After my presentation Pushing the Boundaries without breaking the web at Future of Web Design in London last year I was approached by Jason McConnell from Microsoft asking if I would be willing to take a look at something he was working on and give my opinion on it. I’ve not being able to talk about it until it launched however the project they had in mind was the modern.ie site.
Initially I took a look at the proposed offering of three months free BrowserStack testing, and later the full site and tools. I was happy to offer my feedback which was positive as this seems like a good step for Microsoft to take. It can be hard for those of us in the often very Mac-centric web design world to realise that there are a lot of developers who very much stay inside a Microsoft world. Having good practice information provided by Microsoft may well reach more people.
As the launch neared I was asked if I would be available to take part in some filming to promote the site. Initially it was suggested I travel to Redmond to do that, while that would have been fun I had just too much on here to do that. Ultimately Redmond came to me in the shape of Aidan and Gabriel, who followed me around and inside a very tolerant pub in Windsor and then came to my home office to do the interview shots.
I was very impressed with the whole approach in terms of asking my feedback and getting the footage that you see in the video. I wasn’t asked to repeat any corporate speak, I was just asked questions and allowed to answer in my own way, and my own words. It was also very interesting being interviewed and filmed by such an experienced team.
The modern.ie site seems to have been put together with a lot of thought to what would be useful for developers. As a writer on front-end development subjects having one place to recommend people go for testing is great. Virtual Machines for old versions of IE have existed for a long time but it was always a hassle to work out where they were.
Back in the browser wars days, those of us advocating web standards asked that browser vendors implemented standard features in a standard way; that innovation happened through the standards process. We’re at that point now. Browser vendors are pushing on new features, but as we can see with something like Grid Layout, a subject I have recently written about, that is happening through the W3C processes.
I can recommend the modern.ie site to you if you need to test in Internet Explorer, whichever platform you choose to develop on. You can see the video I was involved with on YouTube, and the links below are other places I have seen this reported. I also spoke to a number of tech journalists when the site launched so there are some other interview bits dotted around.