All posts tagged ‘IE9’

File Under: Browsers

Microsoft Update Secures Flash Plugin for IE 10

Microsoft has finally released an update for the Flash Player plugin that ships with Internet Explorer 10, patching vulnerabilities that Adobe has long since addressed for anyone using the standalone version of Flash.

Internet Explorer 10 bundles the Flash plugin directly into the browser, which means Adobe’s auto-update tools don’t work, nor can users manually download and install Flash updates. Any security patches and updates for Flash in IE 10 must come from Microsoft, through Windows Update.

However, Microsoft has, thus far, been quite a bit behind Adobe in updating Flash. The update now available for Flash in IE 10 addresses the problems, but comes a month after the vulnerabilities were made public. A Microsoft spokesperson previously told Webmonkey that the timing of Flash updates in IE 10 will be worked out before Windows 8 actually ships later this year.

This round of Microsoft security updates also brings a new version of IE 9, which patches a number of security holes, including a zero-day exploit which allows a malicious website to install the “Poison Ivy” malware, a backdoor trojan that can take over your PC and steal your data.

The Poison Ivy vulnerability was serious enough that Microsoft broke its traditional monthly security update cycle to release an emergency fix for IE earlier this month. If you happened to have missed the out-of-cycle update, be sure you apply this latest round of fixes in Windows Update.

It’s also worth noting that the Poison Ivy malware exploit works on IE 6, 7 and 8 as well as 9. If you’re on Windows XP, or are just stuck using an older version of IE, patches are also available. You can find the full details and a list of all affected platforms in Microsoft’s Security Bulletin.

If you’ve already upgraded to the Internet Explorer 10 preview you don’t need to worry about the Poison Ivy exploit since it doesn’t work in IE 10.

File Under: Browsers

Internet Explorer: The Browser You Love to Hate

Microsoft has developed a penchant for self-mockery when it comes to the company’s much-maligned Internet Explorer web browser. Microsoft previously put up a website dedicated to eradicating IE6 from the web, and now it’s promoting IE9 by mocking its predecessors.

As the protagonist of the video above — part of Microsoft’s The Browser You Loved to Hate promotional campaign — says, old versions of IE were good for only one thing: “downloading another browser.” That’s a sentiment echoed by countless Webmonkey commenters over the years. That said, IE is getting better.

Of course we’d be more behind the ideas in the video — that IE is actually pretty good — if it were referring to IE10, which, even in its current preview release stage is a fine browser with web standards support on par with its peers. But that’s not what the “browser you loved to hate” promotional campaign is pushing, it’s still focused on IE9.

While IE9 is faster and offers much better web standards support than previous releases, it still lags behind what you’ll find in other browsers like Chrome and Firefox when it comes to supporting the latest and greatest features on the web.

IE10 catches up with Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera, and in a few cases even surpasses some of them. IE10 really is a good browser. Seriously. Try it. But IE9? Not so much. It’s too bad Microsoft couldn’t hold off with this promo until it really did have a great browser to show off.

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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File Under: Browsers, HTML5, Web Standards

Microsoft, Mozilla Battle Over What Makes a ‘Modern’ Web Browser

HTML5test.com scores for IE9 and Firefox

Microsoft and Mozilla are trading barbs over the coming Internet Explorer 9. Microsoft has been touting its HTML5 support in IE9, claiming that it renders HTML5 better than Firefox (and Chrome, Safari and Opera).

Mozilla then turned around and released an infographic that shows IE9 lagging well behind Firefox across the board — whether its HTML5 support, speed or CSS 3.

So who’s right? Well, both of them. IE9 is a huge leap forward for Microsoft. IE9 handles HTML5 and CSS 3 far better than its predecessors. As we said in our review of the release candidate IE9 is great news for web developers because it means the end of IE hacks and workarounds.

That said, IE9 offers nowhere near the level of HTML5 support found its competitors.

But what about Microsoft’s much-touted HTML5 compliance chart? Well, the tests used for that chart are the tests Microsoft developed for IE9 and submitted to the W3C. It should be no surprise that IE9 scores well in the tests it created, after all, those are the tests it was developed against.

IE9 does well on its own HTML5 tests

For something a bit less biased, grab a copy of the IE9 release candidate and point it any of the popular HTML5 test suites on the web — caniuse.com and HTML5tests.com are two good examples. Run IE9 RC1 and Firefox 4 through those tests and you’ll find that Firefox handy beats IE9 (as do Chrome, Opera and Safari). In fact, Firefox 3.5, which is over two years old, also handily beats IE9.

So how can Microsoft claim that IE9 is a “modern” browser with amazing HTML5 support? Well, Microsoft’s argument is that HTML5test and its ilk look for features that haven’t necessarily been finalized by the W3C. Microsoft’s rebuttal to Mozilla’s criticisms is that users don’t want experimental features, they want a fast browser that can handle HTML5 video, audio and canvas.

Microsoft’s Tim Sneath, director of Windows and Silverlight technical evangelism, says that “modern browsers implement features when they are ready, providing predictable patterns that developers can rely on rather than suddenly breaking or removing specifications.”

The problem with that claim is that, as we’ve often pointed out, the web doesn’t move at the speed of standards, it moves at the speed of innovative web browsers and developers. Sometimes there are hiccups along the way, but in taking the conservative track, IE9 is in danger of falling behind the web before it even makes it onto the web.

Internet Explorer’s market share has been in steady decline for several years now. IE has dropped from 68.5 percent world market share in July 2008 to 46 percent today (according to StatCounter).

Faced with dwindling market share and IE bashing in the web development community, many developers were hoping Microsoft would innovate, would build something amazingly far ahead of the competition. But that’s not the approach Microsoft has decided to pursue.

So while IE9 does an admirable job of catching up on web standards, it’s far from a leader when it comes to HTML5 and CSS 3 support. If you want a browser that works on today’s web, IE9 will make a fine choice. If you want a browser that’s already moving toward the web of the future then you might want to look elsewhere.

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File Under: Browsers

New IE9 Preview Arrives, Now With More JavaScript Power

Internet Explorer 9 Beta on the Windows 7 desktop

Microsoft pushed out another preview release of Internet Explorer 9 Wednesday. This is not a new beta release — we’re still months away from the official release of Internet Explorer 9 — but we’re definitely approaching the finish line.

Wednesday’s release, dubbed Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview 7 (whew) includes a big performance boost with a newly revamped JavaScript engine inside of it.

The last preview release of IE9, which only arrived a few weeks ago, saw increased support for web standards. But Microsoft made it clear to us during a phone briefing that Wednesday’s release is all about speed and performance.

To that point, PP7 contains an updated version of the Chakra JavaScript engine. This new engine for IE9 was first introduced at Microsoft’s PDC developer event in November 2009. During the last year, the company has been improving Chakra to the point where it’s now scoring over 300 percent higher on the WebKit SunSpider benchmark than it was at launch.

Microsoft’s Ryan Gavin from the IE team says the new release scores 234.6 ms on SunSpider’s JavaScript execution performance test. Read more about the testing stuff on the IE Blog.

While some browsers are certainly faster than others, the major browser vendors continue to tweak their internal workings and make small improvements to speed. JavaScript performance is particularly important, since modern web applications like Gmail, Facebook and Twitter rely heavily on scripted actions. A faster browser means a snappier web app. Just last week, Mozilla released a new beta of Firefox 4 that included revamped code for its JägerMonkey and TraceMonkey JavaScript engines.

You can download this early version of the next IE browser directly from Microsoft. It’s available for PCs running Windows 7 and Vista. Also, this platform preview can be installed alongside IE9 Beta or IE8 with no problems.

Once you grab it, head over to the company’s demo playground and put the new browser through the paces. Be sure to report your results in the comments.

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