.
Google has announced support for the HTML 5 Web SQL Database API, and others are likely to follow soon or have already started on support for this API. In the meantime, the completion of the specification is blocked because all the implementers involved have chosen to use SQLite as underlying database, and multiple independent implementations are required for standardization.
Google has announced they will stop supporting older and less secure browsers like IE6, Firefox 2.x, Chrome 3 or Safari 2 starting with Google Docs and Google Sites editor from March 1st, 2010.
Google has added five security enhancements to Chrome in order to make browsing more secure: cross-documents message posting, Strict Transport Security, Origin and X-Frame-Options header fields, and Reflective XSS Filter. Some of these features have already been or are to be implemented by other browsers.
The Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) is working jointly with W3C on developing the HTML 5 standard, which has been at "Last Call" at WHATWG for the last 3 months. During this time one feature which has changed more significantly is the sandbox attribute of the iframe element. sandbox can be used to isolate untrusted web page content from performing certain operations.
Both IE and Mozilla teams are currently working on using DirectX/GPU for page rendering while Google is considering it.
A security vulnerability that has hit Internet Explorer through .NET has also hit Firefox. The culprit for Firefox, a .NET add-on, has been put on Mozilla’s blocked list.
Google has just released an Internet Explorer plug-in called Google Chrome Frame that enables Chrome rendering inside IE. That means that any page targeted for Chrome Frame will be rendered using Google’s rendering engine, including HTML 5 elements supported by Google, while the page is viewed with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
Once the most prominent browser on the web, IE6 has drawn lots of criticism for it compatibility and security issues culminating with the “IE6 No More” campaign supported by web companies tired of spending extra time coding specifically for IE6.
After a couple of betas, IE8 was finally released last month including version 5.8 of its JScript engine. The main enhancements of the scripting engine are: JSON support, performance optimizations, ECMA 3 compatibility, a profiler plus a debugger.
The success of Microsoft Silverlight, as seen in the recent Beijing Olympics, shows the capabilities of the technology and is attracting more developers. The addition of end-users and developers using Silverlight will also drive more tool development and one such useful tool is Silverlight Spy by First Floor.
Microsoft has just released Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2. While Beta 1 was aimed to the developers, Beta 2 is for the consumers. Some of the top features of the browser are: Web Slices, Search Suggestions, Accelerators, Compatibility View, SmartScreen Filter.
Since attaining a peak of about 95% usage share during 2002 and 2003, Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) has been rapidly losing market share. As the end of 2008 approaches, significant online services, vendors and web frameworks are dropping support for IE6. Will this year be the end of IE6 and what does this signify for Web 2.0 developers?