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Microsoft vows GPU acceleration, standards in IE9

updated 12:50 pm EST, Wed November 18, 2009

Internet Explorer 9 still early

Microsoft on the second day of its Professional Developers Conference by providing an early look at Internet Explorer 9. The new browser is just three weeks into development but is already expected to significantly outperform its predecessor. The new version will take advantage of hardware acceleration from graphics chipsets that support D2D in DirectX to offload many of the visual elements of browsing, such as maps or sub-pixel rendering. Microsoft's aim is to let the hardware "shine through" in the browser, chief software architect Steven Sinofsky said.

It also has a brand new JavaScript engine that will address IE's historically weak rendering in web apps and similar code. Microsoft already claims the engine is as fast as the improved engine in Firefox 3.6 and that more optimizations are enroute.

The company also made a renewed pledge to web standards and said it will support both newer technologies like HTML5 as well as those it has ignored in the past. CSS code can now show rounded borders, and CSS selectors are now supported. Sinofsky explained that this area still needs significant development time but that a perfect score on the ACID standards test is the ultimate goal. IE9 in its very early state only manages a 32/100 score where the latest Chrome, Opera and Safari versions are already at 100.

There are "a lot of things we need to do" at Microsoft to follow standards, the executive added.

No roadmap has been given for the browser, but the development is likely to prove crucial for Microsoft. Despite the release of IE8 and many users receiving the new browser by default with Windows 7, total IE use is continuing to fall as Firefox, Safari and Chrome respectively draw more users.

by MacNN Staff



  1. dwoodruff

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'm shocked...

    "just three weeks into development but is already expected to significantly outperform its predecessor."

    You mean they weren't planning on developing an inferior browser?

  1. darkelf

    Joined: Dec 1969


    that's right, folks...

    that's right folks, watch them line up the advanced features, which will (as usual) be cut during the development process in order to make delivery. IE9, A Very Familiar Experience (tm)

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    i'll believe when i see it.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I thought IE 8 was all about standards...m..

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Welcome to the Future!

    Woot, sub-pixel font rendering in a web browser. Welcome to the exciting world of 2003!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Welcome to the future

    Um, the sub-pixel rendering comment is that it is offloading that to the GPU, not that it is just getting around to adding that...

  1. godrifle

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I hope...

    ...Microsoft delivers. My life as a web developer would be simplified by at least 80% if IE was equally compliant as FF and Safari.

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