At South by Southwest Microsoft released Internet Explorer 9 and just a few short weeks later the software giant unveiled a sneak peak at the next version. The company’s main focus is to continue building on the solid foundation of IE9. This means that Internet Explorer 10 will feature increased support for emerging web technologies such as HTML5 and CSS3.
Micorosft corporate VP Dean Hachamovitch stated, “We’re about three weeks into the development of IE10, and based on the progress we’ve made, we want to start engaging the development community now.” IE9 is getting some great reviews due to its enhanced security, increased performance, and much improved user interface. Much of the success can be attributed to Microsoft getting the community involved early in the development process. This is similar to how Google and Mozilla develop, Chrome and Firefox have nightly builds that developers can access to test the latest features.
“We built IE9 from the ground up for HTML5 and for Windows to deliever the most native HTML5 experience,” Hachamovitch said. Platform Preview 1 builds on these standards by including support for CSS3 Gradients and CSS3 Flexible Box Layout. The new CSS3 spec allow web developers to create gradients by using markup tools instead of images. One of the advantages of using CSS in place of images are that webpages load faster because the browser does not have to download a large image, instead it simply has to parse the code. Another bonus is since it does not have a fixed size the website looks clear even when zoomed in.
From what Microsoft has shown us, Internet Explorer 10 seems to be more of an evolutionary rather than revolutionary update. The average users will not notice any of the changes since most are on the backend. However, the inclusion of CSS3 Gradients and Flexible Box Layout is probably just the start, as Microsoft moves to better integrate IE10 with emerging web standards. The company has yet to announce a release date, but if you’re eager to get involved or simply want to test drive the new version you can download Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview 1.