Microsoft has a new website out: “modern.ie.” It’s all about promoting standard HTML5-type web code so that a modern, dynamic, Flash-free website works just as well in one browser as any other. Say, for example, a browser like Internet Explorer. The new site has systems that scan websites and identify incompatibility problems, a system for simulating how your website will render in different browsers, and guidelines for best practice.
It all sounds wonderful, in the best spirit of the web and perhaps even open standards initiatives. Except the clue’s in the name…”.ie.” Microsoft would like everyone to know that Internet Explorer 10 is on the scene. And this push is inferring that the “webkit” HTML5 standard that companies like Apple and Google use in the hugely popular Safari and Chrome web browsers isn’t exactly a level playing field. This is because it can allow browser-specific code that makes websites run better or worse on one browser or another. Considering the decades long proprietary code stance that Microsoft stuck with, possibly contributing to the long term collapse of IE’s market share and definitely leading to millions of depressed web coders, there’s a gigantic irony here too.