Microsoft released IE9, its flagship internet browser, at the SxSW conference yesterday. This brings IE into closer alignment with current web browsers, as it introduces some level of HTML5 support and achieves a 95% pass rate on the Acid 3 tests.
Microsoft has decided not to include emerging web technologies still under development in IE9, providing instead HTML5 Labs, a website for testing prototype technologies such as IndexedDB and WebSockets.
Adobe has made available a preview of Adobe Flash player code-named “Square” that includes native 64-bit support for Linux, Mac, and Windows. It also includes enhanced support for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 Beta.
Jason Weber, Lead Program Manager responsible for Internet Explorer Performance, has released some internal data showing where IE 8 spends most of its time while preparing a page then rendering it, suggesting what websites should be focusing on.
Microsoft has released the fourth and last preview version of Internet Explorer 9, which features hardware acceleration, deep integration with the JS engine and has improvements in performance and adoption of standards like SVG, CSS, HTML5, etc.
Microsoft has posted the results for 192 tests grouped in 8 categories for HTML5, SVG 1.1, CSS3, and DOM Level 2&3 showing that IE9 Preview passes all of them with flying colors while Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari have mixed results varying from 0% to 100% depending on the category. The conclusion, that IE9 is the most compliant with W3C standards, is contested by Google, Mozilla, Opera.
With .NET 4.0, writing reliable managed extensions for Internet Explorer has become possible. Unlike previous versions, each extension will run against the CLR it was compiled for instead of mindlessly grabbing the most recent version. Alas, COM interfaces are still needed.
Dean Hachamovitch, General Manager for Internet Explorer at Microsoft, has announced that IE9 will use only the H.264 standard to play HTML 5 video. Microsoft seems to have become very committed to HTML 5, while Flash loses even more ground. The announcement came the same day Steve Jobs detailed why Apple does not accept Flash on iPhone and iPad.
Microsoft has released a preview version of Internet Explorer 9 with improvements in performance and adoption of standards like SVG, CSS, HTML5 and more.
Google has announced support for the HTML 5 Web SQL Database API, and others are likely to follow soon or have already started on support for this API. In the meantime, the completion of the specification is blocked because all the implementers involved have chosen to use SQLite as underlying database, and multiple independent implementations are required for standardization.
Google has announced they will stop supporting older and less secure browsers like IE6, Firefox 2.x, Chrome 3 or Safari 2 starting with Google Docs and Google Sites editor from March 1st, 2010.
Google has added five security enhancements to Chrome in order to make browsing more secure: cross-documents message posting, Strict Transport Security, Origin and X-Frame-Options header fields, and Reflective XSS Filter. Some of these features have already been or are to be implemented by other browsers.
The Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) is working jointly with W3C on developing the HTML 5 standard, which has been at "Last Call" at WHATWG for the last 3 months. During this time one feature which has changed more significantly is the sandbox attribute of the iframe element. sandbox can be used to isolate untrusted web page content from performing certain operations.
Both IE and Mozilla teams are currently working on using DirectX/GPU for page rendering while Google is considering it.