MIX06: Viva Las Vegas

The one where Malarkey wears his glittery trousers around MIX06 Las Vegas.

With blue suede shoes on his feet and Viva Las Vegas ringing in his ears, Malarkey can't help falling in love with Vegas as he reports from Microsoft's MIX06 conference.


The big news on IE7 is that the standards support for the new browser is now complete and the MIX06 beta release features all of the CSS rendering support that will ship in the final release. Nothing more will be added and nothing will be taken away. seven is now available for download and there are more instructions on the IE blog.

How does it render my site? I'm all shook up to see that it's pretty damn near perfect. There are one or two interesting quirks (relating to the way that seven calculates <em>s in a different way to other browsers), but more on that when I can pin down Markus Mielke for a more detailed explanation on his latest flame.

The Future Of Internet Explorer

My main reason for coming to MIX06 was to sit on The Future Of IE panel alongside Dean Hachamovitch (the guy who runs the Internet Explorer team), Eric Meyer, Mike Rowan of Geotrust and seven's King Creole Chris Wilson.

Dean Hachamovitch outlined some of the decisions and balance points that had been taken into account during the development of seven. Other topics included what the panel would like to see from future releases of IE and how best Microsoft can help designers and developers deal with testing multiple versions of IE.

Build your web site your the Microsoft way

Microsoft Expression Web DesignerIf visual web design and development tools are your thing, Lynda Weinman has presented Microsoft's latest, Microsoft Expression Web Designer at MIX06. A public release will be available in June 2006.

Microsoft Expression Web Designer gives you all the powerful tools you'll need to produce high-quality, standard-based Web sites the way you want them. Take advantage of the best of dynamic Web site design, enabling you to design, develop, and maintain exceptional standards-based Web sites.

Having seen only the live presentation and not the software itself, I'm still in the ghetto. However I can say that Expression Web Designer has some pretty damn impressive visual CSS features and management tools that made even Eric and I go Oooh! from the audience. The new application will initially run on Windows only and there was no confirmation that it would ever be ported to the Mac, so I'm still crying in the chapel.

A fool such as I might also wonder why Expression Web Designer uses a new rendering engine for its WYSIWYG design view that is not seven? It's now or never for Microsoft in the eyes of the standards community and so it was also very interesting to hear the words standards, web standards and accessibility so many times during a Microsoft product launch.

Bribing the WaSPs

And finally for all you suspicious minds, if you think that all this big hunk of love for Microsoft, seven and other products has somehow been paid for in the form of bribes, please rest assured that this is in no way the case. It's always on my mind and if you need further proof... ;)


  1. #1 On March 21, 2006 06:43 PM Matt Robin said:

    The NEW Frontpage has broken cover?!

    Oh sure, they've changed the name....they've thrown in words that the web standards community WANT to hear...but it looks like Frontpage, sounds like Frontpage and smells like Frontpage....this really is just....mmm...Frontpage isn't it?! :D

    IE 7 will be the new thing for approximately over 80% of the World's Internet using public....so it's great news if it can do some things right that other standards-friendly browsers have been doing for years. And nice to know it makes your site look how it should (or near enough - excl. EMs)... :)

  2. #2 On March 21, 2006 08:14 PM Carl Camera said:

    Andy, sorry to hear that they are "done."

    containing floats bug not fixed: http://nickrigby.com/testarea/ie7/

    whitespace bug not fixed: http://nickrigby.com/testarea/ie7/

    dotted lines not fixed: http://iamacamera.org/sandbox/1px-dotted/

    The whitespace bug in particular is disconcerting. Lists are so important to menus these days. Perhaps you can use your Super Powers to get a couple more bug fixes in.

  3. #3 On March 22, 2006 07:52 AM Richard Rutter said:

    Shame to hear there's still some bugs left in, because previous release cycles indicate they won't be fixed for a matter of years.

    However with all its other improvements, it's also good news that the release of IE7 into the wild is imminent (is there a release date yet?)

    One thing I haven't found an answer to yet, as I don't have an XP machine on which to test, does IE7 resize text set in pixels?

  4. #4 On March 22, 2006 08:05 AM Lowell Wood said:

    "There are one or two interesting quirks (relating to the way that seven calculates s in a different way to other browsers)..."

    You are refering to the em element and not the em unit? I just want to clarify.

  5. #5 On March 22, 2006 08:53 AM Malarkey said:

    @ Carl Camera:
    Perhaps you can use your Super Powers to get a couple more bug fixes in.
    I think that is beyond my BritPack pant powers, sorry :(

    @ Richard Rutter:
    Is there a release date yet?
    The the second half of 2006 is all Microsoft will say.

    Does IE7 resize text set in pixels?
    It features page zoom. I'll take a look in the IE labs at MIX06 and report back.

    @ Lowell Wood:
    You are refering to the em element and not the em unit?
    I'm referring to the em unit and will ask the IE7 team for a more detailed explanation.

  6. #6 On March 22, 2006 09:59 AM trovster said:

    @ Richard Rutter:

    because previous release cycles indicate they won't be fixed for a matter of years.

    Well, there are news reports going around saying that they'll be new IE's a lot more often now - perhaps as often as every 9 months to a year. This can be a mixed blessing, with increased support of standards (good), but maintaining backwards compatibility, which might become very difficult (bad).

  7. #7 On March 22, 2006 02:25 PM Laura Zucchetti said:

    hmm.. if only I could install it to take a look whilst running IE 6... I think I'll hold back until I really need to look at it.

    I thought Expression was relelased last year. opps. Show's how much I read on the Microsoft site.

  8. #8 On March 22, 2006 09:25 PM J. J. said:

    What's with the italic "e" in seven? Does it look funny when rendered in IE7, or am I just not getting this Malarkeyism?