Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore will now lead a team focused on Internet Explorer

If you’ve been part of the Windows Phone community you’ve probably seen Joe Belfiore take the stage a handful of times the past few years. He’s more or less been the face of the Windows Phone team at Microsoft. However, his roles are changing within Microsoft. He’ll now be taking over app development for Internet Explorer.

It was in early September that we learned Joe Belfiore would be leading a team that’s focused on phones, tablets, and PCs. That move came about because of the internal shuffling currently being experienced by Microsoft as they move towards a devices and services company. Now The Verge is reporting that Microsoft will be leading a team that’s responsible for the app and user experience side of Internet Explorer.

In a way, he’s still working on a team that focused on phones, tablets, and PCs. But he’ll now be focusing directly on Internet Explorer across the different platforms. It’s also worth noting, that his team isn’t responsible for backend (Trident rendering engine) of Internet Explorer. The move comes after Microsoft’s Dean Hachamovitch switched roles to an unspecified new team. Hachamovitch was previously responsible for all of Internet Explorer, but his vacated role is being split into various positions, one of which has now been filled by Joe Belfiore.

Thoughts on the move for Joe?

Source: The Verge

147 Comments
  • Congrats. Now, hurry and fix IE on the Surface Pro 2.
  • This!
  • Or at least put pressure on the team responsible for stability! You can't have IE as a platform for apps when it's crashing 10% of the time. :/
  • IE is the only browser I use. I understand everyone is always complaining about it but I personally haven't had a single problem with it and I run it a 3 laptops and my "moderately" upgraded desktop as well as my phone... I,must be doing something right.
  • Or have low standards :)
  • i doubt that.. im pretty meticulous and ordered, everything in its right place and running properly. I'm talking my cars my electronic my clothes everything. i know thats not neccesarily standards but I can't deal with something not working right, so im pretty sure id notice if my browser was as bonkers as everyone claims theirs is.
  • I rarely use other browsers but they do crash somewhat often, and for the amount of time I use them they shouldn't have a chance for that. That's the reason I stopped using Chrome.
    I still use FF from time to time but IE and then Opera are my two browsers.
  • don't you mean hurry and fix IE in general?
  • Indeed!
  • IE's main problem are web developers target browsers not standards...
  • As a (web) developer, I can say IE's main problem is the fact that Microsoft chooses to compete against most standards - which I'm not saying is necessarily a bad thing - and the fact that they are extremely slow at adding support for existing standards. So, allow me to rephrase your poorly thought out excuse for a statement: IE's main problem is web developers target standards, not IE.
  • I cant think of any real examples since the 90s where MS have gone against standards with IE. One of the reasons they seen to be slow is they now wait for the standard to be defined rather than release something and change it later. There are certainly developers targeting browsers rather than standards. Its not that uncommon to see styles with -moz or -webkit but not the actual standard one. It comes from the fact that when the developer wrote it, the standard didn't work anywhere, but as they don't go back and update it, these are perfect examples of a site targeting a browser. All IE could really do in this case is start picking up these styles to.
  • Agree and disagree. I know a lot of web developers who only target standard. But I also know a lot of web developers who target specific rendering engines from the get go. And occasionally, when I feel like it, I randomly take a peek at any css on various websites I visit, and surely enough, most of them are just using -moz- and -webkit- prefix without even implement the standard version as a fallback. IMO, none of them (those who target standard and those who target specific rendering engines) are majority.
  • Well, so does webkit but webkit is praised while IE is "bad".
  • That hasn't been true since version 10 was released. Yes its behind the curve of HTML5 support and so is IE11, but its no longer IE vs non IE. Its now "does browser X (Which may or may not be IE) support this feature?". If the answer is yes, then IE 10 or 11 support it correctly. Hell even IE9 wasn't that bad with regards to HTML4, but calling it an HTML 5 browser was a joke.
  • As a web developer myself, I'm thinking IE's problem is that there are developers who are dwelling on their stereotypes formed in the early 2000s.
  • ^This, and the worst offenders claim they are following the standards and not the browsers.
  • I disagree. I'm a web dev and even when everything is perfectly compliant with no hacks it is always, ALWAYS, IE that screws up royally. Although that was before and it IS getting better. My latest site in HTML5/CSS3 only required a couple of minor tweaks. It falls to pieces in IE8 though, but that was expected and will be handled appropriately. I refuse to even look at IE6 or IE7 anymore.
  • This is why I try to avoid IE8 if possible. IE8 is only a very tiny amount of my user base these days. IE9 is #1 and I have no problems with it other than missing features, but the features it does implement are done correctly. Firefox is #2, and IE8 is #3. I don't have any other browsers in use (chrome is forbidden by the IT nazis as is IE10 & 11 unfortunately) That hasn't been true since version 10 was released. Yes its behind the curve of HTML5 support and so is IE11, but its no longer IE vs non IE. Its now "does browser X (Which may or may not be IE) support this feature?". If the answer is yes, then IE 10 or 11 support it correctly. Hell even IE9 wasn't that bad with regards to HTML4, but calling it an HTML 5 browser was a joke.
  • As another web developer, I think a lot of IE's problem is that there's still a ton of people out there using IE7/8/9.  This is a direct result of MS targeting the Enterprise where you can't go around forcing your users to upgrade to the newest version of your browser as corporations need to spend time & resources testing that their internal applications still work.  So, there's a ton of people in the world who are still forced to use a version of IE that's 3-4 generations behind.  This leaves a bad taste in peoples' mouths and they end up using Chrome or Firefox to do anything non-business related and get a much better experience. Once again, being a web developer, I use a lot of different browsers (it's a requirement of the job) and I think the IE10 experience is fantastic on properly designed websites though there is always room for improvement.
  • Yes it keeps telling me recover webpage? Or stop running script. tired of that just when I'm in the middle of something. Important please Joe fix it.
  • this is more or less due to browser targetting and poorly programmed pages becoming non-responsive. Probably 1/2 of IE's problems are not IE's fault, nor can they be fixed by Microsoft.
  • Actually, I'm finding most crashes are due to bad browser plugins. LastPass has caused me lots of grief in IE11, for example.
  • Yes, lastpass is having issues. I've been working with them for about a week to resolve. They fixed chrome and Firefox issues last week.
  • yes you are right.
  • I just hope that whoever is going to replace him or will be running the back end of windows phone is a hell of a competitor. Someone who wants to beat every body else on the market.
  • +925
  • What's wrong with IE on Surface Pro 2? I'm writing this from a Surface Pro 2 with IE! :D
  • They better improve it a lot. It needs a lot of work, especially ie mobile.
  • The issues people are having must primarily be on mobile. I haven't had any issues on my desktop.
  • The issues on desktop is that it isn't as fast as safari and chrome.
  • Yeah. Its horribly borken on 8.1. Pages don't render properly. (Amazon!) unless I switch off (Display Intranet Sites in Comatability mode!) Its glitchy. I stick with it, as I like the better NTLM auth at work, but I wish it was as slick as Chrome :-(
  • If turning off 'Display Intranet Sites in Compatibility Mode' changes anything, something is causing Amazon to be detected as an Intranet site. Go to Tools, Internet Options, Security tab, then click the Local Intranet icon. Click the Sites button immediately below. Click Advanced and make sure that you don't have Amazon in there. There could be a bad wildcard in there, for example if you have *.co.uk or *.com.   If you can't get to the option, or can't remove the bad entry, check with your network administrator - the option could have been added by Group Policy.   When Display Intranet Sites In Compatibility Mode is on, IE11 pretends to be IE7. It sends IE7's User-Agent string to the website (except that it includes the Trident/7.0 token to allow the site to detect it), and it then renders the response as IE7, unless the site sends an X-UA-Compatible header to select a different mode.   Microsoft have the ability to configure IE11 to send any User-Agent string they choose for a particular site, and to select any document mode, through the Compatibility View List that is periodically downloaded.
  • Actually IE11 is faster than chrome or safari. The main issue is that it is not as stable and doesn't have enough functionality.
  • That too.
  • The main lack of functionality for me is the lack of a Speed Dial feature and is why I don't use IE. I used this a lot in Firefox and now in Chrome. IE's anemic attempt with Favorites is not even close. It would be so easy to do but nooooooo.
  • Chrome is a pos... Bulky and slow
  • Agreed, I just had to install chrome to test something I was working on and it will hang on oading a site for about 3-5 seconds slower than my IE.
  • If chrome is hanging for 3-5 seconds something is very broken. If that were the case nobody would use Chrome.
  • Many people still use Chrome for the same reason others still use iPhones -- either the brand name or the comfort of using a browser to which they're accustomed.
  • Yeah, but every user study has shown that over 1s a user becomes irritated in load time and does something else. If it took 3s no user would use it. 3s for chrome to hang plus 1-3s for the next page to load is far too slow for the majority of computer users.
  • Chrome is pretty fast at things like startup. But it is slow at page rendering and worse, it is extremely bloated, so that it makes /other/ programs on your PC run slowly. IE is much lighter weight and, interestingly, FF is the lightest of all.
  • Right. That must be why Chrome is the most popular browser by far. 
  • No idea what version of IE you're using, IE11 (and for that matter IE10) completely blows Chrome out of the water in speed. The only reason I'm not using it is because there are no extensions. On phone, the UI is just stupid. Hopefully this move sees an overhaul in that regard.
  • I think IE on my WP8 works great. Its very easy when you get familiar with it. Its only limited by the website or your connection speed.
  • I want to be able to organise my bookmarks. The more I bookmark, the more I have to hunt through a long list - folders start to become very desirable. I want a "forward" button for the times when I catch the hardware back button by mistake. I want to be able to see, live, how much of my data a particular website is using.
  • http://www.sitepoint.com/internet-explorer-11-review/ "Performance IE10 seemed fast but the benchmarks told a different story. The following tests were performed on my development PC — I can’t claim strict laboratory conditions, but they were carried out multiple times in a single tab following a warm restart of each browser: IE11 is the outright winner in two tests and joint first on another. WebGL is especially impressive. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it only falls behind in Google’s V8 benchmark. Benchmarks do not reflect real usage and can be swayed to prove whatever you like. All the browsers are quick and you’ll rarely encounter performance problems. That said, IE11 is genuinely impressive; it seems to open, close and render faster than any other browser. If you switched to Chrome for speed alone, you’re now using the wrong browser."   IE11 is faster. Unless you have plugins or software affecting IE (only thing i have is the built in flash. No java. No add-ons. Just IE, nothing else)
  • What about the rendering issue? And I'm pretty sure a lot of people have java, so no excuse for ie.
  • And I'm pretty sure a lot of people have java, so no excuse for ie.
    You are tech literate and should have Java disabled in your browser by default. Hardly anywhere still uses it, and where it is used, you shouldn't expect good performance anyhow.
  • How hard are you going to critizize me? GEEZ!!   And I play minecraft, and it uses java, and I don't know how to disable it just for the browser.
  • Think he means JavaScript
  • Pretty sure it's better than Safari.
  • I'm running IE 11 on my Windows 8.1 Pro machine, and it loads any page I give at the blink of an eye. I don't know if that has to do with my hardware though since I do have an overclocked i7-4770k.
  • I hope they add the ability to sync across devices and I'm not just talking about favorites and settings but say Im browsing a website on my PC and have to take a dump, they should implement a feature where I just click a button and wahala on my WP or any other device that website is now open on it!
  • Not sure if Windows 8 had it, but with 8.1 I can see the tabs that are opened on my other computers I've logged into with IE11, and can quickly open them. Also, I think you meant "voila", not wahala.
  • Since he is taking a dump he probably meant valhalla
  • > and have to take a dump Why tablets were invented.
  • I feel slightly disappointed with this. I liked hearing Joe's enthusiastic WP keynotes....
  • I agree, but I think this is one of the reasons why they chose him for this IE position.
    He's great on stage, relatable and charismatic - things IE surely needs.
  • what ? no they expanded his role into more area's phones, tablets, pc's and now IE app development/user experience more responsibility
  • So now which MS employee should I follow on twitter for the latest WP news
  • this!
  • Balmer lol
  • Also, it is sad, I liked him at the conferences, and much better than Nokia's Kevin Steels, or whatever his name is.
  • Hopefully now IE mobile will get better..
  • ...and hopefully they'll consider not using X to close. Swipe instead. Common sense for touch base platform.
  • Maybe we will get a fucking back and forward button?
  • ....we have a back button
  • Um, there on the left and right sides...
  • No?
  • Talking about Win8. Didn't realize he was talking about WinPhone
  • Win Phone has a dedicated back button, it just doesn't have the forward. But then who really needs to forward button.
  • "Life is about moving forward."
  • How boring for him!
  • Cool
  • I like Joe. Who's taking over Windows Phone now?
  • Ehhh, I know ie needs help but we liked him. He was a real champion for the platform and his enthusiasm was obvious. Big shoes to fill. I just hope this doesn't slow Wp down
  • So, now Internet Explorer will advance slowly instead. ;)
  • This. I like Joe as a person and have enjoyed his keynotes. But WP8 has not had the push it deserves in terms of update rollouts IMO. It needs speed to market and lots more customer facing features in each update phase. Gdr 1,2,&3 have had only small steps in them really from a bells and whistles perspective and unfortunately bells and whistles are what the public pay attention to. Windows Phone needs a chief with a big whip in hand. He's just not that person.
  • You do realize WP8 is in a better position than Android on the low end. The market numbers come from the low end. I want to see a 400 series device sooner than later. Given that most average people don't use most of the features on a low or high end, I don't think we need to rush. I agree- they at least need similar features as iOS and Android, but realize WP has way better devices on the low end than Android. Heck- plenty of them don't even have Google Play access.
  • You raise a valid point and I agree with you. 400 level devices may well come with some sort of merge of Asha and WP perhaps. That would be the logical step. However on the feature side it should not be down to Nokia to be implementing basic level functionality in their OS updates. Much as I'm a huge fan of Nokia and my 920, features need to be embedded at the OS level for all OEMs to take advantage of, not just Nokia. The poor speed of feature development and update rollout in the year that WP8 has been available has been too slow. Yes, the other OSs have not necessarily been quicker, but they are not in third place either.... Office on Windows Phone is a classic example. It has had almost zero attention since launch and it shows.....
  • Office on WP kind of sucks. Its less than basic that its almost useless.
  • Yup! Sad but truth. Where is this magic recent drive behind the early release gdr3 with features that have been requested since WP7?
    Now that Microsoft is absorbing Nokia Mobile, you have to imagine that they took a long hard look at why they are where they are today. Now Joe is moving out. Coincidence? I think not.
  • Microsoft the most the musical chairs company.
  • I will be looking forward for the updates on IE then :)    Can't wait to get more tabs working in Windows Phone 8.
  • Hopefully he can fix IE, IE is not a great browser to use IMO.  I think it drains the battery on phones quite a bit and has issues with some websites.  I've gone to some websites that say, i cant view because i am using IE and to download chrome or firefox, but im on a phone so i have no choice.  Forums, sometimes the embedded vids dont work, but work fine if i used an iphone/android.  How about a back AND forward button on IE on wp8, is that too much? Another issue is yahoo, if i click a link on twitter on my phoen for an article on yahoo, it doesnt take me to the article, it takes me to the front page.  Only way to get to eh article ischanging to desktop mode.  Uggghhhh Favorites need to be synced across devices just like chrome.  Login and all your favorites are the same whether pc laptop or phone.  Speed, IE seems to drag a bit, i always go back to chrome since its faster and more sites are optimizing for chrome instead of IE.    Lot of work to be done, hopefully he can do it. 
  • @dkp23, I have to say that a good majority of what you mentioned has got to be the websites redirecting when they detect IE rather than IE being poorly coded. Like your example.of them saying to install Chrome. They don't care that you run IE10, they just know it is IE ANYTHING so they deny access. Remember how Google said IE on Windows Phone couldn't run Maps, but when someone modified the browser so it identified as something else (I believe he removed 1 character) it worked? Or how the browser can run video but because it is detecting IE it says it isn't available on mobile? Lots and lots of sites like.forums and embedded video pages LOOK for Firefox/Chrome and if it doesn't equal that then they deny. You even stated that more sites are optimizing for Chrome so I guess I've just wasted my breath, but still...IE works great for my web browsing. I think it's 80% developers ignoring IE and 20% Microsoft not trying. Them making IE 11 falsely identify as a Mozilla browser tells you something about the real issue at hand(and I know every browser has done this, not just IE) Basically, some web devs assume IE, regardless if which version, is still broken, when it isn't.
  • Nailed it in one. I wish web developers would stop doing that. I feel like I'm being thrown back to the 90s when sites start telling me to download a certain browser just to view a page.
  • Good. Now IE 11 on WP
  • No more enthusiastic WP keynotes from him again  T__T
  • I feel saddened by this news. Joe has been a good commander for the windows phone camp, it almost feels like he's being relegated to a minor role. I hope this does not mean that windows phone is in for a radical change again because I am not sure the fanbase nor the people looking to switch would see that favorably...
  • I like Joe but WP was moving ahead to slowly so I hope the new head will take more risks.
  • Good for Joe, one of the real good guys. But... IE on Surface RT and Lumia works great for me.
  • I really like Joe, was hoping for him to continue being involved with WP to some extent. This is kind of a bummer.
  • He will be missed. I hope is is good to him. Being a fan of the browser I hope its reliability with 10+tabs open at once is fixed. Sometimes they go slow and I need to shut everything down to continue.