IE 10 Platform Preview arrives at MIX

Microsoft has taken the opportunity of their annual MIX conference for developers to announce the availability of the first Platform Preview of their next web browser, IE 10. The announcement and release comes just one month after the final build of IE 9 was distributed to the public.

So far the Platform Preview supports CSS 3 gradients and the CSS 3 box layout method, and strips away the address bar and back button like the Platform Previews of IE 9 we were used to for so many months. Microsoft are promising to bring updates every 2-3 months to the Platform Preview, along with upcoming features such as CSS 3 transitions and 3D transforms.

However, Microsoft received a lot of criticism from the community for its apparent continuous bashing of Google’s Chrome browser during the keynote presentation at MIX – a theme that continues in their announcements online.

“Native implementations are just better for developers, consumers, and businesses” writes Microsoft’s Dean Hachamovitch, Corporate Vice President for IE. “They keep Web sites from falling behind applications in performance and other important ways. While using cross-platform, non-native compatibility layers makes browser development easier, they don’t necessarily make a better browser.”

The IE team seem to be trying to use the fact that Chrome (and Firefox, Safari, Opera, and just about every other browser out there) is built for more than one OS as justification for claiming that IE 9 / IE 10 are better simply because they are native. That seems a dangerous line to cross, particularly when you are challenging the software engineering might of Google.

The announcement blog post on the IEBlog – which incidentally mentions the word “native” an astounding 15 times – has more details. The Platform Preview is also available now on the IE Test Drive site.

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