Who cares about new browsers? We do!

We’re on the verge of a raft of new browsers from Microsoft, Apple, Opera, Firefox and Google. They’re all racing to add support for HTML5, a new standard for web page programming.
Many people don’t know or care what browser they are using, and it’s for that very reason that web designers have to make it their business to ensure that the sites they build run in all browsers, even old ones.
The best way of doing this is to have a set of web standards that browsers can adhere to. And these standards do exist. But new languages are being developed which are not yet standardised. And because developers are itching to use the cool new features of these languages, browser manufacturers are beating each other off to support them.
Making websites compatible with all browsers often adds unavoidable development costs that the client ends up paying for, so standards support is something that is important, and is widely campaigned for. Standards compliance also means that websites are less likely to break when new browsers come out, again reducing unfair client billing. So we welcome any advances in web standards support.
Internet Explorer has traditionally been the browser that has failed miserably in proper support for web standards. Use of the Microsoft browser has declined over the last seven years or so from near ubiquity to under 50%. Newcomers like Firefox, Apple Safari, Google Chrome and Opera not only support web standards better, but are generally faster, and more functional.
So we are really pleased to hear the news that a new version, Internet Explorer 9, currently in beta, measures up against the other new browser still in beta, in a survey by the Worldwide Web Consortium (who test these things) to guage its support of HTML5. In fact it beats them all. (ZDNet – W3C: And the winner of the HTML5 conformance test is … IE9!)
But has the damage already been done? Internet Explorer is all but a dirty word in web design. Will this quantum leap be enough to restore its prowess? We think it will take a long time, but if it proves it can do the job, then bring it on!

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