Microsoft and Mozilla traded barbs this week in a dispute over what constitutes a "modern" Web browser. The competitive friction is starting to heat up because the Redmond software giant and Silicon Valley nonprofit are preparing to release the next major versions of their respective Web browsers.
Mozilla's Firefox 4 is expected to arrive this month and Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 is in the release candidate stage. Both browsers are set to introduce a significant number of new features for end users and Web developers, including extensive support for critical next-generation Web standards.
The release of Internet Explorer 9 is particularly noteworthy, because it will mark the first time in recent history that Microsoft has delivered a browser that doesn't lag far behind on standards compliance. Despite the great strides that Microsoft has made with IE9, Mozilla contends that Microsoft still has a long way to go before it can truly characterize IE as a "modern" browser.
Mozilla developer Paul Rouget, who is probably best known for his innovative HTML 5 demos, issued a statement and accompanying infographic that attacks Microsoft's claims regarding IE9's support for modern Web standards. Rouget says that Microsoft has misrepresented the extent of IE's standards compliance by using the company's own test suite as a benchmark rather than vendor-neutral tests devised by the W3C and other independent parties.