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IE 8.1 Supports Firefox Plugins, Rendering Engine 283

Posted by kdawson
from the fruits-of-competition dept.
KermodeBear writes in to note that according to Smashing Magazine, the newest version of Internet Explorer, codenamed "Eagle Eyes," supports Firefox plugins, the Gecko and Webkit rendering engines, and has scored a 71 / 100 on the Acid3 test. The article is pretty gee-whiz, and I don't entirely believe the claims that IE's JavaScript performance will trounce the others. (And note that the current Firefox, 3.0.8, scores 71 on Acid3, and Safari 3.1.2 hits 75.) No definitive date from Microsoft, but "sources" say that an IE 8.1 beta will be released in the summer.
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IE 8.1 Supports Firefox Plugins, Rendering Engine

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  • April fools... (Score:5, Informative)

    by MK_CSGuy (953563) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @04:30PM (#27407283)

    Nothing to see here, move along...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Honestly, the pictures are clearly Photoshopped (look at the "Developers Tools" screenshot, they didn't even bother matching the font on the Firefox/Safari entries), the Javascript benchmarks have Chrome in second-to-last place with the IE6/7/8 beating out everyone else, and the Mixx picture is obviously a joke.

      Wait a second...

      "Posted by kdawson"

      Ah, now I see how this ended up on the front page.

    • by MrEricSir (398214)

      And not even a good April Fool's at that. It's too obviously fake.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @04:31PM (#27407327)

    Breaking News: April Fools joke leaked on March 31st

  • Come on... (Score:5, Funny)

    by spacefight (577141) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @04:33PM (#27407367)
    ...it isn't April 1st yet :)
  • by CannonballHead (842625) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @04:33PM (#27407369)
    If it actually does do all that (support FF plugins, Gecko and Webkit [and I assume Trident], score competitively on Acid3 [I would assume that is at least some indication of being more standards compliant], good JS performance), that would be a pretty big Wow.
    • After reading the article, I'm inclined to say "April Fools" too. But it's not April 1st, so that would be Evil of them. :P
    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      And Opera scores 85/100 on Acid3.

      • I think the new build of Opera 10.0 and Safari4 Beta get 100% on Acid3.

        • This image is a couple weeks old - I did the same thing months ago, but misplaced the image.  http://s217.photobucket.com/albums/cc226/Runaway1956/?action=view&current=Midori_Acid3.png  I can't swear to it, but I think Midori beat them all to the goal of 100 on Acid3.
      • And Opera scores 85/100 on Acid3.

        I just see wonderfully amazingly colours when I do the acid test - woah man, that really is a buzz, I should do that more often.

      • But does it have server-side code decompiling?

  • by ilovegeorgebush (923173) * on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @04:33PM (#27407379) Homepage
    Dubbed "Eagle Eyes" because it has FireFOX in its sights.

    Evil bastards :(
  • Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Idiomatick (976696) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @04:34PM (#27407381)
    If it is all true. IE is finally done playing catchup and the general populace still using IE won't be behind. But so far IE doesn't really offer anything that FF doesn't. Chrome for example is missing a lot of things but it has stuff no one else does. All in all this can only cause good things to happen on the internet.
  • Wait...what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thesolo (131008) * <slap@fighttheriaa.org> on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @04:34PM (#27407387) Homepage
    I smell bullshit.

    How on earth would IE 8, a browser with a UI not written in XUL, be able to "flawlessly" use a Firefox plugin like Tab Mix Plus? Unless IE 8.1 embeds all of Gecko, plus XUL, XPCom, the XPI to install the plugins, you couldn't install or run a plugin on it. And why on earth would Microsoft suddenly give in and embed other rendering engines? That's not something the dominant browser does, that's something that a low-share browser does to help with compatibility, ala Netscape 7.

    I don't buy it. Furthermore, the article is light on details, has some dubious screenshots, and was published just before April Fools' Day.

    P.S. If you want to use Firebug in non-Firefox browsers, then use the Lite version [getfirebug.com]. It works great in IE.
    • by lseltzer (311306)

      I agree, I think they're just trying to get ahead on the April Fools rush.

      I mean they actually have a screen shot.

    • Check your calendar, then look at a globe.

    • I don't buy it. Furthermore, the article is light on details, has some dubious screenshots, and was published just before April Fools' Day.

      It also says that IE 8.1 will have a server-side code decompiler. With a screenshot of "decompiled" PHP. Just in case it wasn't yet obvious for someone...

    • by Ilgaz (86384)

      (It is April 1st here already)

      If MS was a company which is bound to real economy rules, they would at least admit the HTML rendering needs open source and a real community and open source the MSHTML engine (with their own terms if they like).

      If a company insisted on maintaining and coding a failure for that long, they would be out of business now. It would be like Apple releasing MACOS (not X) with "improved graphics and multifinder support" in 2009. If they didn't admit MacOS isn't really working, even iPo

  • Is that obviously MS won't be packaging firefox with windows so don't count on having gecko as the default rendering engine for your website visitors anytime soon.

  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @04:34PM (#27407397) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft's Internet Explorer Development Team has teamed up with the Google Chrome Development Team to create JSE in a seemingly grand plan combat Mozilla Firefox's growing market share. The result: a JavaScript engine that outperforms all modern browsers currently available on the market.

    Yes of course Microsoft will team up with Google to "combat Mozilla Firefox's growing market share". When chairs fly.

  • by krou (1027572) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @04:35PM (#27407419)
    RTFC, perhaps? From Smashing Magazine's editorial team, 16th comment:

    actually, it is April 1st in Kiribati already (see Link [is.gd]) and since we have readers all across the globe, it sounds quite OK for us to publish the post now. We don't have that many readers from Kiribati, but it would be unfair to publish it when it's April 2nd there ;)

  • by INeededALogin (771371) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @04:37PM (#27407451) Journal
    They also decided to release an OSX version again and while I was taking a shower, it fed and took my dog for a walk.
  • It's April 1st somewhere in the world already. :)

  • It's April 1 in the country of whoever "leaked" this "news," right? Note to self: just stay off the whole frickin Internet tomorrow.

    Ah, who am I kidding...

  • by Trillan (597339) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @04:38PM (#27407465) Homepage Journal

    You need to supply your own pony feed, though.

  • Okay (Score:5, Funny)

    by slapout (93640) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @04:39PM (#27407471)

    So, that's what the Conficker virus does...

  • Server Side Compiler (Score:5, Informative)

    by CannonballHead (842625) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @04:39PM (#27407491)
    In case anyone is in doubt about April Fools or not...

    Server-side code decompiler

    If youâ(TM)ve ever wished to know how sites and web applications work, Eagle Eyes (the name is fitting in this context) will let you view the server-side source code of a web page. We didnâ(TM)t explore this feature much, but from basic tests, the server-side code decompiler was able to tell us how the Mixx promotional algorithm worked.

    And they show this picture [88.198.60.17] ... hehe.

  • by hwyhobo (1420503) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @04:40PM (#27407503)

    Usability still matters, not just raw speed or ability to supports other vendor's plugins. I have and occasionally use IE8, and while it is a huge improvement on the previous versions of IE, usability-wise it still cannot hold a candle in my book to Firefox. It insists on its own way of arranging menus and bookmarks, so that if I want to have what I have in Firefox, I need 3-4 rows of text and icons at the top instead of 2 in Firefox. That kind of inflexibility irritates me. I don't like wasting screen space. I also don't like using software that irritates me. It's strange because Microsoft was one of the pioneers of the "Customize" concept of the application's interface, where you could remove and rearrange items as you saw fit.

  • ...the 24 hour endless stream of April Fool's day jokes. Will there be ponies?

    • by HillBilly (120575)

      Yup.. slashdot wont be worth visiting for the next day or so.

      Quality not quantity people...

    • People sometimes ask me if I could put up with a whole day where I'm cut off from my up-to-the-second news sources, my RSS feeds, my constant torrent of media.

      I say to them, yes, I do it every April 1st. And I end up with the shakes and it strengthens my resolve to never willingly unplug.

      At least there are video games. Sweet, blissful, calendar-unaware video games.

  • I think I can safely say that Slashdot will be running on empty for at least the next twenty-four hours.
  • by mistapotta (941143) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @04:52PM (#27407691)
    Can I run IE Tab [mozilla.org] on Internet Explorer and make the world explode?
    • <quote>Can I run <a href="https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1419">IE Tab</a> on Internet Explorer and make the world assplode?</quote>

      Fixed that for you.

  • Do not read slashdot for the 24-36 hours. Especially if the article has anything to do with your line of work.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by linuxci (3530)

      Do not read slashdot for the 24-36 hours. Especially if the article has anything to do with your line of work.

      Most of the slashdot April fool posts are totally unbelievable anyway. As for other times I know that slashdot is more for killing time than using as a reliable news source.

      Now as there's still 2 hours to go before April 1st here I almost believed the headline. As I mentioned in another post plugins (e.g. Flash) are not extensions (e.g. Flashblock). All browsers except IE support the same plugin API, so if IE wanted to be seen to make developers lives easier they'd support it (they used to back when IE was

  • I would love to see this happening. Alas, the 1st April is nearing and /. is to be taken even less seriously than it usually is.

    If the IE team would support FF add-ons and the FF rendering engine I would personally send them a cake. Seriously. Here's to my vain hope that an MS exec will read this and think it's a great idea. Never take away a person's dreams.

  • Little blurb in article:

    "Graph created in Excel to showcase superiority..."

  • by linuxci (3530) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @05:10PM (#27407937)

    Extensions are not plugins. Take a look in your Firefox addons menu if you don't believe me. Plugins are things like Flash, they're written to a specification (NPAPI) that originates in the Netscape days, it is supported by all major browser makers EXCEPT Microsoft. That's why on Windows there's two versions of Flash (not talking 32/64 bit issues here) one for IE and one for everyone else.

    IE used to support the Netscape plugins API, but removed it around about IE5.5 if I remember, the idea was to force developers to write an IE version (ActiveX) if they wanted to support IE. They were probably hoping that plugin developers would have just developed for the more popular IE and ignore Netscape, finally killing browser competition off for good.

    Fortunately the increase in popularity of alternative vouchers has kept the NPAPI alive, meaning that plugins written for one browser will work on them all.

    Now the problem with plugins is they're written in compiled code and therefore a version needs to be written for each OS. Extensions on the other hand are usually written in XUL and JavaScript and so extensions will normally work on any platform, but extensions are specific to a particular browser. So plugins are OS specific, extensions are browser specific.

    So when I read that IE8.1 supports Firefox plugins, my first thought was that IE was bringing back support for the NPAPI that they removed in IE5.5 making it easier for plugin developers. I knew that it was not possible that IE could support Firefox extensions. That would be almost impossible to implement for anything more than the most trivial extension.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by BenoitRen (998927)

      Extensions are often cross-browser too. But they still all depend on Gecko in the Mozilla world.

  • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowskyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @05:14PM (#27408001) Homepage Journal

    If you skim the thing, it seems pretty real, but once you get into it, you find gems like:

    "[Pauses to answer a call from his iPhone]"

    "Internet Explorer has always been the leader of executing client-side scripts, but that didnâ(TM)t stop Microsoft from continuing its thirst for excellence by including a completely new JavaScript engine called JSE, which stands for JavaScript Speedy Engine"

    This article is just great...what sucks for Microsoft is, everyone wishes this article were true!

  • by fruity_pebbles (568822) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @05:16PM (#27408029)
    April Fool's deserves the full color treatment!
  • While the reference rendering fails on FF 3.0.7 with just gray background (no boxes).
    Yet somehow IE6 gets all the colored boxes in the middle...

    Why the hell did they make the REFERENCE rendering a web page instead of an image is just beyond me.
  • I just ran the test and Safari 4 scored 100/100. I am fairly surprised about this.

  • the newest version of Internet Explorer... supports Firefox plugins

    Now if we could only get Google Chrome to do the same.

  • If the trauma was not bad enough.

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