The time has come to make a summary of the past year and have a look into the future – the year of 2009. About a year ago I made a similar post with a summary and some predictions. This year has been a fast year and I have made so much, both personally and at work. For a few months in the spring I was at home taking care of my daughters and tried not to work (which I find really hard).
So everyone by now knows that Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 is available for download, and you all have read positive and/or negative reactions (why do people bother to repeat complaints such as; Firefox already has that feature, Safari is still better, yadda yadda…). Anyhow I have tried it out during the day and have had a really nice experience. Aside from the improved performance (will be back with more on that later on, but Firefox is still way ahead) I have found some really nice improvements.
It’s summer and time for some vacation, finally. This year has been hard work so far – and I don’t expect it to get lighter this upcoming autumn and winter. I’ve had fun though! Microsoft SharePoint has really been one thing occupying my work – it feels like everyone is not just looking at SharePoint, they want to use it now! We have a couple of cases that is really interesting and I hope that I have convinced them and proposed a nice solution.
Due to the large amount of users still using Internet Explorer 6 a campaign has started to save developers from having to making specific adaptations to IE6 - SaveTheDevelopers.org. The Save The Developers site contains a script that anyone can place on their web site and it will show a warning to IE6 users and urge them to upgrade to any of the four major browsers; Internet Explorer 7, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari or Opera.
Apple have now released the final version of the Safari browser to Windows, which has not gone unnoticed since they are pushing it as a pre-selected optional update to QuickTime or iTunes. I still refuse to install iTunes on my machines so this approach from Apple is not new to me. As soon as there are any updates to QuickTime Apple recommends me to install iTunes, via Apple Software Update.
Finally Internet Explorer 8 beta 1 has been released into the wild and of course I had to install it right away and try it out, and these are my first impressions. Installation The installation went smooth and just a reboot on a Windows Vista Ultimate machine. Speed This is by far the best experience so far. It starts really fast, it opens a new tab/windows faster and it renders the pages even faster.
Microsoft has published the Internet Explorer 8 Readiness Toolkit site, since IE8 Beta will be available for download very soon. The site contains information on some of the various new and interesting stuff that IE8 will deliver for consumers and developers. Most of the links are currently not working as this post is written… Here are some of the highlights if you ignore all the improvements such as CSS compliance etc.
Breaking news! Good news! Finally! Microsoft and the Internet Explorer team has finally decided to change their previous decision and decided that Internet Explorer 8 will render pages using web standards by default, instead of having some backwards-compatible mode. To catch up and read more head on over to these posts/links. I guess the blogosphere will be flooded with this today… Microsoft Press Release on the subject IEBlog - Microsoft’s Interoperability Principles and IE8 Mary Jo Foley - Microsoft caves: ‘Super-standards’ mode to become IE 8 default This is by far the best news in ages from Microsoft (the new open Microsoft?
Microsoft is currently in the middle of the process of creating the next generation Microsoft web browser, with the fantastic name - Internet Explorer 8. A few days ago, the IE team reports, the internal build of Internet Explorer 8 passed the Acid2 browser test, which is used to ensure proper support for web standards. This is not the case with IE7, take a look at the picture on the right, it should render to a nice smiley…
I’m currently in progress of making the third version of msfeedicon, a free plugin to the Windows RSS platform and Internet Explorer 7 feeds. The new version, 3.0, will include an updated interface as well as some requested features and some major changes that msfeedicon users have asked/begged me about. This is how the notification window currently looks like. I will need a few, 3 or 4 to start with, beta testers to make sure that I have a good release once it’s final, please contact me if you are interested and explain why you should be one of the beta testers.
Yesterday I wrote about Internet Explorer 7 starting to behave like mad when reading feeds with the built-in Feeds functionality. This morning when reading my feeds I specifically studied the usage of GDI Objects in the Task Manager, and these are my findings: GDI Objects Action 1.656 After started IE7 and watched first feed 6.037 After reading about 20 different feeds, in the same IE7 tab 811 Browsed to a non-feed site in the same tab
Internet Explorer 7 has great RSS reader features based on the Windows RSS Platform but I have seen it degrade over the last few months as my number of subscribed feeds and new posts has increased. Every morning when I get to the office I have a few hundred of unread items to go through, see sample statistics from msfeedicon to the right. I have a pretty modern Dell XPS m1210 machine with 2 GB of memory and as I start reading these feeds Windows starts to trash and finally totally goes nuts.
Yes, you heard it right, Sandi Hardmeier (IE MVP) brings us the story that today Microsoft will re-release Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP. The interesting stuff is that the re-release will not have any Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) check during installation. My humble guess is that Microsoft is trying to get all non-legal copies of Windows XP to update to the more secure version of Internet Explorer. I have not seen any official words yet on this and it’s not available on Windows Update, but I’ll update this post as soon as I get more news.
Finally Microsoft has released Silverlight 1.0 - Microsofts new streaming media platform which aims to compete with Adobe Flash. Silverlight is a cross-platform and cross-browser plugin with focus on delivering high performing graphical web interfaces, with support for Windows and Mac OS. Download the final release here. The download page still says Silverlight 1.0 RC , but the RC will automatically update to the final version. For Linux there is a project under the Mono umbrella called Moonlight which will provide a Linux implementation of Silverlight.
Yet another It sucks post! Yesterday I installed the Apple Safari browser on my Windows Vista machine. I thought that it would be nice to use the fastest web browser in the universe to do some application/site compatibility testing without having to have a Mac OS/X system. Yes it is a beta, so I won’t complain about all the bugs and rendering problems (it might of course be the sites I’m testing but in some cases I don’t think so) - I will instead complain on the ugly look and appearance of it.
I initially had some trouble installing Microsoft Silverlight on Windows Vista. It all installed perfectly without any warnings (not during setup nor in the Windows logs), but I could not get the Silverlight 1.0 beta applications to run. I guess that it had something to do with having installed WPF/E betas installed. To get it to work this is what I did… 1: Start a command prompt using elvated privilegies
The msfeedicon 2.3 application is now available for downloading. msfeedicon is a free plugin for the Windows RSS platform and Internet Explorer 7 which displays notifications whenever one of the subscribed feeds contains updates. Read more about it here. New in this release is: New icons to enhance usability - due to popular demandNow orange icons is shown when there are unread posts and grey if there are no unread posts.
The last few days I’ve had trouble with the Windows RSS platform and Internet Explorer 7 on Windows Vista Ultimate. The feeds are updating fine but the notification has been troublesome, for example the feed folders never updated the number of unread items in the folder even though there were unread items in feeds in the folder, look at the image below. This also caused some trouble in the msfeedicon utility, the Windows RSS Platform notification application, which threw an exception for this.
msfeedicon 2.2 is now available for download! msfeedicon is an Internet Explorer 7 add-on which displays an icon in the system tray with information on your feed subscriptions and notifies you with a notification window when a feed is updated. Version 2.2 contains some interesting new features such as the possibility to use Tags to find the posts that you are interested. It’s especially interesting if you subscribes on a lot of feeds.
msfeedicon, the Internet Explorer 7 feeds utility, is now at version 2.1, a new release with interesting new features. It was just a few days ago that version 2.0 was released, but I have recieved interesting feedback and I had some good ideas on how to develop it further that I just had to implement. I already have plans for another two or three releases in the near future, contact me if you are interested, so you will most probably see more upgrades soon…
It seems like I was not the only one who thought that there should be some nice system tray application for the feeds in Internet Explorer 7. I created the msfeedicon application which shows unread feed posts and notifies the user of new and unread posts. The application have had a few hundred downloads so far and I have had positive feedback from users. Now the Microsoft RSS Team have released the (unsupported) Feeds Plus plugin to Internet Explorer 7 which basically do the same thing with some differences, read more about them on the RSS Team blog.
msfeedicon is now released at version 2.0 and is a major update to the previous versions. msfeedicon is a plugin to the Windows RSS platform and Internet Explorer 7 Feeds and appears as an icon in the Windows XP/Vista system tray and displays when you have unread posts in your subscribed feeds. Whenever there is new posts in a feed msfeedicon will show an alert window with direct access to unread posts.
Here comes yet another update to the msfeedicon utility, version 1.4. The msfeedicon utility is a free notification icon for the Windows RSS platform, that comes with Internet Explorer 7. The utility will show whenever one of your feeds have been updated and gives you easy access to view the feed. All this so you do not have to waste space on your screen with the Internet Explorer 7 Feeds task pane or some Windows Vista Sidebar gadget.
The IEBlog announced that the IE Developer Toolbar Beta 3 is available now. It contains some nice updates such as new interface with an icon in the command bar for easy access to the DOM Explorer and finally a great HTML source viewer. Time will also tell if the R-character hijack bug is still left, I have not noticed it yet… Note: You have to uninstall previous betas of the IE Developer Toolbar, otherwise you will have some nice crashes of Internet Explorer when trying to access the toolbar.
I have now updated msfeedicon to version 1.3 after a few days of running and some feedback. The major issue corrected in this version is that the application looses connection to the Windows RSS platform after a few hours of running, this problem is in all previous versions. You can find the new version here.
I had just finished msfeedicon 1.0 when I decided to make an update, version 1.1, with some functionality I would like to see and some bugfixes. This 1.1 update contains: New feature: Refresh feeds option in the context menu New feature: greenish icons when the RSS platform downloads/refreshes feeds Update: better icons Bug fix: correct number of unread posts when a feed is removed You can download the update here, hope you like it…
For a while I have been annoyed that there is no good notification in Internet Explorer 7 when you have unread posts in your subscribed feeds. You have to have the Favorites Center opened to be notified of any feed updates, which may take up useful space on your screen. Therefore I created a small utility that takes advantage of the Windows RSS platform and shows an icon in the system tray which notifies you of any unread feed posts - called msfeedicon.
Today I start my two weeks vacation and I thought I should summarize this year. The year of 2006 has been characterized, for me, as the year of Betas and Technology Previews. I have been trying to involve myself as much as possible in the all the goodies flowing out of Redmond. Microsoft has released numerous amount of new applications and upgrades. Internet Explorer 7 The new version of Internet Explorer is the application this year that will have most impact in the short run on users.
Microsoft today announced huge changes to the Microsoft Expression suite. Expression Studio Expression Studio is a new member of the Expression suite and is a suite of tools for building web sites and Windows client programs and rich media content. The Expression Studio consits of the four core Expression products; Web, Blend, Design and Media. Expression Design Expression Design, formerly known as Graphics Designer, has come in yet another CTP. The big news here is a complete new user interface, at first glance it looks much better than the old one.
Since Internet Explorer 7 is on Windows Update and installed as a high-priority update a lot of users have Internet Explorer 7 installed or you are using the brand new Windows Vista, but how do you do when you are a web application developer and have to test it on Internet Explorer 6. Yes, Internet Explorer 6 will be with us for a long time. You have three options: Have a secondary machine stand by with Internet Explorer 6.
Demonstrating applications for customers is a haunted task. When doing a demo for a customer at least one thing will fail or result in an unexpected result; a brand new error, a debug dialog box with unwanted text, test content that should not be read by the ones you are demoing for etc. If it’s not the application then you have some other things messing up; no connection between the laptop or projector or no connection to the network.
Simple List Extensions (SLE) is a set of extensions to RSS 2.0 and Atom feeds created by Microsoft to make it easier to exposing ordered lists through the feeds. Simple List Extension contains a set of tags that tells the feed readers how to sort or filter the items in the feed. It also contains a tag that instructs the reader to interpret the feed as a list. If the feed is marked as a list the reader should treat the feed as the complete ordered list which means that readers must remove any cached items not present in the feed.
I recently ran into a problem where I had by mistake checked the Remember password checkbox in Internet Explorer 7 (RC) when visiting a NTLM based website, then I wanted to get back to use my currently logged on user to access this website. There is no way to clear these usernames and passwords using the standard ways in Internet Explorer. First of all I tried to turn off the Automatic logon only in Intranet Zone and entering a new but faulty password for the user and checking the remember password checkbox.
The posts are everywhere that Internet Explorer 7 RC1 is out, and I’m not late to test it out. The download of 15 Mb was fast and the installation was easy; it did uninstall the previous beta of IE7, rebooted and installed the RC1. The first think I noticed was that I think it is still a slow-starter, when you open it as the first application after the first boot (it may be my hogging Dell Inspirion 9100?
I found this post about Windows Live Writer at MSTechToday. Windows Live Writer is a desktop application that makes it easier to compose compelling blog posts using Windows Live Spaces or your current blog service. Read more about it and download it at the Writer Zone. The installation program also installs Windows Live Toolbar. It’s worth checking out…
My company is partners with Microsoft and I am the one responsible for managing the partnership and now and then have to log in to the Microsoft partner site to manage the partnership (check out the status of references, products and MCP’s). Since I have been using Internet Explorer 7 (beta) for a few months I have not been able to use the site with the browser, unless I fire up my test machine with W2K and IE6.
For me this second quarter of 2006 has been so interesting with all these beta and CTP products from Microsoft. The summer will be a long wait for the Release Candidates and the autumn a huge and shaky wait for the gold products. Here is a short summary of what i think so far; **Microsoft Expression Graphics Designer**An interesting product which I have big hopes for, I really like, and have just adjusted, to the vector way of doing my graphics.
The IQBlog has a post, Microsoft OneNote: Great program, interesting design flaw, in which they disucuss the lack of the Save button. Chris Pratley, Group Manager of the OneNote team, responds to the post in a comment - it’s worth reading. And as a side note, the posting page is reported by Internet Explorer 7 as a potential phising page.
I have been using Microsof Internet Explorer 7 beta for a while and I have noticed that some sites are reported as suspicious phising websites. The address bar turns yellow and a big popup informs you about it. A few days ago the popup appeard on one of my blog entries. The popup includes a link to a site in which you may inform Microsoft that you are the owner of the site and the site is not a phising site.
Wow, thats my opinion of Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, beta 2. I have been running the preview of the beta 2 for a while and I am so pleased with the upgrade (ahem - new) browser. I have been faithful to Internet Explorer through the last years and I sure will be one truly loyal user for a few more years - if they will speed up the adaptation to new techniques in the upcoming releases.