At the recent W3C workshop covering Web Applications and Compound Documents, Microsoft said that there will be no support for XHTML and SVG in Longhorn. Ian Hixie, who works for Opera, is a member of the CSS and XBL work group at W3C and who also is a major contributor to Mozilla (used to work for AOL I think), was presenting the views of Mozilla and Opera at the workshop. He wrote:
Another point that came out of the discussions is that, in case there was any doubt, Internet Explorer in Longhorn will not support XHTML or SVG. (Microsoft suggested they would need some significantly more comprehensive test suites before they started working on standards compliance again.)
Not that this comes as a big surprise. It is evident that Microsoft has no interest in improving the web. In fact, the more complicated the web gets the better it suits their plan to release Longhorn propriatery technologies to solve this mess. The goal from MS has always seemed to be to replace the internet with MSN. Avalon and Longhorn fits this plan very well.
Don’t get me wrong, I really like Avalon and XAML and I believe that if you read thorugh all the documents from the workshop for Web Applications and Compound Documents and knows what Avalon is all about you’ll probably see that the concept of Avalon is a really good one. The main issue with Avalon is that it is starting from scratch and that there will never, ever be an open standard with competing players.
My own view on this whole topic is more along the line of Mozilla and Opera. Add the XUL box model to CSS3 (KHTML supports it). Add a basic XUL like language and make the rendering engine support XHTML, SVG, XUL2(?), XBL2, DOM and some simple binary behavior standard and we have a lot simpler playform where we already have most of the parts available today made by several different vendors.
The most likely to succeed in this area is a collaboration between Mozilla, Opera and Safari/KHTML due to the tight connections these players have (and they make up 99% of the browser market).