Microsoft releases IE 9 preview #2 for download

Microsoft has released its IE 9 preview #2 and is touting the many improvements made over the previous releases.  Available for download now on ietestdrive.com, the latest version has several enhancements over the previous betas.

On the official IEblog, Microsoft states that “today’s release builds on the first Platform Preview, delivering improvements to IE9’s performance, support for standards, and hardware acceleration of HTML5…As part of our commitment to enabling developers to use the Same Markup – the same HTML, CSS, and script – on the web, we have contributed many new tests to the W3C for HTML5, as well as CSS3 Media Queries and DOM. The Developer Tools in this preview include some new features to make finding and fixing markup issues easier.”

Microsoft also showed off some of the browsers capabilities by running the Acid 3 test and the Webkit Sunspider test (JavaScript) results.

The Acid 3 tests shows a score of 68/100, while better than previous version, it shows that Microsoft still has room for improvement.  They state “as IE runs more of the “same markup” that developers actually use on the web, our Acid3 score will continue to go up.”

On the JavaScript results, the IE9 browser has shown great improvement over IE8 but it is still trailing Chrome, Opera and Safari.  “we continue to make IE9’s script engine faster for real world sites, IE will continue to become faster at this particular benchmark as well. To date we’ve done very little specific tuning for Webkit Sunspider. As with most benchmarks, depending on your machine, the differences may vary.”

The bigger question is will Microsoft’s latest browser help to stem the loss of market share.  With IE for the first time dropping below 60% market share, there will be a lot of attention given to IE 9 to see if it can match or even beat its competitors. 

Thanks for the tip torrentthief

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About this Acid test, there is an very interesting statement in the MSN Blog about IE9.0
http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archi...ailable-for-developers.aspx
"Some people use Acid3 as a shorthand for standards. Acid3 tests about 100 details of a dozen different technologies. Some are still in “under construction.” Some of the patterns, like SMIL animations, are inconsistent with other parts of HTML5, like CSS3 animations, and need to be reconciled."
I wonder how some other browser producer get more points in this Acid3, they not notice problems in the specifications?

The *real* trouble with Internet Explorer is it is not a proper application but a non-modular component of the system. So, you can't uninstall it, upgrade without restarting the system or downgrading for a old version.

Magallanes said,
The *real* trouble with Internet Explorer is it is not a proper application but a non-modular component of the system. So, you can't uninstall it, upgrade without restarting the system or downgrading for a old version.

I'm not sure why that's...a problem... Windows needs a rendering engine, IE provides it.

I'd say IE is very modular. Your beef seems to be that so many programs use the rendering engine module. I suppose they coauld make mshtml.dll a stub that calls the rendering engine of your choice, but I can only see that being a world of hurt for application compatibility.

The reboot thing is annoying, though. I don't really see why it's necessary any more unless there's a driver or kernel update.

so Ie is a little slower comming out than others big deal at least there supporting standards now so quit with the negative comments allready and html 5 looks great and the new javascript is really nice

some of these firefox fanboys don't get it with there dumb comments . microsoft is not doing this on purpose ie 9 is going to be a nice browser this time 1e9 is already in some areas faster than firefox and chrome. besides no one browser is any better than the other firefox is not the great browser people think it is so some of these comments need to stop ie bashing untill the first beta or so come out then coment.

Haven't used IE properly in years, in fact it doesn't even work on my current PC.

However, I am impressed with what I've seen with IE9. There seems to have (finally) been an attitude change. Beforehand, it was all "our browser is the best, all the Firefox/Chrome/Opera/Safari people are idiots. Acid test is wrong, untrustworthy. IE is the most standards compliant. IE is the fastest. IE is the safest. No-one wants CSS3"

Now, they are recognising that big changes are necessary, and they are being very open about it. IE9 could finally be as fast and as standard compliant as the other browsers. That said, the other browsers tend to update more often, so by the time IE9 is released, Chrome, Safari and Opera could be well ahead speed-wise. Dunno about Firefox in terms of speed.

No, other browsers are not updating faster. Other browsers are more open about their development cycle. If you subscribe to the dev channel of Chrome, you can download any new build, thus you feel like it's developing faster. IE previews are available every 8 weeks, so you feel like it's slow, but it doesn't mean they're sitting doing nothing between preview, it's just that they don't show you.

Sounds promising. For god sake, work harder and race to the finish line. Love or Hate it, IE beat Netscape and become the first FREE browser, and change the computing world and the internet forever. Remember you had to pay for Netscape to get online??

LOL. i love the speed of this. html5 is amazing. but I love the fact that in there "Browser flip" game. they have Chrome, Fire Fox, Oprah and IE. but the Safari logo was just a random compass. is this one of apples restrictions from the trade marking of there icons? Is Their wall garden getting that silly? or is it just a MS v Apple thing?

Ad Man Gamer said,
LOL. i love the speed of this. html5 is amazing. but I love the fact that in there "Browser flip" game. they have Chrome, Fire Fox, Oprah and IE. but the Safari logo was just a random compass. is this one of apples restrictions from the trade marking of there icons? Is Their wall garden getting that silly? or is it just a MS v Apple thing?
or is it a past icon I don't know about?

When Microsoft wants to make a good product, they definatly can... they have just been slacking off since IE6 (yes at the time IE6 was very advanced)...

fixxxer2010 said,
i removed internet explorer for both of my windows 7 computers. i solely use firefox now.

Cool story bro

fixxxer2010 said,
i removed internet explorer for both of my windows 7 computers. i solely use firefox now.

you should keep IE8, at least when browsing unsecure sites (p*rn?)

firefox is not sandboxed, whereas IE8 sandboxes even risky plugins like flash player...
removing IE8 is not really something of which you can be proud, it just proves you have no clue about what you're doing ;-)

fixxxer2010 said,
i removed internet explorer for both of my windows 7 computers. i solely use firefox now.

Awesome, you do realize that without 'protected mode' and the chrome sandbox, that Firefox is the most insecure browser on Windows7 and Vista, right?

thenetavenger said,

Awesome, you do realize that without 'protected mode' and the chrome sandbox, that Firefox is the most insecure browser on Windows7 and Vista, right?

if he had a clue he wouldnt have done it

Luis Mazza said,
Enough with useless previews! Get me the real thing.

Actually, has it been 8 weeks since MIX? I suppose they're keeping to their word though, a new preview build so web devs can see where things are going. I expect beta 1 in the summer though. Maybe July or Aug?

thenonhacker said,

Why don't you use Firefox while you wait? I do.

Actually Firefox is my favorite one. I just want it because I'm sort of spoiled.

Udedenkz said,
FF is faster on spinning logos test.
Atom/ION - D2D

I get 7 fps on firefox 3.6
and 37 ftp on IE9

on a Atom/ion too!
oh, and picture quality is lower on firefox (the picture stretching looks bad), which is probably why firefox is faster than chrome (1fps)

Some of the ignorant comments on the IE blog are sickening. People complaining because Microsoft is using hardware acceleration and "promoting something that only works on Windows."

Before IE was holding the Internet back because it was too slow, now people are complaining because IE9 will be too fast?!

JonathanMarston said,
Some of the ignorant comments on the IE blog are sickening. People complaining because Microsoft is using hardware acceleration and "promoting something that only works on Windows."

Before IE was holding the Internet back because it was too slow, now people are complaining because IE9 will be too fast?!

IE is only available for windows so that person is clearly dumb. The more standards and technologies implemented in IE9 the faster websites will upgrade to take advantage of new technologies as all browsers will render pages much more similarly which means less work for web developers to do. This is the big reason why i want IE9 as i won't be using IE9 myself, firefox is feature rich and chrome is fast as hell, there would still be no point in using IE9 but it will help the web move on instead of being held back.

JonathanMarston said,
Some of the ignorant comments on the IE blog are sickening. People complaining because Microsoft is using hardware acceleration and "promoting something that only works on Windows."

Before IE was holding the Internet back because it was too slow, now people are complaining because IE9 will be too fast?!


I haven't seen the comments but I agree with you.

IE 9 is just trying to make use of available resources on computer, I don't see anything wrong with it. Just like CUDA and OpenCL, vendors are trying to make use of powerful computing power of graphics card, so I feel strange why people don't blame CUDA and OpenCL but blame hardware acceleration in IE 9.

torrentthief said,

This is the big reason why i want IE9 as i won't be using IE9 myself, firefox is feature rich and chrome is fast as hell, there would still be no point in using IE9 but it will help the web move on instead of being held back.

Have you tried the preview? It's about as fast as Chrome in loading pages, and way faster at rendering. The scrolling performance blows Chrome away, even when zoomed in (which I tend to do on my high-dpi devices). It's a little buggy and unstable right now, and obviously has no UI yet, but it's not even beta yet - personally I can't wait for this thing to be finished...

Still no box-shadow support in this preview (according to their test sets), but the speed improvements look good so far.

This waiting is killing me I believe it will be great browser and hopefully also UI will be super, something like Firefox 4 mockups or Office 2010. Meantime i stick with good old IE8

6205 said,
This waiting is killing me I believe it will be great browser and hopefully also UI will be super, something like Firefox 4 mockups or Office 2010. Meantime i stick with good old IE8

I think that's the first time I've ever heard the word "good" and "IE8" used in the same sentence. Try Chrome (100 / 100 acid test vs IE8's 20/100), then let's talk about good.

vaximily said,

I think that's the first time I've ever heard the word "good" and "IE8" used in the same sentence. Try Chrome (100 / 100 acid test vs IE8's 20/100), then let's talk about good.


yes, because ACID3 was IE8's goa-oh wait...no... it was trying to find a starting point for the future of trident where they were able to move forward towards standard compliance without breaking the majority of the existing web.

vaximily said,

I think that's the first time I've ever heard the word "good" and "IE8" used in the same sentence. Try Chrome (100 / 100 acid test vs IE8's 20/100), then let's talk about good.

omg yes. ACID TEST is the be all end all for a browser decision. Say Baa acid sheep. BAAAAA

vaximily said,

I think that's the first time I've ever heard the word "good" and "IE8" used in the same sentence. Try Chrome (100 / 100 acid test vs IE8's 20/100), then let's talk about good.

First off he's talking about the UI not the rendering engine. And IE8's goal was never to pass Acid3 they made that clear early on, it was Acid 2 and it passes that test, so they did their job.

vaximily said,
I think that's the first time I've ever heard the word "good" and "IE8" used in the same sentence.


That's strange because the only people who can't put those two words together are those with some sort of anti-Microsoft bias. If you used IE with an open mind you'd see why.

GP007 said,

First off he's talking about the UI not the rendering engine. And IE8's goal was never to pass Acid3 they made that clear early on, it was Acid 2 and it passes that test, so they did their job.

+1 Agreed! When IE8 released, they passed the Acid Test Team, but then, the cocky Acid 2 Team immediately released Acid 3 Test to make IE8 look bad. Who knows -- When IE9 is released, it passes the Acid 3 Test, but suddenly, up comes Acid 4!

C_Guy said,


That's strange because the only people who can't put those two words together are those with some sort of anti-Microsoft bias. If you used IE with an open mind you'd see why.


IE 8 is "OK".

vaximily said,

I think that's the first time I've ever heard the word "good" and "IE8" used in the same sentence. Try Chrome (100 / 100 acid test vs IE8's 20/100), then let's talk about good.

Hi! I'm a Chrome fanboy! The browser I choose defines me! That's why I tattooed the icon on my left butt cheek--I'm totally pridegasm about it! I can't wait for an Android tablet! I'm so glad IE is losing market share, monopolies are bad! I can't wait for Webkit to be the only rendering engine anyone uses, that'd be awesome!

julianbl said,
as much as I love IE.... this is not good enough. IE should be as fast as chrome and yesterday!

yes, a product roughly a year from release needs to be better then a final product NOW... oh wait... that's insane.

AgentGray said,
yes, a product roughly a year from release needs to be better then a final product NOW... oh wait... that's insane.

Point being that once again, MS has stalled with IE development. Nothing can compare to the gaps of the past, but it's been 14 months since IE8 released, and apart from security and compatibility fixes, it's exactly the same today as it was then. IE9, if we're lucky, will be out by IE8's two-year anniversary. What other browser vendor gets away with that kind of scheduling? It's not surprising that usage share continues to drop. MS should be pumping out point upgrades on a regular basis.

rseiler said,

Point being that once again, MS has stalled with IE development. Nothing can compare to the gaps of the past, but it's been 14 months since IE8 released, and apart from security and compatibility fixes, it's exactly the same today as it was then. IE9, if we're lucky, will be out by IE8's two-year anniversary. What other browser vendor gets away with that kind of scheduling? It's not surprising that usage share continues to drop. MS should be pumping out point upgrades on a regular basis.

You really think usage share is dropping because of that?

Where have you been all these years?

AgentGray said,

yes, a product roughly a year from release needs to be better then a final product NOW... oh wait... that's insane.


Well I think a valid comparison is comparing the latest dev build of Chrome 5 to this build of IE anyway.

Edited by Northgrove, May 5 2010, 8:10pm :

Glendi said,
You really think usage share is dropping because of that?
Where have you been all these years?

Taking years off between versions? Yes, most notably the 5 years between IE6 and IE7. If MS had kept the pedal to the metal, there would have been less room for FF to gain share and maybe no room for Chrome. They had the ability to do it, but without competition, and particularly with a free product, they didn't have the inclination. Even today they could stem the tide by releasing agressively, like FF is just starting to do and Chrome has always done.

rseiler said,
What other browser vendor gets away with that kind of scheduling? It's not surprising that usage share continues to drop.

What other browser vendor has to support hundreds of millions of configurations?

julianbl said,
as much as I love IE.... this is not good enough. IE should be as fast as chrome and yesterday!

I'm personally looking forward to when all the browsers are so close to each other in speed that people start throwing around charts ridiculously proportioned to make .04 look FREAKISHLY slower than .035 and people actually buy into it and claim it shows unquestionable superiority.


/seriously, real world tests now, where all the browsers are going to be in a year, will anybody be able to actually SEE the difference in speeds without running a test?

//has anyone EVER been able to really see speed differences without benchmarking?

Joshie said,

I'm personally looking forward to when all the browsers are so close to each other in speed that people start throwing around charts ridiculously proportioned to make .04 look FREAKISHLY slower than .035 and people actually buy into it and claim it shows unquestionable superiority.


/seriously, real world tests now, where all the browsers are going to be in a year, will anybody be able to actually SEE the difference in speeds without running a test?

//has anyone EVER been able to really see speed differences without benchmarking?

Of course you see speed differences between the browsers... i'm implementing sharepoint 2010 and when usign office web apps (like docs.com) in IE or in Chrome, the difference is abismal!

I don't like the share drop of IE in user acceptance... but I understand it. There has been lots of bad publicity to IE and lots of versions of the other browsers, all of them, comparing speed to IE JS engine... and with actual websites demanding more and more from the browser, it is a big deal.

One more thing.. as I said, I love IE. Is the browser I trust to do important things (home banking, shopping, etc.), but for the other, less security aware stuff... I use chrome. No that anyone cares hehe...

Glendi said,
Pretty good. Nice JavaScript improvement.

And that's without any specific tweaks just for that benchmark which is probably what Opera and Chrome do as they keep trying to one-up each other.

I'm skeptical of some of these Sunspider benchmarks. IE9 is much faster on my box (and closer to rated results) than any version of Chrome. For example, IE9P1 gave about 700ms on SS, Chrome 4 on the same box gests 1100ms.

Frankenchrist said,
+1

+1, but on Firefox and Opera. Chrome still has my attention, but I'm waiting for IE9.

TDT said,

+1, but on Firefox and Opera. Chrome still has my attention, but I'm waiting for IE9.

Well it is only an alpha version, basically.

Tekkerson said,

Means IE9 hasn't done anything extraordinary to grab our attention.

+1 to pass

and the others do?? firefox for example is useless without overloading on the addons.

Ficman said,
Pass

lol, yeah... Like with the past Chrome versions 1-4, the dealbreaker here is not running on Mac and supporting extensions. It's not exactly close for someone like me. Chrome 5 and/or Firefox 3.x/4 here.

I have to say that that's a huge improvement of JS performance from one version to another. I think it's even more major than what Opera did with 10 -> 10.5 and Carakan.

Edited by Northgrove, May 5 2010, 8:07pm :