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Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 beta preview

Microsoft is set to unveil Internet Explorer 9 beta at a launch event later today.

The company will unveil a host of new features allowing users to pin their favourite sites to the taskbar and start menu in Windows 7. Microsoft has re-designed Internet Explorer 9 to give websites most of the focus inside the browser window. The software giant has also focussed heavily on web standards and HTML5.

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. 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 2,138 tests on a variety of browsers. Internet Explorer 9 scored above 90% in average across all tests, while every other browser, except Safari 5 and Chrome 5 didn't come close to scoring 90% or above in any of the test categories.

New features

Internet Explorer 9 will excite Windows 7 fans. Features include the ability to pin websites to the taskbar. Web developers will be able to create specially designed pages that allow end users to take the site URL and pin it as a button on the Windows 7 taskbar. Tabs can be torn off outside of the browser and snapped using Windows 7's Aero UI. The software giant has also removed all the menus in Internet Explorer. Like Google Chrome there's now just one options menu. There's also a combined search and address bar to make it easier for users to search.

Microsoft will be unveiling a number of launch partners including eBay, Hulu, CNN and Amazon who have all created special sites for the new functionality. Neowin is also Internet Explorer 9 enabled. Once Microsoft makes the Internet Explorer 9 bits available for download later today, you will be able to take advantage of all the new features right here at Neowin. We'll have more on Internet Explorer 9 later today, including coverage from the UK event where Gorillaz are set to pair up with Microsoft to introduce Internet Explorer 9.

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