Internet Explorer 9 previewed

Internet Explorer 9 previewed

( -- Microsoft has released the preview version of Internet Explorer 9, which has HTML5 integration, background compiled Javascript, and scalable vector graphics (SVG) capability.

The preview code for the ’s rendering engine was revealed at Microsoft’s MIX10 developer conference in Las Vegas yesterday. The major goals for the new engine are support for the emerging Web standards such as SVG and HTML5, and greater speed.

The preview version is not the fully fledged browser, and is intended for developers, but director of the IE9 project, Dean Hachamovitch told reporters last week that the for the new browser would also feature big changes.

One way in which Internet Explorer 9 will achieve greater speeds is through using the (GPU) for rendering and displaying graphics rather than the (CPU), which is used by other browsers including earlier versions of Internet Explorer. This will significantly improve Web performance.

IE9 will also improve speed by taking advantage of the fact that most computers bought today have multiple CPUs or cores. IE9 will use one core to render JavaScript and the second to compile it to run on the hardware in machine code, with no translation necessary. This will improve performance because there is a massive difference in speed between compiled and interpreted code. This, and the speed gain by using the , was demonstrated at the conference with a display of increasing numbers of spinning three-dimensional icons, which the IE9 preview could handle far better than any other browser. Since less of the first core of CPU is being used, the display is much faster, and will also allow developers to create a new class of Web applications.

Another change in the new browser is an emphasis on browser interoperability, so that programs written for IE9 should run properly on other browsers as well. Hachamovitch said that as supports more of the markups used by websites, their Acid score will improve. (This is a test run by W3C, the official Internet standards body.) The preview browser engine scored 55 out of 100, which is a significant improvement on the previous version’s score of 20.

It is not yet known when the new browser will be released as a beta or final version. Meanwhile, the platform preview is available to be downloaded for a test drive at The preview will be updated around every eight weeks, but does not run on Windows XP, the operating system of over 70% of Windows users.

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