Microsoft on Wednesday updated its rough-edged preview of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), adding support for several crucial HTML5 standards and boasting that the browser is faster than ever.
When Microsoft debuted IE9 in mid-March, the company committed to updating the IE9 preview approximately every eight weeks until it issues a public beta. Microsoft has not disclosed a release date for either a public beta or the final version of IE9.
The third preview released Wednesday introduces support for HTML5’s Canvas element — the tag lets site designers insert dynamic, scriptable rendering of 2D shapes and bitmap images into pages — as well as for hardware-accelerated audio and video tags.
Microsoft has pinned IE9’s attempt to match or surpass the speeds of rivals on the browser’s ability to offload text, image and video rendering chores to the computer’s graphics processor, dramatically increasing performance.
“This is the first browser that uses hardware acceleration for everything on the Web page, on by default,” said Dean Hachamovich, the browser’s general manager, in an entry on the IE blog.
On the Acid3 benchmark , which checks how closely a browser follows certain Web standards, the IE9 Platform Preview 3 scored 83 out of a possible 100, a 22 per cent improvement over Platform Preview 2.