Just a scant four weeks after the launch of Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft is back with the first platform preview of Internet Explorer 10. Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Internet Explorer, unveiled the new platform preview of IE10 at the ongoing Mix developer conference in Las Vegas.
If you’d like to try out this very early release of IE10, head over to the IE Test Drive site and download a copy. The company plans to update the IE10 preview every eight to 12 weeks. Although Microsoft hasn’t set a final date for IE10, with Windows 8 reportedly in the works, it seems likely that both will arrive together sometime next year.
According to Microsoft, IE10 builds on the hardware-accelerated graphics tools which Microsoft touted with the release of IE9. IE10 will also continue the improved HTML5 and CSS3 support in IE9. Web developers will be pleased to note that two popular requests for CSS3 in IE9 — Gradients and Flexible Box Layout — are both already part of IE10.
In fact Microsoft already has some demos up to show off IE10‘s newfound box layout and gradient features. Impressively, the IE10 platform preview does a better job of handling many of the layout demos than the nightly build of Chromium which serves as my main web browser.
IE10 is still very much a preview release and not recommended for anything beyond testing, but based on this early look those fears that IE9 would be the end of Internet Explorer were misplaced. Not only is IE10 off to a good start, but — provided its development cycle is similar to that of IE9 — we should see the final release early next year.