W3C HTML5 Testing: IE9 comes out on top?

Wait, did I read that right? Internet Explorer has just aced the W3C conformance tests for HTML5? Wow.

But why is this so surprising?

Like quite a few people I’ve been guilty of IE bashing in my time: the unutterable and unfathomable hate I have for IE legacy browsers and the quantity of time I have spent on them; the indignant rants about IE7/IE8 still relying on those ridiculous filters; the overall lack of any discernible enthusiasm for standards from the biggest browser vendor in the world. But does this recent conformance score really mean that the IE team is committing itself to produce a browser that will compete in a market that has outpaced in virtually every way for years?

If you’ve been trying the recent set of IE9 betas (and I would encourage you to); you would have to agree that yes, they seem to have turned a corner. Having taken a semi-ideological leap into the modern web, we all now have to take account of what having the single largest player in the browser game now enthusiastically conforming to this standards means.

Personally, I believe it means the advancement of any proposed standard (like HTML5 and to a lesser extent CSS3) is going to speed up leaps and bounds, as one of the largest obstacles to the universal adoption is now removed (

Quick and total ubiquity is a pipe dream, mainly due to IE’s dreaded legacy browsers and their intractable customers in the enterprise market; but hopefully, what this new test success means is Microsoft is committing itself to open standards in the long term, and that’s great for everybody who uses the web.

via The Register