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Microsoft Reveals What's Next for Internet Explorer

Microsoft officially launched this week status.modern.ie, a Web site aimed at keeping the public informed on what new features and tweaks will be making their way into future updates and versions of the company's Internet Explorer Web browser.

The site looks to fulfil a  promise made during this year's Build conference "to build a deeper partnership with users and Web developers," wrote Sam George, partner group Program manager for the Internet Explorer team back in April. Microsoft's newest Web portal lists possible features and updates that have been suggested both internally and by the public, and then assigns a category to the feature that includes, "Under Consideration," "Not currently planned," and "In Development."

The site, which has been in beta since April, was also updated this week based off of user feedback with a few new features, includng:

  • GitHub support, which allows developers to directly contribute to the list and see all data logs on possible features.
  • Enhanced search features.
  • Deep linking via HTML 5 History and Angular routing to allow for quick sharing of specific features.
  • Mobile optimization.

The inaugural post-beta list was also updated this week and it shines on some new features making its way to later versions of the Web browser. Some of the standout items include support for the HTTP/2, a future Web protocol version that is currently in development, new audio and video Web capturing capabilities, support for JavaScript Promises and a WebGL instancing extension.

What's also telling is some of the feature standouts that have been marked as not being considered, including support for SQL Databases, custom processing filters and shaders, support for XML application MathML and a quota management API.

IE Team's Focus
Along with making the announcement of the new site, the Internet Explorer team also discussed its top priorities for the Web browser's future. At the top of the list is getting users and enterprises up to date with the most-current version of IE.

"Everyone wins when more IE users are running the latest version of the browser," wrote George in a blog posted on Tuesday. "We will continue to build features (like Enterprise Mode IE) and partner with teams internal and external to Microsoft to enable users and businesses to confidently move to the latest version of IE."

Second on the list is the team's focus on strengthening Internet Explorer's security -- and this includes investing both time and money in bringing tools that will protect against modern threats. Looking at the current list of possible features, the team is working on adding HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) options to reduce the threat of "man in the middle" attacks.

Finally, the IE team said it will continue to keep the notions of interoperability and compatibility at the forefront of every new project going forward, specifically making sure that HTML 5 features work not only for Internet Explorer users but for those using competing modern browsers.

"We're confident that this direction will allow us to make a positive impact on the Web and make significant strides towards the vision of 'the Web just works for everyone,'" said George.

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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