IE9 preview finally gives Microsoft HTML5 support

Internet Explorer logoMicrosoft's second day of MIX10 has seen the launch of the Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview, its first readily available version of the next-generation browser. The test version is described as rough and uses a bare frame but is the first version of IE to support HTML5, bringing it up to the level of Chrome and Safari as well as certain newer versions of Firefox. Even while early, however, it supports hardware acceleration and uses DirectX to accelerate drawing SVG images and text in the new web standard.

Along with the core rendering, the preview brings the new JavaScript engine, nicknamed "Chakra." It claims the title of the first multi-core aware JavaScript renderer and can use one core to render just the web scripts while the rest of the system can devote its attention to the main page. Early testing puts IE9 ahead of pre-release Firefox 3.7 builds but just behind Safari 4.

The release is still far into the future but has made progress in compatibility in the few months since it was first shown. It now scores 55 out of 100 on the ACID3 test for modern browsers where the very first version scored just 32. Opera and Safari 4 are the only major browsers to achieve a perfect score; Chrome and Firefox score 99 and 94 points each.

Moving to HTML5 and fast JavaScript is largely considered critical not just for Microsoft but for the industry. The company's historically slow adoption of web standards has at times forced sites away from new technology as they couldn't assume that a majority of users, especially at work, could see the added features. HTML5 will allow direct audio and video streaming without a plugin as well as better support for offline web apps, among other additions.

Source: electronista

Tags: browsers, HTML5, Internet Explorer, Microsoft

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