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MIX09 Live Blog #3: Internet Explorer 8 (Dean Hachamovitch)

Mar 19, 2009 By Tim Sneath

0906 Groundhog day! Bill Buxton is back on stage introducing the two keynote presenters. Today is the day we launch Internet Explorer 8!

0912 Dean Hachamovitch is on stage. Last year at MIX, we made eight announcements about IE8 and we heard feedback that there was too much to focus on. So today, we’re just focusing on three categories: the people who build the web, the people who use the web, and the people who attack the people who use the web. We’ll show the progress we’ve made on interoperability and standards, but we’ll also show you how we built a great browser for the people who just want to browse. The challenge today isn’t just writing a browser, it’s writing a browser that works. Looking at competition, nightly build by nightly build, is interesting to a small number of folk – most of whom are in the room! To build IE8, we took feedback from millions of people.

Today, we’re excited to release the final build of Internet Explorer 8 to the web. It’s now available for download from It’s available in 25 languages, across Windows Vista,XP and Server in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. We’re releasing it here because we’re excited about what you can build with it as developers and designers.

0915 We used real-world data to build IE8 – hundreds of millions of users,200+ data points with the products, millions of user sessions, hundreds of hours of usability labs, and dozens of in-home studies. Never underestimate how many people click “submit error report” and the power of that data!

80% of navigations are back to where the user has been already. That’s why when you go to the address bar or the search box, you’ll see data from previous navigations.

0917 In the search box, you’ll see “quick pick”. 70% of users have more than one search provider installed, and we wanted to make it easier for users to access them. Restoring tabs that have been closed is really easy. Another feature that will help users navigate is color-coding and grouping for tabs.

0919 We discovered that users don’t care about why a browser crashes when it fails, they care about getting back quickly to where they were and minimizing downtime. In IE8, we now have tab crash isolation – when one tab of the browser fails, it doesn’t bring down the entire browser.

0920 Showing a short version of the performance testing video (download the full version here). The speed of a browser is dependent on more than just a scripting engine – when you look across the entire stack (DOM, HTML rendering, script, etc.), IE8 is faster than other browsers on many real-world sites.

IE blocks over a million phishing attacks a month. It also has a huge impact on protecting against malware – our data shows that one in forty users running IE8 have been protected from malware each week. An independent study shows that IE8 protects against twice as many malware attacks as any other browser.

IE8 has click-jacking protection, per user ActiveX, cross-browser scripting attack prevention and many other security enhancements that will make end-users’ online lives safer.

0925 We have an amazingly broad set of CSS 2.1 test cases (over 7,000), and we’ve submitted them to the W3C. For thousands of tests, all three browsers do the “right” thing. Showing a few example tests from the test suite where Chrome or Firefox fail to meet the specification and IE passes, along with their impact on real-world sites. Standards compliance is really hard. Many standards can’t even be completely met at this point in time, because they’re not final. We focused on the test suite and delivering as complete an implementation as possible so that we can help you build sites that work across multiple browsers.

0929 Different ways your site can more fully help people use the web as part of their daily lives: in IE8, we’re introducing web slices, accelerators and visual search to make it possible to get quick access to real-time information while you’re browsing. For example, OneRiot built a webslice that is driving 18% more traffic to their site than would otherwise be the case. It’s easy to create a webslice – just a few extra tags.

0931 One interesting piece of information from our instrumentation shows that a very common flow for users is to open one tab, copy some information and paste it into a new tab. Accelerators helps smooth this workflow – you can select a piece of information and quickly do something with it – blog, tweet or email it, map it, etc.

0934 There are over 1,200 accelerators, web slices and visual search providers out there already today, including Digg, ESPN, OneRiot, Amazon, Sina, TaoBao, and Yahoo.

0935 The release of IE8 isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning. It’s easy to underestimate this opportunity. Ten years ago, we shipped IE5. Wikipedia credits IE5 with introducing AJAX to the world, even though nobody was talking about AJAX at the time. The next step is up to you. What developers do with IE8 makes all the difference.

  • And with that, Dean is done!

For the next live blog – “Changing Behavior by Design”, click here

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1 comments so far. You should leave one, too.

pidge pidge said on Feb 25, 2010

It seems half my web usage is learning to use new upgrades/versions/improvements so after I set a restoration point I''ll give it a whirl albeit I am somewhat trepidatious. Pidge