Internet Explorer 9 Preview Gives Taste of Upcoming Release

16, Mar 2010 by in Am in Uncategorized     No Comments

Microsoft released windows internet explorer preview 9 to public today to help demonstrate developers the power of it. Microsoft says it is under development stages and will keep updating this preview platform every 8 weeks and will gather feedbacks from developers around the globe.

The Platform Preview is a minimal wrapper: it’s not a full-fledged browser. It has no tabs. It has no address bar. It has no back button. So what is included? Everything that Web developers need to see: the rendering engine, of course, as well as the new JavaScript engine, hardware acceleration features, and the developer tools.

In addition to the rendering engine, the Platform Preview has a start page where Microsoft showcases five Speed Demos, five HTML5 demos, and five Graphics Demos. Naturally they all work better, or at least as well, in IE9 as in any other browser.

Microsoft is putting a huge emphasis on HTML5 with IE9, but its approach is still very strict. Since HTML5 is not complete, and likely won’t be anytime soon, the IE9 team is being very careful about which features it implements.

As you can see in the screenshot above, the IE9 team has made (some) progress in the Acid3 test. IE8 scores 20/100 on the test, and the IE9 build demonstrated at PDC scored 32/100, so given that the IE9 build from MIX10 is at 55/100, we can see Microsoft is certainly taking standards a lot more seriously.

Internet Explorer is fundamentally handling the Web in a very different way; the cores of IE8 and IE9 are very different, particularly in the graphics subsystem and JavaScript subsystem.

Hardware Acceleration
To deliver the graphical richness HTML5 allows for, Microsoft believes IE needs to be based off of a very high-performance graphics subsystem (the one found in Windows, of course). Eighteen months ago, Microsoft started the advanced planning for graphics in IE9. The technology builds on Direct2D, the advanced graphics subsystems available in Windows Vista and Windows 7. Alpha-channel blending is the main reason IE9 can have the high performance its competitors don’t have: the GPU can handle it and deliver consistent frame rates without breaking a sweat. This reduces the load on the CPU. Speaking of which, IE9 takes full advantage of multicore processors (for example, Chakra compiles JavaScript in the background on a separate core of the CPU, parallel to IE9).

Since GPU uses fewer watts so longer battery life can be achieved too but this can only be emphasized in low performance machines.

So when will be IE9 available as full version? Thats still not answered by Microsoft. Since IE6 was bound to release of Windows XP, IE7 was bound to release of Windows Vista and IE8 was bound to release of Windows7. Will IE9 be released with Windows8 ? Microsoft has nothing to say about this yet nor that if it will be released this year or in 2011.

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