After years of veiled and even outspoken criticism from browser makers and many web developers, Microsoft has decided to start supporting the proposed HTML 5 standard in its Internet Explorer web browser. While known for its spotty support of even ratified standards, Internet Explorer has been moving in the right direction in recent years with IE 7 and the new IE 8. The current HTML 5 draft brings a number of advanced features and improvements and has seen great support from Google, Mozilla and Apple.
“As part of our planning for future work, the IE team is reviewing the current editor's draft of the HTML5 spec and gathering our thoughts. We want to share our feedback and discuss this in the working group,” Adrian Bateman, Internet Explorer program manager, wrote in a W3C mailing list. “I will post our notes as we collect them so we can iterate on our thinking more quickly. At this stage we have more questions than answers but I believe that discussing them in public is the best way to make progress.”
While broadly supported by the other major browser makers, Mozilla, Apple, Google and Opera Software, Microsoft has shown little interest in either developing or supporting most of the proposed features. Still, its latest browser, Internet Explorer 8, does have support for some components in the HTML 5 draft, like the DOM Store, Cross Document Messaging, Cross Domain Messaging, and Ajax Navigation, and the software giant is in fact the creator of the ContentEditable component.
There are no clear plans at the moment and no indication of what elements of the current HTML 5 draft Internet Explorer will implement, as support is very much in the early stages, but it should create for a much smoother adoption and ratification process from here on out.