Tag Archives: Internet Explorer

When Browsers get hacked

Perhaps not much will be said about the recent browser hacking exploits of IE8, Safari and Firefox since all three of them were hacked within an hour. But you can bet if only one of them had been exploited it would have been a free for all of name-calling and lack-of-security marketing guff from the competitors.

Should we be worried that IE8 (for example) was hacked in under 30 minutes? Or what if it had been the only one hacked and the others immune?

The answer is no, we shouldn’t be worried about the exploits being found. The real question is how quickly the exploits are fixed. The test of a good company is how quickly they respond to their customer’s needs.

What we’d ideally like to see is a competition that reported how quickly a company patched their product and made it available for general release.

And as for the hacking competitions – keep them coming. They provide a valuable service to consumers.

(via Seattle PI)

Internet Explorer 8 Released

It’s been a big week here at MIX09, so much so that we thought we’d get the blog going again.

We’ll cover some of the other big announcements in the coming days once the dust has settled, but couldn’t wait to cover the IE8 release. Download it here.

It’s been a long time coming, and hopefully the wait is worth it. Microsoft yesterday released IE8 to the masses, although not to Windows 7 users just yet (see below).

Performance (cheesy rock video about performance here) and safety top the list of improvements, as well as web standards compliance. But it doesn’t stop there – the new version includes some cool new features including:

  • Web slices
  • Accelerators
  • InPrivate Bowsing, as well as
  • Search Suggestions
  • Safer browsing with SmartScreen

If you are a Windows 7 Beta user you’ll have to wait a little longer, as noted on the IE8 site:

Windows 7 Beta already includes a pre-release candidate version of Internet Explorer 8 that is optimized for that release. Windows 7 enables unique features and functionality in Internet Explorer 8 including Windows Touch and Jump Lists which require additional product tests to ensure we are providing the best Windows experience for our customers. We will continue to update the version of Internet Explorer 8 running on Windows 7 as the development cycles of Windows 7 progress and plan to include the final version of Internet Explorer 8 in the release candidate version of Windows 7 later this year. For the latest information on Windows 7, visit the Windows 7 site.

This is disappointing, but perhaps understandable.

The most significant improvement in our opinion is the web standards compliance, as noted by Dean Hachamovitch, General Manager of the Internet Explorer team at Microsoft:

Internet Explorer 8 is Microsoft’s most standards-compliant browser to date, and benefits from work the company is doing with standards bodies to bring increased measurement and consistency. As part of Microsoft’s commitment to supporting standards, the company has submitted more than 7,000 cascading style sheet (CSS) 2.1 test cases to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in the last year to help drive easier and more measurable standards adoption for all developers. Moreover, Internet Explorer 8 now passes more of the W3C CSS 2.1 test cases than any other shipping browser and has invested significantly in support for HTML 5.

Source: Microsoft PressPass

Web standards is a big, opinionated area, so it will be worth watching to see whether Microsoft has understood the ‘real’ needs of developers and companies correctly.

All in all this is a pretty big upgrade over IE7, and with a falling market share in the browser space Microsoft needs to lift their game. Time will tell whether IE8 has the firepower they are hoping for.

Internet Explorer 8

IE security

This month’s security updates indicate that IE6 has a few problems (Critical rating), and IE7 is looking pretty good (just Important rating). Further, if you were to base your view solely on the numbers you could be fooled into thinking that IE8 is a more secure browser (as some have been) due it not having any patch this month.

Whilst we’d love to believe that, the reality is far more likely to be that hardly anyone is using it yet, and thus no significant security flaws have been discovered so far. Give it time we say.