IE9 taking a leaf out of the Windows 7 book

IE - looking to stop the rot
IE - looking to stop the rot

Microsoft has taken a leaf out of Windows 7's book in the development of Internet Explorer 9 – with the software giant opening things up early in order to give this community the chance to shape the next generation of its browser.

With Internet Explorer's market share slipping, but adoption of IE8 still encouraging for the company, Microsoft is keen to apply the lessons it learned in the positive buzz created by the open Windows 7 Beta in the increasingly competitive world of browsers.

Speaking to TechRadar, senior director of Internet Explorer, Ryan Gavin, explained that early glimpses into IE9 are keeping him happy.

"One of the things we did at [Microsoft developer conference] MIX is release the platform preview of Internet Explorer 9," said Gavin.

"That's the first time we've done it in the history of Internet Explorer. It's not the not full browser but it's just the underlying components."

Early adoption

"It is basically allowing developers to see the standards we are adopting, some of the new capability that is coming like the new JavaScript engine and really start to do some early testing.

"This change of approach is something that we started with MIX with the first release – we committed to updating it every eight weeks and the feedback on this change of approach has been amazing."

Much has been made of early speed tests, which show Microsoft closing in, but still slower than its main rivals in the fames SunSpider Javascript test, but Gavin is confident that in real browsing performance IE9 will have the edge without surrendering the strong message around security that underpinned the messaging around its predecessor.

"You can expect our focus and leadership on privacy to accelerate – especially as we push on with IE9," said Gavin.

"It's incredibly important but as we think about IE9 you layer on top of that foundation the set of new experiences developers build and then make the choice not just compelling but incredibly compelling because you're building on a professional base."

Three vital things for IE9

"Developers tell us three things; one that performance is incredibly important when you think about those Office web applications and new class of experiences and it's really all round performance and not just speed," adds Gavin.

"The second is interoperability and here there is this notion of same markup; writing your code once and having it work across the web, another very important area that we're looking at.

"And then the third area is to push for a new class of experience on the web with things like hardware acceleration.

"HTML5 really is on the cusp of delivering new experiences on the web – and all of this is underpinned a difference in approach for how we build IE9."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.