Microsoft, where are you?
I always believed that IE7 would be the end of the ol' Trident engine based upon the fact that most 'fixes' in IE7 were mere hackjobs. It seems to me that the minimum MSFT could get away with with IE7 was actually the maximum they could do without rewriting Trident, which might suggest that they could be working on a brand new rendering engine now.
Alex also mentions Chris Wilson's chair in the HTML5 Working Group but fails to mention that the progress being made in that Working Group isn't actually thanks to Microsoft. After insisting on a means for an opt-in switch for HTML5 Chris has not been very active in the WG at all (he does seem to have a thing for cats though). Microsoft's review of the current draft is also already overdue (it was expected to be delivered the end of August) which is a pity because I hoped it might reveil some hints on IE.Next
Besides the complete silence about IE.Next on the IEBlog (a shrill contrast to all the "excitement" being displayed during the IE7 development phase) I also questioned Molly Holzschlag's rationale for calling a stop on the HTML5 progress and called on Microsoft to stop stalling and actually improve their browser.
If MSFT isn't stalling anything then they sure as hell are stretching and I don't know what that means. For all I know they could be negotiating a take-over of Opera Software instead of developing a new browser. Such a move would make sense, especially because the Opera browser already has good (reverse-engineered) support for many MSIE proprietary features. It also would be a much better explanation for the current silence.
Well, I guess only time can tell so I'll just try to gather some more patience...
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