Software, Hardware, Silverware

IE11 Masquerading as Firefox

Max Slater-Robbins with an interesting observation of the Internet Explorer 11 beta:

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 insure 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.

It remains to be seen if Microsoft will ship IE11 with this, but I hope they do. It will be good for their users and really, good for the web. We’ve moved past hacking sites to display correctly in standards-averse browsers. Ideally, user-agent-strings would be totally useless to the web programmer. If a site is written to the HTML5/CSS3 specification, it should render correctly everywhere. With this site, I’ve held to that. Defomicron is standards-complient, and if your browser is, too, it will look just fine.