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Microsoft talks big about HTML5 but shows very little

I’ve just downloaded the first Internet Explorer 9 platform preview and tried out the demos. And frankly I am confused. They mention HTML5 all the time in the press release and on the IE blog. There are even five dedicated HTML5 demos… Imagine my surprise that after running the HTML5 test, Internet Explorer scores exactly the same as IE 8: a meagre 19 out of 160.

Even the demos they list as HTML5 are misleading. None of them actually deal with HTML5. First we have some CSS stuff like border radius and selectors. Then they give us DOM Events and DOM CSS. And finally the HTML5 T-shirt Designer which deals with SVG and events and not what the name suggests: HTML5. None of these tests are even served with the HTML5 doctype.

Okay, they did officially announce HTML5 video support, but where is the rest? I almost get the feeling they use the word HTML5 more like a fancy buzzword than actually supporting the specification. Time may prove me wrong, and they may actually implement stuff for future previews, but at the moment it is simply not yet here.

12 Responses to “Microsoft talks big about HTML5 but shows very little”

  1. Kroc Camen wrote on March 16th, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Microsoft, you keep using this word HTML5. I do not think it mean what you think it means.

    I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt now, this is still an early preview. The benchmark I care about is my website. If IE9 can render that (the preview doesn’t—go figure) then they will have succeeded. Video for Everybody fell through to Flash, so I’m not sure if HTML5 video made it as part of this preview or whether it’s buggy.

  2. Jon Bergan wrote on March 16th, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    From what you’re saying, you even have to wonder if they actually have any idea what HTML5 actually is. CSS3 is one thing and everything else sounds good and all but where is the support for HTML5? Can they EVER get things right when it comes to this browser?

    You really have to wonder how they managed to be so successful with an Operating System of all things yet they can’t even get their web browser right.

    Le sigh!


  3. gines wrote on March 16th, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Very nice blog. I thought the same as you write here. when I saw the demos. I would have expect much more from such a big company. So, let’s wait to see what happens.

  4. Josh wrote on March 17th, 2010 at 8:25 am

    They actually said in the announcement and on the developer site that a lot of the features were disabled in the first Platform Preview. Give it a little more time, then we can say they failed us.

  5. [...] ie8 8.0.7600.16385 19/160 ie9 preview 1.9.7745.6019 19/160 (same as ie8, huh?) please refer to this blog safari 4.0.5 (531.22.7) [...]

  6. Vegas Hotel Deals wrote on April 12th, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Thanks for casting light on this situation. It’s quite misleading to suggest HTML5 compatibility when they are actually barely implementing bits and pieces of CSS3 that are 4+ years old.

  7. Mike wrote on April 12th, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    The preview is to demo speed and SVG. The HTML 5 announcements are intention to support. They will be updating the preview every 8 weeks, and have been clear about supporting H.264, but haven’t ruled out ogg support.

  8. Mike wrote on April 12th, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Oh, and nice HTML 5 test, BTW!

  9. Giorgio Sardo wrote on April 13th, 2010 at 4:10 am

    Hi Niels,

    Thanks for testing the Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview #1 (IE9 PP1). As we announced at MIX, the IE9 PP1 is a way to try out the platform and to experience improvements we’re making to performance, standards support and interoperability, enabling “the same markup” to work.

    It’s not complete. We are NOT done yet. We have MUCH more coming in the next releases (including, but not limited, support for the video tag) :-)

    Looking at your tests, I have a question for you. In your previous blog post, you stated “the HTML5 standard and other related specifications are still in development”. I agree with your comment; in fact Microsoft, as well as other browser vendors and in general all the W3C members, are working together with that exact goal: move the HTML 5 specification (and CSS, DOM, SVG, …) forward.

    Let’s take for example the Web Workers Working Draft. The W3C defines it “not stable” (“Implementors should be aware that this specification is not stable” , from W3C HTML 5 Web Workers link on your blog). In fact each browser is implementing this spec with a different model in mind (for instance, I believe Firefox doesn’t allow you to terminate and restart a worker). In this scenario, what is your test testing?

    The risk is to set wrong expectations with developers – since the code they write today, might (and probably will) break as these specifications change based on the current discussions happening in the W3C group.

    The audio/video codecs are a different interesting topic, as you mentioned earlier. Giving points to the browser that supports more of them would not serve the scope. Can you imagine if a browser would support 5 codecs, and another browser other 5 different codecs? That would create even more fragmentation (for the developer, for the user, for the tools, …). I wish this was an easier problem to solve and I’m looking forward to a Web where all browsers support the same codec. :-)

    That said, we *love* HTML 5. And we are working very hard to make the web developer dream come true: “code once, run everywhere”. Interoperability (as showed by the corner radius demos) will be a key component to the success of HTML 5. Performance also will be essential to enable great developer scenarios. Check out for instance our blog posts from Jason Upton, our IE Test Manager, and Jason Weber, our Perf lead, talking about tests for web standards and performance:

    If you believe we have bugs in our implementation (which is most likely possible right now :-)), or you feel like we are missing something, feel free to contact me or to file a bug on our open tracking system. Any feedback you might have will be much appreciated!

    Btw, you should expect the next build to come in about 4 weeks!

    Best regards,
    Giorgio Sardo
    Microsoft IE9 Technical Evangelist

  10. Hannes wrote on April 13th, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I like they way the advertise there bad acid test result …

  11. [...] was a (early) Version of IE9, mostly because i really don’t care but i read about it at the blog of razak. First he is absolutely right about the HTML5 Elements, none of the provided examples really works [...]

  12. Sam Bennett » Will IE9 support HTML5 fully? wrote on April 14th, 2010 at 12:16 am

    [...] original post is here http://rakaz.nl/2010/03/microsoft-talks-big-about-html5-but-shows-very-little.html. But looking through the comments it looks as though someone from Microsoft Giorgio Sardo has [...]