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Microsoft still playing catch-up with Internet Explorer 11 announcement

Posted on September 28, 2013

An updated preview of Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) has been released by Microsoft, just two months after the firm unveiled the initial developer preview.

Long have the words ‘Internet Explorer’ made developers and designers cringe, as most will resent the hacks, workarounds and seemingly malicious foibles that they have had to contend with since the early days of IE6.

It seems that since IE8, Microsoft has been making a small effort to conform to web standards (W3C), while adding in some of the new features of HTML 5 that most modern browsers have been supporting for quite some time.

Its method of drip feeding things seems to only add to the frustration for those who are forced to rely on it daily, as looking back over the previous versions there are certain elements which version 9 supports but 8 doesn’t. This goes on all the way back to IE6, which users first got a glimpse of back in 2001.

There are claims of “even more support for web standards” with IE11, but is this enough? After dragging its heels to follow even the most basic and well-supported web-standards, it seems MS is expecting some sort of fanfare for finally catching up.

Even if IE11 supports as many of the latest standards as it claims, or even comes close to the support provided by Firefox, Chrome and Safari, it will still be leaving a legacy of versions that, just like IE6, will stick around for years to come as a haunting reminder to future web developers of the horrors of the past that their predecessors had to deal with.

Steven is Engage Web’s go-to man for all things web-related, bringing his knowledge of current trends in web design and development to the team.

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