When it drops next month, Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) Beta will be a full browser, as opposite to just a Platform Preview. This means that more users will get to take IE9 out for a spin and get a feeling of what Microsoft has in stored. With four Platform Preview releases delivered already, the Redmond company has been targeting developers, trying to get them familiarized as early as possible with the evolution of IE.
“The Internet Explorer 9 Platform Previews were created to show the Web development community and standards bodies Microsoft’s progress and outline how the company is working hard to build an interoperable Web platform. In addition, Microsoft wants to give everyone in the Web development community an opportunity to provide feedback on the company’s progress,” Microsoft reveals in the Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview Fact Sheet.
When I talked with Ryan Gavin, senior director of Internet Explorer, he explained that IE9 Beta would be delivered approximately 8 weeks after Platform Preview 4, which has been made available for download on August 4th, 2010. However, he declined to share any details on the upcoming development milestone or to comment on the recent leaked IE9 screenshots. Softpedia readers should keep their eyes on this space, as Gavin promised to have a conversation about IE9 Beta with me ahead of the milestone’s launch, and I’ll make sure to get all the juicy details to you.
“To distinguish [the pre-Beta IE9] from a feature-complete browser, Microsoft has named it a platform preview and has excluded familiar end-user navigation features, such as the Address Bar. The Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview does not provide essential SmartScreen security protection or features for privacy protection, such as InPrivate Browsing. Although it loads and renders Web pages using the Internet Explorer 9 platform, it is not designed to be a complete Web browser. This build is simply a first look at the work Microsoft has done so far and is ready to share with its developer community,” the company added.
But remember, Internet Explorer 9 will only work on Windows 7 and Windows Vista. The browser’s GPU-powered capabilities need the latest iteration of DirectX in order to work, and while DirectX 11 was indeed backported to Vista SP2, not the same is valid for Windows XP, which is stuck with DX9.
Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) Platform Preview 4 is available for download here.