Microsoft releases final IE9 preview, beta due in September
Internet Explorer 9 continues its steady pace toward a final release. Today’s milestone is an important one. The fourth and final Platform Preview, like its predecessors, is intended for developers to test their web sites and report bugs. Most of the major pieces of IE9’s HTML5 support were put in place in the previous release. [...]
Through this deep integration, the performance of real world websites significantly improves, and IE9 becomes the first browser to have a shared DOM between the browser and the script engine based on ECMAScript5. The benefits start with real-world performance and consistency.
Probably the single biggest headline in today’s release is IE9’s final score on the Acid3 test. As I noted back in June (see IE9 adds key HTML5 features in new preview release), each successive platform preview release has sported an improved score on the 0-100 Acid3 scale, starting at 55 in March, increasing to 68 in May, and jumping to 83 in June. Today’s release hits a 95, and Hachamovich argues that striving for a perfect 100 on this imperfect test isn’t necessary or desirable. The two Acid3 failures are on features that are “in transition,” he writes:
Support for SVG Fonts in the web development and font communities has been declining for some time. There’s already been discussion without objection of dropping SVG fonts from the Acid3 test. The community has put forth a proposal in the SVG Working Group to give SVG Fonts optional status.
Instead, developers can use the Web Open Font Format (WOFF, supported in IE9 Platform Preview 3 as well as other browsers) for both HTML and SVG content. It works well in conjunction with the CSS3 Fonts module and has broad support from leading font vendors (e.g. here, “a majority of font makers have already settled on WOFF or services like Typekit as their format of choice”). WOFF fonts are a better long-term solution for many reasons discussed previously.
Similarly, support for SMIL animation of SVG in the web development community is far from strong. The leader of the SVG standardization effort wrote that not supporting SMIL in its current state is probably best “since the SVG WG intends to coordinate with the CSS WG to make some changes to animation and to extend filters.”
Today’s newly released performance tests continue Microsoft’s tradition of showing off full hardware acceleration using PC-based GPUs to render text, graphics, and media, both audio and video. I haven’t tried the tests themselves yet, but I’ve seen videos of Hamster Dance Revolution and Psychedelic Browsing in action. The former is guaranteed to get that silly hamster jingle stuck in your head for the rest of the day, and the latter could cause vertigo. You’ve been warned.
What’s next? A beta, of course, with a full-fledged user interface instead of the bare frame that the platform previews use. When I spoke with Microsoft’s Ryan Gavin earlier today, he declined to offer an exact shipping date but suggested that the next release would follow the same cadence as the platform previews. On that timetable, it’s reasonable to expect a beta in the second half of September.
Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications.
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Talkback Most Recent of 29 Talkback(s)
ZDNet BloggerIt should improve execution speed but doesn't really represent a change in potential attack vectors.Ed Bott08/04/2010 12:48 PM
Since you brought up the topic of security, the #1 reason people have had their systems breached (in the past) is because they run with administrative rights - this is particularly nefarious on Windows XP. Unfortunately XP doesn't ship with the tools to mitigate this problem and your average lay person operates with an "ignorance is bliss" demeanor.
While Vista and Win7 aren't immune they severely cut down the severity of how vulnerable people are. Beyond that I encourage people to use Microsoft's Security Essentials:
It's free and after using AVG for years based on various things I had read, I switched. It was this article in particular that made me a convert:
I might add I'm not an IE fan. I haven't used IE since 2002 (I started using the Mozilla suite that year before "Firefox" was ever packaged). Nowadays I do most of my browsing with Firefox on Windows 7 but I do use Chrome as well. I also use a LINUX VM regularly and use Chrome exclusively there.
-Mbetelgeuse6808/04/2010 02:41 PM
Microsoft can't add MSE to Windows by default. It would shut the "Security woes" complainers up, but would make the "Anti-trust" crowd explode. It really is an excellent product, and is the first thing installed on any of my Windows machines.Cylon Centurion 000508/04/2010 02:47 PM
In-process is significantly faster as parameters/results from method/function calls do not need to be marshalled under this model. Out-of-process has a considerable overhead on each invocation.
@honeymonster does that mean we can get hacked at greater speeds? ...lolpmoreau08/05/2010 11:22 AM
What about ActiveX. Have they dumped that POS yet?
NotLTV1008/05/2010 05:14 PM
Safari & Chrome both 100/100 for a LONG time. Who needs walls and fences in a world without windows and gates?MSFTWorshipper08/04/2010 01:40 PM
Safari running on OS X according to Charlie Miller is the easiest browser to hack. And he's proven it 3 years in a row. Chrome is the toughest. Firefox is tough too but it isn't 100% on ACID 3 either. ACID isn't a good test for security just standards compatibility. And note many of Windows security problems are not related to Windows or I.E. but 3rd party apps and add-ons like: Flash, QuickTime, Adobe Reader, RealPlayer (in the past anyway), etc.DevGuy_z08/04/2010 02:03 PM
It has about the same amount of holes IE6 on WinXP did. A browser doesn't need to bee perfect on the Acid3 test. A 95, is perfect for the reason they are giving.Cylon Centurion 000508/04/2010 02:44 PM
Both of them compete at being the browser with most vulnerabilities. NONE of them have sandboxing in place. Chrome being based on the same webkit as Safari inherits many of the vulnerabilities but it *does* have a proper sandbox (except it is not sandboxing plugins like flash like IE).
The *only* thing Firefox has going for it is that Mozilla are among the fastest patching vendors. Unfortunately this "rush to patch" also means that they have had many incidents where a patch have broken browsers and/or extensions and they have to rush *another* patch.
Safari is just a swiss cheese browser. Tops the vulnerability chart, no sandbox, and Apple are among the slowest to patch.honeymonster(Edited: 08/05/2010 07:12 AM)
haven't we heard this optimistic nonsense from you before.
And then this...
In fact, take your pick...
http://tinyurl.com/25hpeqhLTV1008/05/2010 05:33 PM
@LTV10: You've said it. Don't know what honeymonster was thinking when he said that.ep-man08/10/2010 04:30 PM
Actually IE has been kicking but in the arena of security for some time: http://nsslabs.com/test-reports/NSSLabs_Q12010_BrowserSEM_Summ_FINAL.pdfcolecrew08/26/2010 08:51 AM
Html5 videos are encoded in h264 format, h.264 offers better compression and quality ,so we're playing videos natively with IE9 since it supports h264-encoded videos. And how to converter html5 videos to other video formats, we need video converter like ifunia, who declared they are dedicated in creating affordable and easy multimedia software to simplify your digital life, to do it?pennwarren08/04/2010 10:58 PM
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