Internet Explorer 9

Internet Explorer 9 is here! Well, a Developer preview build has been released at MIX 10 and it looks pretty freakin’ awesome!

  • Full HTML 5 Support…even video!
  • Rounded Corners
  • Background Compiled Javascript
  • Much improved (although not perfect) ACID 3 score
  • IE9 is the first browser to provide fully hardware-accelerated SVG support

These, and more, are already part of IE9 🙂

Head over to:

http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/

to find out more and download the current build of IE9, although it’s not a complete browser. There is no address bar and no back button (!), it’s a very early way of letting us all have a look at the goodness that is on it’s way.

An important point I’ve just seen in the FAQ is that:

“One of the best features of Platform Preview is that it installs side-by-side with earlier versions of Internet Explorer and any other browser(s) on your computer”

which means it should be completely safe to install it on your machine. I’ve got it on mine and it works great…

Look-Rounded Borders!

image

Asteroids in the browser?

image

Yes!

Acid Test:

“Acid3 is a test page from the Web Standards Project that checks how well a web browser follows certain selected elements from web standards, especially relating to the Document Object Model (DOM) and JavaScript.” (from Wikipedia)

Current browsers that pass Acid 3 are:

Google Chrome

Apple Safari

Opera

while Internet Explorer 8 gets:

image

Internet Explorer 9 currently gets:

image

So much better…but still a way to go. I assume that Microsoft will get it to 100 by the time it ships?

Windows XP

Can I haz IE9 on XP?

No.

What the What?

“Internet Explorer 9’s GPU-powered graphics take advantage of new technologies available in Windows 7 and back-ported only to Windows Vista. These technologies depend on advancements in the display driver model introduced first in Windows Vista”

Oh…ok…can I haz Windows 7 pleez?!

This is another reason for people to move from the creaking, aging and frankly not very good anymore platform of Windows XP. IE9 is going to be faster, flashier, sexier and better and will seriously enhance and improve people’s interactions with the web…both in terms of enjoyment and enhanced productivity…maybe this will be the thing that pushes people to take the leap onto Windows 7? Here’s hoping!

HTML 5 Video

Although Microsoft showed HTML 5 video working during the MIX 10 keynote, it’s not currently available in the Platform Preview. However, it is coming and, as MS are updating the build every 8 weeks, it won’t be too long until we see it.

Javascript Rendering

On the Webkit SunSpider Javascript Performance test, IE9 posts better results that Firefox 3.6:

Bar graph of Webkit SunSpider Javascript Benchmark results

 

and is getting very close to the super speeds of Opera. With many months until shipping we should see IE9 rise even further up the ranks.

Dean Hachamovitch (General Manager, Internet Explorer) has got a great blog post all about IE 9 here:

http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2010/03/16/html5-hardware-accelerated-first-ie9-platform-preview-available-for-developers.aspx

Thoughts:

From what I’ve heard from MIX and via Twitter, what I’ve seen using the Platform Preview and what I’ve read on the MSDN blogs…this is going to fit in really well with Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7 Series…it’s going to be brilliant and put MS back at the top.

So go and download the preview, check it out and keep tuned 🙂

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