Thursday, March 18, 2010

Internet Explorer 9 goes for HTML5, partially

Microsoft has announced that the new internet explorer will have many features supporting HTML5, which will make browsing internet a speedy experience. "HTML5 will enable a new class of applications," says Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft's Internet Explorer General Manager, speaking to the press at the company's Mix10 conference in Las Vegas, according to The Register.

But there are many features that are not supported by IE9. Like the Canvas element. "All the graphics that run in IE9 are GPU-powered, they are hardware accelerated. We said there'll be updates to the preview and we'll see what else is coming in the next preview," says Hachamovitch.

Microsoft will also have to deal with the issue of video codecs, which has left the Video tag without any officially standardized codec. Replying to this Hachamovitch says, "For IE9, the demonstration that we gave involved the H.264 codec, which is a great industry standard for video, and we will support the H.264 codec. If I made a list of all the things for the HTML5 spec to do next, it's not clear that the HTML5 video codec would be near the top."

The IE9 preview does a better job with the Acid3 standards test than earlier versions, but at 55 per cent, it remains poor, considering that some other browsers pass completely. Hachamovitch is defensive about the test and says, "The Acid3 test is something that some folks use as a proxy for standards support. It's 100 tests. It exercises about a dozen different technologies, some of which are under construction, some of which are less under construction. The most important thing: as IE9 supports more of the markup that developers actually use, the score will continue to go up, as a side effect."

The new IE9 will not be supporting Windows XP. "Building a modern browser requires a modern operating system. There are facilities in Windows Vista and Windows 7 around security, for example the integrity-level work that gave us protected mode. There are performance improvements, there is graphics infrastructure to take advantage of the GPU, that doesn't exist in previous operating systems," says Hachamovitch.

Microsoft will be using Silverlight more extensively in IE9. This might work well for Microsoft but also might slow up the speed of the browser.




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