Meet with Microsoft Applications Practice Team – Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview 4

Last week, i got an invite to attend a technical briefing up on the Internet Explorer 9 at the local Microsoft Office. When I went there, I saw Harish and Sandeep ready with their slide-decks and demos. After a round of our introductions, the Tech briefing started. The discussion was primarily around the Performance improvements, HTML5 significance, Integrated SVG, WOFF (Open Font Format) and the Hardware Acceleration of the latest version of the Internet Explorer browser.

The Fourth Platform Preview moves the new JavaScript engine, codenamed Chakra, inside IE9 and brings them together into one single, integrated system. 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 are both in performance and consistency.

Chakra is the new JScript engine developed by Microsoft for their upcoming Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) web browser. A distinctive feature of the engine is that it compiles scripts on a separate CPU core, parallel to the web browser.

The New JScript Engine - Chakra

The performance benefits of hardware accelerated HTML5 are clear from running different sample sites side by side in IE9 and other browsers. Browsers that implement partial hardware acceleration – for example, text-only, or video-playback only, or image-only acceleration – offer inconsistent and possibly unpredictable platform experiences to developers and end-users. IE9 offers consistent, fully hardware-accelerated text, graphics, and media, both audio and video.

The IE9 Platform Preview 4 also introduces a highly-interactive and integrated SVG. Typically, developers think of SVG as the graphics format for static engineering diagrams and images. With HTML5 and hardware acceleration, SVG is an excellent choice for a new class of interactive, animated scenarios.

If you have not yet tried the Internet Explorer Platform Preview 4 and its demos., do give it a shot here – http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/

Few Feedbacks and Questions Raised during the Discussion:

  • When can we expect the Download Manager in the Internet Explorer Browser?No information as of now, as it was more a developer overview. We can expect some news on the User Experience features on Sep 15 (beta launch).
  • Cross Platform – Availability – No plans to make IE browser available for other platforms like Linux and Mac.
  • The Internet Explorer 8.0 Task bar Launch Issue- Scenario: Trigger a download and  close all the IE browser windows, excluding the file Download one. Now when you click on the quick launch button in the task bar, the browser doesn’t launch. You will need to right-click and open a new instance. – Feedback will be sent to the Development Team.
  • Security Enhancements – The In-private browsing experience would be much better and secure. No Concrete words from them.
  • Sand boxing Technique and Tabs, how Process Kill would be handled – The IE Browsing tabs would be more robust, but nothing clear with multiple tabs as of now; because the Platform Preview is just a frame.
  • Significance of the new UA String – Changed with the new version. Read more
  • Extensibility – Would be more developer friendly in coming days.
  • Can we expect the browser to give the same experience on Both PC and Windows Phone? – In the initial releases of Windows Phone.. No! But in the future, Yes. (Thoughts are that, the Windows Phone 7 will run with the IE6 Browser)
  • Extensions and Add-Ons – One of the biggest areas where other browsers is beating IE is with the add-on/extension support and development. There isn’t anything significant from Internet Explorer other than the 3-4 most used Add-Ons. This phase needs to be changed, to make the browser more geeky and user friendly!
  • Strategy for Pushing Internet Explorer 9 in the Market – The initial release will target the consumers; Moving forward the concentration would be to get onto Enterprises and see how it can be used in a corporate environment.

If you have any more questions / Comments to the Internet Explorer Team, do write in the comments here. I shall forward the same to them!

An Event would be conducted on September 15th at San Fransisco where the first public beta of Internet Explorer 9 will be demo’ed and made available. Lets wait for Sept 15th, to know what’s more in Store!

Update: 8th September 2010 – Sandeep Alur did try out some of the tests of the IE9 demos on latest browsers and here are his findings – “FF has improved drastically from the previous versions, but IE 9 still leads the race. Another important element to note is of the fish movements. IE9 is still smooth, while FF has a little bit of a drag. Chrome is lagging big time with massive CPU usage as indicated in the visuals.”

Fish Tank Demo in IE9
Fish Tank Demo in IE9
Fish Tank Demo in Chrome 6
Fish Tank Demo in Chrome 6
Fish Tank Demo in FireFox4
Fish Tank Demo in FireFox4

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12 comments

  1. Awesome Initiative Vijay

    I have been had this question in mind. While talking to my project head , our discussion went to HTML 5 and how it will change the web standards . The talk came to IE9 and I was dissapointed to know that my project head did not like IE 9

    He referred me to a blog post

    http://rakaz.nl/2010/03/microsoft-talks-big-abo

    and after taking the test at http://www.html5test.com ( Where IE 9 scores 96 and Google Chrome scores 197 ) , I was shocked too.

    Rakaz in his blog post mentions

    “Even the demos they list as HTML5 are misleading. None of them actually deal with HTML5. First we have some CSS stuff like border radius and selectors. Then they give us DOM Events and DOM CSS. And finally the HTML5 T-shirt Designer which deals with SVG and events and not what the name suggests: HTML5. None of these tests are even served with the HTML5 doctype.”

    Is it true ?? Are you guys using HTML 5 just as a buzzword or are the demos real ??

    Waiting to hear from you guys

  2. I had always wondered of this feature in IE.. Firefox has something called Chrome or I can say the skin, which we can use for changing the appearance of the browser. IE can also provide something of that kind so that users can customize the Look nd Feel of the Browser 🙂 🙂

  3. Hope Microsoft comes up with something to compete with Chrome and others. Truly speaking IE9 does not look very promising, its hardware accelerated HTML5 is the only thing which I found worthwhile, but yes this may be the the key feature which would determine win and loose.

    One strategy Microsoft needed to concentrate on was to push IE into their market, and they didn't seem to give a proper answer for that, no idea if they are planning to keep it a secret.

  4. Awesome coverage ” MSI Geek ” !

    I guess at its time IE 6 was pleasing but post that era IE has always been lagging behind from its competitors ! IE 8 was hailed as the most fastest and competitive but to be frank it isn't !

    Inherent support for Download Manager, productive AddOns, Themes, etc (which are a must-have) are missing its practical presence in IE 9 again ! I seriously feel “Windows 7” is a class-extraordinaire OS but it's still incomplete without a browser of the same class !

    Hope IE 9 fills in the void !

    Regards,
    H.

  5. Appreciate your thoughts. While you said it right in the context of Windows 7, you are in for a treat when IE9 beta hits the road on 15th September.

  6. Appreciate your thoughts. While you said it right in the context of Windows 7, you are in for a treat when IE9 hits the road on 15th September.

  7. 1.Demos are real. The blog post refers to the first platform preview and we have come a long way ahead. Do install the latest platform preview (from http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/)and experience the power of HTML 5.

    2. For a preview, do check out FishIE Tank or Amazon Shelf or Web Fonts or IMDb Video Panorama. There are more that you can see under platform preview. Do check it out!

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