Microsoft launches rethinkie.com, a showcase of the modern web

Over the past couple of years, Microsoft has been building web projects to show off the power of the modern web. The idea is that with the right code, the line between offline and online application is quickly blurred as modern web standards allow impressive applications to be created and executed from within the web browser. To highlight many of their projects, Microsoft has created rethinkie.com

Of course, it’s also a marketing campaign for Internet Explorer too, which itself is facing increased competition from Google. While IE has made significant strides in the past few years to overcome a brand image issue, it still has room to grow if it wants to keep its features on par with those of Google.

With that being said, each new version of IE has brought with it updates that keep pushing it in the right direction, which is probably one of the reasons it's still the most used browser on the web.

The upcoming year will be another interesting year for Microsoft and the IE team as what the web truly can be, will expand even more with new standards and features. With the transition of more users to the touch environment, Microsoft has been working diligently to make IE the best touch friendly browser, creating web pages that are mouse and finger friendly will become even more apparent and IE is well positioned for this transition.

So that leaves the burning question with rethinkie.com. Have these projects impacted your opinion of Internet Explorer? Because at the end of the day, the projects are a great way to showcase what a browser can do (and the IE team makes it known it codes its websites to work on all browsers) but if it doesn’t sway your opinion on IE, then it may be all for not. Even if your opinion hasn’t changed, it’s hard not to love the videos the team has created.

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33 Comments

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With the latest updates for IE11, I find it a very capable browser. Also I like the fact that my bookmarks are automatically synced between devices without any plugins or services.

Yes, there are websites that won't run properly on IE, but I have that with FF as well.
I don't use Chrome and/or Google stuff a lot, but have to open it up when developing sites....

While IE has made significant strides in the past few years to overcome a brand image issue, it still has room to grow if it wants to keep its features on par with those of Google

Surprisingly catty...

The same can be said of Google Chrome, as it lacks a lot of features found in IE.

It would be nice to see Google even get within 1/100th the speed of IE in most SVG/HTML5 rendering tests. To date, the only way Chrome has been able to compete with graphics performance in IE is to use WebGL and now that IE11 supports WebGL, they can't make faux WebGL demos to try to match the native graphical rendering speeds of IE.


Did anyone else have to read the article through before they realized it's supposed to be "Rethink IE" rather than "rethinky"? I was wondering why Microsoft was being cutesy . . .

I would like to see exactly ONE feature in IE. The ability to do a RESET that will actually reset the browser to it's original condition pre- toolbars and search redirects. Even though the reset is there, when things are badly infected a reset will often do nothing stop search redirects etc. etc. LOCK IT DOWN. Sandboxing? Is that what's it's called?

How much frustration and hours and how much money would people save with something like this. Maybe I am just being naïve about things and capabilities, I don't code this stuff, but I clean up these messes all the time and it seems unnecessary to not have a feature like this available, or better yet, to not have the ability to screw it up in massive fashion so easily with drive by downloads in the first place. For everything that some folks think RT has wrong, it sure has this part right.

Internet Options > Advanced > Reset.

That clobbers IE-specific settings. Unfortunately, malware infections will often tend to go for more global changes, i.e. altering networking settings in order to ensure that redirects are implemented regardless of what browser a user decides to run.

Thus my lack of knowledge about "altering networking settings in order to ensure that redirects are implemented ". I knew about the reset, but in many many instances it fails to do anything meaningful. I think average folks that don't know about much of this stuff would wonder why the reset doesn't do what it implies. Thanks for clarifying.

jimmyfal said,
Thus my lack of knowledge about "altering networking settings in order to ensure that redirects are implemented ". I knew about the reset, but in many many instances it fails to do anything meaningful. I think average folks that don't know about much of this stuff would wonder why the reset doesn't do what it implies. Thanks for clarifying.

Any of these 'higher' level malware 'network settings' changes would potentially affect everything on the computer, including other browsers.

lol I love that domain :-)... sounds like re-thinky!

Love IE11 - just wish web developers would remove their old IE code or update it to exclude newer versions since some sites still trigger old code (e.g. If IE, show this).... when really it should be (If <IE9, show this).... etc.

j2006 said,
lol I love that domain :-)... sounds like re-thinky!

Love IE11 - just wish web developers would remove their old IE code or update it to exclude newer versions since some sites still trigger old code (e.g. If IE, show this).... when really it should be (If <IE9, show this).... etc.

Those if (IE)-codes won't work on IE11 That's half the point of it. So when old prototype/scriptaculous opacity code didn't work on IE10, it's suddenly worked again with 11, because they changed the ident and removed conditional comments.

I do wish Microsoft would devote more time/energy to improving IE11 - specifically it's compliance with the latest specifications - rather than on silly consumer publicity projects to try to "demonstrate" how great their product is!

Whilst IE11 is certainly a big improvement on earlier IE incarnations, it still has a long way to go! According to the latest canisue.com data, IE11 is only 73% compliant with the latest web standards/technologies (compared to Firefox 26 at 83%, Opera 18 at 87%, and Chrome 32 at 90%)... so IE11 still has some way to go to be near the levels of compliance/compatibility with standards and the latest technologies that the other major browser players currently have!

I can't help thinking that if Microsoft spent more time on their browser, rather than on promotion/publicity for it, it could easily soon be on a par with other browser vendor's current offerings!

GreatMarkO said,
I do wish Microsoft would devote more time/energy to improving IE11 - specifically it's compliance with the latest specifications - rather than on silly consumer publicity projects to try to "demonstrate" how great their product is!

Whilst IE11 is certainly a big improvement on earlier IE incarnations, it still has a long way to go! According to the latest canisue.com data, IE11 is only 73% compliant with the latest web standards/technologies (compared to Firefox 26 at 83%, Opera 18 at 87%, and Chrome 32 at 90%)... so IE11 still has some way to go to be near the levels of compliance/compatibility with standards and the latest technologies that the other major browser players currently have!

I can't help thinking that if Microsoft spent more time on their browser, rather than on promotion/publicity for it, it could easily soon be on a par with other browser vendor's current offerings!

Is the stuff in the caniuse data you mention really standardized or are some proposed standards? Like for example server-sent events. It's not a standard (yet), so it's not impl. in IE11.

pantera9 said,

Is the stuff in the caniuse data you mention really standardized or are some proposed standards? Like for example server-sent events. It's not a standard (yet), so it's not impl. in IE11.

All HTML5 tests I know of test both ratified standards and proposed (living) standards. Usually it's those living standards that IE has no support for, as MS only includes ratified standards in each release of IE

GreatMarkO said,
...

Does this site give bonus points to things that are not a part of any w3c standard?
Some benching sites used to give extra points to chrome for supporting webM for instance.

The point about MS (or any company) putting more effort into coding rather than advertising is always nonsense, its different departments doing different jobs, the coding teams don't stop and suddenly get involved in marketing!

GreatMarkO said,
I do wish Microsoft would devote more time/energy to improving IE11 - specifically it's compliance with the latest specifications - rather than on silly consumer publicity projects to try to "demonstrate" how great their product is!

Whilst IE11 is certainly a big improvement on earlier IE incarnations, it still has a long way to go! According to the latest canisue.com data, IE11 is only 73% compliant with the latest web standards/technologies (compared to Firefox 26 at 83%, Opera 18 at 87%, and Chrome 32 at 90%)... so IE11 still has some way to go to be near the levels of compliance/compatibility with standards and the latest technologies that the other major browser players currently have!

I can't help thinking that if Microsoft spent more time on their browser, rather than on promotion/publicity for it, it could easily soon be on a par with other browser vendor's current offerings!

You need to understand the stages of how standards are approved at the W3C, specifically with HTML5.

The last time I checked with regard to 'finished' specifications, IE11 is more compatible than Chrome/Firefox.


Also remember that Microsoft has a history with this. IE 5.5 and IE 6.0 were more standards compliant than any other browser at the time, and also incorporated a lot of 'pending' standards that Microsoft had submitted.

Sun pulled their weight with the W3C, and all Microsoft's proposals that were functioning in IE5.5/6 were rejected.

This is why IE 5 had Ajax and several CSS3/HTML5 features over 10 years ago, but it wasn't until they were resubmitted several years later by ANYONE BUT MICROSOFT for them to get official consideration.

If you remember back, even using a 'font' tag in IE was made fun of by anti-Microsoft companies/groups and 'rejected' by the W3C - this is why some web site developers would use the tag to flip IE to WebDings so that it was only readable in Netscape. As you know, a 'font' tag is no longer a 'horrible' or 'insane' specification to implement.

Mobius Enigma said,
The last time I checked with regard to 'finished' specifications, IE11 is more compatible than Chrome/Firefox.

That statement is not true, and I'm not sure it ever has been.

When it comes to recommended specs:
Firefox 26: 92%
Chrome 32: 91%
IE 11: 85%

When it comes to non-recommendations, e.g. working drafts and candidate recommendations the difference is bigger. But IE supports more non-finished specs than I think many here think. Some vendor prefixed with -ms, others not.

Microsoft has done great improvements to IE and especially the devtools got a welcome overhaul in IE11. But there's still some catching up to do .

fobban said,

That statement is not true, and I'm not sure it ever has been.

When it comes to recommended specs:
Firefox 26: 92%
Chrome 32: 91%
IE 11: 85%

When it comes to non-recommendations, e.g. working drafts and candidate recommendations the difference is bigger. But IE supports more non-finished specs than I think many here think. Some vendor prefixed with -ms, others not.

Microsoft has done great improvements to IE and especially the devtools got a welcome overhaul in IE11. But there's still some catching up to do .

They do vary, and I will accept that the numbers you provide are probably accurate.

j2006 said,
I wish Microsoft put a mandatory update to older Windows versions to upgrade IE to the latest version

One of the problems is that big corporations have custom built programs that were based on those IE releases and upgrade to, for example, IE11 would create incompatibilities therefore there is no way that MS could implement a mandatory upgrade. BTW the same applies to some programs of the XP era.