With a stated love for Web standards such as HTML5, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) 3 and Scaleable Vector Graphics (SVG), Microsoft has released a Platform Preview of Internet Explorer 9, the next version of its browser, which promises to be more interoperable than ever.
LAS VEGAS -- With a stated love for Web standards such as HTML5,
Cascading Style Sheets 3 and Scaleable Vector Graphics,
Microsoft has released a Platform Preview of Internet Explorer 9, the
next version of its browser, which promises to be more interoperable
At an IE9 Test Drive
event on Microsoft's campus in Redmond, Wash., the software giant laid
out its strategy for helping developers create the next generation of
Web applications by delivering a new standards-based browser and by
taking advantage of hardware innovations, among other things.
At the event, which took place on March 11, Dean Hachamovitch,
general manager for Internet Explorer at Microsoft said Microsoft's
goal is to enable developers to use the same CSS, HTML and other Web
technologies to take advantage of PC hardware.
And at the MIX 2010
conference here, Microsoft unveiled its IE9 Platform Preview to the
astonishment of naysayers who have doubted Microsoft's sincerity when
it comes to standards. Yet, the IE9 Test Drive might have been called
an HTML5 love fest.
"In a nutshell, we love HTML5," Hachamovitch said. "We love it so
much we want it to actually work." However, Hachamovitch also said he
believes there are two definitions of HTML5. One is the specification
itself. The other is that "HTML5 has taken on an aura -- sort of like
Essentially, Hachamovitch said developers want to be able to write a
markup once and have it run the same in multiple places. "It's like
USB," he said. "You don't want 'USB left' or 'USB right;' you just want
it to work."
Rob Mauceri, principal group program manager for Internet Explorer
at Microsoft, said, "When we started planning IE9, one of the first
things we did was look at HTML5. We knew we were moving from the world
Overall, Microsoft's goal with IE9 was three-fold to produce a
browser that supported the "best interoperable HTML5 so the same markup
can be used everywhere," to deliver hardware-accelerated graphics and
to deliver a high-performance browser. With IE9, Microsoft says it is
delivering on all three goals. Indeed, Jason Weber, principal program
manager lead for Internet Explorer, whose job it is to focus on the
browser's performance, said even the IE9 Platform preview is "scary
John Hrvatin, senior program manager lead for Internet Explorer said
the "same markup" theme has become the rally cry for the team because
it work across browsers."
Meanwhile, Mauceri said the IE team is trying to bring a lot of
capability into the browser without requiring a plug-in. Of course,
that sentiment prompted questions of whether IE with its support for
HTML5 might stand as competition to Microsoft's Silverlight Rich
Internet Application plug-in technology.
Steven Sinofsky, president of Windows and Windows Live at Microsoft
addressed that question. "You've got the HTML5 standards work in
process and we're supporting that," he said. "And there's a whole world
of plug-ins and Silverlight is part of that, like Adobe has with Flash.
I tend not to think of it as one technology replacing another or being
competitive with another."
At MIX10 Jonathan Yarmis, an analyst with Ovum, echoed Sinofsky.
"Well, Scott Guthrie [Microsoft corporate vice president] said
Silverlight is approaching the point where it's on 60 percent of all
Internet-connected devices," Yarmis said. "But HTML5 will be the
90-plus percent solution. So as long as they keep Silverlight out in
front of the spec, I don't see there being a problem with competition
Yet, Mauceri acknowledges that even the implementations of a
specification can vary between IE, Google's Chrome, Firefox, Safari and
other browsers. Moreover, "when you implement ahead of the spec you can
break things," he said. However, "the key is with HTML5 we think the
time is right," he said. "We think it's mature enough to start working
on this stuff."