Today, March 19th, 2009, Microsoft officially condemned the web to another decade of pain and suffering.  Today, Microsoft shipped Internet Explorer 8.  I am not a Microsoft hater.  I am a long-time Microsoft developer.  I love their tools and their platform.  But Internet Explorer? That’s a buggy piece of junk that should have been thrown away two versions ago. 

What really disappoints me about this is that Microsoft had a chance to do the right thing.  They could have adopted one of the two major open-source rendering engines, both of which are vastly superior to the IE engine, and built a custom-branded, standards-compliant browser.  Instead, they have hit us with a completely new set of headaches under the guise of standards compliance.  You don’t have to look very hard to see what a terrible job IE 8 has done in this department.  And let’s not forget JavaScript.  With the runtime improvements in coming versions of Firefox and the V8 engine in Chrome, the power of JavaScript could be put to a lot more use than it is today.  But, now we’ll have a significant chunk of the market that’s stuck using IE 8, which performs about as well as a bicycle in an Indy Car race.