We had the opportunity to have a chat with Mark Quirk from Microsoft as to what are the highlights of the new build.
It seems that Microsoft believes the prime reason users are switching away from IE or are being persuaded to switch from IE is the website rendering in IE and as such Microsoft is focusing on standards compliance a lot.
In my conversation, it was emphasized quite a bit that Microsoft wants to ensure websites don’t look broken on IE. This definitely enables developers to spend more time on developing websites than ensuring cross-browser compatibility, which is good for the developers and users.
Performance seems to be Microsoft’s other focus for IE9. HTML5 is very much a part of both – performance and standard compliance. The platform preview build doesn’t bring the UI elements and is still meant for the developers.
HTML5 video now comes to IE with hardware acceleration support and HTML5 Canvas support are two new additions in this build. The test site has a few demos to try out. Screenshots:
Font rendering in IE has been so far questionable compared to other browsers, with IE9 Microsoft is showcasing development on the front:
Finally, the lesser relevant information, SunSpider and ACID3 scores:
You can get the new build at IE Test Drive