Microsoft Windows chief decries standards grandstanding

Microsoft Windows chief Steven Sinofsky takes shot at Mozilla, talks up IE 9

Los Angeles – Microsoft will be compliant with industry standards in Internet Explorer 9 such as HTML 5, but Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live division, decried the habit of vendors getting ahead of the process.

Browser that launched an industry turns 15

"We are not trying to market things that are not there for developers to use yet," said Sinofsky during an interview with Network World. "Whether they are in IE or not, saying you are standards based but then saying you are the most HTML 5 compliant browser does not make sense because the standard is not [complete] yet. There is a little bit of a time warp going on."

Sinofsky was making reference to Mozilla who is pushing heavily on HTML 5 in development of its Firefox browser. The browser issue is a hot topic given that Microsoft has lost over the past year about 7% market share, according the thecounter.com, as users gave up on IE 7 to go to alternatives such as Firefox and Safari. Microsoft is hoping IE 8 can attack that trend and have IE 9 squash it.

Sinofsky characterized his stand as responsible engineering. "We understand people's desire for interoperability so HTML 5 is a thing that people talk about a lot but it is not even at the standard recommendation phase yet." Microsoft supports some aspects of the standard that are complete now such as storage and cross-site navigation.

Microsoft, however, is working toward full support on the HTML 5 specification, which was one of three advancements Sinofsky highlighted when he talked about IE 9 during his Wednesday keynote address.

The other two were improvements on the Acid 3 test of standards compatibility, where Microsoft now scores 32 out of 100 with its latest prototype browser, and GPU-based rendering, which takes advantage of hardware for tasks such as animation or rendering type.

"These three things will be in IE 9," he said. But he would not provide any delivery dates for the software.

In terms of Acid 3, a test from the Web Standards Project that checks how well a browser follows certain parts of Web standards, Sinofsky admitted there is work to do and said that Microsoft is doing it.

"We are behind in it and I want to make sure people understand that we get it, we are working and we are showing progress," he said. Sinofsky also acknowledged that the SunSpider Java benchmark shows IE performance lacking against the competition and said that disparity would be corrected. Microsoft released a set of videos it produced that highlight its standards work.

Sinofsky said the third important area for IE 9 will be performance, especially as it relates to taking advantage of modern PC hardware.

During his Wednesday demo, Sinofsky showed text rendering being done by a graphics chip using DirectX’s Direct2D, and he showed a map animation using GPU-based rendering that improved the frame per second rate from 14 to 60.

"The device [the browser] is on matters; hardware acceleration is just one example" he said. "The readability you gain by using a hardware chip rendering text is very significant."

Sinofsky said corporate end-users reading lots of text each day from a browser can reduce eye strain and improve their performance just by having improved text rendering.

In terms of animation in a browser, Sinofsky said it can't be done effectively without hardware. "The difference between a PC game today and a PC game from 10 years ago is that the game 10 years ago looked like an animated cartoon, it is like comparing a Pixar film to a Disney film. That is all hardware; and having all that show through the browser while still working on standards is incredibly important."

Follow John on Twitter.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet Explorer 9MicrosoftWindows

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Fontana

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?