back to article Microsoft muzzles IE chief's 'native HTML' nonsense

Microsoft has abandoned its nonsensical effort to recast HTML as a native Windows technology. We can once again applaud the company's long overdue embrace of the latest web standards. In April, with a speech at the company's annual MIX conference and an accompanying blog post, head IE man Dean Hachamovitch announced that the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    Following the sources in this article is a real eye opener.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Retry mode

      Sorry I was too high when I posted this. I meant, the sources referenced on this article are a good read. Recommended to everyone. Especially the one about the Modernizr library. Gonna light another one now. Peace.

  2. John Angelico

    Pinning the tale back on the donkey!

    '...the IE "pinning" tool, which lets you drag and drop links to off-visited websites onto you desktop.'

    ROFL till my teeth fell out.

    OS/2 Warp 3 and 4 had drag/n/drop EVERYWHERE in the 1990s.

    Netscape 4 for OS/2 Wap had d/n/d of HTML linnks to the desktop at the same time.

    Mozilla for OS/2-eCS STILL has it.

    1. Jeff Fraser

      Mac OS

      Mac OS 9 and 10 do this too - no idea how far back it goes but "Pinning" hardly seems like a new idea.

      I drag links onto my desktop on a daily basis and have for years. Am I missing something?

      1. El Andy

        Missing something? Yes.

        Site pinning is far more than simply being able to drag links to create shortcuts (which IE has also done for aeons). Pinned sites can provide a task list to the Windows shell and also report status via their icon, even when the page isn't open (e.g. showing how many unread emails you have). It's pretty cool functionality really.

        1. Daniel 1

          Pinned sites can provide a task list to the Windows shell

          Sounds great. Let's call it ActiveX 2.0? I can't think of any reason why the Nigerian branch of Barclays Bank shouldn't talk directly the the Windows Shell!

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        @Jeff Fraser

        Ah, but has it been patented?

    2. Old Handle


      As far as I know, virtually all Windows browsers support that as well. To be fair, I think there's a little more to the "pinning" concept than just "dragging a link to the desktop", but whether that adds anything desirable, or alternatively junks it up and makes it unusable, I have no idea.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        No, no. "Pinning" is a completely different process than "Drag and Drop" (tm)

        "Pinning" implies a fixed location that can't be inadvertently moved when you have 25 open Windows (tm) on the desktop whereas "Drag and Drop" does.

        More importantly, Apple own the process patent on Drag and Drop, and the fixed location is a sufficient improvement to allow MS to apply for a process patent on theirs.

    3. M Gale


      Yep. Works with Firefox and Chrome, dragging both to the Gnome desktop and to random panels.

      Wonder if this is one of those 235 patents?

  3. Doug 3

    listening to Microsoft is like listening to OJ Simpson

    everybody knows and nobody would listen to OJ Simpson say he didn't kill those people. Why does anyone publish or listen to Microsoft people? I would be shocked and stunned if Microsoft supported WebGL unless there was a way for them to subvert it so it was a Windows-only implementation. They do not care about standards because standards don't keep Windows the only important thing in the world.

    we don't care or listen to OJ any more so can we please stop publishing Microsoft people mouthing how everything but their shit stinks?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Just wait for Ballmer's new book

      "The Road Ahead: If I Did It"

  4. Steve Foster

    Want the skinny?

    1. Wibble


      Thanks for the link; brilliant.

      With all this native HTML5, I just want to forgive Microsoft's years of intransigent releasing of their non-standard, buggy, insecure, proprietary windows-only browsers. We see the light!

  5. Sabine Miehlbradt

    Odd choice of words

    ...on a meta level...

    Is this the level where decisions get made by people who have no idea what they are talking about but a very clear idea on who they wish to please and how exorbitant their bonus in the next round of layoffs be?

  6. Anonymous Coward


    IE -- the most native implementation of non-functionality ever.

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Quantum Leaping to the Next Searching Levels of Super Human Development

    "WebGL – the emerging standard that provides hardware-accelerated 3D inside the browser – has reached the 1.0 milestone." ....

    There are those who realise, and would would further develop to ensure SMART IT Systems be the future lead animal discipline, hardware-accelerated 3D is a steganographic euphemism for virtual machine reality in shared head spaces, for the browser is a world of emerging neureal and surreal places in which Great Gamers and Global Operating Devices work, rest and play.

    Provide IT with novel information and/or prime content and the virtual machinery supplies the sum of its components with the advanced intelligence to driver remotely and anonymously .......... well, it would be nothing less than a Universal Command and Control Utility and Operational Alien Facility?

    Do you think Microsoft are its IT lead players, or are they just crowd and cloud support actors in events which are presented/realised by other beings providing Future Agnostic Systems?

    "Workers are processes which perform computations, that is, they do the actual work.

    Supervisors are processes which monitor the behaviour of workers. A supervisor can restart a worker if something goes wrong." ...... ...... AI thinks Mankind is a Virtual Machine for Beta Programming?!.

    Or does Man think it and makes SMART use of IT to Realise and Present the Future to Media Mogul Players, via Virtual Channel Means and HyperRadioProActive Memes, which you should notice is not shared as a question.

    "Odd choice of words ...on a meta level... Is this the level where decisions get made by people who have no idea what they are talking about but a very clear idea on who they wish to please and how exorbitant their bonus in the next round of layoffs be?" .... Sabine Miehlbradt Posted Friday 8th July 2011 00:02 GMT

    Nein, Sabine, geht es nicht. It is much more the level where decisions get made by people who have every idea what they are talking about and a very clear idea on who they wish to please and how exorbitant their bonuses should be, should they be bothered at all about such bourgeois pettiness.

  8. Tinker Tailor Soldier

    Badly chosen words, but...

    What MS was trying to say was that they were consciously choosing to expose functionality in the OS that maps to what HTML-5 needs. For example, take a look at the brush types supported by Direct2D and look at the brush types used by SVG. So, native-HTML => natively supported HTML.

    WebGL is good for some things: games, somekinds of fast blitting and composition, but, you'd have a hard time using it for font rasterization. This is natively supported in Direct2D, as yet another example. The whole debate about hardware acceleration is actually quite subtle and watching this become a flame-bate issue bandied about by people with absolutely no conception of how the underlying technology works or how rendering systems function is tiresome.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Stop clarifying what some confused dude at MS says

      "Expose functionality in the OS that maps to what HTML-5 needs"

      It's called an API. Look it up sometimes.

      1. Tinker Tailor Soldier


        And that API could map with the right or wrong amount of impedance for what the browser needs or the right or wrong amount of abstraction for what the browser needs. Balancing this is actually harder than you might think. Too much impedance and you'll lose a lot of performance shunting data around. Too much abstraction and the API itself will start becoming the bottleneck as it tries to juggle resources for the app.

        Software architecture - try to understand it sometimes.....

    2. Sir Cosmo Bonsor

      Careful now

      It's not really the done thing to introduce sane, logical thought into proceedings when the dumber half of the Reg readership gets its anti-MS strop on.

      They prefer discussions of the format "BUUUHH! M$ IS TEH EVILS!!!1" and won't take kindly to this sort of distraction.

    3. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
      Paris Hilton

      Take a look at the bush types

      fnarr fnarr

      hardware acceleration.... no conception Fnarr! Fnarr!

      Paris, fnarr! fnarr!

  9. Anonymous Coward


    Last I checked, the WebGL people stated that some of the security problems would require new graphics drivers, and there was one (looking at images from another domain) that they hadn't decided how to fix yet. Given that, it seems quite reasonable for MS to wait a bit before implementing it. They can let Mozilla discover all the security holes, then MS can read the security bulletins and learn what to avoid.

    Lets be clear: MS implementing an alternative "standard" for web-based 3D would be bad, but that's not what's happened.

    And I'm sure MS will use DirectX as the API below IE for 3D rendering, but DirectX is a "C" API, not a HTML/JS API. They need something else for the webpage-to-browser API, and it's perfectly possible for them to use WebGL for that, while still using DirectX for the lower levels.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: WebGL

      The problem here is that they ain't getting 'em. The machines internal graphics drives are designed to performing graphics tasks quickly. So they should be, they shouldn't be in the business of validating everything sent to them.

      The fact that some total arsehat thought it was ok to directly expose the graphics APIs to the web without mandating something to sanitise what's pouring in from the sewer is the problem. It's only the external input that needs rigorous checking, so that's where the checking should be done to avoid crapping on the performance of everything else.

      The other elephant in this room is that there are almost certainly things happily running on PCs now with the odd bug or two in their graphics calls. Introducing rigorous sanitisation directly in the GPU drivers would break the lot of 'em.

  10. Des5798p

    Pinning give you jump lists

    It's not just pinning

  11. PolicyWatcher

    Dragging & Pinning? Yeah, but,...

    In implementing pinning and dragging of tabs between browsers in IE9, MS actually broke the normal "drag the favicon to the desktop/folder of your choice".

    If you drag the favicon to a folder, it still creates a shortcut there as planned. Almost.

    It also closes the tab in the current browser and reopens in a new browser instance, which is extremely unlikely to be what you wanted...

    If your original browser was IE64, you might be mildly irritated that the new instance is IE32.

    Oh - and about half the time, the newly opened page is the root page of the site you were visiting, not the page you were actually viewing.

    And when you come to re-open the newly-created shortcut on the desktop/folder, you'll find that this, too, refers to the root of the site, and not the page you wanted.

    Try opening and dragging the favicon to the desktop and you'll see what I mean.

    Bloody annoying, really. FF it is, then.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Tried it before...

    Did they try this like, ten years ago? With that whole 'Active Desktop' crap? It was a stupid idea then, and remains as such. If I want to browse the web, I'll do so in a web browser.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      pinning is great, ive actually got really used to it, in a sense its much like the tiles on Windows phone, they can provide all sorts of feedback and if the website is setup correctly to use them it can all sorts of functionality, can it be abused somehow? i dunno, possibly, i dont know the details on how they work, but the only way it can be abused is the age old problem of the user , for instance, you want to pin a website like "porn for free" than thats your choice but dont be supprised if it comes with some added extras, thas not MSs fault, thats stupid users, and again, that assumes that there isnt some form of limitiation built in to it.

      Its nothing like active desktop which was a intresting idea but never really took off because it was crap and was a huge security risk, but even with that, assuming you had good security and a good well designed page it wasnt too bad, it was just way ahead of its self and far to immature for the general public.

  13. JDX Gold badge


    In theory, IE could implement WebGL on top of Direct3D I should think. However, a more abstracted 3D API for the browser might be better i.e not GL or D3D, so that each browser can implement it using any tech they want depending on platform. Or maybe WebGL already is that, and the 'GL' in WebGL is about as relevant as the 'Java' in Javascript?

  14. mhenriday

    WTF ? Isn't Internet Explorer synonymous with the internet ?

    And MS «standards» de-facto web standards ? Guess not, any longer, if StatCounter's worldwide stats ( are to be believed. Can't help wondering, in fact, how the stats for worldwide minus China would look, as that latter country seems to be IE's last best bastion (, with versions of the browser still enjoying a market share there of over 85 % (of which nearly half is due to good old reliabl[ly malware-friendly] IE6 - anybody wonder why so much malware and spam comes via Chinese addresses ?...


  15. James Gosling


    They just don't get the concept of "cross-platform" do they?

  16. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  17. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Does anyone hear the chanting

    Enfold, extend, extinguish?

    I see from other posters that Drag n Drop is patented but held by Apple (one MS does *not* own. Gasp) but this new hotness *is* owned by MS.

    so in old fashioned Windows developerspeak this lets you set up (proprietary) iconised desktop window with a DDE link (or equivalent) to the website allowing it to update the window title bar.

    Like those desktop clock demo apps so beloeved of Windows developer books, but from a remote website.

    Does anyone sense IE6 lock in all over again?

  18. Edwin Spoon

    Edwin Spoon

    Yeah, it's kind of ironic that the people responsible for making MS's browser compatible with the universal language standard that is HTML has had one of the poorest records of HTML compatibility in the industry. Maybe it has gotten better over the last few years though. I really don't know because I stopped using Internet Explorer the first day I tried it and have only used it infrequently since. I do use it for local navigation using a web page with iframes and directory links. Kind of a custom Explorer without the tree. All my directories are handy that way.

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