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Microsoft Releases Early IE12 Preview As Part of Its New Developer Channel 105

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from the now-just-gpl-the-code... dept.
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Microsoft is looking to create a more open dialog between the Internet Explorer team and the Web development community by announcing Internet Explorer Developer Channel. IE Dev Channel allows you to preview the next version of Internet Explorer (IE12) alongside and independently of IE11. Web developers can download and test drive the latest IE platform features, something developers were already able to do with Firefox and Chrome. This preview release even offers support of the emerging Gamepad API, allowing you to use your Xbox controller to play games in IE!"
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Microsoft Releases Early IE12 Preview As Part of Its New Developer Channel

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  • What browser-based games are worth playing with a controller?

  • by kiddygrinder (605598) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @08:16AM (#47253027)
    start by removing the OS restrictions, maybe you think limiting late versions of IE to windows 8 is a selling point for windows, but it just makes people download a browser that supports their operating system and makes web devs pissed off at having to support 3 different versions of IE, 2 of which suck donkey cock.
    • by jbolden (176878)

      If you look at desktop / laptop IE is back to being a huge leader in marketshare even for page views and not just by machines. So they are highly relevant. You might not like that, it doesn't change anything.

      As for basic point you are sort of contradicting yourself. You want people to upgrade browsers but not upgrade OSes, where browsers are essentially the OS for their web experience. You either have an upgrade culture or you don't. If you do then people are rapidly upgrading both (like Apple) if you

      • Microsoft can and should be a huge driver for innovation in the industry.

        Google (via Chrome) and earlier Mozilla (via FF) are the driver for Microsoft to innovate, since without that outside pressure we would still be using IE6. Maybe the Dev Channel is the start of Microsoft spinning off (well, not actually "off") innovation groups that aren't encumbered by the 800 pound corporate gorilla?

        • by jbolden (176878)

          Microsoft was a huge innovator before that (I.E. 3, 4, 4.5) before that. For a long time they were deliberately holding back on web because they didn't want a migration from desktop to web. Firefox, mobile applications and Safari (mobile) allowed that huge shift to happen. Now that's its happening Microsoft's interests have shifted from holding back to pushing forward. The reason is that x86/laptops are still way faster than ARM/tablet&mobile. The more sophisticated software is the better it is for

          • by narcc (412956)

            My memory is a bit fuzzy, but I remember something about MS shifting their focus from the soon-to-be-dead web to the nebulous "x internet". I had always assumed that was the reason why they essentially stopped development on IE.

            I like your explanation better as there is a delicious irony in the fact that their innovations contributed greatly to the continued success of the web and the development of the web as an application platform.

            • by Kalriath (849904)

              What's particularly amusing is that probably one of the largest contributions to modern web application development - XMLHTTP - came out of, of all places, the Microsoft Exchange team.

              • by cbhacking (979169)

                Yep. If somebody asks "what did Microsoft ever really innovate?" then "AJAX" is a pretty good answer. Previous versions required silly things like tiny [i]frames on the page that would make requests without navigating the whole browser window, but those were clunky and problematic.

                • by i.kazmi (977642)
                  iframes were also developed by the person responsible for most of the pioneering work on AJAX ie Scott Isaacs and rumor has (had) it that iframe stood for Isaacs' Frames (although he has denied it). Chris Isaacs was the program manager on the Internet Explorer team in the mid-90s.
      • You want people to upgrade browsers but not upgrade OSes, where browsers are essentially the OS for their web experience. You either have an upgrade culture or you don't.

        There's a difference between a gratis upgrade culture and a paywalled upgrade culture. Upgrades to Firefox and Chrome are gratis. Upgrades to the newest IE require first upgrading Windows, which is paywalled.

        • by jbolden (176878)

          There shouldn't be for customers of paid operating systems. Microsoft needs to throw off customers who find $40/yr for their OS to be too onerous.

        • by cbhacking (979169)

          The IE 12 preview runs on Win7, which went RTM nearly five years ago. Vista users need to upgrade, yes, and XP users really seriously guys why the fuck are you running XP need to upgrade, but Win7 is still supported.

      • you misunderstand me i think, i don't care in the slightest if people upgrade windows as the only part of that that effects me is the browser version. I still have to support ie8 at work and while that's a massive step up from the old ie6 days it still pisses me off.

        my other point was that they're not doing themselves any favours by not allowing older windows versions install newer versions of ie as they're just pissing off users into switching away from ie since it's free to do so, not pissing them off
        • by jbolden (176878)

          I understand that. But I think you are wrong. The way you force people back into a culture of upgrading is having things not work anymore. Many users become very satisfied with their computers and setup to get them to upgrade is often quite hard.

          Until recently (essentially the Windows 8 shift) Microsoft was far more concerned with maintaining marketshare of desktops then sales, the growth was coming from the enterprise server side of the business (SQLServer, Lync, Exchange, Dynamics...) With the rise of

    • by urbanriot (924981)
      In supporting corporate IT, we're finding that more users are having better success accessing web sites with Internet Explorer 8 / 9 / 10 and Google Chrome, rather than Internet Explorer 11. However we also find some web developers are providing platforms that are only compatible with Internet Explorer 11 so there are exceptions. With all of that being said, we're starting to push more users to Chrome since we have less compatibility issues and Google provided group policy templates. I expect IE 12 will pus
      • by Ark42 (522144) <.slashdot. .at. .morpheussoftware.net.> on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @09:54AM (#47253677) Homepage

        As somebody who occasionally freelancing HTML5 development, I can tell you I generally target IE10 and up, because IE10 forward has more or less the same feature set that Firefox/Chrome/Safari have had for years. IE9 and below are just lacking in all kinds of basic CSS support. You don't even need any Jquery or modernizer or other "fixes" if you just target IE10+. In fact, at some point, you start noticing that Chrome is actually the least modern of the big 4 browsers here. I know this is a controversial statement for the Slashdot groupthink, but there are many CSS3 features I've tried to use that work great in Firefox and IE10+, but Chrome fails at. Large gradients, for example, still don't render anywhere near what you'd want in Chrome (horrible banding and other weird render errors at angles, still not fixed in the latest version).

        I think you'd have to try REALLY hard to specifically write a website that only works in IE11 and somehow not in IE10, as long as you're using HTML5/CSS3 standard stuff. The same goes for IE12. I don't know what features it will bring, but probably not anything real important that's going to change the huge divide between IE9- and IE10+.

        • by urbanriot (924981)
          Our IT support experience is entirely different from what you're suggesting and typically it's "8", "9/10" and "11" in terms of compatibility, with 9 and 10 offering pretty much the same experience.
          Property management platforms utilized by the majority of hotels throughout North America, like what Micros provides, automobile dealership platforms, like what Honda provides, etc., they're all either IE9 / IE10 or just IE9. Once in a while we'll see a location on an old Siebel platform requiring IE 8 or compa
          • by Ark42 (522144)

            Like I said, you have to try REALLY hard to get yourself into such as situation, by explicitly NOT writing webpages to standard HTML5/CSS3. It's probably the result of poorly trained developers copy/pasting in tons of blobs of ancient javascript, or activeX controls that aren't going to work on newer versions of IE, or using some "toolkit" that spits out your HTML/CSS/JS for you instead of writing streamlined code yourself. Who knows. Like I said though, if you write standard HTML5/CSS3, you will have liter

            • It may not be poorly trained developers. It may be good developers pushed by management to get something working ASAP, or crappy legacy software created by time-pressed developers that management sees no ROI in updating. In any case, when you're talking about major industry-wide applications, you can specify the platform they're run on, such as IE 9. It's cheaper for the users to provide computers using IE 9 than to push for more general solutions.

              What will change this is when IE 9 is not supported on

              • by Ark42 (522144)

                I understand how bad managers can create situations like this for developers, that's a given. All I was arguing is that IE10 and IE11 should both be pretty good browsers, capable of HTML5/CSS3 mostly on par with all the other major browsers now. I don't see how you can purposefully create *new* code that works on just IE10, and not IE11, without trying REALLY hard to be an idiot.

                For legacy corporate sites, you just need to stick in a X-UA-Compatible to force IE to render in the version-mode you were origina

      • by Anonymous Coward

        That's because IE11 changes the way it references itself, so older script libraries fail to recognize it, well, anything. The rendering is also much closer to standards-based so all the old IE-only hacks break pages. Older sites that were not updated for IE11 therefore break if they're not run in compat mode.

        Also, they kicked the developers in the nuts by not supporting conditional comments to reference older ie engines, for example "if ie8 include this file". Conditional comments are ignored when running a

        • by narcc (412956)

          All in all it was a pretty good flogging, users *and* developers.

          Browser detection was always a bad idea. It took a while, and a lot of beating, but even half-wits like Resig realized this years ago.

          • by tepples (727027)
            True, object detection is superior to browser detection. But object detection can't be done server-side, especially if you want to exclude certain elements from the HTML on platforms more likely to have small screens and download caps. Nor can object detection reliably two browsers that support the same properties of the same object but give it different behaviors, unless I'm missing something really fundamental.
      • by weszz (710261)

        Healthcare IT is also rough, we have some government mandated things saying you MUST use IE8, others that the same people use are now saying you must have 9 or 10, and I think there is still a handful that need 7.

        The only option for many of these people is either versions in Citrix (MS approved way) or ThinApp, which works great, but MS doesn't like it.

    • 3 different versions? Only IE11 matters. It's even being distributed automatically.

      • by Thanshin (1188877)

        And with "only IE11 matters" you mean "I could prove to your client, beyond reasonable doubt, that no person in an entire country will try to connect to their web page with any IE from any previous version."?

      • Windows XP is IE8 only, most corporate environments only accept IE that means if you do work to any company you have to support IE8 as well (and sometimes only IE8). I live this problem and it is not fun.

        • by armanox (826486)

          I decline (as does the company I work for, and several others I deal with) to support Windows XP at this point, with the exception of moving users off of it (well, my employer doesn't deal with XP at all, if you call support the response for XP is we don't support that, use a supported system, Friend's employer just deals with it for migrations, and I still do that on the side sometimes).

  • allowing you to use your Xbox controller to play games in IE

    Is there a demand for this?

    If I want to play a console game, I'll use a console.

    This sounds like a solution in search of a problem to me, not something anybody is going to care about.

    And, of course, being a new Web API, it's probably safest to assume it will be a massive security hole. Because, let's face it, IE seems to be the most vulnerable browser around.

    • WebGL is becoming a nice technology, and systems like Unity and Unreal Engine 4 are supporting web deployments (not download via the web, but render in a full on HTML5 compliant browser) so at a certain point it makes sense for someone to be the first mover for implementing gamepad support.
    • [Citation Needed]

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      allowing you to use your Xbox controller to play games in IE

      Is there a demand for this?

      Yes. I would like to be able to play Ascent: The Space Game with a controller in my browser. I could pay five bucks to get a Windows client with joystick support, but it lags behind the browser version because it takes time to get new versions up on Desura, the platform being used to distribute it. This particular game is a Unity game, so in theory they could support that already, but the point remains that some amount of demand exists.

      With more games moving into the browser, which works fine for some types

    • If I want to play a console game, I'll use a console.

      Provided that the game you want to play is available for the console you own. What would you do if you see something like this?

      Web: Play Episode 1 Now
      Windows: Download Episode 1 (Free) | Buy Full Game ($9.99)
      Linux, Steam OS: Download Episode 1 (Free) | Buy Full Game ($9.99)

      Other platforms: If you represent a publisher interested in bringing this game to living rooms everywhere, contact us.

  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @08:20AM (#47253055)

    "Microsoft is looking to create a more open dialog between the Internet Explorer team and the Web development community [...] This preview release even offers support of the emerging Gamepad API, allowing you to use your Xbox controller to play games in IE!"

    At least they identified the core issue: The dialog between the IE team and the Web dev community; as proved by every single word after that.

    Support of XBOX controllers? Seriously?

    I'd like to make a poll between the entire human population of web developers.

    The (completely unbiased) question would be: "why does the acronym IE make you gag?" just to see which one replies "Lack of support of XBOX controllers!"

    • by kaiser423 (828989)
      The odd thing is that I have a number of items that have webpages that talk to my XBox controller currently. A staggeringly large number of pan/tilt/zoom security sensors respond to XBox controls if you have their webpage up. Sure, it requires an applet versus this just working natively, but it's not like that was a big hurdle......Just an odd thing to trumpet.
  • About time! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @08:20AM (#47253057)
    I hope it lets us download Chrome or Firefox faster.
  • Finally, I'll be able to play MegaMan 2 with my Xbox gamepad running on the NES being emulated in HTML5 inside IE12 running on Windows 8.1 inside VMware Fusion on my OS X Mac.

    Sorry, Sony.

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      Sorry, Sony.

      No reason to feel sorry.
      If you've ever put a music CD in your computer, you're probably running Sony software too.

      • I did put a music CD in my computer, but the OS I use isn't stupid enough to automatically install any software it finds on a CD.

        • by Thanshin (1188877)

          I did put a music CD in my computer, but the OS I use isn't stupid enough to automatically install any software it finds on a CD.

          Joke's on you. That's why you need an emulator.

          Autorunning CD rootkits is a small price to pay for a browser with XBOX controller capabilities!

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        If you've ever put a music CD in your computer, you're probably running Sony software too.

        Only if you're stupid enough to not have turned off AutoRun -- one of the stupidest features from a security perspective Microsoft ever came up with.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      This. What exactly does one gain by being able to develop games in the web browser? Why not just download and run the executable. Sure the user is afraid of viruses, so they don't want to download and run an executable, but putting all the functionality into something like a web browser creates a huge vector in the first place. If all a browser had to do was display static content, perhaps with a little bit of Javascript for DOM manipulation, it would be a lot easier to secure web browsers. There's othe
      • It's a waste, but with computer CPU so powerful and years of over-optimizing javascript engines we'll soon be able to enjoy 1990s level of gaming in the web browser, assuming some game are of good quality and can be found along the heaps of garbage.

        • by narcc (412956)

          We've been able to do that for years. I remember a version of Doom, before canvas, that ran just fine, even on those old computers. (I can't find it, but it was around 2002-2004 iirc).

          You'd be amazed at what you can do today in the browser these days with webgl and other new API's

      • Why not just download and run the executable.

        Good luck running Mac executables on a Windows PC. Or good luck making 14 different executables for 14 different platforms. You could have your web game designed, implemented, tested, and deployed by the time you finish applying to become a licensed developer on half of them.

    • by synapse7 (1075571)

      That is awesome, MegaMan 2 was great!

    • You jest but when I wanted to play NES games under linux, the emulators I found in apt-cache search were garbage or unusable. Best one had garbled sound, others were buggy, command-line only, unconfigured etc.
      I tried using good old Nesticle under Dosbox, it was almost good except that Dosbox only recognized two joystick buttons and not four.

      • when I wanted to play NES games under linux, the emulators I found in apt-cache search were garbage or unusable. Best one had garbled sound, others were buggy, command-line only, unconfigured etc.

        As a developer of homebrew NES games [pineight.com] that have been published on cartridge [infiniteneslives.com], I'd say the best NES emulators under Ubuntu are probably these:

        • FCEUX (SDL version, no debugger): sudo apt-get install fceux
        • FCEUX (Windows version, with debugger): sudo apt-get install wine then get the executable from FCEUX.com

        Both have a GUI for loading ROMs. Sound in FCEUX (Windows version) was garbled in the version of Wine included in 10.04, but by 12.04 it became usable. (The SDL version always worked fine.) What did you me

        • I think I ran fceux in mint 13 (ubuntu 12.04, linux version) and that the sound was garbled. I've just tried it in Mint 16 and the sound is excellent :), with Snake Rattle'n'Roll as a quick test. Selecting full screen crashes the program instantly though. I'll eventually migrate to Mint 17 and haven't tried the program in there yet.
          On linux you have a great variation between xorg, pulseaudio versions, plus shit like gcc and libc etc. so I'm sure some people have shit working in 2010 already and some other h

        • What did you mean by "buggy" and "unconfigured"?

          Buggy is a generic term for not working (like crashing or showing a black screen and no idea what to do), unconfigured is a cop out term for "I don't know how to configure it". I think one emulator worked nice after setting up keyboard or gamepad keys the ugly way and launching it from command line every time but I can't tell which it was.

          • by tepples (727027)

            Buggy is a generic term for not working (like crashing or showing a black screen and no idea what to do)

            Some more obscure games might not work because they use unusual mappers [nesdev.com] (configurations of hardware on the circuit board). An NES emulator has to emulate not only the components inside the Control Deck and the ROM chips but also the "bank switching" components that select which part of the ROM to read. Or you might have a bad dump, either with incorrect ROM data or configured to use the wrong mapper. Do games with simpler mapper hardware like Thwaite and RHDE [pineight.com] work?

            I think one emulator worked nice after setting up keyboard or gamepad keys the ugly way and launching it from command line every time but I can't tell which it was.

            Let me guess: Probably Mednafen or the old

  • If IE follows web standards it will remain relevant. Trying to lock developers into supporting a certain OS will only hasten its death though. Oh, and just a reminder to Microsoft, there are more devices running other systems than there are devices running Windows nowadays.

  • I have a copy. Microsoft is playing catchup....and very quickly.
  • i appreciate the effort that went into streamlining the user interface. Microsoft understands its customers have always wanted a reliable and efficient means to quickly download Firefox or Chrome, and IE12 delivers. Although the recycle bin isnt supported anymore, the icon now has advanced right-click features to permanently remove it from view faster than ever before. For Power users will enjoy the advanced 'uninstall' mode for IE12 found in the control panel as well.
  • Thanks Microsoft. You want to jump on the version bloat game that Firefox and Chrome have... but keeping the complete version incompatibility that IE is known for.

  • I love when MS invents these new things.

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