Thoroughly Modern IE9?

By  |  Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 7:48 am

As expected, Microsoft began talking about Internet Explorer 9 in public yesterday at its PDC event in Los Angeles. So far, it’s only talking about its guts–but it’s working on two of the items from my personal IE9 wishlist, faster JavaScript and the beginnings of HTML5 support. Microsoft browser honcho, Dean Hachamovitch, has a blog post up in which he talks about what this means for developers. (It’s a nicely straightforward one, with a chart that shows just how slow IE8’s JavaScript is compared to the competition, and which even discloses that Microsoft has only succeeded in getting IE9 back in the pack so far–it’s still the slowest, but by a lot less.)

Hachamovitch also says that IE9 will utilize hardware acceleration to render graphically-rich sites faster and better. Sounds like a good idea, and like an example of Microsoft attempting to make the fact that IE only runs on Windows into an asset rather than a liability. (Browsers that run on multiple platforms are presumably less likely to get a thorough tweaking to run especially well on one particular OS.)

Still no word on what the company is thinking about interface changes, or when it intends to release the browser. I’m still rooting for a major facelift, but we’ll see…

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