Exclusive interview: Microsoft talks IE8

The complete Internet Explorer discussion

JC: I can tell you about buying a gift for your wife, or planning surprise parties. There are a number of scenarios that you can think through, and I've discussed all the ones I'm going to discuss! I've seen the nicknames that it's received over time. From our perspective the approach is; let's put the user at the centre and make sure the experience builds from there.

TR: There's been a lot of talk about HTML 5 in browsers, bits of it are implemented in IE8 and other bits are not – can you talk us through the thinking behind that?

JC: So let me back up and talk about standards as a whole. One of the things that we look at is who do you have to delight – and so one of the groups is obviously the developers, and fundamentally we want to make sure that we were creating a browser that is easy for people to develop against, whether that's building in standard dev tools for the product or embracing broader web standards, although that's obviously a moving target.

Being a moving target we're very engaged in trying to define standard that make sense. So that's a key part of what we've done in IE8. That said, the other piece to this - and this is an obligation that Microsoft takes very seriously - is the need to support not just current users but also users of all the different legacy versions.

This is critically important, we have people using IE4 and 5, IE6, IE7 and obviously IE8 and so it's important from our perspective and our customers' perspective, whether they are individual consumers or enterprise [businesses], that we will provide the bridge so that people can get what they want.