Jana_MS : Let's meet our hosts:

Jana_MS : I am Jana Carter and am a Product Manager on the Communities team. I manage the chat program. 8Jana_MS has made Dean_MS a Host.

Dean_MS : Hello! I'm Dean and I'm responsible for the IE team overall.

Dave_MS : I'm Dave Massy and I work on the Program Management team for Internet Explorer. I've recently rejoined the Internet Explorer team after a few years away but worked on some of the previous releases of Internet Explorer from version 4 to 6.

John_MS : Hi, I'm John, a test lead on Internet Explorer. Tom and I work on the new xp sp2 features. I've been on the IE team since the IE 5 release.

MS_Brian_B : Hi, folks! I'm Brian Boston. I work with the Microsoft Microsoft MVPs for Windows, including Internet Explorer.

Tom_MS : This is Tom, test lead for the new IE security features and our group policy. John and I work on XPSP2.

Jana_MS : We will now open the chat room to IE related questions. Please preface your question with a Q: for easy identification.

joedib_ms : Joe Dibee I work on the IE Security Team

Eric : I am Eric Olson, Compatibility Test Lead, Internet Explorer Team (applications, websites, user scenarios)

Jana_MS : Questions not prefaced with a Q: may not be answered.

Jana_MS : For those joining late, we are chatting with the members of Microsoft's Internet Explorer team. Please preface your r nquestion with a Q: for easy identification.

Dave_MS : Regarding standards support I think there's lots of good feedback but there is a lot of confusion as well that I'd like to address. When Internet Explorer 6 was released we completed our support for CSS1 and passed the CSS1 compliance test suite...

Dave_MS : ...from the W3C. Since that time other browsers have clearly made significant advances in their own implementations and this has highlighted some issues in our own CSS1 implementation. We are aware certainly aware of these and are looking at them...

Dave_MS : ...carefully.With regards to CSS2 support it is worth noting that no browser supports all of CSS2 as there are some fundamental issues with that particular recommendation. We are looking at CSS2.1 which is the revised version of the recommendation.At...

Dave_MS : ...this time we cannot make a definitive statement about when we may address some of these issues but we certainly hear the feedback and appreciate the time people are taking to let us know what we need to address.There are certainly some myths out...

Dave_MS : ...there that Microsoft does not support standards and does not document its support properly. Actually you can find documentation about the standards support for IE in each reference page on MSDN at...

Dave_MS : ...http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/workshop/author/dhtml/reference/dhtml_reference_entry.asp

Jana_MS : We welcome you to begin posting your questions. We will read them, choose the ones we like ( ) and answer them.

Levent_MS : Hi, I am Leven, a Sofware Tes Engineer from IE Compaibiliy Team.

Tom_MS : Q:When will IE get Tabbed Browsing?A: We've had many requests for this feature and love the feedback. Keep it coming, but we can't make any commitments as to if or when it will appear.

Levent_MS : Hmm, ha shold've read "Hi, I am Leven from Compaabiliy Team"

Dean_MS : Q: What is the timeline on the new IE patch?A: I can't offer a specific date... we have people working around the clock on it. I suggest going to http://www.microsoft.com/security/incident/download_ject.mspx for more information about the...

Dean_MS : ...issue.

John_MS : Q: What part will IE Play in the Development of Longhorn? What is the IE Roadmap?

John_MS : A: IE's final feature set in Longhorn has not been determined but we do have some plans for that release.

Dave_MS : Q: Will the next IE version support the upcomming CSS3 standard as set by the W3C?A: CSS3 has actually been in progress for a number of years and you'll find that IE6 already supports some parts of CSS3 such as vertical text layout. This is...

Dave_MS : ...particularly useful for far eastern languages. We can't at this time commit to implementing every part of some of these recommendations but we look at these carefully.

Dean_MS : Q: after US_CERT recommended NOT using IE, what claim can you make that we should continue to support IE in terms of our user base?A: I'm not sure who your user base is and what you mean by "continue to support IE"... can you clarify

John_MS : Q: What do you plan for the many users who don't have Windows XP, so can't apply XP SP2 as a security measure?

John_MS : A: Our first priority is to ship xp sp2. We are working on our plan for addressing security on other platforms.

Dave_MS : Q: Alpha channel PNGs: widespread support of these will enable web developers to break new ground in web design. IE -almost- supports it already with glitches. Can we expect support for this in the next version?A: We certainly hear the feedback on...

Dave_MS : ...alpha channel support on PNG. Again at this stage we can't definitely commit to implementation but we are hearing this consistent feedback. Unfortunately the rendering codebase means this is a little more difficult to implement than you might...

Dave_MS : ...expect but we aren't afraid to take on the difficult issues

Dean_MS : Q: Will a next version of IE be available for other OS's like Mac, Linux, etc?A: There was an announcement a while back about Mac IE support. Nothing has changed around the Mac since that announcement.

Tom_MS : Q: what factors weigh into the IE teams' considerations for new fixes and features for upcoming versions? Popular demand is one thing but I'm interested to know what else goes into the decision-making

Tom_MS : A: Obviously, security has recently become a top consideration when considering the features we add and how they're implemented. 8NeowinLegion is away. 8NeowinLegion has returned.

John_MS : Q: Will there be an IE7?

John_MS : A: IE is a component of Windows and our primary ship vehicle is releases of Windows (including full OS releases as well as service packs of existing OSes).

Dave_MS : Q: Are you guys familiar with the work of "Standards Evangelists" like Jeffery Zeldman and the work he's going to spread the good word about Web Standards? Would you ever consider asking him to write a recommendation for bringing IE up to snuff?

Dave_MS : A: Yes we are familiar with some of the work done by Jeffery Zeldman and others. We certainly appreciate their work adn their feedback. As we get further into our planning I'll be very interested to discussing with them our plans to ensure that we...

Dave_MS : ...are helping developers and not creating more issues. 8mirkrup is away. 8mirkrup has returned.

John_MS : Q: Why did Microsoft so regularly update IE from versions v2 - v6 and then abandon it, seeing as it is such a 'core' part of Windows?

John_MS : A: IE has not been abandoned. The IE servicing model - like any other Windows component - is via Windows Update.

Tom_MS : Q: What changes will be made to the ActiveX security model before IE7 to ensure that IE maintains a viable, secure browser going into the future?

Tom_MS : A: Many of the security features going into Service Pack 2 are aimed at controlling ActiveX behavior, for example, locking down the local machine. Beyond that, there would certainly be security patches if required.

Dean_MS : Q: How much progress has been made on the patch? Is it going to be 1 week or a month... How close are you?A: Sorry, I can't offer specifics. Please understand that there are a lot of super complex issues... briefly, we have to make sure that we...

Dean_MS : ...protect against variants of the exploit not just the immediate exploit. We need to make sure that the fixes don't regress other functionality and "break" parts of the web for consumers, corporations, or developers. We have to support over 400+ IE,...

Dean_MS : ...OS, and language combinations and make sure they are all of good quality. Of course, the team works around the clock to make this happen as quickly as possible.

Dave_MS : Q: Is there really a need to have IE embeded Into windows these days?

Dave_MS : A: The use of Internet Explorer code as part of the operating system has proved extremely useful to a great many of our partners and Windows. For example the help and support pages in Windows make use of Internet Explorer code for rich presentation...

Dave_MS : ...to assist users in the configuration of their machines.

John_MS : Q: what factors weigh into the IE teams' considerations for new fixes and features for upcoming versions? Popular demand is one thing but I'm interested to know what else goes into the decision-making

John_MS : A: Our number one focus for the xp sp2 release is security and trustworthy computing. There was an IE architectural review at the begining of the plans for this release that helped us determine the feature set.

John_MS : Q: Why only Implement Popup blocking for IE in Service pack 2 and not Service Pack 1?

John_MS : A: Our release vehicle is the Windows service pack. Service Pack 1 shipped a while ago

Tom_MS : Q: is popular demand a top priority? the emphasis on security is more than understandable but i'm curious to know whether all this noisemaking about alpha pngs, tabs and (most importantly IMO) more css property support will actually sway the...

Tom_MS : ...outcome

Tom_MS : A: Popular demand is also a major consideration but it's important to remember that nobody in the public has complete visibility into the feedback we get. We obviously have a wide range of customer bases, with differing sets of priorities.

Dave_MS : Q: Why is IE page rendering SO much slower than any other browserA: Hi Hossie, The rendering speed varies greatly from page to page and is obviously something we are continuing to look at. There are certainly some pages where we ned to look at our...

Dave_MS : ...performance but there are many pages wherer we are consistently faster at rendering. Performance is a challenge for any software development project and is particularly challenging in this scenario given the wide variety of content out there.

John_MS : Q: Is there any chance that will see more features for disabled people in IE? What about a text-reader feature?

John_MS : A: The IE team works very closely with third-party accessibility vendors to make sure their tools work properly. We have accessibility experts on the team.

Dean_MS : Q: as a tech support person, [why should I] continue to waste my time supporting IE, when firefox/opera/et.al. don't require so much maintenance/upkeep?A: I'm not sure what the basis of the maintenance/upkeep statement is. IE is a superpowerful web...

Dean_MS : ...browser that hundreds of millions of people choose to use. As long as they're using it,MS is going to keep making it better. As long as that many people use it, there will be bad people who try to take it down.

John_MS : Q: When will SP2 ship with the new IE?

John_MS : A: The release date is not fixed; however, we are in the end game.

Dave_MS : JohnS_479425 : Q: Rebecca Norlander (XP SP2 group manager) said here (channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=9104) that XPSP2 is the first in a series of steps dealing with security. What is Microsoft planning for the future of IE?A: Hi John, With...

Dave_MS : ...Windows XP SP2 you will see major updates to Internet Explorer with regards to security. Particularly reducing the surface area for attack and putting users in control.We are obviously going to continue to look at ways we can improve security in...

Dave_MS : ...the future.

John_MS : Q: Are there any plans to add exceptions to the local zone?

John_MS : A: Can you clarify this question? The Info Bar in xp sp2 does allow the end user to make the trust decision for active content in the local machine zone on a case-by-case basis.

Dean_MS : Q: Honestly, how many of the IE developers use Alternative Browsers?A: I hope all of them have nonIE browsers installed so they can see what else is going on in the browser space! I have a few others instaled on my machines because I want to see...

Dean_MS : ...what other people are using, what they like, and how it works. A few years ago, when I worked on Word, I had WordPerfect and other word processors installed and knew them as well as my own product.

John_MS : Q. Are there plans to address interfaces e.g. problems such as IE repeatedly grabbing focus from your current window over and over again (when a link is opening in the background) and IE refusing to open links maximized

John_MS : A: App focus issues are not necessarily IE issues; however if you can provide a consistent repro I will be happy to make sure a tester investigates.

Dave_MS : Q: Will SP2 have Tabbed Broesing?A: No. Windows XP SP2 does not include this. We are looking at thsi and other features for the future but it is too early in our plans to commmit to any particular features.

John_MS : Q: Will more improvements be made security wise post SP2 to IE6?

John_MS : A: We monitor all reports of security vulnerabilities very carefully and will continue to service and secure IE users.

Dean_MS : Q: "hundreds of millions...choose to use"??? how about IE is so integrated into Windows that its impossible not to use for the average user?A: I guess we disagree. I don't think it's hard for a typical user to install another web browser, even if...

Dean_MS : ...it's just for trial. I think the download numbers at cnet.com, for example, bear that out.

John_MS : Q: MS, Will the issues with mshtml.dll resolved in future (post SP2) versions of IE?

John_MS : A: This is a pretty vague question - however - you can expect more innovation in a full release of windows than in a service pack or windows update release.

John_MS : Q: Will IE continue to support IE-only features like filters etc since those technologies didn't found the appropriate acceptance by the designers out there?

John_MS : A: The IE team has to make very careful decisions about reducing attack surface area. There are possible compat implications of any changes like you suggest and we want to avoid breaking third party software vendors or internet sites.

Dave_MS : bms : Will there be more CSS2 Properties in the latest releaseA: We are looking at all CSS recommendations and are taking in ALL the feedback we are receiving regarding stadnards support. As I have said before we can't make any definitive...

Dave_MS : ...commitment at this time but I can assure you we are taking these issues very seriously.

John_MS : R: (Request) Please re-design how SP2 handles Fullscreen - with the status bar and top bar. Otherwise - do not call it fullscreen as it is not

John_MS : A: The UI Spoofing mitigation is on - by design - in the internet zone. However, any user has the choice of disabling this security mitigation by going to their Internet Options control panel.

Dean_MS : Q: Dean_MS: Do hundreds of millions of people choose to use IE or is it forced upon them?A: People choose. Hundreds of millions of people actively use Windows and they get to choose. Nothing in Windows as it ships keeps them from downloading other...

Dean_MS : ...software that extends their browsing experince (e.g. the google or ebay toolbars) or changes it (e.g. an alternative browser).

Tom_MS : Q: Is the IE team doing anything to counter act the amount of spyware being installed on end users via IE?

Tom_MS : A: This is another focus of the new features in Service Pack 2. Various forms of spyware activity are blocked by the new features, and the Add-On Management functionality allows users to easily review such extensions to delete the unwanted ones.

Tom_MS : Also, the Information Bar is designed partly to hide various dialogs which people click on without considering the question, which spyware suppliers exploited to coax users to install their software without quite realizing it.

Dean_MS : Q: does the ie team have a blog?A: Several! Look at blogs.msdn.com... Dave Massy has one, as does Jeff Davis. We are thinking about starting a consolidate d IE team blog. Is that interesting for you guys?

John_MS : Q: John_MS, "This is a pretty vague question" - this is about the support of CSS that hangs IE, if you're working on it, would you develop a patch that prevent IE from crashing on this module?

John_MS : A: We analyze all externally reported issues very carefully for customer impact. Any code change has the potential for introducing regressions so we don't want to make changes arbitrarily.

MS_Brian_B : Q:How is Microsoft planning to educate the public about the need to update to SP2?

MS_Brian_B : A ome of the online sources we are currently offering include:

MS_Brian_B : A:Changes to Functionality in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 - http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/maintain/sp2chngs.mspx

MS_Brian_B : A:832490 - Security enhancements in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 - http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;832490

MS_Brian_B : ervice Pack 2 for Windows XP: Resources for IT Professionals - http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/maintain/winxpsp2.mspx

MS_Brian_B : Windows XP Service Pack 2 - Security Information for Developers - http://msdn.microsoft.com/security/productinfo/XPSP2/default.aspx

Dave_MS : bms : Q: Will there be "extensions" available on IE like there is on firefoxA: We actually have great extensions mechanism available on Internet Explorer and it is great to see the other browsers following in this area. Examples include things...

Dave_MS : ...such as teh Google toolbar, ActiveX Controls such as flash and even a behavior that adds support for MathML. These allow others to add value to Internet Explorer. Are there particular extensions you are looking for?

Dean_MS : Q: The Internet Options in IE is not usable at all, do you plan to make it more usable, for example window size is mixed it is a pain in the ass to find and customize options there?A: Great feedback, thanks!

Tom_MS : Q: there are issues with identifying the zone IE is in with XP SP2. F.i. it often doesn't recognize that a page or frame is part of the local intranet zone you are already in and then warns or shows the page just blank. However, a refresh just...

Tom_MS : ...shows the "missing" page fine. So, this is erratic, but reproducable behavior and implies that there may be other cases where IE doesn't recognize zones, maybe leading to new problems with security.

Tom_MS : A: If you have reproducable cases then our test team can take a look at exactly what's going on, but often this behavior is the result of errors in the page that's being loaded. Such frames are often considered to be in the restricted zone, but the...

Tom_MS : ...worst case scenario is that they're filed under Internet.

Jana_MS : Regarding someone's post about Robert Scoble using FireFox, I just emailed him and here is his response "I do use Firefox and have said so on my blog. But only 40% of the time. I still like IE better."

Dean_MS : Q: Have you guys met Bill Gates ?A: Yes. Really smart guy, lots of strong opinions.

Tom_MS : Q: What is yout opinion for webpages that say "Only viewable with IE", isn't that discrimination? Isn't information supposed to be for all?

Tom_MS : A: These statements are a decision made solely by the web designer. You are certainly free to complain to the webmaster when you see such a message.

Dave_MS : Tom_Servo_489782 : Q: Will there be interim updates of IE between now and Longhorn, means updates that fix outstanding issues, incl stuff like CSS2 and PNG transparency?A: Hi Tom, At this stage we can't make any commitments. The timeframe for...

Dave_MS : ...Longhorn does not actually give us very much time to undertake a great amount of work especially given teh amount of testing we need to undertake to ensure a quality release that does not break the internet or many intranets and web applications.

John_MS : Q: John_MS: You mentioned breaking backwards compatibility. Surely IE's Quirks Mode could support these old IE-specifc hooks, and the Standards mode could be made to robustly follow HTML/CSS/W3C standards?

John_MS : A: I wouldn't make the bet that there is not one web page that has both the doctype switch and an IE specific technology (e.g. our implementation of SMIL). Backwards compatibility is a critical part of our ongoing support of customers.

Dave_MS : Q: Are any of you on the team there familiar with Dean Edward's work at http://dean.edwards.name/IE7/ where he is working on using DHTML actions to create CSS compliance? If you're aware of it, what do you think of the effort?A: Yes. It's a great...

Dave_MS : ...effort and we are watching it with interest.

John_MS : Q: Why do gifs show red X's in IE?

John_MS : A: If you can give me a consistently reproable example of this I will be happy to follow up on it. I haven't seen this...

Tom_MS : Q: Is there anything we (the development community) can do to help you guys a) with features, b) with standards, c) with security and d) with quality assurance??

Tom_MS : A: One spot you can go to is http://channel9.msdn.com/wiki/default.aspx/Channel9.InternetExplorerFeedback

John_MS : Q: Will you hurry up and release XP SP2 so we can get SECURED ?

John_MS : A: RC2 is available now for download. It is the most secure version of IE and Windows to date. Go to technet.microsoft.com and search on RC2.

Dean_MS : Q: Do you guys care about programs that rely on IE's rendering and compatibility with broken webpages more than the future of the internet?A: I think of this like the CPR instruction I took a while ago. There's airway, breathing, circulation. I...

Dean_MS : ...need them all to live. We need to make sure that the web works today, warts and all. We need to make sure it has a great future. We also need to make sure it's not just secure but actually trustworthy. Don't make me choose just one of those three,...

Dean_MS : ...please.

John_MS : Q: When we access the MS Business Solutions web page for a particular system we get an error message "Page cannot be found" for this internal web site that is operational and it works on other systems. Should we reinstall or repair IE 6 SP 1 +...

John_MS : ...update? What?

John_MS : A: If you can provide the full repro on the newsgroup I will be happy to make sure a tester on my team follows up.

Dave_MS : Seth : Q: Is there any plan to rewrite IE and remowe ActiveX which is source of bugs ?A: Hi Seth, ActiveX often receives much criticism but I do not believe it is true that it is the source of bugs. In Windows XP SP2 we have done much to reduce the...

Dave_MS : ...opportunity for inadvertantly installing software. It is true that a great many crash reports coming in to Microsoft are from 3rd party extensions to Internet Explore and in SP2 we have improved the mechnism to identify the culprits adn inform them...

Dave_MS : ...so they can improve their software.

Dean_MS : Q: Would you give us 1 reason why you would not implement standards support at the request of your customers who already are aware that it might break things?

Dean_MS : A: There are hundreds of millions of customers. I can't tell n million over there that we broke them because of a request from the k million over here. Can you ask your standards question in a more specific way? Dave is super engaged on this front...

Dean_MS : ...and will be happy to answer.

John_MS : Q: If i drag a jpg or gif into an oper IE window with SP2 installed - it blocks the content. Is this not security overkill?

John_MS : A: I am running yesterday's build of xp sp2 and this doesn't repro. It must be a bug in the rc1 or rc2 release that has subsequently been fixed.

Tom_MS : Q: Tom: I can easily reproduce, but my bug reports were closed. I think the issue is that it's not so easy to reproduce because the local intranet zone is filled automatically.

Tom_MS : A: You could include your settings under Internet Options->Security->Intranet->Sites... This includes the checkbox for (effectively) autodetection, so if that box is unchecked, the bug should be easier to repro.

Dave_MS : sdkaneda : Q: can web developers expect to create richer web pages with IE, using new, previously unsupported css properties? and will these properties fall in line with standards, i.e. be cross-compatible with other standard browsers?A: As already...

Dave_MS : ...mentioned we are looking carefully at support for more features from CSS recommentations in the future and value allthe feedback we have received.

Dave_MS : Pozi : Q: Do you also plan to support RSS in the next version of IE?A: This is certainly a request we have heard and will be looking into.

Dean_MS : Q: Dean_MS can you elaborate on the difference between "secure" and "trustworthy" in your answer above?A: Sure! One example is privacy... if I can find things out about you that you don't want me to know, that isn't necessarily a security violation...

Dean_MS : ...but it's not good. Reliability is another... I don't just want a secure web, I want one I can rely on the way I rely on my phone working. If you look on microsoft.com, there are some good papers on what trustworthy means.

John_MS : Q: (ShiningArcanine) In response to John_MS: Do you realize that backwards compatibility is darkening the web's bright future?

John_MS : A: It's pretty clear that web standards support is your primary concern. I can say that the IE team's number one priority with the current release is security.

Eric : Q: Arty2: Is the next version of IE going to have a search in ??? search engine bar like other browsers do or will it just stic to MSN?

Eric : A: A user can currently change setting by choosing "Search" then options and choosing another search provider

Tom_MS : Q: Will the Popup Stoper in SP2 stop all pop ups?

Tom_MS : A: You can tune your browser's popup sensitivity via Internet Options->Privacy->Pop-up Blocker->Settings.

John_MS : Q: Nowdays IE is integral part of Windows. Is this gona change in the Longhorn to increase security ?

John_MS : A: IE will continue to be a component of Windows. Making sure our customers are secure is a primary focus for this team. I know for me personally it is part of what keeps me coming to work every day.

Dave_MS : ShiningArcanine : Q: When I say standards support, I mean proper HTML, XHTML, CSS1, CSS2, CSS3 (when it is out), XML, XLST, SVG, PNG, XForms, <insert w3 spec here>. When will IE 100% support these standards as stated in the W3C specification?A: Hi...

Dave_MS : ...Shining, You should note that no browser supports all of these standards 100% and is unlikely to ever do so as some of them are in conflict. See my note on CSS2 being replaced by CSS2.1 earlier in this chat. We are of course looking closely at...

Dave_MS : ...recommendations to ensure we remove the key pain points felt by developers.

John_MS : Q: Will the Popup Stoper in SP2 stop all pop ups?

John_MS : A: No, it is off by default in the local intranet zone. You can configure internet sites through the UI and through Group Policy to allow particular internet sites to open windows.

Dean_MS : Q: With some of the Heated Feedback in here today, do you feel like the underdog with an uphill battle? or Feel good about the road ahead?A: I've worked at Microsoft for 14 years and I have always felt like the underdog. Maybe the road behind us...

Dean_MS : ...looks easy, but at the time going it wasn't. I welcome the feedback today. Getting informed is the only way I know to get better. The day we don't get heated feedback I'll be concerned.

Tom_MS : Q: can I hope for any fixes to the SELECT object soon? If so, what?

Tom_MS : A: If you have a specific bug we can look into it.

John_MS : Q: John_MS: If your #1 priority is Security, what is your #2 priority? Where does standards support fit in on your priority list? And yes, I agree that #1 priority should always be security.

John_MS : A: Hmm, great question. My best answer here is customer satisfaction. That has many faces.

Dave_MS : JohnS_479425 : Q: What will be the role of future versions of IE in regards to the .NET platform?A: John, We're certainly looking at how .Net developers can make great use of IE features. Are there particular features you are looking for?

Jana_MS : WHEW! We are needing to wrap up. We are getting kicked out of the conference room.

Jana_MS : Thanks to all of you for coming!

John_MS : Thanks for all the great questions! Bye.

Jana_MS : We will do this again second Thursday in August.

Tom_MS : Thanks to all, see you next time.

Dean_MS : signing off for now. see you at the next chat. thanks for coming!

Dave_MS : Thanks everyone for your time today. It was fun. See you again soon.

MS_Brian_B : Thanks everyone!