Microsoft releases fourth and final Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview

Microsoft is hard at work on the successor to Internet Explorer 8. To date, it has released three IE9 platform previews. Each preview has become progressively better than the last. The previews may have been (and still are) lacking the new user interface, but they have performed quite well by all appearances. Today, more progress is being made towards the final release. Microsoft has officially released their fourth and final IE 9 Platform Preview.

According to Microsoft General Manager, Dean Hachamovitch, this release demonstrates the potential advantages of fully hardware accelerated HTML 5 graphics. Platform Preview 4 also demonstrates great performance improvements on industry standard tests. IE 9 Platform Preview 3 received a score of 88/100 on the Acid 3 test while PP4 scores 95/100. The remaining points that are missing involve the SVG fonts and animations that are currently being transitioned.

In preparation for the upcoming beta (currently scheduled for September), Microsoft is asking Web Developers to begin coding their sites according to the web standards rather than testing for IE versions. Hachamovitch stated that the IE 9 platform is nearly complete and therefore, ready to be tested publicly.

Screenshots of an early build of Internet Explorer 9 leaked to the web late last month. The screenshots revealed that Microsoft is planning a download manager and add-on manager for Internet Explorer 9.

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, DHTML, and javascript. 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 corner CSS 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 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." Microsoft recently confirmed that IE9 will beta in September. Neowin believes this will be September 2. Microsoft is expected to unveil its new UI for Internet Explorer 9 during the beta phase.

To download Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview 4, please visit the IE 9 Platform Preview Website.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft's mystery hardware? Arc Touch Mouse, launching in September

Next Story

Google is waving goodbye to Google Wave

94 Comments

View more comments

satus said,
they now got 95/100 ACID3 test. 5 more to go in beta

To be honest, that won't matter. lol. If it performs very well and has great features, it is good enough in my book.

tuxplorer said,
So once all the mainstream browsers pass Acid3 we will get Acid4! Very exciting! And there is the HTML5Test.com test.
The Eric Law dismissed html5test.com as non-standard compliant since it has features that aren't in the actual HTML 5 spec. HTML 5 isn't done yet and the point of the Acid tests is to test features in the browsers based on in draft/finished standards. HTML 6 hasn't even been worked on yet as far as I know.

This GPU acceleration will make my laptop rock to hapiness about battery time.
Browsing was never so efficient before.

Has there been anything about any user interface improvements? Standards support is great and all, but IE has always been behind the competition on the user interface front as well.

Ui needs more eye candy than ie8 and lose the delay when creating a new tab. Preview works like a charm though. Can't wait for the beta!

Wow, MS is really stepping their game up good to see.

I think we'll have a lot of good browsers on the market at the end of 2010

I did a test with SlickSpeed ( http://mootools.net/slickspeed/# )
Opposite to Acid test, SlickSpeed do a test using a real framework (Mootools, Jquery and more)

And it was my resultants:(in milliseconds, less is better)
IE8 :
241 174 804 588 205 (0 errors)
ff4 (latest minefield)
50 55 121 162 21 (3 errors, again in Dojo).
ff3.6 (latest)
63 51 208 251 38 (3 errors using Dojo)
ie9 (latest preview)
52 69 184 166 25 (many errors in Dojo and YUI framework).

For javascript framework the current version of Ie9 is as fast as firefox 3.6 but it is also incompatible and bring new problems. Or you could say, in a real world scenario, ie9 is less compatible than ie8.

Magallanes said,
I did a test with SlickSpeed ( http://mootools.net/slickspeed/# )
Opposite to Acid test, SlickSpeed do a test using a real framework (Mootools, Jquery and more)

And it was my resultants:(in milliseconds, less is better)
IE8 :
241 174 804 588 205 (0 errors)
ff4 (latest minefield)
50 55 121 162 21 (3 errors, again in Dojo).
ff3.6 (latest)
63 51 208 251 38 (3 errors using Dojo)
ie9 (latest preview)
52 69 184 166 25 (many errors in Dojo and YUI framework).

For javascript framework the current version of Ie9 is as fast as firefox 3.6 but it is also incompatible and bring new problems. Or you could say, in a real world scenario, ie9 is less compatible than ie8.

I'd not trust this test. These framework is not from W3C where standards come from. It is very likely that these frameworks don't follow standards and has error as well. Plus not all tests are trusted. Even Microsoft Tests are doubted by people.

satus said,

I'd not trust this test. These framework is not from W3C where standards come from. It is very likely that these frameworks don't follow standards and has error as well. Plus not all tests are trusted. Even Microsoft Tests are doubted by people.

It seems Dojo simply doesn't work with IE9. Also, Prototype nearly always return 0...I doubt IE is the culprit there.

I wish they would change the name. Internet Explorer just sounds very Windows 98ish. I mean ya, the name fits it, a it does "explore the internet" but I would like it to have a catch name. >.<

david said,
I wish they would change the name. Internet Explorer just sounds very Windows 98ish. I mean ya, the name fits it, a it does "explore the internet" but I would like it to have a catch name. >.<
Everyone know the name internet explorer. Why change it?

Do all the big supporters and the IE9 dev team realizes that IE9 is not only restricted to MS Windows but also to Vista and above? Of course they do, so what's the game plan: One OS One Browser? This sounds like a shoot in the self foot to me. They are trying to hard to make IE9 a more non-browser than IE6 is. I feel for them. Bad.

Ulyses said,
Do all the big supporters and the IE9 dev team realizes that IE9 is not only restricted to MS Windows but also to Vista and above? Of course they do, so what's the game plan: One OS One Browser? This sounds like a shoot in the self foot to me. They are trying to hard to make IE9 a more non-browser than IE6 is. I feel for them. Bad.
Why try to devolp for an OS that is almost 10 years old? Why didn't they make IE 7 or IE 8 for Win 98? One reason is more features in Vista and Win 7 than are supported in XP.

johnnyq3 said,
Why try to devolp for an OS that is almost 10 years old? Why didn't they make IE 7 or IE 8 for Win 98? One reason is more features in Vista and Win 7 than are supported in XP.

Your example is far fetched. Win 98 it's not NT based like 2k, XP and above. And there are other OSs there. Competitive browsers means that: coverage across OSs.

From a web developer point of view, IE9 is looking promising - but the problem is older (much worse) versions of IE will still be used by a helluva lot of people. I mean, IE6 was released 9 years ago and 20% of the world still use it! If they built a compatible version for Win 9x+ and pushed it to windows update it would make a lot of people like me very happy (:

First of all, AFAIK, it has not been confirmed that the final IE9 will not be compatible with XP. Though not likely, they could implement a software fallback for XP, since it doesn't support D2D.

However, IMO, even if they don't support Windows XP, I think it's better to move IE forward than to let it be held back by an antiquated operating system. Windows XP was released in 2001. It's a 9 year-old operating system!

For comparison with other browsers on other platforms:
Firefox 3.6 for Mac requires Mac OS 10.4 - which was released in 2005.
Firefox 3.6 for Linux requires GTK+ 2.1 - which was released in 2006.
Safari 5 for Mac requires Mac OS 10.5.8 - which was released in 2009.
Chrome for Mac requires Mac OS 10.5.6 - which was released in 2008.
Chrome for Linux requires Ubuntu 8.04 - which was released in 2008.

All the other browsers on other platforms are requiring operating systems that are 1-5 years old. I don't think it's such a bad thing that Microsoft is not supporting a 9 year-old platform with IE9...

Now if only it would download. Sucker keeps locking up on me on install with the second prerequisite. Have to do a control alt delete just to shut it down. Can't they make downloading a demo easier than that? not a good sign.

- Kaboose - said,
it would be nice if MS changed their IE release schedules and pushed features out faster, the 1/2 yr period is just too long

Then what would they do with enterprises ?

Commenting is disabled on this article.