Microsoft had already released three Platform Previews of its upcoming Internet Explorer 9 web browser, and the response towards the software giant’s effort in supporting open web standards has been generally favourable. Will the beta version coming up sometime in September maintain that momentum?
Read on for more information.
When it comes to choosing a web browser for your PC, Internet Explorer is probably the single browser which most people love to hate, and for good reason. After all, Internet Explorer had often made the headlines for the wrong reasons, such as poor rendering speeds, security vulnerabilities and lack of support for open standards. This, in spite of the face that it already came pre-installed on all Windows PCs.
Needless to say, Microsoft is keen to reverse the situation, and from what we have seen in the previous three Platform Previews of Internet Explorer 9, the software giant is making good on its word to support web standards and increase its browser’s speed.
However, it should be noted that a Platform Preview is in no way considered as an actual browser: Microsoft may tout better support and faster speed, but in the end, it is still a very minimal platform aimed at showing off the engine’s capabilities. A real test of a browser’s capabilities will be to subject it to real-world usage patterns, and the beta version of IE9 which Microsoft is pushing out soon will be that test.
According to a report by ZDNet, Microsoft’s Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner has announced that the company is currently working to prepare a public beta of IE9 which it plans to release some time in September this year. This would mean that development on IE9 might be running a little behind schedule, as ZDNet claims that a beta release of the browser was originally slated for August instead.
Needless to say, news of a beta release of IE9 is going to be of interest to some: considering that the past three Platform Previews of IE9 showcased nothing more than the engine’s capabilities, users will probably be interested in additional features and the user interface Microsoft intends to layer over the browser. Supposedly leaked screenshots of IE9 posted on Neowin suggest that IE9 will feature a built-in download manager, but nothing more is known belong this point.
Still, given Microsoft’s fondness for the Ribbon interface, we probably would not be surprised if IE9 delivers a shiny Ribbon instead of the traditional dropdown menus. But we shall wait and see.