Exclusive interview: Microsoft talks IE8

WebSlices ebay

TR: You've touched on WebSlices - they seem very reliant on third-party support, are you worried that without that third-party support it simply won't work?

JC: Fundamentally, it doesn't worry me. Microsoft's history is around working very closely and collaborating with the breadth of the ecosystem, with our partners, and that's been true from the Windows days and true with IE.

Fundamentally, these are things that from our partners' perspectives they are going to see add a lot of value.

The development of WebSlices does a handful of things for our partners; it creates an easier and more persistent connection to their audience and that's attractive because that's a way of bringing people back to your site, building up site usage and obviously adding to that advertising traffic flow and all that kind of stuff. It's an efficient way of providing persistently needed updated info.

TR: So in the example of the eBay WebSlice – you subscribe to an auction and get live updates on who has been bidding, and so on…

JC: Exactly. That does two things; it reduces the bandwidth that eBay needs to accommodate, while at same time promoting people to bid more – it's a more efficient way of keeping up with their customers.

TR: Security is obviously a big deal in IE8 - with the inclusion of inPrivate Browsing and inPrivate Blocking…

JC: The other thing that really stands out in Internet Explorer as a history of the product as well as Internet Explorer 8 is the innovation around security. This is obviously a sector that's very important with more and more of our lives going online. It's another spot where IE is driving innovation, be it in IE7 where we were the first to bring out anti-phishing [functionality] – to the IE8 cross-site scripting, click-jacking and all of these emerging risks and being able to address those right out of the gate, right out of the box and integrated into the product.