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Mircrosoft.com Moves Towards Standards

Fewer tables, no browser sniffing, no/less JavaScript, one version for all clients. Over 25% reduction in page size.

http://www.stopdesign.com/log/2004/08/25/microsoft-advances.html
http://www.meyerweb.com/eric/thoughts/2004/08/27/microsoft-migration/
http://www.webstandards.org/buzz/archive/2004_08.html#a000416

I agree with Eric Meyer's sentiments - this is significant. I'm sick of people saying Microsoft.com does it, Google does it to justify not doing things properly when it comes to web design. My hope is that this move will make the case for using browser-specific markup and sniffing a weaker one.

Walter Rumsby
Saturday, August 28, 2004

Proprietary IE extensions generating the gradients, broken hover effects on the navigation menu.  They still clearly only tested it in IE... although the conspiracy theorists over at Slashdot will doubtless say that it's deliberate that it doesn't work properly in other browsers.

Iago
Sunday, August 29, 2004

>>"although the conspiracy theorists over at Slashdot will doubtless say that it's deliberate that it doesn't work properly in other browsers."

Deliberate?  Damn right it's deliberate.

A web site that checks to see what browser you're using.  If it's IE you get a nice page that displays properly.  If it's not IE, you get a different page, one that is specifically designed so that it doesn't display properly.

I wasn't aware that stating facts and pointing out obvious malicious behavior amounted to "conspiracy theory".

Art Vandelay
Sunday, August 29, 2004

The new website serves the same HTML to all browsers, they do at least seem to have abandoned the browser sniffing tactic. However, the cause of poor display in other browsers is still use of proprietary extensions, combined with incorrect use of HTML.

I'm not going to point the finger quite as strongly as Art above, but it is still very interesting that Microsoft produce a site which could display equally in all browsers, and yet seemingly make a conscious decision not to. There is no possible chance of ignorance being the cause, there must be some internal justification, be it competition, trying to make alternative browsers look poor, or some other factor.

Andrew Cherry
Sunday, August 29, 2004

One more thread and three more links about the source, then. Sad. :)

Thom Lawrence
Sunday, August 29, 2004

Using Gecko: hmmm... there are visible artifacts from the two failing gradients at the top, and the broken mouseover effects in the navigation are just perplexing (given how easy they are to make work in Gecko and IE).

Are all the subpages still using the old design?

I don't have a problem with using proprietary extentions if they fail gracefully in other browsers.  The horizontal grey gradient in the middle and the white to light blue gradient under the navigation fail fine in Gecko; only the top ones seem to look broken.

OffMyMeds
Monday, August 30, 2004

Um, no. Okay maybe they are trying, but technical articles formatted by Microsoft's web team comes out broken on FireFox. Most source code listings are wacked. Little things like this makes it difficult for programmers to use FireFox, and we all know this is the first group of users most likely to support what they perceive to be the better browser by actually using it and preaching it. A sign of how far this bullshit goes? Mind you, maybe someone at Microsoft is blushing will fix this in the next 10 minutes, but until then--it is broken as of now.

If you google the keywords: windows media radio, it will give you the all famous windows media radio search. Try it with firefox, it doesn't even bring up the same page. So they have a bit to go still.

I have to say, making pages functional and beautiful for all browsers is still a worthwhile goal.

Li-fan Chen
Monday, August 30, 2004

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