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Microsoft to implement HTML 5 in IE8

The HTML 5 specification may be years away from completion, but that did not stop Microsoft from selectively implementing parts of it in Internet Explorer (IE) 8.

Chris Wilson, platform architect of the Internet Explorer Platform team at Microsoft, said today at MIX08 that Microsoft had written four features from the current draft of HTML 5 into the browser, in an effort to improve the way it handles Web 2.0 applications.

Beta 1 of IE8 implements cross-document messaging, a client-side storage API, network connection awareness and a window location hash meant to place Web applications into the browser’s back/forward stack. For example, a mapping application will no longer revert back to its default position when a user hits the back button.

Wilson explained that Microsoft communicated with other browser developers before it began implementing HTML 5 to determine which features had a high level of confidence. Betas of Mozilla Firefox 3 also implement the location hash.

“It is always a challenge [to work] with standards when producing a browser. You can wait until the standard is done, but you cannot tell [whether] you are writing it right until you implement it,” said Wilson. He added that Microsoft would work with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to put the “W3C stamp” on some expected behaviors that can be incorporated into with Web browsers before the specification is finalized.

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Microsoft, Internet Explorer 8, IE8, HTML 5, Implementation

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