Microsoft Delivers New IE 9 Preview with Canvas and HTML5 Video, Audio

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2010-06-23
 
 
 

Microsoft has delivered a new preview version of Internet Explorer 9 (IE 9), the next major release of the company's dominant Web browser featuring support for the HTML Canvas tag and more.

This release, known as IE 9 Platform Preview 3 (IE 9 PP3), is the third update of Microsoft's IE 9 preview software since the company unveiled it at its MIX 2010 show in Las Vegas in March. Microsoft pledged to deliver new releases of the IE 9 preview every eight weeks-this one comes just seven weeks after the release of the second IE 9 Platform Preview.

To date, Microsoft has seen over 2 million downloads of IE 9 Platform Preview and 16 million views of the Test Drive site.

And Microsoft has stuck to its goal of providing developers with the ability to use the "same markup," improve performance of the browser and continue to see it proliferate, said Rob Mauceri, Microsoft's principal group program manager for Internet Explorer.

In an interview with eWEEK, Mauceri said Microsoft has delivered what developers have asked for. Indeed, in addition to the HTML Canvas tag support, Microsoft's IE team has delivered support for HTML5 <audio> and <video> tags.

"IE 9 puts the power of the whole PC on the Web," Mauceri said. "Browsers today use less than 10 percent of the PC's computing power, but Canvas and HTML5 audio and video let you use all of the power of the PC." Microsoft has a new demo with Amazon.com of a virtual bookstore experience that Mauceri says demonstrates this.

Microsoft's investment in increasing the browser's performance has paid off, Mauceri said. According to the SunSpider benchmark test, IE 9 PP3 surpasses Chrome 4 and the current shipping version of Firefox, coming in at 347 milliseconds overall.

Additionally, Microsoft's continued focus on supporting various Web standards has led to improved performance in standard tests. For instance, Microsoft's IE team witnessed an increase in IE 9's Acid3 score from 68 to 83. "And we're not done there yet, either," Mauceri said.

Acid3 is a test page from the Web Standards Project that checks how well a Web browser follows certain selected elements from Web standards, especially relating to the Document Object Model (DOM) and JavaScript.

Microsoft's move to deliver additional support for the ECMAScript 5 specification and the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C's) Web Open Font Format (WOFF) certainly had something to do with the improved Acid test scores. ECMAScript 5 is the latest edition of the standard upon which JavaScript is based.

Meanwhile, Microsoft added 15 new developer samples on the IE 9 Test Drive site, Mauceri said.

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