IE team shares ... a version number

IE team shares ... a version number

Summary: The Internet Explorer team has posted a new nugget of info about the next version of Microsoft's browser. The next release of IE will be called -- wait for it -- "Internet Explorer 8." That's it. And no, I am not kidding.

TOPICS: Browser, CXO, Microsoft

The Internet Explorer team has posted a new nugget of info about the next version of Microsoft's browser.

The next release of IE will be called -- wait for it -- "Internet Explorer 8."

That's it. More info to come -- at least by Mix '08. Which is in March 2008. Sigh.

The IE team posted this tidbit to the IE Team Blog on December 5 not in response to customers' and developers' repeated requests for more IE information over the past few months. The team posted because Chairman Bill Gates himself heard from attendees of Microsoft's invitation-only Mix-N-Mash conference that Microsoft was dragging its feet in terms of providing necessary IE updates.

(Read LiveSide.Net's full transcript of the Q&A with Gates for the back story on the Gates Q&A at Mix-N-Mash.)

According to the posting by IE General Manager Dean Hachamovitch:

"Of course, some people care about other aspects of IE8 much more than they care about the name. As I’ve walked different people through the plan, I’ve gotten 'Does it have feature X?' 'When is the beta?' 'When does it release' and even the more thoughtful 'What are you trying to accomplish with this release?'

"You will hear a lot more from us soon on this blog and in other places. In the meantime, please don’t mistake silence for inaction."

I think Hachamovitch is missing the point of why developers and customers are on a rampage for more IE information. They don't believe Microsoft is doing nothing. They believe Microsoft is doing something but failing to tell them what it is.

Yes, I'm back on the "translucency is a smokescreen" kick. The Microsoft Platforms team is hiding behind its goal of not wanting to send folks on a wild goose chase, in terms of expectations and promises. That sounds like an admirable strategy.

But when the Windows and IE teams are told not to talk about anything -- even a general roadmap -- until it is set in stone, developers and customers understandably get antsy.

Topics: Browser, CXO, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Put the IE team under ScottGu

    IE should be moved from the platform group to the client technology group. If ScottGu were in any way responsible for this team (as he should be), he would clean up this mess in no time. Filthy mitts off, Translusinofsky!
  • RE: IE team shares ... a version number

    Of course, on page 18 of that transcript, Bill Gates says that he doesn't know why Dean isn't telling people things, really, and that what Microsoft is doing with IE isn't really secret.
  • See my post on this...

    I've posted on this at as well.
  • Maybe IE8 will really be something.

    Maybe Microsoft has something up their sleeves. Or else they wouldn't be so elusive with IE8, like how Apple practically treats all their new products (even though I would say some aren't special at all).

    So maybe IE8 really has something going. Who knows?
    • Yeah, It'll Be Something

      Slower, bulkier, and once again, so tightly integrated into the operating systems you can't remove it unless you perform nanosurgery.
      • How do you know?

        You went into the future?
  • Wow, Microsoft really has their creative juices flowing

    Windows 7, Internet Explorer I can hardly wait to see what's next!

    - John Musbach
    John Musbach
  • Must be the same team that 'provides' Ultimate Additions...

  • Day late, dollar short

    And MS will always lag the Firefox team. MS just has too much corporate inertia to overcome, too many competing priorities to focus on anything. And they clearly underestimated the unhappiness in the developer community with the state of IE and IE 7 in particular.

    Reminds of one time I took my Belgium Shepherd to the park and got surrounded by a pack of yapping Pomeranians. Individually she could crush any one of them but having so many coming from so many different directions she had a hard time coping.

    MS just seems like a lumbering giant trying to compete in a world full of lighter, faster competitors.
    • IE7's stable

      I don't mind IE7 because it works. Every week Firefox issues another update, intrusively demanding that I restart and wait 15 minutes while it meticulously updates every little thing for "security features." IE7 works.
      • Just dissing FF for the sake of it?

        I agree that IE7 works and is relatively stable, but I still find myself only using it on my work PC (never at home) and then only for sites where I use a digital certificate, as the certificate itself can only be installed on IE.

        Firefox does not intrusively demand that you restart. Yes, you get a dialog box asking whether you want to restart now or leave it until later ... 1 second to click the [Later] box ... and then when you do there is a brief delay while it updates, and makes sure extensions are still compatible, but if it is taking more than 1 minute (never mind 15 - didn't your Mother tell you hundreds of times not to exaggerate?) then there is something screwy in your system, not in Firefox.
  • RE: IE team shares ... a version number

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