Download Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) Platform Preview

From Microsoft

By on March 16th, 2010 16:06 GMT
It looks like those that were expecting Microsoft to deliver the actual bits of Internet Explorer 9 were right on the money. On the second day at MIX10, Microsoft has made available for download the first release of Internet Explorer 9. The Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview is currently up for grabs from Microsoft.

What is critical to note is the fact that the IE9 Platform Preview is not the full Internet Explorer browser. Instead, what Microsoft is offering is a lightweight frame around the IE platform. The preview is usable, but at the same time it is designed for developers and not for end users. As a dev, you will be happy to know that the IE9 Platform Preview has developer tools included by default, but not a back button for end users. Demonstrations and the actual bits were released on IETestDrive.com.

Dean Hachamovitch, general manager of Internet Explorer at Microsoft, is on stage at MIX10, delivering the second day keynote and is already talking Internet Explorer 9. Meanwhile, the first ever IE9 bits are available as what Microsoft has labeled a Platform Preview. “Internet Explorer 9 is the first browser to take standard Web patterns that developers use and run them better on modern PCs through Windows,” Hachamovitch said.

According to Microsoft, IE9 brings to the table expanded support for HTML5, but also hardware-accelerated graphics and text, and a new, evolved JavaScript engine, designed to boost the overall performance of the browser. Obviously, Microsoft has improved all aspects of Internet Explorer 9 since the browser was first introduced at PDC 2009. In this context, hardware acceleration is applied to both HTML5 and SVG.

“Internet Explorer 9 enabling GPU-accelerated HTML5 is a milestone for visual computing,” added Drew Henry, general manager of GeForce and ION GPU business unit at NVIDIA Corp. “By harnessing the power of NVIDIA GPUs, Internet Explorer 9 removes the glass ceiling for Web developers, enabling them to build graphically rich, high-performing Web applications.”

Hachamovitch revealed that the new JavaScript engine in IE9 was referred to internally under the codename Chakra, and that it delivered a level of performance almost on par with its rivals. The Redmond company also worked on embracing modern web standards such as HTML5, CSS3, DOM and SVG. Illustrative of the software giant’s efforts is the fact that IE9 now scored 55 out of 100 for the Acid3 Test.

The last demo that Hachamovitch focused on, involved support for HTML5 video. However, the IE GM underlined that early adopters and developers wouldn’t get to play around with HTML5 video support in the initial release of the IE9 Platform Preview. Still, the promise from Microsoft is that full HTML5 video support will be added to the IE9 Platform Preview in a future update.

Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) Platform Preview is available for download here.
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