Government // Enterprise Architecture
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10/29/2010
07:34 PM
Jim Rapoza
Jim Rapoza
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Microsoft IE 9 Preview Boosts HTML 5 Support

With the release of the IE 9 Platform Preview 6, Microsoft showcases more features and standards support for developers as they move closer to the final release of IE 9.

With their slow march towards the eventual release of Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft is trying to excite and engage two different audiences. With the full beta of IE 9, Microsoft showcased the new interface and many new added features to the Microsoft web browser in the hopes of getting regular users excited about the upcoming IE 9.

With the recent release of the IE 9 Platform Preview 6, Microsoft is hoping to keep another just as (or maybe even more) important audience interested, namely developers.

And it's very clear that this release is focused solely on developers. In fact, this one, like the previous developer preview, doesn't even have the full browser interface, just a simple toolbar.

It does, however, have some capabilities that will interest developers. First, the developer tools (available by hitting F12) now do a much better job handling JavaScript in a page, with the JavaScript now properly formatted within the tools.

Like all other modern beta browsers, Microsoft's IE 9 is also continuing to push towards support of the not-yet-a-standard HTML 5. Among the new HTML 5 capabilities in this preview is support for semantic elements, which makes it easier to define, link and display semantic content within a website.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 Beta Revealed
Slideshow: Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 Beta Revealed
(click image for larger view and for full slideshow)

The IE 9 Platform Preview 6 also includes support for CSS 2D Transforms, which allow for improved display and handling of elements, something that developers can use to build richer and more interactive web application interfaces.

The underlying engine has also been improved and continues to show IE 9's boosted performance over IE 8, especially in JavaScript performance. In tests, this preview of IE 9 did well, putting it, if not among the leaders in web browser performance, at least in a respectable performance range.

If you're not a developer there really isn't much reason to use this preview and the lack of a full interface makes it not very friendly for regular users (though there is a somewhat complex and time consuming way to enable the IE 9 beta interface for this preview).

If you are a developer, or just a really curious user, you can download the IE 9 Platform Preview 6 at http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/.

SEE ALSO:

Review: IE9 May Be Best Version Yet

Can IE9 Halt Explorer's Decline?

Microsoft Unleashes Windows Internet Explorer 9 Beta

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