IE9 : second preliminary version released
Microsoft has released their second preview version of the Internet Explorer 9 browser.
After a first release in mid-March 2010, Microsoft has now published, as promised every eight weeks, a new evaluation version of Internet Explorer 9. This schedule will be maintained until the release of the beta version of IE9.
The so called IE9 Platform Preview is aimed mainly at developers who wish to test the new engine. This preliminary release doesn’t provide a common IE user interface with all of the functions that a user would be looking for, so anyone wanting to test the browser properly is advised to wait for the release of the IE9 beta.
It should also be remembered that hardware acceleration provided by Direct2D will not be made available to Windows XP users operating IE9. The second IE9 preview is only for Windows Vista and Windows 7 users, with Microsoft providing demonstrations of the possibilities made available with GPU-powered HTML5.
With HTML5, we won’t find a video technology which allows for the native playing of video (without a plug-in) as the H.264 codec will be the only supported codec included in IE9. We will have to wait for the third preview version, in eight weeks, to finally be able to test this implementation.
These tests have the aim of displaying the work already carried out by Microsoft in terms of SVG support (Scalable Vector Graphics), CSS3 and other standards. A small surprise, even though it hasn’t yet been officially communicated by Microsoft, is that the IE9 Platform Preview 2 has also improved their Acid3 test score (68/100 compared to 55/100 previously and 20/100 for IE8).
On SunSpider, IE9 Platform Preview 2 obtained a time of 473 ms (compared to 590 ms with the first preview). This is still not as good as Google Chrome 5.0 beta (271 ms), Opera 10.52 (294 ms) or Safari 4.0.5 (412 ms), but it is better than Firefox 3.6 (736 ms) and the pre-alpha5 release of Firefox 3.7 (645 ms). IE8 currently comes in at 3746 ms...
For Microsoft, work will have to be done to bring the final version of Internet Explorer 9 to the market in a timely fashion, as the market share of IE continues to fall.
Install IE9 Platform Preview 2
Consult the version notes
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