IelogoMicrosoft’s annual Mix Conference is wrapping up in Las Vegas, and lots has been said about Silverlight, including the announcement that Netflix would be developing a solution for movie subscribers to stream movies to their PC’s using Silverlight.

With all the fuss about Silverlight has come a few hints about what we can expect with Internet Explorer 8, which will provide the user interface for the new technology.

It’s all speculation, but educated speculation about what we can expect.  According to Ars Technica, Microsoft is giving high priority to RSS, CSS, and AJAX support which is definitely a no-brainer decision for them. But also:

  • Support for microformats- Small tags embedded into HTML code to be interpreted by software like calendar events, or contact info. (Firefox 3 is scheduled to have Microformat support, so it’s best Microsoft does too).
  • User interface customization options (this was lacking in IE7)

It’s amazing that Microsoft has finally gotten themselves into gear with Internet Explorer.  They sat stagnant for all too long with IE6 until Firefox crept up behind them.  I think Firefox and their gain in popularity is one of the biggest reasons that Microsoft has paid more attention to the browser that went unchanged for so long.

With IE8 slated for release in just two years, Microsoft has a lot of work ahead of them to make this  browser better in terms of performance (they’re still behind the times here) and features. One of Microsoft’s biggest issues is that the browser still isn’t fully compliant with the official standards that have been set which means it’s a nightmare for web developers.

For those of you who use Internet Explorer, what would you like to see in IE8? They definitely took a step in a right direction when they introduced tabs with IE7, and hopefully they just keep themselves moving in that direction.