February 04, 2013

Microsoft Launches ‘modern.IE’ to Promote Standard HTML5

In a 2010 blog post, Microsoft’s (News Alert) general manager of Internet Explorer, Dean Hachamovitch, wrote that HTML5 was “the future of the Web.”

“Microsoft is deeply engaged in the HTML5 process with the W3C (NewsAlert). HTML5 will be very important in advancing rich, interactive Web applications and site design,” Hachamovitch wrote.

Now, in 2013, Microsoft has launched a beta website called “modern.IE.” The site pushes Microsoft’s agenda of delivering standard HTML5 that works well in all browsers, not just in Chrome or Safari. In addition, the website provides HTML5 tools for developers through three separate channels.

First, modern.IE prompts users to copy their URL into a scanner. The scanner then checks for common coding problems that can prevent sites from rendering in newer versions of Internet Explorer (IE). For proprietary reasons, Microsoft doesn’t give away the fixes on the modern.IE website. Instead, after a developer contacts Microsoft, the company then provides engineering support and technical details to address version-to-version differences.

Second, the website ties in with a company called BrowserStack to allow developers to view their sites in a variety of different browsers running in the cloud. Developers can obtain a free three-month trial of BrowserStack on the modern.IE website.

For a more unified user experience across browsers and platforms, Microsoft recommends implementing feature detection, building sites without plugins and choosing responsive Web design. The “Code with Standards” page lists best practices for HTML, CSS (NewsAlert) and JavaScript that encourage cross-browser performance.

Finally, modern.IE’s “Meet Internet Explorer 10” tab demonstrates the latest version of Microsoft’s flagship browser. Equipped for touch, the browser is programmed using HTML5 and CSS3 standards. IE 10’s standards compliance is superior to any of its predecessors.

Last year, Microsoft promoted HTML5 by partnering with Atari to release classic games that could be powered by HTML5-enabled browsers. Games like Combat, Pong and Lunar Lander could be played via IE, Chrome, Safari or Firefox on PCs and on mobile versions of Safari and IE.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey


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