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#1 +Frank B.

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 16:39

Internet Explorer 12 to feature 'substantial changes' to the user interface?

 

In an official Microsoft blog post late last month, it was revealed that the Redmond giant had already begun development on the next version of Internet Explorer - currently known as Internet Explorer 12 (IE12). Microsoft outlined some of these new features and indicated that they were in development, as part of Microsoft's commitment of delivering interoperable implementations for the latest features on the modern Web.

 

But it seems like Microsoft has more up it's sleeve with the development of IE12. One of our readers reported an issue with Internet Explorer 11's bookmarks bar requiring some user interface improvements. The issue was reported to Microsoft's Internet Explorer team on Microsoft Connect. While this may be considered a minor issue (if you want to call it that), the interesting part about this is Microsoft's response. "Thanks for the feedback. We're making substantial changes to the UI, we'll keep this in mind. Best Regards, The Internet Explorer Team."

 

From the sounds of it, Microsoft is looking to make some big changes to Internet Explorer 12, especially to the user interface. Will there be changes for the desktop or the Modern interface? Or will it be for both interfaces? Details are nonexistent right now but we are sure to hear more about this as development continues. Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer's primary competitor, recently underwent a major user interface overhaul too.

 

Thusfar, Microsoft has outlined a few new features for IE12, such as Web Audio, Media Capture, and HTTP/2 support. Web Audio, for those that did not know, is a specification that describes a high-level JavaScript API for processing and synthesizing audio in web applications. Media Capture allows access to a device's camera or microphone, while HTTP/2 is a major revision of the Web's protocol and is intended to decrease the wait time spent loading web pages. You can see a list of planned features by visiting status.modern.ie.

 

In the mean time, what interface improvements would you like to see in Internet Explorer 12?

 

Source: winbeta.org




#2 Max Norris

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 16:46

In the mean time, what interface improvements would you like to see in Internet Explorer 12?

Proper extensions. Not plugins, not ActiveX components, just good old-fashioned extensions. IE lately has lots of potential, some really nice features, but that's a deal breaker for me.

#3 +Brando212

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 16:49

that's one thing i can completely agree with. the ActiveX stuff needs to go. there are better ways to go about it that is more standard and doesn't break pages on other browsers



#4 Max Norris

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 16:52

that's one thing i can completely agree with. the ActiveX stuff needs to go. there are better ways to go about it that is more standard and doesn't break pages on other browsers

I wouldn't say it needs to go, it's used quite often in corporate setups, has some pretty spiffy capabilities.. but yea it's very inappropriate for the end-user for usability and security reasons.

#5 George P

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 16:58

Interesting to see what they do, and if they want to bring extensions then I'm betting they'll be C#/.NET based at this point.



#6 zhangm

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 17:00

I'm not clear whether the significant changes to the UI mentioned in that comment refer to the general UI, or the UI of the favorites management system.

 

Regardless, besides extensions, I'd like to see more done with the about:Tabs page - maybe "live" slices of sites that are pinned there.



#7 George P

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 17:14

I'm not clear whether the significant changes to the UI mentioned in that comment refer to the general UI, or the UI of the favorites management system.

 

Regardless, besides extensions, I'd like to see more done with the about:Tabs page - maybe "live" slices of sites that are pinned there.

 

Even if they don't change the general window UI layout and only the favorites and settings/options bits, those two would be big at this point.  Internet Options has to be redone, heck they should've redone that years ago.



#8 Max Norris

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 17:21

Internet Options has to be redone, heck they should've redone that years ago.

Heh that config dialog's been like that since Windows 95. Getting a tad stale.

#9 link8506

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 17:28

Proper extensions. Not plugins, not ActiveX components, just good old-fashioned extensions. IE lately has lots of potential, some really nice features, but that's a deal breaker for me.


extensions are a thing of the past.

the trend is to sandbox everything, to avoid people getting infected by malicious apps that access their personal data or put ads everywhere.

it doesn't make any sense to sandbox everything in the OS, and at the same time let the doors wide open for malicious extension developers.

that's what Google did with ChromeOS, and it turns out that if it had a significant market share, adwares developers could still encourage extension developers to include adware code in their extension (like happens with PC/mac software)

or even worse, malicious devs,could publish malicious extensions that steal passwords disguised as some kind of FLV downloader.

this is not fiction, there are already malicious extensions that work on Chrome OS.

thus, I don't think you'll see Chrome-like extensions in IE.

however, MS may try more secure approaches such as WebSlices, Accelerators which add features to the browser without letting malicious source run any code capable of stealing data.

#10 Dot Matrix

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 17:29

I'm not sure what "substantial" changes they could make. The IE11 UI is the best one they've had so far for IE. Really hope they don't end up cluttering it up again.



#11 bithush

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 17:30

Extensions written in JavaScript (or more likely TypeScript as it is Microsoft) is the biggest missing feature in IE for me. A better interface for managing favourites is badly needed too. I actually think the interface in IE11 is great though. It is minimal and keeps out of the way which is what you want in a browser. The options screen needs a lot of work though, it is just horrible to find things and has not changed since IE5.

 

I would actually really like Microsoft to do a full reboot of IE as a separate browser with all of the cruft removed. They did it for Metro and a cut down version with things like ActiveX totally removed would be pretty great :yes:



#12 link8506

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 17:38

Heh that config dialog's been like that since Windows 95. Getting a tad stale.


look no further than IE/Metro's new settings panels (in the charms bar).

the classic Internet options panel will probably not change.

Microsoft has already said a few years ago that any change would have to bring significant improvements to the users. Microsoft can't change control panel user interfaces just for the sake of making them prettier, because there are tons of documentations referring to the current UI, and making changes would require rewriting these documentations (not a problem for Microsoft's own documentation. It's a problem for big enterprises who have lot of internal deployment configuration guides, and for books teaching Windows administration).


I would actually really like Microsoft to do a full reboot of IE as a separate browser with all of the cruft removed. They did it for Metro and a cut down version with things like ActiveX totally removed would be pretty great :yes:


as you said, Microsoft already did it with Metro (and WP too).

IE no longer supports ActiveX and BHOs (native extensions).

#13 Max Norris

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 17:54

extensions are a thing of the past.

So are inextensible browsers. Last one I used that no way to add functionality was back around the turn of the century. Not denying there's security risks, that's obvious, but flat out removing an absurdly useful feature is an incredible step backwards. No flexibility, no thanks, easy as that.. got alternatives.

#14 link8506

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 18:07

So are inextensible browsers. Last one I used that no way to add functionality was back around the turn of the century. Not denying there's security risks, that's obvious, but flat out removing an absurdly useful feature is an incredible step backwards. No flexibility, no thanks, easy as that.. got alternatives.


I'm sure that Microsoft is fine with that.

very few people actually use extensions. Some of them who use extensions might as well use separate apps (such as apps to browse and download YouTube videos, rather than a browser extension).

if 1% continue to use Firefox or chrome because of the lack of extensions in IE, then Microsoft still has 99% of potential users who will be interested to have a trouble-free browsing experience on a WindowsRT-like OS (that includes WP).

By trouble-free I mean no malwares/adwares due to malicious extensions, and no crashes/performances issues due to poorly programmed extensions.

#15 Max Norris

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 18:09

very few people actually use extensions.

Got a source for that one? Because I'm looking at both the Firefox and Chrome extension pages and I see millions of users calling you out on that statement, sorry.

Some of them who use extensions might as well use separate apps (such as apps to browse and download YouTube videos, rather than a browser extension).

And another big step backwards in usability.