Posts tagged "internet explorer"

Internet Explorer 9: A Platform Preview, Not a Beta

With Microsoft (site) rebounding like Dennis Rodman in his prime, can the company pull another Windows 7 or Windows 7 Phone out of its hat with IE9?

Exploring New Frontiers

Internet Explorer has had a rough ride since, well, forever. Most versions have been considered an assault on Internet standards, or derided as under-featured or security nightmares. The recent versions have improved on those areas but added features that few actually use.

With existing IE now lagging behind Firefox which is the most popular browser, where can Microsoft go with IE9? The news from Microsoft's  MIX10 developer conference in Las Vegas is that Internet Explorer won't just be a browser, but a whole platform.

There's a test drive site, where you can download a preview mini-browser for Windows Vista or Windows 7 users (nothing like a proper beta or test version) that allows you to take a look at some of the features in action.

According to Microsoft, the intent of the platform preview is to provide developers an opportunity to start planning when and how they will start supporting HTML5; this is definitely not suited for your everyday browsing needs.

A Platform to Where?

The primary addition is the implementation of DirectX hardware acceleration, something that really should have been in place for many years. Now, the horsepower of the typical PC's video card can finally be used to hoof along your graphical output and improve quality, allowing accelerated video, faster and smoother text effects and other essentials of the Web 2.0 environment.

One of the demos showing off IE9's features

HTML 5 support will be the next big arms race as browsers throw it to the top of their features lists and Microsoft has it as a big tick in IE9. With support including CSS3, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) which has been around for ages, XHTML parsing and H.264/MPEG4 and MP3/AAC tags and  codec support, all video standards will be supported.

If you can't wait for IE9 to get a little HTML 5 love, take a look at Christian Adams video tag for IE.

Additional news includes a boost for JavaScript processing speeds. With all its rivals crowing about their Java performance, it is only fair that Microsoft gets in on the act and brings its browser up to speed.

In the Background

Behind the web page, Microsoft also announced that it will contribute to the development of new features and enhancements in the jQuery JavaScript Library. It has shared the release of new SDKs for the Open Data Protocol that will make it easier for developers to access cloud-based data from to create cross-platform Web applications.

Developers are encouraged to use the Platform Preview Version on their own code, HTML, CSS, scripts and feedback on how it works. There are more details on the ieblog.

Microsoft has stated that a new version of the IE9 Platform Preview should come out about every 8 weeks, and there are no dates set for the beta release.

Add a little HTML5 Video Support to Internet Explorer

The Internet Explorer browser does not currently support HTML 5, Microsoft has already said that support is coming in version 9. But you really don't want to switch browsers just to get a taste of the new order. Christian Adams has a little something that will do just that. But keep in mind, it is little.

Bringing a Little HTML5 to IE

Tied to Internet Explorer, either by choice or by company policy, but want some cool HTML5 capability? Well there's a new plug-in that may keep you happy for awhile.

Christian Adams has released a new version of his plug-in Xiph.Org Ogg Codecs. Along with a few Theora and FLAC bugfixes, it includes better support for Windows 7, and a video tag for Internet Explorer.

Still in technical preview, this video tag is just that — a tag. There are no features like seek, controls or HTML5 interfaces, there's only basic playback. Still, it's something right? Right.

Demo if HTML5 video tag hack

To enable the video tag there is an xmlnx attribute that needs to be added to Internet Explorer (xmlns=" and if you are still using IE6 or IE7 you have a little tweaking to do.

You can check out a video demonstrating the feature — keep in mind you won't actually see the video unless you have the plug-in installed or are on a browser that supports HTML5.


Internet Explorer 6 Cutbacks Continue

As the day draws nearer for Google Apps to drop Internet Explorer 6 support (March 1), other companies are following suit.

Internet Explorer 6 Sucks and Atlassian are the latest to kick IE6 to the curb. On Atlassian’s side, it was stated on the forums that IE6’s time is up as of the JIRA 4.2 launch date (Q3, 2010). As for, a mass e-mail was sent out to customers:

“Multiple security vulnerabilities in IE6 have been exploited over the years. The most recent attacks against Google, Yahoo, and other companies specifically targeted vulnerabilities easily accessible in IE6 but much more difficult to exploit in IE7 and IE8—leading the Microsoft Security Response Centre to recommend that users of IE6 upgrade to a newer version of Internet Explorer.

And, in case that wasn’t enough to hammer their point in: “Of all of our supported browsers, IE6 provides the slowest and least rewarding user experience for our customers.”

Moreover, it looks like social networking is getting in some punches as well—mainly Facebook, which recently publicly prompted its users to upgrade to newer versions of IE. 

Not enough to convince you to make the switch? Here's a visual from the


As you can see, even though IE6 is floundering, IE8 isn't doing half bad. Wrote the research staff on the blog

Current data from the exo.repository shows a dramatic spike in IE 8.0 adoption, with over 70% of Windows XP systems - sampled from the's IT-centric community of nearly 23,000 registered sites - now running Microsoft's latest web browser. This compares to the less than 10% of XP systems that are still running the aging IE 6.0, and the roughly 20% who are stuck on the in-between version, IE 7.0.

Not that Simple

As we said before, unfortunately it's just not that easy for some folks to switch browsers. For larger organizations and companies, mass testing and deployment of a new browser can be extremely time-consuming and expensive. Also, Microsoft has shown no intention of dropping support early. 

"…we committed to supporting the IE included with Windows for the lifespan of the product," said IE's General Manager Dean Hachamovitch. "We keep our commitments. Many people expect what they originally got with their operating system to keep working whatever release cadence particular subsystems have."

But we still can't help but wonder—considering IE6's rapid decline, will Microsoft sing a different tune before 2014 when support for Windows XP is scheduled to end?