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Internet Explorer 9: From corporate memo to beta
Written by Daniel   
Wednesday, 15 September 2010 19:01

From C/Net

SAN FRANCISCO--Just days after launching Internet Explorer 8 in March 2009, Microsoft's Dean Hachamovitch wrote a memo about what the company really needed to do with the next version of its browser.

"A browser is only as good as the underlying operating system," the head of the IE team said in an e-mail to his staff and others at Microsoft. "We have amazing opportunities to differentiate IE because of the underlying strengths of Windows. Our broad opportunity is making Windows the best place to experience the web."

 



Internet Explorer, he knew, needed to run much faster, be much more standards compliant, and really harness the power of the PC.

Fast forward 18 months and Microsoft now has a public beta of the browser that achieves several of the goals that Hachamovitch laid out in his memo. Internet Explorer 9 has better support for HTML5 and other Web standards, taps the PC graphics chip for hardware acceleration, and includes a much faster JavaScript engine.

On the visual front, the new browser has a minimalist approach. As first reported by CNET last month, the design principle for the new browser is the creation of a theater with individual Web sites as the stars of the show. Indeed, a good chunk of Wednesday's beta launch event will be focused on the work done by the various Web site creators that Microsoft has lined up to support IE9's new features.

Hachamovitch said it is fitting that the 10:30 a.m. PDT launch of the IE9 beta is taking place in the working-class, industrial South of Market section of San Francisco rather than a flashier locale like Union Square. The downscale digs reflect the fact that IE9 tries to do its job without attracting much attention. "This is not an Armani neighborhood," he said Tuesday in an interview at the launch site here.

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