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Microsoft Shows off Internet Explorer 9

With the preview release of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft is trying to re-innovate the browser. There are many browser available and almost all of them prove to be faster, lighter, secure, and user friendly. Microsoft says that Internet Explorer 9 will break this image as it is going to be the fastest browser with the most advanced features. Microsoft in earlier versions tried to add features in the Browser which were already there in the Operating System but that resulted in a bulky application. Microsoft is promising that version 9 will very light in weight and will give the fastest loading and fastest browsing experience to the users.

Officially, the Internet Explorer Platform Preview is launched only for developers who want to test the new browser’s development and design capabilities including the new JavaScript engine – codename Chakra – as well as support for standards like HTML5, CSS3, SVG 1.1 and DOM. It’s not meant to be a mission critical browser application, but enthusiasts looking to test out something faster than what they are running now have the option to do so.

Early tests show that IE9 is indeed quite fast, even when compared up against the developer builds of Chrome 6 and Firefox 3.7. When it came down to it with HTML5 hardware acceleration, however, IE9 blew past Chrome 6 but failed in front of Firefox 3.7.

The main highlight of Internet Explorer 9 is its support for Hardware Acceleration, which lets it use the GPU to speed page loading and rendering of graphics effects, as well as HTML5 support, however only Windows users with IE9 will see this acceleration, everyone else will just default back to a presumably slower compatible mode, unless their operating system or browser takes a similar route to acceleration. Using the HTML5 canvas, video and audio tags, some smart results can be created. Microsoft says it demonstrates better performance of its Canvas 2D feature, which uses hardware acceleration to deliver better performance at high frame rates. Canvas creates a simplified way of defining a space for 2D visuals, so it will be fun for games and impressive animations, without need for Flash or other plug-ins. IE9 can turn web pages into something that looks like a desktop application with font smoothing and other effects among benefits for general users.

Further Microsoft has quoted that IE9 works through Windows, instead of just on Windows, and this makes a big difference. The web browser runs more like a native application. You can download and test the preview version from the following link – http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/

The browser wars still continue, even in the unreleased format. The good news for all of us is that we can use more than one browser at a time on our machines and this sort of competition will only help to improve our internet experiences.

Will WebM from Google lead to fragmentation of standards?

Google’s WebM, a royalty-free open source video format, recently recieved support from Mozilla and Opera Software, and all three browser makers have issued developer builds facilitating WebM incorporation. Google’s move was however interpreted by some analysts as a step towards fragmentation of standards. Ray Valdes, a Gartner analyst, was enthusiastic about the new open standard but wondered if Google, Mozilla and Opera would be successful with the new project.

Microsoft, on the other hand, was rather reserved and although it promised to support the new format, it would not deliver VP8, WebM’s video codec, in its Internet Explorer 9. VP8 is the royalty-free video codec (encoding-decoding technology) used by WebM in order to compress and decompress digital video. It was acquired in February, when Google bought On2 Technologies for $125 million.

Jeremy Doig, Engineering Director of video at Google, and Mike Jazayeri, Group Product Manager, appreciate that no open, free video format is equivalent to the important commercial choices. What they mean by “commercial choices” is undoubtedly the H.264, the codec that is backed by Microsoft and Apple for video format in HTML5, the next-generation development language for the Web. Large companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google (for YouTube) are paying steep royalties for using H.264, while other companies like Mozilla, have firmly refused to do it. Mozilla and Opera have supported the open-source Ogg Theora codec instead, as a substitute for H.264.

Both Mike Shavers, Mozilla’s head of engineering, and Opera’s Chief Technology Officer, Hakon Wiium Lie, are enthusiastic in welcoming the new VP8 technology for the open web, using big phrases such as “tremendous technology” and “great format for video” in appreciation. Mozilla and Opera have even released previews of Firefox and Opera browsers supporting WebM and VP8. Google also added the new codec to Chromium, its open-source project feeding into Chrome, and made promises to push WebM into the “dev” channel of its browser.

Microsoft said it would only partially support WebM. Dean Hachamovitch, General Manager for IE at Microsoft, said that IE9 would support playback of H.264 and also VP8 video in case the user has a VP8 codec installed on Windows, which means Internet Explorer 9 would not package the VP8 codec. IE9 users will have to search for it and install it by themselves!

According to Ray Valdes, Microsoft is the one that could shift the balance in favor of WebM by supporting VP8. In his opinion, Google, Mozilla and Opera do not have the force to counterbalance Microsoft and Apple. He also outlined that everyone agrees to the fact that HTML5 is the future of the web. However, when talking about initiatives like WebM and VP8, things are more complicated. This is because Windows developers, site owners and users want to be protected from IP rights issues when they use Internet Explorer 9 and, unfortunately, there are some possible patent related problems to VP8.

Apple is the only browser maker among the top five that has not expressed its opinion on WebM. Valdes thinks that the future of the web lies with mobile Web and, therefore,with products like the iPhone and iPad, Apple is an important player in this game..

Even if Apple supports the new format, Valdes is sceptical about the benefits WebM would bring to the web. He says that, up until ten years ago, QuickTime, Windows Media and RealPlayer were fragmenting the web, however, Flash video became the standard, and this made the web move forward. A new fragmentation would not be what HTML5 needs right now!

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Call Now: +1 833-522-1003
Call Now: +1 833-522-1003