Take Internet Explorer 9 for a Test Drive!

imageEver since joining The Empire a year and a half ago, I’ve been asking all over within its ranks to anyone who’d listen: “When are we going to put out a better browser? IE8 is a step in the right direction, but it’s just a step.”

The good news is that Internet Explorer 9 is in the works, and it’s several more steps in the right direction. Among those right steps:

  • New JavaScript engine! Uses modern hardware.
  • Standard markup works! HTML5, CSS3, SVG…
  • GPU-accelerated rendering.
  • In the works, but running right now: hardware-accelerated HTML5 video and more

Want to take IE9 for a spin? You can with the IE9 Preview. It’s not a full browser, but rather the IE9 engine put into a simple frame with development tools so you can see for yourself if the upcoming changes are for real.

The IE9 preview site also features a suite of tests so you can compare how it stack up against other browsers. The tests fall into three categories:

  1. Speed Tests: See how IE9’s background JIT-compiled JavaScript performs.
  2. HTML5 Demos: How compliant is IE9? See for yourself!
  3. Graphics Demos: See GPU-powered HTML5 in action!

Here’s a quick taste of the tests. Here’s a screen capture of the “Flying Images” test running on my laptop in Chrome. Note the framerate:


And here it is in the IE9 preview. Once again, note the framerate:


64 fps versus 2. Nice!

Get the IE9 preview and see for yourself – and if you like, let me know what you think in the comments!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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