Eight weeks has passed since Platform Preview 2, and it’s time for another release. I’m pleased to announce the launch of Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview 3! Go ahead, download it, and read on to find out what’s in this new Platform Preview.
Not so long ago, if you were using an application, chances are that it was a desktop native app running on top of your operating system. These days, the odds are that the apps you’re running are web apps, which run inside your browser, which in turn run on top of your OS. Even if you’re not factoring in network latency, that extra layer of abstraction slows things down. Hardware acceleration is one fix to this problem, and that’s a major focus of Platform Preview 3. IE9 takes advantage of your computer’s GPU to render HTML graphics and text with greater speed.
And here’s a “wider” version of that chart, showing more of the Esteemed Competition’s browsers:
Speed is just one dimension of browsing – standards is an important one, too! The support for the
<video> tags we talked about at MIX10 has been baked into Platform Preview 3.
There is one tag that was conspicuous in its absence, leaving a number of cynics, wags and conspiracy theorists to jump to the conclusion that it would never be included in IE9. Well, it’s here…
That’s right, Platform Preview 3 introduces the
<canvas> tag to Internet Explorer. And it’s hardware-accelerated, too!
We’ve got a number of demos on the Test Drive IE site showing off hardware-accelerated
<canvas>, including “Asteroid Belt”, shown below:
So how does Platform Preview 3 fare on the Acid3 test suite, the supposed bane of Internet Explorer’s existence? Not too shabby, jumping up to 83 out of a possible 100 (if you recall, Platform Preview 2’s score was 68):
There’s a lot more in Internet Explorer 9’s Platform Preview 3, but in the spirit of “Show, don’t tell”, I’m sending you to the IE Test Drive site to download it and take it for a spin, and please let us know what you think!
This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.