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General Microsoft

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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Categories
General Microsoft

Download Internet Explorer 9 – Developer Preview

5/5/2010 – Update:

The Second Internet Explorer Platform Preview is out here (via Tim Sneath) with more JS performance, HTML5 stuff and CSS 3 improvements, Do check it out : http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/

A nice read on HTML5 and Same Markup: Second IE9 Platform Preview Available for Developers

Today, Microsoft is making the first developer preview of Internet Explorer (IE) 9 at MIX2010. The developer preview is available for download now. Microsoft retools its browser with HTML5, accelerated graphics. There are lots of demo applications which are built in to test the Speed, HTML5 and Graphics Demos. IE9 has a new JavaScript engine, and it’s screaming fast, it beats Firefox 3.6 on SunSpide. Rounded corners show up well.

Internet Explorer 9 Demos

The developer Preview is available for download here

The IE 9 Platform Preview doesn’t include the IE 9 user interface; instead, it is the plumbing, specifically the new Microsoft JavaScript engine (which is codenamed “Chakra”) and the new graphics subsystem, coupled with a home page full of test sites. There’s no back button and no built-in security. It’s basically the IE 9 rendering engine and early developer tools.

A sample Flying images demo –

IE 9 Flying Images Demo

IE9 Preview and Chrome showing the same demo, check at the FPS difference –

IE9 and Chrome comparision

HTML5 applications are a lot richer and demanding, in terms of graphics and speed than Ajax applications. Microsoft is planning to deliver a lot more preview builds of IE 9 before it hits beta. In fact, the team is committing to delivering an update every eight weeks, and to interact with developers via the Microsoft Connect feedback loop.

IE9 will not be available on Windows XP as IE9’s GPU-powered graphics take advantage of new technologies available in Windows 7 and back-ported only to Windows Vista.

Via – [ZdNet]

Categories
General Google Microsoft

How to use Google Chrome Browser Extensions on Windows?

Google has always been proactive in making the browser more user-friendly. Extensions are the first step towards this initiative from Google. One important note for the Google team was to make extensions easy to create and maintain, while preserving Google Chrome’s speed and stability (Speed of access being Chrome’s USP).

Extensions on Google Chrome accomplishes all these goals: they are as easy to create as web pages, easy to install, and each extension runs in its own process to avoid crashing or significantly slowing down the browser.

If you’re on a Windows or a Linux machine, you can check out more than 300 extensions in the gallery, including a few cool, useful and cute extensions.

Step 1: Launch your Chrome Browser, and goto the URL https://chrome.google.com/extensions, If you get the below error message, then you will need to install the latest build of Google Chrome from http://www.google.com/landing/chrome/beta/

Cherror

Step 2: Once you install the latest version fo the browser, you can see the website, which lists all the popular extentions available for use.

chrome_extensions

Step 3: Select the Extension you need (In this example, I am choosing the Gmail Notifier)

Gmail_extension

Step 4: Click on Install and Accept the Confirmation

confirm_extension

Gmail_extension_appearsClicking on Install will download the extension and add it to your browser. (You will be able to see the extension, next to the address bar – As this is a Gmail notifier, you will need to login initially to get a track of your mails)

This completes the Installation of the Chrome Extensions.

You can manage the extensions using the Browser Settings Tab:
menu

You will be able to see the list of Extensions which are installed on your browser, you can choose to enable or disable them as per your needs.

 summary

An extension system has been one of the most requested features for Google Chrome. It’s a tribute to Mozilla and the Firefox project that nowadays, users just expect all browsers to have built-in extensibility!!

Users can install and uninstall them quickly without restart, and extensions have a great polished look that fits in with Google Chrome’s minimalist aesthetic. When developers upload an extension it is available to users immediately, with limited restrictions and manual reviews only in a few situations.

Speaking on the Technical Enhancements, Chrome Extensions uses the Google Chrome’s multiprocess architecture to help keep extensions stable and safe. And Chromium’s extensive performance monitoring infrastructure has helped to ensure extensions affect Google Chrome’s speed as little as possible. You can learn more details about the internals of our system in the videos below.

Extensions aren’t quite beta-quality on Mac yet, but you will be able to preview them on a developer channel soon. And if you’re a web developer, you can learn more about writing extensions for Google Chrome on the Chromium blog.