Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview 1

April 12, 2011 – 18:27 by in News Print Share One Comment

It only seems like five minutes since the release of Internet Explorer 9, but a preview of the next version of Microsoft’s web browser is already available. Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview 1 gives an idea about what is to come in the future, but this is far from being a feature-complete version of the browser.

There’s currently no toolbars, for instance, no sidebar, not even an address bar (you’ll need to click Page, then Open to enter a new URL), so this isn’t something you’ll be using every day. Platform Preview 1 is really just a basic browsing window that allows you to see how Microsoft are progressing in their support for various web standards, including CSS3 Multi-column, CSS3 Flexbox, CSS3 Grid Alignment, CSS3 Gradients on background images and ECMAScript5 Strict Mode.

If you’re not a web designer then that may not mean very much, but fortunately Microsoft have provided several simple HTML5 demos that should help to make things clear, and simply opening Platform Preview 1 will take you immediately to the test drive site.

Here you can explore the Tweet Columns demo, for instance, which allows you to simulate an application that’s receiving new tweets (just keep clicking “Show a tweet”), then uses CSS3 multi-column layout to move your text around and keep everything looking neat.

There are also new CSS and SVG gradient creation tools. The same gradient technology has been added to the FishBowl Benchmark demo, which make it look better than ever.  And just to show that there’s more to Platform Preview 1 than flashy visuals, Microsoft have also added early support for Strict Mode. This an appropriately-named version of JavaScript that restricts what developers can do, and highlights potential problems immediately; annoying if you’re used to sloppy code, but something that will help to improve site security in the future.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, then download your copy of Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview 1 and go explore the new features.  You will need to be running Windows 7, unfortunately (there’s no XP or Vista support here), however the good news is that it’ll run alongside IE8 and IE9, rather than replacing them. Although if you still have IE8, beware of running it and the Platform Preview at the same time: the Release Notes say IE8 may crash as a result (closing the Platform Preview will restore normal operations).

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