IE11 to appear as Firefox to avoid legacy IE CSS

We already know that Internet Explorer 11, the next iteration of the world's most popular browser, will include tab syncing as part of the Windows Blue update, which has leaked onto the Internet. Neowin has also discovered that IE11 will include new code which tells the host website that IE is, in fact, Firefox.

Some websites serve certain versions of Internet Explorer (we're looking at you, 6) with custom CSS code in order to make sure the website displays in a readable way. These practices are known as "CSS hacks" and target IE6, 7, 8 with a different type of CSS code than other browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox.

Microsoft have replaced the "MSIE" string, which identifies the browser to the website as Internet Explorer, with just "IE," meaning host websites won't be able to use their current CSS hacks on IE11. To further ensure IE11 users don't receive an odd version of the site, Microsoft also included the command "Like Gecko" which instructs the website to send back the same version of the website as they would to Firefox. The results of this update are unknown, especially on websites which are poorly coded. The move is strange, but shows that Microsoft is desperate to clean up Internet Explorer and get away from the awful experience in IE6, 7 and 8. 

Neowin has reached out to Microsoft to ask whether the "Like Gecko" addition (along with the change in user string) will be included in the final build of IE11, and whether the implementation will cause any problems. We will update the article if we hear back. 

Keep in mind, this all could change before IE11 is released to the public.

A screenshot of the new browser user agent string is below, courtesy of Microsoft Collection Book

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Windows Blue to include 'picture frame' mode

Next Story

Joe Belfiore teases major Windows Phone 8 app release [Update]

77 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Not really sure what all the fuss is about to be honest. I am not a lover of IE, however I do think MS have made some major improvements, specially to IE10 and more to come in IE11. The only things I may sometimes cater for are those older browsers that don't support CSS3 and/or HTML5 elements. Sod all these IE hacks.

google implements "cool" vendor specific features and the fanboys create websites that require these non-standard extensions that don't work on other browsers. Hoping the one with the biggest market gets to set the standard.

sounds like netscape vs IE era all over again.


I code my websites to pass W3C's validator, and they work just fine on IE9 and IE10 without any hacks or tweaks.
If you need to hack, you're doing it wrong.

As a web developer who has made a conscious decision to not code for IE, I don't see how this will be that big of a deal. Instead of searching for MSIE in the User Agent String, I'll simply look for "IE" and/or the word "TRIDENT" and return the standard "Download a different browser website." If I develop a site that is 100% W3C-standards compliant, it only works in IE about 80% of the time. I refuse to use CSS-hacks. Instead, I prefer to educate my visitors.

Well, except, looking for IE will not do exactly as you expect. It will also detect the Irish-Gaelic language code and Firefox nightlies. Why not just allow a browser to render what it is capable of doing?

Steven Williamson said,
As a web developer who has made a conscious decision to not code for IE, I don't see how this will be that big of a deal. Instead of searching for MSIE in the User Agent String, I'll simply look for "IE" and/or the word "TRIDENT" and return the standard "Download a different browser website."

Lame. And good luck with that.

If I develop a site that is 100% W3C-standards compliant, it only works in IE about 80% of the time. I refuse to use CSS-hacks. Instead, I prefer to educate my visitors.

You're doing it wrong.

Why is everyone jumping to conclusions ... It is more than likely that this is just a test function for development and not meant for the final consumer version ...

this has been done before...

lunamonkey said,
It's not simulating... it's maskerading.

Edit: and even then, it's not maskerading, it's just a "like..." in the string.


And even then, it's masquerading.

WebKit also includes “like Gecko” in its UA string. The practice of UA sniffing is so broken, even the most popular browsers have to pretend to be someone else to bypass the detection scripts.

Northgrove said,
I wonder why they chose to simulate Firefox/Gecko and not the more popular WebKit engine.

FYI, Webkit identifies itself as "KHTML, like Gecko".

Note to article author ... Firefox isn't the only browser to use the Mozilla Gecko engine.

"IE11 will include new code which tells the host website that IE is, in fact, Firefox."
The last few words of that line should be changed to:
" ... is masquerading as a Mozilla Gecko based browser, such as Firefox"

"Microsoft also included the command "Like Gecko" which instructs the website
to send back the same version of the website as they would to Firefox."
The last part of that should be changed to:
"Microsoft also included the command "Like Gecko" which instructs the website to send
back the same version of the website as they would to Mozilla Gecko based browsers."

Even then the final line is only true ".. if the developer decided for some reason to detect for 'Gecko' and send a different version."

Which NO ONE WOULD DO!!!

The only reason people browser detect, should be for analytics. The well formed CSS should be more than capable of taking care of any browser since IE8. The only CSS hacks (which don't work from user agent anyway) should only be there for IE6/7.

The term CSS hacks is for underscore and holly hacks etc... from the 2004 era. These days if you really need it, then IE 'IF' comments are available for IE6-9. Any user agent tricks are totally separate from CSS hacks.

This article is annoying, there's too many assumptions listed as facts.

DJGM said,
Note to article author ... Firefox isn't the only browser to use the Mozilla Gecko engine.

"IE11 will include new code which tells the host website that IE is, in fact, Firefox."
The last few words of that line should be changed to:
" ... is masquerading as a Mozilla Gecko based browser, such as Firefox"

"Microsoft also included the command "Like Gecko" which instructs the website
to send back the same version of the website as they would to Firefox."
The last part of that should be changed to:
"Microsoft also included the command "Like Gecko" which instructs the website to send
back the same version of the website as they would to Mozilla Gecko based browsers."


Uhm, IE10 already has HTML 5 quirks mode, which is already in the direction of how Gecko renders HTML pages. It makes more sense that IE11 has an improved version of this which might even properly imitate the Gecko rendering engine on top of Trident.

MS isn't going to actually implement Gecko or Webkit. They spend 2 decades on Trident. Trident is the birth rendering engine of our graphical WWW. Why start abandoning it now? Especially after the major overhaul it went through in IE9. Its the only HTML rendering engine that is not just a fancy document viewer. Webkit and Gecko are both Document based rendering engines. Trident compiles the website and actively runs it, not just displays it.

lunamonkey said,
Even then the final line is only true ".. if the developer decided for some reason to detect for 'Gecko' and send a different version."

Which NO ONE WOULD DO!!!

So why have Safari and Chrome long been sending "like Gecko" in their UA strings?
(and Chrome also includes "Safari" in its string!)

Seems like you can't build a decent website anymore without browsers making a standard you use to be incompatible. Even flash and HTML5 are getting hell. Poor users who just want to view a website..

Turning "MSIE" to "IE" is perfect! It's annoying when so many devs develop their sites with browser hacks when IE9+ render fine for the most part using web-standard code. With the switch to "IE" this should hopefully fix it so it doesn't go into compatibility mode.

Thanks to first IE8, a good step forward for IE by MS, I stopped sniffing the string for browsers. I still keep track of the UA string of my users though, incase I might run into problems.
IE8 was still lacking some functionality and more importantly, CSS functions. But it only made the site look worse It still worked and the overall theme was still similar.
After the IE10 release, somehow margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto; stopped working in IE9? Still wondering why this happened. But since I only support the most recent releases of browsers, haven't put any time in it yet. My sites that are centered are now all stuck to the left side in IE9. Not a dealbreaker just slightly annoying for consistency across platforms/browsers.

I still see UA sniffing way to much. And it's very, very annoying as I don't always want to dick around with the developer tools. I see myself using Iron/Opera/Fx quite often, while I prefer IE10. Mainly due to the design of the browser though and font rendering, its a bit faster usually then the other browsers. But the speed differences are unimportant nowadays as its barely noticeable by the naked eye. Even the rendering between the 3 is almost identical without using any browser specific hack. The browser wars are nearing their end. Mozilla/Netscape are going back where they started. I just wonder how long Chrome will last before crashing down to earth or if they stay hovering around their current marketshare.

People should stop ranting so much about standards compliance. The internet is further of the standards now then it was a decade ago. This isn't just a war between BLINK and MARQUEE.

Edited by ShadowMajestic, Mar 25 2013, 3:38pm :

The main problem with Internet explorer is because it is tied with a specific OS.

For windows, i can install or update Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera in Windows without even restart the system. And if some version gives me trouble then, i can uninstall it and install an older version.

Brony said,
The main problem with Internet explorer is because it is tied with a specific OS.

For windows, i can install or update Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera in Windows without even restart the system. And if some version gives me trouble then, i can uninstall it and install an older version.


So what's your point?

btw, IE components are used by many different (3rd party) programs and that is why it can not just upgrade on the fly.

Speaking of IE components, my IE10 still runs ActiveX plugins designed for IE6.
I wonder if I can use some of the Mozilla Browser (ancestor of Fx) plugins for current Fx? Oh wait no.
Can I use Chrome plugins that old? Oh no, Chrome came around after the release of IE7.... Darn

Brony said,
The main problem with Internet explorer is because it is tied with a specific OS.

For windows, i can install or update Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera in Windows without even restart the system. And if some version gives me trouble then, i can uninstall it and install an older version.

YEs...IE is better that way. Since much of the foundation of IE is written in the kernel of the OS. Makes it more secure. No need to run stupid security scripts which slows broswers down.

Won't make much difference really. If sites are UA sniffing then they're made wrong.

For example look at my version of Chrome on Win8. Mentions Mozilla, Apple, Webkit, KHTML, Gecko and Chrome in one string.

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.2; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.22 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/25.0.1364.172 Safari/537.22

No no no no NO!
MS is breaking a set standard. That'd be like someone peddling hydrogen cyanide off as 'vegetable oil... it`s not dangerous'.
Sites using IE6 hacks in CSS have code so that versions > 6 ignore the IE6 hacks.

There's never really been a UA-string standard, and this isn't the first time it's happened either. There's a reason that all browsers start with "Mozilla/5.0" in the UA

This is naught but history repeating for the modern generation, and a web browser team desperately trying to escape a past that it no longer really relates to (i.e. IE6/7/8).

I find when a site doesn't look right in IE10, setting the user agent to Chrome or Firefox (using the F12 Developer Tools) usually sorts it. This is exactly why this change is necessary.

Xeron said,
I find when a site doesn't look right in IE10, setting the user agent to Chrome or Firefox (using the F12 Developer Tools) usually sorts it. This is exactly why this change is necessary.

It's not MS"s fault that site creator don't make and/or test sites properly. The CSS syntax has existed for a long time to allow snippets of code run only on IE6 so if they're not using it, they should be held accountable.

n_K said,

It's not MS"s fault that site creator don't make and/or test sites properly. The CSS syntax has existed for a long time to allow snippets of code run only on IE6 so if they're not using it, they should be held accountable.

It's MS' fault that created this mess in the first place. Garbage browsers for years, strings and all etc.

PC EliTiST said,

It's MS' fault that created this mess in the first place. Garbage browsers for years, strings and all etc.


Troll alert!
But please tell me, back when IE6 was released, what other proper browser was available?
Opera Free had a giant frigging ad taking up 1/3rd of your screen.(It moved too, very distracting).
Mozilla browser was slow and sluggish, needing a modern day computer to run smoothly.
And uhm..? hmm? what? I don't know. Do you?

Microsoft also included the command "Like Gecko" which instructs the website to send back the same version of the website as they would to Firefox.

it's technically not a command.
but most websites practicing user agent sniffing are looking for the string "MSIE" to detect whether the browser is IE, or "Gecko" for Firefox.
chrome does the same thing by adding the word "safari" in its user agent, to benefit from the style sheets that would be served to Safari (instead of those served to IE or Firefox).

Wow. I really can't believe this. It goes to show why UA sniffing is bad practice. The UA strings are just a mess these days and don't mean anything.

Also, is it wise for Microsoft to be using "rv:11.0" in the string? That is meant to show the Gecko version number. Gecko gets updated every six weeks and is currently at version 19. This will not end well.

It's highly unlikely that anyone is parsing for the version of Firefox within the User Agent, as Firefox puts its version number at the end.

"Firefox"
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:13.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/13.0.1
That is a lot easier to parse and, looking back a few versions, provides a better picture.

My user agent in IE10:

"IE10"
Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 10.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/6.0)
My user agent in Chrome:
"Chrome"
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.22 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/25.0.1364.172 Safari/537.22
Chrome using Safari in its name is far worse than using "rv:" ahead of the version number in order to trick servers to send compliant code.

I am a bit surprised that Microsoft does not add both "like Gecko," akin to Chrome, and end it with "IE/11.0".

http://whatsmyuseragent.com/

I've see some people complain that IE9/10 does not render a page correctly. When it's actually because the site uses sniffing for ANY version of IE, and then will have specific non-standard IE6 code that will no longer work on IE9 and 10 (without enabling compatibility mode anyway).

People then think IE9/10 is the problem. So with MS now doing this all sites should render correctly.

Meph said,
If you're using UA sniffing, you should sniff for the layout engine version; not the browser.
True. But if you use the browser agent, it will automatically pull the layout engine. ecause the page will be coded for those broswers.

TechieXP said,
True. But if you use the browser agent, it will automatically pull the layout engine.

I assume by that, you mean: "If you sniff for the browser, you can assume what layout engine it uses." That's not true. Opera has just switched from using Presto to WebKit, so if you're sniffing just for "Opera", you may have problems. Also, what if you're using a new WebKit browser with a new name? If you sniff for "Safari" or "Chrome", you've just left out a user.

But this problem can be solved by not sniffing for browsers. You should only do it for telemetry purposes; never for presenting the user with a different experience depending on their browser. When you make a Web site, you code it for the Web platform; not for a particular browser's platform.

Why waste time on dirty user agent tricks when they could have switched to WebKit and embrace full standards, they would in turn contribute to the project. It's just IE and Firefox against all others now, convergence is inevitable.

converging to one engine - especially one that is so tightly controlled by Apple - is not going to be good for the open web. I for one am glad that Microsoft and Mozilla are still developing their own engines.

yowanvista said,
Why waste time on dirty user agent tricks when they could have switched to WebKit and embrace full standards, they would in turn contribute to the project. It's just IE and Firefox against all others now, convergence is inevitable.

Why should websites treat every version like it's the older one and push out CSs hacks when they aren't needed using the user agent? If devs aren't going to update their sites to take the new support added to IE since v8 then they might as well do this.

yowanvista said,
Why waste time on dirty user agent tricks when they could have switched to WebKit and embrace full standards, they would in turn contribute to the project. It's just IE and Firefox against all others now, convergence is inevitable.

webkit has a lot of standards implementation bugs.
and IE10 is faster and more power-efficient than webkit based browsers.

it is utterly stupid to say that IE should switch to webkit.

yowanvista said,
Why waste time on dirty user agent tricks when they could have switched to WebKit and embrace full standards, they would in turn contribute to the project. It's just IE and Firefox against all others now, convergence is inevitable.

WebKit is not exactly "full standards" or rather more standard compliant than Gecko/Trident.

yowanvista said,
Why waste time on dirty user agent tricks when they could have switched to WebKit and embrace full standards, they would in turn contribute to the project. It's just IE and Firefox against all others now, convergence is inevitable.

WebKit does not embrace standards and is actively harming the open web. It is the IE6 of this generation and should be abandoned.

Embrace open web standards and use a compliant engine - such as Gecko.

primexx said,
converging to one engine - especially one that is so tightly controlled by Apple - is not going to be good for the open web. I for one am glad that Microsoft and Mozilla are still developing their own engines.

This is incorrect, WebKit is no way tightly controlled by Apple, diverse organisations are involved and contribute to the project while being tightly connected with W3C. The fact is that WebKit is more standard compliant that Trident, switching will make things easier for developers.

link8506 said,

webkit has a lot of standards implementation bugs.
and IE10 is faster and more power-efficient than webkit based browsers.

it is utterly stupid to say that IE should switch to webkit.


+1000000... And when has no choice EVER benefitted users anyway. Not wanting choice, particularly in tech is asinine.

Lots of sites use non-standard webkit css extensions. Webkit isn't a standard like CSS or HTML. Webkit css extensions (CSS rules that begin with -webkit-<keyword>) aren't standard! A better way would be to make the webkit browsers adhere to W3 standards like IE9+ does. They naughty boy in the class is the webkit extensions which can break a page when viewed in IE.

yowanvista said,

This is incorrect, WebKit is no way tightly controlled by Apple, diverse organisations are involved and contribute to the project while being tightly connected with W3C. The fact is that WebKit is more standard compliant that Trident, switching will make things easier for developers.

no, webkit is not more standard compliant than IE.
It implements more drafts, in a less standard compliant way.
http://www.engadget.com/2010/1...ility-crowns-ie9-the-champ/

http://samples.msdn.microsoft.com/ietestcenter/

not to mention that webkit has had far more security flaws than the IE codebase these last few years.

link8506 said,

no, webkit is not more standard compliant than IE.
It implements more drafts, in a less standard compliant way.
http://www.engadget.com/2010/1...ility-crowns-ie9-the-champ/

http://samples.msdn.microsoft.com/ietestcenter/

not to mention that webkit has had far more security flaws than the IE codebase these last few years.


Trident doesn't even feature most of the HTML5 stuff, it's in no way better than WebKit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...on_of_layout_engines_(HTML5)

Because then there's no competition, and any change from Google, Apple, or Microsoft will likely be ignored by one another, creating an awkward fragmentation in the base that will lead to an eventual fork by at least one of them anyway.

People seem to forget that although Microsoft uses Trident as their proprietary rendering engine, and Firefox is running on Gecko; neither use WebKit. That means, of the four major browsers (sorry Opera), two use WebKit, and the other two have their own.

Strong competition is the best thing for the market.

Edited by pickypg, Mar 24 2013, 11:37pm :

yowanvista said,

Trident doesn't even feature most of the HTML5 stuff, it's in no way better than WebKit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...on_of_layout_engines_(HTML5)

most of the html5 stuffs are still drafts.
IE implements mostly the (almost) finalized parts of html5, plus a few drafts like HTML5 grid layout, and html5 pointer events that other browsers don't support yet.

btw, according to your Wikipedia article, the current version of IE is IE9.
a lot of new things have been implemented in IE10, so it's quite ridiculous to quote that outdated feature comparison.

yowanvista said,

Trident doesn't even feature most of the HTML5 stuff, it's in no way better than WebKit

That's because you're reading a Wikipedia article that hasn't been updated in regard to the references to Trident. Some of the references are more than a year old (some even from 2010). Others reference elements that's only mentioned in W3 drafts.

link8506 said,

most of the html5 stuffs are still drafts.
IE implements mostly the (almost) finalized parts of html5, plus a few drafts like HTML5 grid layout, and html5 pointer events that other browsers don't support yet.

btw, according to your Wikipedia article, the current version of IE is IE9.
a lot of new things have been implemented in IE10, so it's quite ridiculous to quote that outdated feature comparison.


IE10 doesn't even bring a whole bunch of new HTML5 features, MathML for instance is still not supported in IE while it's clearly available in Firefox & Chrome. The article you linked earlier is even more outdated as it compared Chrome 7 to IE9

yowanvista said,

MathML for instance is still not supported in IE

That's embarassing, but it doesn't justify doing things the "webkit way" vs. using standards, and a lot of webpages especially in the mobile space, are doing that. This invites to a discussion (that I'm not going to have in this forum) of why webpages render perfect on Android and iOS, but not IE. It's not impossible - The Tech Report has redesigned it's mobile site to render across platforms just fine. Hit http://m.techreport.com/ on your mobile device.

yowanvista said,

IE10 doesn't even bring a whole bunch of new HTML5 features, MathML for instance is still not supported in IE while it's clearly available in Firefox & Chrome. The article you linked earlier is even more outdated as it compared Chrome 7 to IE9

the article about IE9 beta being more standard compliant than chrome 7 and Firefox was just to prove you that IE is much better than you think, and not just IE10. IE9 was already great in terms of proper implementation of web standards.


and contrary to what you may think, there was a lot of additions in IE10:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-u...rary/hh673549(v=vs.85).aspx

yowanvista said,
Why waste time on dirty user agent tricks when they could have switched to WebKit and embrace full standards, they would in turn contribute to the project. It's just IE and Firefox against all others now, convergence is inevitable.

Your post is ironic. Firefox isn't webkit based, does Mozilla need to switch too?

yowanvista said,

This is incorrect, WebKit is no way tightly controlled by Apple, diverse organisations are involved and contribute to the project while being tightly connected with W3C. The fact is that WebKit is more standard compliant that Trident, switching will make things easier for developers.
You say what? Ever tried to write CSS for Webkit? Believe me, you need a lot of extra lines for Webkit because they don't follow the standards.

Studio384 said,
You say what? Ever tried to write CSS for Webkit? Believe me, you need a lot of extra lines for Webkit because they don't follow the standards.
Oh really? Examples please.

yowanvista said,
Why waste time on dirty user agent tricks when they could have switched to WebKit and embrace full standards, they would in turn contribute to the project. It's just IE and Firefox against all others now, convergence is inevitable.

Trident is much better than webkit.
One implements slightly less features but mostly in correct ways another focuses on more features but many in broken ways.

Thank you.

yowanvista said,

This is incorrect, WebKit is no way tightly controlled by Apple, diverse organisations are involved and contribute to the project while being tightly connected with W3C. The fact is that WebKit is more standard compliant that Trident, switching will make things easier for developers.

Blablabla, standards compliance.
Then why have I been using webkit- specific junk for YEARS already? And still have to, to make sure my websites looks identical over trident/gecko/webkit.
People like you scream from roof tops that IE/Trident should be abandoned because of all the tricks and jumping through hoops you have to do to make your website look properly on IE. (Which is often more a developer problem then rendering engine problem). But you happily use webkit- only standards. And promote the webkit rendering engine, the rendering engine with by far the most NON STANDARDS implemented currently.

If we would all switch to it, it would indeed be easier. Just like in IE6 days, when there basically was only 1 rendering engine to worry about. Yes it was easy to make websites back then, much easier then it is now (less advanced though).

Just walk away, you had a nice try. Or try again with proper arguments.

yowanvista said,
Why waste time on dirty user agent tricks when they could have switched to WebKit and embrace full standards, they would in turn contribute to the project. It's just IE and Firefox against all others now, convergence is inevitable.
What? That is why browsers all on iOS suck. BEcause they cant use their own API's. They have to use webkit which is why it looks like Safari is the top mobile broswer. If every browser could identify itself as such it wouldnt be. Also many browsers have far better features. Webkit browsers are boring and seem so stripped down. Its like using Safari with another name. IE is better.

IE tends to display pages much better vs FF and Opera. I think MS is doing this to insure we see the most recent version of the site as many web page coders because they dont like IE will just keep an IE6 version of the site and never change it as it will work in any version of IE above IE6. MS is insuring we get to see the web the exact same way others do with updated and fresh data. Not some low end stripped down IE6 compatibility version.

I think it is a good move. And I for one am happy MS doesnt floow all the typical web standard like webkit forces.

yowanvista said,

This is incorrect, WebKit is no way tightly controlled by Apple, diverse organisations are involved and contribute to the project while being tightly connected with W3C. The fact is that WebKit is more standard compliant that Trident, switching will make things easier for developers.
Yes...it will make it easier, and will be like any other standard platform. Boring identical BS with no room to be different.

Rememeber Microsoft did operating systems other than Windows. They did a Unix based OS and they felt they could do better. THEY DID. Same thing with broswers. They nailed Netscape bec Gates didnt want a broswer that didnt rely on the API's of the underlying OS. Having a system within a system can cause issues and Gates knew this. So they made IE do everything Netscape could do and offered it free and killed them off. If evryone made pages IE compatible and everyone else followed suit, the web would be even better than it is. HTML5 is terrible.

Even webkit browses are not fully web compliant.

TechieXP said,
Yes...it will make it easier, and will be like any other standard platform. Boring identical BS with no room to be different.

Rememeber Microsoft did operating systems other than Windows. They did a Unix based OS and they felt they could do better. THEY DID. Same thing with broswers. They nailed Netscape bec Gates didnt want a broswer that didnt rely on the API's of the underlying OS. Having a system within a system can cause issues and Gates knew this. So they made IE do everything Netscape could do and offered it free and killed them off. If evryone made pages IE compatible and everyone else followed suit, the web would be even better than it is. HTML5 is terrible.

Even webkit browses are not fully web compliant.


To add. Trident started as part of a kernel. IE only being a simple graphical front end to the OS HTML render engine. MS wanted 3rd parties to build browsers on top of Trident. Let MS take care of the rendering, while the 3rd parties could focus on making the browser experience better. This failed miserably. IE6 was the first browser to actively 'battle' for marketshare.
And the main reason IE6 wasn't "Standard Compliant" is because Microsoft got royaly screwed by W3, or rather.. Netscape, Opera and Sun. As IE6 implemented the new HTML 'standards' which weren't set in stone yet. Which where then changed, or removed from the HTML standard. For this reason, Microsoft refuses to implement HTML5 standards into IE that are not set in stone yet. A point Mozilla and Google actively abuse, I think they are hoping to pull the same dick move again, and is why IE often seems behind the pack.
But wait for the first person to reply something along the lines of "But IE6 held back the internet for way to long".
Yes it did, and I personally think MS did this on purpose. With 95% market share and the only competitor being Netscape and Opera, which just screwed MS over. They kept IE6 going for as long as they could.

primexx said,
converging to one engine - especially one that is so tightly controlled by Apple - is not going to be good for the open web. I for one am glad that Microsoft and Mozilla are still developing their own engines.

Since when is it a done deal that Open Source is "controlled" by one company. Who's to say MS couldn't fix all the stuff that's incorrectly implemented in WebKit so it actually renders to spec, you know like IE10 does? Other WebKit consumers would face the choice of using a correct implementation or flat out ignoring them.

Seriously, WebKit is the new IE6. I got bit by this WebKit bug recently, an outer element with border radius does not clip the elements inside. Said bug has been reported for more than two years, still not completely fixed to this date.

https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=71639
http://jsfiddle.net/laukstein/bhmka/2/show/

I was, by request, cloning the top navigation bar on Apple.com, complete with the hover effects and the expanding search box when the search box is focused. Simple, right? One list item based, display: inline-block menu on the left, each item has a transparent background and only has a different background on hover, followed by an inline search box, all contained in a wrapper element with a gradient background and a rounded border. It works well in Firefox, Opera, IE10, and by magic of CSS3PIE, even works well in IE6-IE9. WebKit? No, the background when hovering the first menu item bleeds out of the rounded corner, and I have to explicitly give the first menu item a rounded corner in the top and bottom left corners to get around this bug.

Even if this bug gets fixed someday, the fix won't magically land on bajillions of users stuck on old versions of WebKit because their Android or iOS device is now unsupported by the manufacturer and won't be getting any more updates or worse, with no way of getting an alternative browser with a newer engine.

primexx said,
converging to one engine - especially one that is so tightly controlled by Apple - is not going to be good for the open web. I for one am glad that Microsoft and Mozilla are still developing their own engines.

Webkit is not at all controlled by Apple, though Apple is free to make contributions as per most OPEN-SOURCE projects. Please don't spread such FUD.
That being said, it's good for everyone if there are multiple rendering engines out there as the fewer the number of people implementing a standard, the less motivation there is to actually uphold the standard. I'm actually quite sad that Opera is ditching Presto for Webkit for exactly this reason (even though I like Webkit): Opera were always the first to pass ACID tests, always the ones pushing standards compliance -- and now, whilst they will be able to contribute to Webkit, they won't be (imo) as effective at challenging the other vendors to step up and comply with standards.

That's right, because webkit doesn't use "Like Gecko" in the user string............

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.2; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.22 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/25.0.1364.172 Safari/537.22