We now have some juicy details from the Internet Explorer 7.0 team. The article details a couple of the improvements that will be in the next release, including:
- Support for alpha-channel transparent PNG images. This is something that every other actively-developed mainstream browser supports so it’s about time IE caught up.
- Fixing CSS consistencies. This means that some of the bugs in IE’s CSS implementation will be fixed so that their display is more logical and consistent with the standard (and indeed other browsers).
The impression I get from this announcement is that the IE team are only making minor evolutionary improvements to the CSS support instead of making major changes to align it better with the standards. What this will probably mean is that IE’s CSS implementation will not be as complete or standards-compliant as other browsers, but that it will at least be consistent and not have silly quirks. This will save web designers from having to create elaborate hacks to get around IE’s shortcomings without badly breaking old web pages that have been designed to exploit these bugs. You have to remember that IE does still have a little below 90% of the browser market share and so any major change which breaks web pages would be very unpopular.