Whew, that was fast! In a breakneck browser race where development cycles are measured in weeks rather than months or years, there's no time to rest on your laurels. So it's not entirely surprising that Microsoft has already unveiled its Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview 1, a sneak peak at some of cool new tools in its upcoming version of IE.
Wait, didn't Redmond's just launch Internet Explorer 9? Yes, and critics have praised the browser's simpler interface, faster performance, full support for HTML5, enhanced security, and ability to use your PC's GPU to render graphics. But IE's competitors aren't sitting still, and there's no time to relax while other browsers march onward.
"We're about three weeks into development of IE10, and based on the progress we've made, we want to start engaging the development community now," writes Microsoft corporate vice president Dean Hachamovitch in a Tuesday post on the IEBlog. Also on Tuesday, Microsoft demoed IE10's browsing engine and other features at the MIX conference in Las Vegas.
As for Microsoft's competitors? Mozilla, fresh off its Firefox 4 launch, has announced plans to release Firefox 5 by June 21, and possibly Firefox 6 just two months later. Google, meanwhile, manages Chrome like the Winchester Mystery House: It's always under construction. The speedy Chrome 10 debuted in February, and Chrome 11 is already in beta.
What's New in IE10
Platform Preview 1, which you can download today, is the "next wave of progress" in IE's support of HTML5, writes Hachamovitch. The demo showcases emerging browser standards in action, including several CSS3 features such as multi-column layout, grid layout, flexible box layout, gradients, and 3D transforms.
The Flexin' demo below, for instance, demonstrates the layout capabilities of CSS3 Flexbox, which makes it easier to align, center, and control spaces between boxes on the page.
If you're a developer or a browser buff, you'll want to check out the Platform Preview for more details. Microsoft hasn't announced a release date for IE10, but given the crazy pace of the browser development, it can't be far off.