Internet Explorer 9 Goes Beta Today
Over the past few years, Internet Explorer’s share of the global browser market has slipped to a little over 60 percent from the more than 90 percent share it once held in 2003, according to Net Applications. So the release of Internet Explorer 9 to beta today is an important one for Microsoft, which hopes it will slow the gains of Google’s Chrome and Firefox at a time when more and more consumers are using the browser as a gateway to online services.
The near-final version of IE 9 that we’ll see later this morning is said to be orders of magnitude faster than IE 8. It’s more compliant with emerging HTML5, CSS3 and SVG2 standards. It’s also, in the words of Microsoft, the only browser to use “full hardware acceleration,” the first to really tap into a computer’s graphics chip to fully accelerate content display rendering. In other words, it’s the only browser to really use the whole PC to see the Web and make Web pages behave like native applications. That claim’s already been disputed by Firefox developer Mozilla (“we are faster and we were first”), but that’s beside the point. Because what really matters is that true hardware acceleration is finally here, and that can only help push the Web forward and make it more interactive and more immersive.