Microsoft IE9 launch sneak preview

Blog Feb 18, 2011

Microsoft has given an exclusive insight - albeit very limited - into Internet Explorer 9, which will be unveiled on beta Wednesday.

Microsoft will unveil the first public beta version of Internet Explorer 9 at a conference in San Francisco Wednesday but invited a select few to a very sneak preview of its latest web browser.

So far we already know that IE9 will support HTML5 - official test drives of the browser have revealed this fact.

We have also learnt from an official Microsoft blog post that IE9's most redeeming feature - so far - is its hardware acceleration - potentially looking to challenge Google's Chrome with regards to speed.

These, however, seems to be the only elements Microsoft is really plugging ahead of the launch suggesting either that its saving something pretty big for its Beauty of the Web celebration event Wednesday or this is, in fact, all it has to shout about.

So when we were invited to a 'sneak preview' of what's to come at Wednesday's launch we were intrigued. Unfortunately the preview was extremely sneaky.

Computers set up around the venue in San Francisco showed a web page - within IE9 - based entirely around HTML5.

Functionality and looks-wise it was impressive and is part of a project called Endless Mural which uses HTML5 to let you draw images which can be saved to a global online mural. But it's only when you see Endless Mural in other browsers that you realise how much better it worked in IE9.

But, like the hardware acceleration claims, it doesn't exactly set the browser world alight.

We pressed a number of Microsoft spokespeople to give us some indication of what to expect at Wednesday's launch and despite getting limited information about apps and add-ons they were keeping pretty tight-lipped.

So I shall reserve judgement until the announcement is made. Over to you Microsoft.