Ok, better get this post up before IE9 Beta hits and I miss my chance for doing it. The recent IE9 Platform Previews have demonstrated that MS is able to put new features and enhancements into IE just as fast as Chrome and Firefox can. Contray to how people has always viewed IE as being the slowest to evolve and react to changes in the web landscape.
But how was this possible? It was because the IE9 preview was deployed as a separate app, instead of upgrading the internal browser component that is in Windows. AFAIK it's a Microsoft policy that if you fix or update something that was delivered in the core Windows OS, you'll have to run a full test suite AGAINST Windows OS again. This would severely hampers speedy updates and feature enhancements such as needed for a web browser.
With Windows 7, a bulk of non system essential apps were already decoupled in the form of Windows Live Essentials. While leaving the core Windows 7 with some basic tools, this allows the programs that make up Live Essentials to be updated faster and without the bulk of testing that's required if it was considered part of the OS.
So.... what if IE9 was delivered as a separate program as well? Moving forward, what if IE8 becomes the standard included browser that comes with Windows, and then on install, you get to choose IE9 as well as the other browsers from the browser candidate screen (*sarcarsm* Thank you EU *sarcarsm*) to use the latest and greatest web technologies vs the standard no frills browser of IE8.
IF this does happen then most likely for us developers who use the IE browser component in our applications, we'll be given a COM shim that's about to use either IE9 if it's installed, or previous versions of IE if it's not.
It's an interesting scenario and proposition when I think about it... cause if IE9 does sit outside the "Included in Windows" category, the ability to quickly add features and functionalities to it would make it a browser to be reckoned with.
This is just my guess of what might happen. We'll know on September 15th 2010 when the IE9 Beta is launched to see if my prediction is correct.
Of course.... it's possible someone already mentioned this before, but I thought about this idea the moment the first Platform Preview was launched, just took awhile for me to write this.
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