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Dean Hachamovitch - Do you have the hottest seat at Microsoft?

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Dean Hachamovitch, the guy who runs the Internet Explorer team, seems to have a particularly tough job.

Just read all the comments over on the IE Blog.

Just how tough is it? After all, everyone has an opinion on Internet Explorer and what its future should be. Both inside and outside Microsoft.

The IE team just finished the XPSP2 release, so we sat down with Dean to get a look at the guy who is heading the team that is working on Microsoft's next-generation browser. Our first question was exactly that: how do you put up with the pressure of executive, governmental, PR, and customer demands?

We're going to follow the IE team as they take feedback from customers, write specs, design prototypes, release preview and beta releases, and finally release the product.

Yes, the IE team is hiring. Do you want to work in one of the hottest seats at Microsoft?

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  • True that tabs are an interesting problem.. if it was me.. I would have a task-bar that when you selected a group of icons it would spawn another task-bar above the normal one that contained a list of the items in that group.

  • Informative video.

    My comments on browser tabs-- they solve two problems:

    1: Grouping separate browser windows in a way that the user has control over.

    2: Opening related links BEHIND the current browser window to read later.

    #1 is probably a "bigger deal" from a software architecture standpoint, but #2 is the thing I like the most about browser tabs. Browsing down blogs.msdn.com, and opening up interesting links in new tabs lets me continue down the list as I go, with IE "open in new window", I have to minimize the newly opened window if I don't want to read it right away. Tabs really match the way I do my browsing.
  • sbcsbc GW R/Me
    Also another good thing about tabs - they do not interfere with your normal browser habit - so if you click a link that opens in a new window it will do the same as IE and open up a new instance of Firefox. Tabbed browsing appeals to the power user, they don't have to be used if you don't want to use them.
  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    I'm playing with Optimal Access, a Tabbed interface for IE.

    Has anyone else played with optional IE browsers? What's your favorite?
  • Before Firefox I had used CrazyBrowser and MyIE2 that had tabs.  I found them to be worthwhile alternatives for sure for those who want to stick with IE.

    However everytime I read about tabs and IE, the response from MS appears to be that Tabs are not needed.  No one seems to be saying, "oh we missed the boat, lets add that feature".  Why is MS so afraid of adding a simple feature like that?  A feature that could easily be turned off by the user.
    Sure the security issues drive others to use something else, but tabs was one of those features that immediately drew me to use another browser besides IE.  I'm one of those who use Alt+Tab to switch windows, but it is too difficult to locate which page is which using that method with separate windows for each webpage.
    I realize there are those who don't like tabs (which I cannot understand since to me that help contain things and make it much easier to manipulate multiple windows).  I think for many though they simply haven't had the opportunity to give tabs a try and find out how much better they are to have around.

    I'm still interested in what IE might bring to the table in the future, but in my mind and I believe in the mind of more and more users, it is believed that MS doesn't care about IE, or at the very least doesn't care what features users want.
  • ghos wrote:
    Sure the security issues drive others to use something else, but tabs was one of those features that immediately drew me to use another browser besides IE.


    For me it's the other way around. I moved to Firefox in early June because of the security problems with MSIE, and to begin with I didn't find the tabs all that useful. But now I've learned how they can make help me group related pages in one window. And I'm finding it surprisingly hard to give that up. On the other hand I think the tabs feature gets way too much attention. If Microsoft just wanted to add tabs to MSIE I bet they could have done in just a few days. It's not rocket science. What will be more interesting is to see what else the guys at Microsoft comes up with that Firefox has not yet invented/implemented. Coming up with new ideas is the hard part.

    Working in the MSIE group will be a tough job. Everyone is watching. But believe me, the worst job of all is working on something that noone cares about!



  • Personally, I am very very fond of Avant Browser (http://www.avantbrowser.com).  It's a completely free IE shell with several features that I've come to rely on.

    Here they are in no particular order:

    1) Pop-up blocking.  IE has this now, but didn't when I started using Avant.

    2) Ad blocking.  Can be done manually for IE by editing the HOSTS file, but that's not exactly user-friendly Smiley  Of course, this I think is the least likely to be added to IE... as Ads are in many cases a legitimate money maker for web sites.

    3) Tabs.  When I discovered that I could middle-click on a link and have it open up in a background tab, I fell in love with Avant.  Before Avant I would have to right-click, select "Open in new window," and then alt-tab back to the original page.
    Avant's tabbing system is especially useful for forum browsing and research.

    4) More menu customizeability.  My monitor's resolution is 1920x1200, and I like having my Back/Forward/Stop etc. toolbar at the upper left, with the File/Edit/etc. menus to the right of them, and the tab window MDI controls (maximize, minimize tabs, etc.) on the right.  ALL on the same line, though.  With the address and search bar on the second line, and my customized Links bar on the third.  I keep my tabs themselves at the bottom of the screen, just above the status bar.

    5) Inline search queries.  I can type "g robert scoble blog" into the address bar and get a google search for that string.  Or I can type "d combustification" to lookup that word on dictionary.com.

    And most recently, I've set it up so that I can type "kb 145629" to look up any KB article by its number in the MS knowledge base.  This has become a great way for me to look up the details of a particular hotfix.
  • CronanCronan Ivan the Terrible
    It's easy to get side-tracked by all the details. I see it like this; when IE 4.01 came out looking and working better than the equivalent version of Netscape, I embraced it, but with a caveat: if Microsoft achieve market dominance with this (free) product, then they might well rest on their laurels, never implementing the w3c standards, never tightening up scurity, basically allowing the product to drift. Unfortunately, I was right, and this is where the anger I feel comes from. While many on the IE blog are Linux/Mozilla fanboys, many are existing Microsoft users who (like me) love the products, but feel cheated by Microsoft management's very poor attitude towards IE over the last three years.
  • Avant Browser gets my vote too - really like having tabs for the reasons already mentioned. Tabs are the single enhancement that makes me browsing sessions better.
  • I changed to Firefox for 2 reasons:

    Tabs and securitiy.

    I also found out something interesting while using tabs.  If I open one IE brower it uses approx 11.7MB of RAM to open Google.com, while one instance of Firefox takes 17.1 MB.  But what if I want to view 2 pages at once (which is almost always the case)? If I open up each page in a new Firefox window, each new page adds about 1 MB.  If I use tabs it takes up about 150k for each new opened Google.com page.  But if I used IE, each page takes 11.7 MB!!! I tested both Apps (Firefox tabbed and windowed). 

    20 Pages of http://www.google.com/index.html
    IE = 230 MB
    Firefox windowed = 35.4 MB
    Firefox tabbed =  21.6 MB  

    This is a pretty significant difference!  Now I know that 20 pages is excessive, but if you open any more than 1 page, Firefox uses less RAM than IE. 

  • fatboy_aufatboy_au itnewslog.​com

    I think the main reason why Microsoft have not moved on this feature (tabbed browsing) would be that it would be a sign of defeat for the Windows desktop not being able to do one of it’s primary tasks – that being, managing the Windows/Applications seamlessly and allowing the user to navigate though various windows.

     

    To avoid the above issue and to allow Joe Developer’s application to benefit from this arguable “failing” within Windows, this issue needs to be addressed by the Task bar. The ‘Group similar task bar buttons’ option for the start menu which is on by default in Windows XP almost got us to the stage we would like to be yet the problem of grouping similar information into virtual containers was not resolved it only grouped by application.

     

    What the solution to this would be in my opinion would be to allow for drag and dropping in conjunction with the ‘Group similar task bar buttons’ option so you can create another group by dragging an item from the group to an empty section of the task bar and then dropping it. Then each new instance of the application would be created in the new group. You could also drag in-between groups yet the newest group would still contain all new instances. The only condition is that it must be the same application in this case MSIE. 

     

    The only problem I could see would be the fact that when you drag the grouped item to the empty area of the task bar you would invoke the “Show Desktop” function which allows objects to interact with the desktop from any window. Yet maybe the delay for this function could be adjusted.

     

    I hope this helps.
    -Cameron
    http://www.itnewslog.com

  • Dean Hachamovitch wrote:
    Is it really about tabs, or is tabs kind of like that first solution to the really deep, big problem?
    Although Dean doesn't go into details, he's clearly talking about managing your browsing better than what IE currently does. What solution could there be to opening more than one webpage efficiently, other than what is already avaliable? I'm sure he'll come up with something interesting but when we look at it's core I suspect it will turn out to be just another way of displaying and interacting with tabs, like grouping taskbar icons is today.
  • ZippyVZippyV Fired Up
    fyndor wrote:

    I changed to Firefox for 2 reasons:

    Tabs and securitiy.

    I also found out something interesting while using tabs.  If I open one IE brower it uses approx 11.7MB of RAM to open Google.com, while one instance of Firefox takes 17.1 MB.  But what if I want to view 2 pages at once (which is almost always the case)? If I open up each page in a new Firefox window, each new page adds about 1 MB.  If I use tabs it takes up about 150k for each new opened Google.com page.  But if I used IE, each page takes 11.7 MB!!! I tested both Apps (Firefox tabbed and windowed). 

    20 Pages of http://www.google.com/index.html
    IE = 230 MB
    Firefox windowed = 35.4 MB
    Firefox tabbed =  21.6 MB  

    This is a pretty significant difference!  Now I know that 20 pages is excessive, but if you open any more than 1 page, Firefox uses less RAM than IE. 



    BS, I just tested it. Opened 20 windows with google.be in IE.
    This was my memory usage obtained from the task manager: 25 MB RAM + 10 MB VM.
  • I see very similar results to Zippy.
  • Stitch 2.0Stitch 2.0 I can feel my brain cells commiting hara-kiri.

    I had similar results aswell:
    25.260 K (20 x google)

    20.432 K (1 x google)

    At work we are using IE, but at home i'm using firefox mostly, du to it's many plug-ins. However, there are some sites, which don't display right in Firefox (e.g. Channel9 Tongue Out). for these pages i use MyIE2.... Why not the standard IE? Because of the tabs. Simple as that!

  • Grouping would work much better if the groups auto-expanded on mouse over.
  • http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-10442_7-6656808-6.html?tag=btn

    Dean,

    I thought you might find this interesting.

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