File Under: Browsers

Internet Explorer 9 to Arrive March 14

Internet Explorer 9 Beta on the Windows 7 desktop

Microsoft has announced it will release Internet Explorer 9 onto the web March 14. Internet Explorer 9 will be a massive overhaul for IE and brings much needed standards support, speed boosts and hardware acceleration.

The first Platform Preview of IE9 arrived nearly a year ago and since then Microsoft has released several more previews and betas. Along the way, IE9 has gained support for more HTML5 features, CSS3 improvements and better hardware acceleration.

IE9 will be good news for web developers since it adds considerable support for HTML5 and CSS3. Its predecessor, IE8 doesn’t support any of HTML5 and is widely blamed for holding back efforts to create a better web.

Microsoft is hoping to change that with IE9 which not only supports much of HTML5 and CSS3, but includes hardware acceleration for faster performance and privacy protection settings to stop websites from tracking your movements around the web. IE9 is also no slouch when it comes to JavaScript performance thanks to the new Chakra JS engine.

We took a look at the HTML5 and CSS3 features in IE9 last year, but Microsoft has added quite a few more since then, including support for CSS3′s 2-D transforms and new selectors, HTML5′s semantic elements, the WOFF font format and the geolocation API.

In terms of web standards IE9 is light years beyond anything Microsoft has previously released. Granted, Firefox, Opera, Safari and Chrome are somewhat further along with the more experimental features of HTML5, but given IE’s dominant market share worldwide, IE9 should be a huge boon for HTML5 adoption (provided users upgrade).

We’ll be sure to give you a full rundown on everything that’s new in IE9 when it arrives next week.

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