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In the interview, we discuss everything from Web Standards support in IE7, to whether or not IE6 will auto-update to IE7. Enjoy!
Full transcription of the interview
RC: Hi, my name is Ryan and we are here with Chris Wilson from Microsoft and we’re just gonna ask him a couple of quick questions, and so over to you, Chris.
CW: Thanks, Ryan. So, I’m Chris Wilson and I’m the Group Program Manager for the Internet Explorer team, on the platform and Security side of the Internet Explorer Team.
RC: Okay, so the first question I have for you is, “What new feature are you most excited about in IE7?”
CW: That’s a really hard question for me to answer, obviously, because I’m really close to it and there are a lot of features that I absolutely love. I think that as a user, probably the feature I’m most excited about is our support for RSS and our integrated feed subscriptions, feed reading, the integrated platform that does the sync engine and everything, that gets me really excited. I think as a developer, the best thing really is all the work we’ve done on standards support, all the fixes were done but as a user certainly the RSS platform is pretty exciting.
RC: A quick question about that RSS support, is that going to be similar to what people are used to in Firefox, when you subscribe to a feed in Firefox? Could you tell us just a little bit about what that’s actually going to be like.
CW: Sure. The user experience is actually somewhat similar for feed discovery, y’know, you’re browsing a web page and it has an RSS feed then a little RSS icon lights up, in fact it’s currently the same icon even that Firefox uses. The feed reading experience is kind of similar, the really exciting thing that we’ve done though is that we’ve built a platform not just for Internet Explorer, with RSS feeds, we’ve actually exposed APIs in both Win32 and the .NET frameworks platforms so you can actually write applications that use all of these feeds and they all share this common feed list, common store, common synchronisation engine. Like, I have a screensaver installed on my machine that automatically picks up all of the photos that are in my RSS feeds and uses them as a screensaver, so my contacts post new photos to Flickr, and I automatically get them on my screensaver. It’s pretty cool.
RC: That is so exciting! I mean it’s going to just break it wide open. Wow, cool. The next question I have for you is, tell me a little about your involvement with the Web Standards Project, I know that we at Vitamin are really supportive of what you’re doing and excited about it so I’ll just give you a chance to defend yourself.
CW: The Web Standards project, y’know, I’ve actually worked with them, peripherally at least, for a really long time, I mean, almost since their inception. I’ve talked to Zeldman a lot back in the day and I think lately, for the last year / year and a half, it’s been really exciting because we’ve really managed to build a relationship where the Web Standards Project helps advise us on what web developers and web designers really want and need, and help to prioritise that, and it’s not really necessarily that we don’t care about standards or anything like that, it’s really that we need help in prioritising what’s most important. We had a lot of requests and a lot of them are really very grand requests in both senses of the word. They’re good requests, but they’re huge, and we really need some help to figure out what’s the most important to make people’s lives easier in the web development community, so I think that our relationship with the Web Standards Project has been great to help figure that out, help us to prioritise and help get the message out too that we really do care and we’re trying to do better.
RC: The last question that I have for you is, “Is IE going to auto-update to IE7 and how do you feel about that?”
CW: Is IE going to auto-update to IE7? I think that the first thing really is that we can’t really force it on users. That’s not our goal. We really do like to offer users choice. It is a different user interface, some people will be really jarred by that. I think that we certainly want to encourage everyone out there to, um, I do believe that we will offer it through Windows Update, but it won’t be an automatic silent update, certainly it won’t be like you come in one day and suddenly your computer’s running IE7 rather than IE6. Certainly we have to ask the user if they really want it. As nice as it would be to blast it onto everyone’s system I don’t think that can happen, so.
RC: Alright, well that’s it, so thank you for joining us, I appreciate it.
CW: Great, thank you, Ryan.
Transcribed by Scott Morris