It’s already dead to me.
it seems microsoft is hell bent on running it’s long-popular, long-dominating web browser, internet explorer, right into the ditch of the information superhighway.
the past few years has seen its market share eroding rather quickly by faster, more secure, more intuitive modern applications like mozilla firefox and google chrome. on the mac side, they even discontinued the application in favour of apple’s own safari. these other browsers, aside from enhanced user and usability features of the browsers themselves, the rendering engines have been far superior to explorer for quite some time, and its conformance to both ratified and emerging web standards has fallen so short that it’s laughably ridiculous and as a designer/developer, ridiculously infuriating.
enter internet explorer 8 beta. one would think considering all of its internal struggles and external pressures from competition that it would at least aim for parity on the basics of web standards and technology. yet it touts as a main feature being fully compliant with css 2.1. css version 2 has been around for over 10 years, and its revision, v2.1, has been waffling back and forth between draft and release candidate for about 5. because it’s still not finalised, firefox, safari, chrome, opera have all moved on to supporting the next full version of css, with varying levels of compatibility. internet explorer adds some basic, minimal support for version 3, but nothing even remotely close to its competitors.
one of the biggest challenges for web designers today is (on top of side-stepping ie6 and ie7 quirks) realising rounded-corners. css3 supports the concept, with its border-radius selector, and many of the other popular modern browsers support it in some fashion (although mysteriously, opera once did but removed the functionality in the most recent releases). given the opportunity with a new version, one would expect microsoft would do its very best to make great strides to catch up to these competing browsers, if not surpass them in some ways by being somewhat forward looking with it’s underhood tech. alas, the border-radius selector of css3 is not supported whatsoever, as are a lot of other now common css3 features. just one more nail in the coffin as far as i’m concerned.
reference their ie8 css chart
perhaps it’s laziness or pride, but all the hubris and self-indulgence has kept internet explorer from innovating, evolving, or it seems even adapting. the latest beta builds seem to break more things than fix them, which is and will be a major problem for both users and developers for at least a year into 8′s life. designers and developers may continue to provide basic support for legacy ie or even the newest iteration, but i have a feeling this browser won’t ever see a mainstream (read: popular) version 10.