32: Microsoft Spartan & Internet Explorer

The Internet Explorer team at MIcrosoft are making waves in the developer community. The Internet Explorer browser (AKA IE or Internet Exploder) has a long and jaded history. Newer developers may not recall, but fifteen years ago Internet Explorer was arguably THE best browser experience we had.  IE had some basic developer tools, it practically invented AJAX with its ActiveX Technology, and it was the standard that corporate web development was measured by. Then, something happened. Firefox was born.

 

The Firefox browser, created by Mozilla, in contrast to IE was rapidly developed and it worked with standards bodies to guide feature implementation. One key success factor for Mozilla was that Firefox was an open source community driven project. Microsoft did not follow the same philosophies as Mozilla in their development. They opted to continue using proprietary technologies and continued on the path that led them to success for so many years.

 

The community began to resent Microsoft & Internet Explorer because Internet Explorer was, and as of today, stil is the default browser for its Windows Operating System. Since its creation, Windows has the majority market share in the corporate & government spaces. For better or for worse, the most successful development companies traditionally have targeted these markets and related sub markets because they typically yield the most profits comparatively to their costs.

 

The Safari & Opera browsers also fell in line with Firefox as far as standards implementation. Some extra code is needed to make everything work the same across browsers & devices but it’s minimal in effort. This ‘cross-browser’ coding is not as insignificant with Internet Explorer. Developers now had to build extra code and spend extra time needed to support Internet Explorer which cost companies a ton of money.

 

Something happened to Microsoft in recent years that slowly changed the way they looked at the business of web & mobile development. Microsoft decided to invest in open source. They created Microsoft Open Tech. They adopted JQuery as an officially supported JavaScript framework in their products. They began taking an active role in standards bodies and implementation of open standards. Microsoft also started doing something that surprised the developer community. They started telling the public what they were building into Internet Explorer as well as the development status of those features.

 

The  IE team began adding support & tooling for popular open source projects for their .NET platform. One of the most surprising moves by Microsoft is that The Internet Explorer team publically empowered developers & users to voice the features they want in the next versions of the Internet Explorer Platform experience.

 

Jacob Rossi, Charles Morris, & Adrian Bateman join The Web Platform Podcast to chat about the future of the web and how Microsoft is returning to its former glory and, arguably, leading the way in developer happiness. Microsoft is making massive improvements in the experience of Internet Explorer. On top of that they are actively assisting companies with the upgrade process and involving users in a Technical Preview Program of Windows 10 where users can help improve the product before the official release. This preview has a new browser alongside the modern Internet Explorer. This new browser, code named ”Project Spartan”, is free of the old Internet Explorer legacy and ushers in a new way to think about MIcrosoft’s Web Platform..

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Direct download: episode-32_microsoft-spartan-and-internet-explorer.mp3
Category:Microsoft-Web-Tech -- posted at: 8:37am EDT
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