If you don’t know about Internet Explorer 9 for PC by now, you must have spent the last few months on a tall mountain in Tibet meditating, so we are not going to recap the full version of Microsoft’s next browser in this post.
What we are going to do is lay out for you what is coming in the mobile version of IE9, something that Windows Phone 7 will receive this year. If you are a developer this is important news to you, but not for the reason you suspect.
No, WP7 market share is still small enough for you to ignore, but as it turns out, if you test your site on IE9 for PC, it should render the exact same on IE Mobile 9. Why is that? According to the IE team:
We’ve worked closely across the Windows Phone [team] over the last few months to deliver the same IE9 browsing engine—the same code, the same standards support, the same hardware acceleration, the same security and privacy protections—for Windows Phone as we’ve delivered on the desktop.
The same blog post from the IE group goes on to say that “As a result, when you compare different browsers side by side using official W3C standards tests [...] you can expect very similar results for IE9 on Windows Phone and the Windows desktop.”
If you’re a happy developer and you know it, clap your hands, as Microsoft will finally cease to be a thorn in your side. You have to remember that IE9 has had a singular strong goal since its inception: standards compliance. That mentality is completely bleeding over to its mobile version, as it shares nearly all of the same components.
Microsoft is very proud of what it has put together:
Today’s announcement [that IE9 is coming to WP7] is good news for developers and consumers. Quality, hardware-accelerated HTML5 on mobile devices will make the mobile Web significantly better. Developers will be able to use the same markup to deliver great interoperable HTML5 experiences on mobile—a for example H.264 video on Windows, iOS, and Android devices, and great CSS3, SVG, Canvas, ECMAScript 5, and WOFF support.
Consumers will be able to enjoy these great experiences with great hardware-accelerated performance as well as security and privacy, using Tracking Protection on their Windows Phones.
All in all, if you are at all impressed with the progress that Microsoft has managed between IE8 and IE9 for the PC, you are going to be even more delighted when your WP7 handset makes the leap from IE Mobile 7 to Mobile 9.
What browser feature do you wish that your phone had?