‘IE8 is already obsolete’

As many of you might have noticed today Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8. Tristan Nitot (founder and chairman of Mozilla Europe) made the statement ‘IE8 is already obsolete’ in the podcast ICT Roddels (the podcast is Dutch in general, however the 1 hour session in episode 257 with Tristan Nitot is in English).

Why would IE8 be obsolete? Because IE8 has not implement at least three important things:

  • SVG which enables drawing lines and shapes in your browser (it is used in Google Earth).
  • HTML5 Video tag which enables native open video, without e.g. flash. (see also this previous blog about the video tag)
  • HTML 5 Canvas which also enables drawing on a screen and rastering images. It is pixel based instead of lines and shapes as in SVG.

The implementation of canvas and the video tag in most browsers (except IE) makes it for example possible to do special effects in video via javascript and canvas. Which is really a great improvement and gets on step closer to a browser based netbook OS.

Microsoft has a hard time to keep up with the other players (Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari) in the market, especially since Microsoft stopped (or did very little) working on the browser for some time after IE5.5 / IE6.0. Can Microsoft still compete with the other players? Is IE8 already obsolete, although it has new features as accelerators, web slices and visual search? Is Tristan Nitot right when he says “old slow Microsoft”?

Published by rick

I solve digital problems.