Internet Explorer 9 beta due on September 15

Microsoft said on Thursday that it plans to release a beta of Internet Explorer 9 on September 15.

Invites for a web IE9 beta event were sent out to members of the press on Thursday. According to sources familiar with Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 plans, the company is planning a minimalist user interface for the next generation Internet Explorer. The software giant is not planning to use Metro or Ribbon UI elements in IE9 but instead it will stick to a simplistic UI similar to that of Google's Chrome. However, still expect some very unique UI features in Internet Explorer 9.

Screenshots of an early Internet Explorer 9 build leaked to the web last month. The leak confirmed Microsoft's plans for a download manager in Internet Explorer 9. Many believed the screenshots were fake but Neowin confirmed the screenshots as genuine images. Microsoft revealed the official logo for Internet Explorer 9 today, which was featured in the leaked screenshots. The logo can be found on Microsoft's beauty of the web page setup for the IE9 event.

Microsoft originally unveiled Internet Explorer 9 at PDC 2009. IE 9 will take advantage of the power of the GPU for all page rendering and developers can exploit this using CSS, DHTMLandjavascript. A new JS engine (codenamed Chakra) will also be built into Internet Explorer 9 with greater interoperability and standards support all round. Features such as rounded cornerCSS support will be built in. In January, Neowin revealed that Microsoft is planning to enhance tabbed browsing in IE9. According to a software patent, the Quick Tabs feature in Internet Explorer is likely to be enhanced with better functionality and greater tab management options.

Microsoft is also planning broader support for HTML5 in Internet Explorer 9 through its new script engine. Microsoft recently performed W3C Web Standards tests on IE9, including HTML5, SVG 1.1 2nd edition, CSS3 media queries, CSS3 borders & backgrounds, CSS3 selectors, DOM level 3 core, DOM level 3 events and DOM level 2 style. Microsoft, with the help of W3C, performed a total of 192 tests on a variety of browsers. Internet Explorer 9 scored 100% in all eight tests, while every other browser, except Firefox in DOM level 2 style tests, didn't score perfect in any of the test categories.

Microsoft originally began scouting for Internet Explorer 9 beta testers in March. In an email to testers, Justin Saint Clair - Program Manager of Internet Explorer invited testers to join a "select group of IE9 Tech Feedback participants."

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