back to article Microsoft's IE9 'nearly finished'

Microsoft opened its Professional Developers' Conference by announcing IE9 Platform Preview 6, saying the IE9 Release Candidate - the final cut - is almost finished. Platform Preview 6 incorporates improved performance, quality, and support for HTML5 and CSS3 2D and it comes six weeks after Microsoft released the IE9 beta. …


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  1. hplasm


    I thought that said " Microsoft's 'nearly finished"'.

    But instead, it's a news item...

    1. John I'm only dancing


      I wish Internet Exploder was finished!!

  2. DJV Silver badge


    Blimey, Google will have issued at least 7 new versions of Chrome before then!

    1. Random_Walk

      Speakin' of which...

      I saw their little video, so I went to the site and had a test for myself.

      Turns out that Chrome 7 on my Ubuntu 10.10 box (HP Elitebook 8440p, i5 CPU, 4GB RAM, and --get this-- only a gimpy Intel graphics chip) did a LOT better than whatever they were testing as "Chrome 7 beta" in the video. Managed the little HTML5 boat race in 17.8 seconds or thereabouts.

      So either they gimped the Chrome install on their demo box, or that particular build of Windows 7 can't run Chrome for shit. I'm heavily inclined to believe that they ginned the results.

  3. gorgehead
    Gates Horns

    I wish they'd stop making this crap, and just let webkit take over. Life for us web developers would be much easier.

  4. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Prepare their sites?

    Hello, this isn't 2000 anymore. If existing websites don't render perfectly then change the browser not the page.

    1. Tom 13

      @Giles: I'd like to agree with that, but I'm not sure

      how many websites still have special pages just for IE, so getting to the gold standard at least requires going in and moving the IE redirectors.


      Where's the "I wish this were a joke" icon?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo


    But will it run on the nearly complete Windows phone 7?

  6. Matt Sharpe


    Does it support text-shadow yet?

    1. Tom_B

      Re: text-shadow


      Hacky? Yes. But it means developers can actually use CSS3 instead of waiting for archaic browsers to be updated then for users to actually insall the new versions.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My two cents...

    I really don't like that the address bar is on the same line as the tabs, it's really awkward.

    If you have more than one tab open, you can't see the URL of the page you are on unless you stretch the address bar out which then means you have no room for tabs.

    I like seeing the URL of the page I'm on and I like using tabs. This new layout is no good for either. Tabs and address bars should be on different lines.

    Also, just a little thing, It doesn't display page titles anywhere - why remove that anyway? It makes no sense.

    For me, so far, IE9 is very fiddly to use, I have to constantly move things about to see the information I want. I'm guessing this wasn't what they intended when they came up with this minimalist layout.

  8. thecakeis(not)alie

    Internet Explorer.

    Is that dinosaur still around? How unfortunate; using a browser you can't load up with all the lovely plug-ins that Firefox has. Adblock, NoScript, Beef Taco...after a while these sorts of things become essential to one's browsing experience. Similar to how I would be nervous driving a car without windshield wipers. Sure, it’s possible to do so…but bloody annoying.

    Internet Explorer 9: Clinging to the paradigms past while pretending loudly to embrace the future! Definitely from Microsoft then.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Memo to Mr S Balmer

    Dear Stevie B,

    In case you have not noticed, the world has moved on. IE is increasingly irrellevant in todays Information Rich world. With the maturity of Firefox, Safari & Chrome, people do have and are choosing in increasing numbers to move away from you bug ridden crapware.

    Instead of spending zillions on 'the cloud' how about you sort out things closer to home and get ridt of the thousands of bugs in your key products that have been reported to you over the years.

    Personally, one bug I reported for W2K is still there in W7. Even on the 64bit version.

    So get of your fat arse, sling a few chairs at your heads of development and PLEASE, PLEASE fix your current stuff right before you fail again with this 'cloud is the future' minefield.


    A long time Windows User who it moving to Linux because you can't be bothered.

    TUX but not Ubuntu (cause that is the MS of the Linux world)

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Read this

      I've no idea how genuine this interview is, it's quite an old one. But it is with Bill Gates who says users don't buy software for bug fixes, they want features.

      It's an insight into how big software companies think. There's some truth to it too, you wouldn't put out a press release with lists of bugs fixed.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      really? so what bug is that then? pray-tell because id love to replicate it, that is of course if its not a user related bug which is normally the case when i get calls of bugs and crashes...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Missed Point Error

    "With the sixth Platform Preview, developers, designers and partners are in a great position to prepare their sites for the IE9 Release Candidate"

    Prepare *their* sites? I thought the days of writing for Microsoft browsers were over --- or haven't Microsoft, even now, realised that they should be preparing their browser for the internet, and not expecting the internet to prepare itself for their browser.

  11. M Gale


    You mean it'll run on Linux and OS X?

    Oh, okay then. Never mind.

  12. Wibble

    Nowhere near finished

    It only runs on a couple of obscure operating systems so how can it be finished. Doesn't even run on XP FFS.

    FUD FUD glorious FUD...

  13. Tomislav

    Nearly finished?

    Aren't all their products "nearly finished", regardless of their name or release status?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Halo

      All software is in the "nearly finished" state.

      Commercial software companies would never release a product if they tried to "finish" every product before release. The open source world can get away with near permanent "beta, but good enough for production use" status but businesses need to make a profit.

  14. Narg

    Chrome like? How?

    Wow, you guys need to look a little closer next time.

  15. Robert Heffernan

    Finish This Sequence: Faster, HTML5ier, Chromier....


  16. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    I wonder

    If it will let booby trapped website drive a coach and horses through the operating system like IE does with win 95/ win 98/ win me/ win xp/vista/win 7.....

    Hmmm time to switch to linux

  17. HMB

    So far... wow... but I wonder if all the necessary features will make it.

    I don't like what they've done with the tab bar either....


    Let's face it, IE9 has pushed hardware accelerated HTML onto centre stage. Both Google and Firefox are onto it (Firefox with V4 and Chrome with the supposedly upcoming V9). Microsoft have done the web a favour. Looks like Stalin, Hitler and Idi Amin can get their skates on and a build a snowman eh? ;)

    I'm really pleased to see the 2D transforms get into IE9! I hope the 3D ones make it too, as traditionally it takes a very long time for IE to get an update, so if they don't make it now, goodness only knows when IE will get on board with that one. Same goes with history.popState() (it allows JS control of the URL without page reload for some very efficient and slick page transitions and stateful AJAX).

    On a note to someone earlier, IE9 appears to have superb adhesion to HTML5 specs, I see no reason if things work out well to have to code "for IE9 as well". It should just be a simple job of build it right once, then cater for IE6, 7 and 8 ;)

  18. Big-nosed Pengie
    Gates Horns


    Aieee's been finished for years.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    their biggest problem

    most IE users don't actually care what browser they use.

    you could call your browser "ShitStainDiarrhoeaPipe" and people would still use it if it came bundled on their machines.

    They'd even call it the best browser ever. But they'd never upgrade to ShitStainDiarrhoeaPipe 2.

  20. Christian Berger

    What plattforms will it be availiable for?

    Well there surely won't be a Linux or *BSD version of it around, but what about Windows?

    Will it run on normal Windows (i.e. 2000, 9x)? I doubt many business users will be able to upgrade to XP OR Vista.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Gates Halo

      Hello, it's 2010?

      Win 2000, 9x, normal??? Move with the times. I work with major investment banks and most are in the process of deploying Windows 7 + IE8. Banks have pretty sophisticated desktop estates to manage and if they are ready to move to Win7 then it's time everyone else did so too.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "prepare their sites for... IE9"

    presumably this means "Strip out all the compatibility kludges we forced you to do"

    1. greggo

      double legacy bomb

      What about all the sites that check the browser agent ID and say "oh, IE - take all *this* deranged JS/DOM instead of the standard stuff" (The smart ones are testing by running some code and seeing if it raises an error, they should be OK). But are they going to change the agent id to make it not look like another IE? or continue to support all the non-standard 'ie classic' JS/DOM as well as the standard stuff? Urgg....

  22. Anonymous Coward


    I downloaded IE9 Beta and used it for a fortnight. I loved the speed increase, but didn't like the way the tabs worked. Then, after several weeks, I discovered that the "InPrivate" mode wasn't working, and had, in fact, been storing in History all the URLs I'd been browsing to.

    So MS have lost me as an IE advocate, and I've switched to Chrome to get my speed fix.

    Seriously - I know that Beta releases usually have bugs, but they're meant to have been tested fairly rigorously by the developer prior to release!

  23. jg007
    Gates Halo

    why bother commenting

    you guys obviously hate anything from microsoft and from the sounds of it have not even looked at IE9 so why bother commenting, I know reg readership is 99% trolls but maybe you need a hobby other than MS bashing

    I don't really use any add on's although there are some available for IE I just don't really need them,I have been using IE9 for a couple of months and it is actually pretty good although I agree that some of the layout changes are a little irritating and take some getting used to.

    the comment about preparing the sites is probably more aimed at using the new functionality and improvements that have been introduced more that making the sites IE compliant , sites should work as they are but if site owners want to make their sites faster or that little bit fancier they can , this is nothing new and is just the same as when new versions of flash etc get released sites can stay as they are or update and get that little bit extra jazz

    1. CD001


      You're right - I haven't used it... but weirdly I'm actually almost optimistic about IE9 - they _seem_ to be moving more towards a standards compliant approach. I'll be bloody amazed, not to mention relieved, if their JavaScript engine follows the the same DOM as everyone else and they manage to get some more CSS3 implemented (c'mon, border-radius at least)...

      Still - it's going to be bloody years before old versions of IE are eradicated from wild - but it would be nice to be able to stop writing one lot of code for IE and another for everything else (well, I write for everything else first and apply IE kludges afterwards).

    2. thecakeis(not)alie

      I have used it.

      IE is still irrelevant. I am no fan of Google, Apple nor Microsoft. I'm not even really a fan of Linux. I'm a fan of "whatever works the best at the best price with the most stability for a given job." IE - indeed Windows Client in General - is quite simply not it. IE9 is too late, to incomplete, to poor when compared tot he competition that is simply light-years ahead.

      The future is “my applications/content/media on any device I own using any browser I choose.” Anything that gets in the way of this will eventually be left by the roadside. Sad, alone, unwanted. Like a rusted out Ford on a lonely stretch of road so ill traveled that the weeds have overgrown the path.

      Note: I am talking about endpoint here. The kind of things where browsers matter. End-user devices, both for content creators and for content consumers. Microsoft’s approach is simply too slow for the modern world. They are too stuck in the past on too many things. Their strength is servers…they need to shut up and focus on that lest they lose out to Linux, Oracle and all the other hounds baying at their doorstep.

      The browsers wars are done. People have begun to simply accept Microsoft’s slide into irrelevance as inevitable. They can no longer use a monopoly power to enforce a new “standard” and thus lock competitors out of the market. People have heard of things like Firefox and chrome. Regular non-IT schmoes! Even if they don’t use them…they are aware that alternatives exist. When Microsoft doesn’t keep up…or their favourite website doesn’t work in IE they will no longer be blaming the website.

      They’ll blame Microsoft. Then go download Firefox. This has left Microsoft with one choice: adopt standards or die. As soon as they adopt standards they lose any differentiation from their competition except /product quality./ I don’t if you’ve used IE9, but they fall down very hard on that one. (It’s MS, what did anyone really expect?)

      So if MS is relying on product quality alone to differentiate them from the competition, they are through. They simply are no longer capable of thinking in the fashion required to actually make products of competitive quality – even when (perhaps especially when?) compared to open source alternatives put out by much smaller teams.

      So no, this isn’t a Microsoft hate-fest. It’s not a bunch of vicious vultures circling, begging for any excuse to take a poke at Microsoft. I can’t speak for anyone else in the thread, but I desperately want Microsoft to be a real contender here. I want Ballmer gone and someone like Ozzie at the helm. I want Microsoft to cut the fat from the company…all those things where they are an “also ran” in some market “because a competitor is also there.”

      I want Microsoft to refocus on what they are good at, come out screaming with technologies ten years ahead of their competitors and give everyone a reason to buy their stuff beyond inertia. I want Microsoft to drive innovation and force the competition to be on their toes to keep up. I want the competition to do the same. I want everyone supporting open standards and competing based on product quality, speed, efficiency as well as new and exciting features.

      What I want is a competitive and vibrant IT marketplace which isn’t dominated by a tiny handful of innovators and dozens of also-rans. Microsoft have the resources to constantly and continuously push the envelope. They don’t…and Internet Explorer 9 is nothing more than Yet Another Dismal Also-Ran what is becoming a depressingly long string of abysmal also-rans.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "the comment about preparing the sites is probably more aimed at using the new functionality and improvements that have been introduced more that making the sites IE compliant"

      So that new functionality and improvement would be specific to IE9, right? That's called non-standard.

      You have got the point: you just don't realise that you have!

  24. Bilgepipe


    Why do they keep bothering? For every monolithic new release of IE that Microsoft squeezes out, their competitors release about 63 releases of their superior browsers.

    Microsofts model doesn't work any more.

  25. The BigYin


    When can I install this on my trusty and stable XPsp3 box? Oh...I see...guess it's the Fox (or Chrome or Opera or...) for me.

    As for updating the sites...MS can piss right off. They're coded to standards and render perfectly in all browsers bar IE. I have put in a few tweaks to make them acceptable in IE, although some of the rendering still sucks ass. If IE9 can't cope with the same HTML as everyone else, then I will have to charge clients for the extra work (as was done with the initial IE fiddling); not that I expect any of them to upgrade...they're still on IE6 FFS!

    (I don't do public facing websites - I get a lot more input on how things will be. Oh, and my client 'get' the whole standards thing, many rue the day they allowed ActiveX plug-ins and other crap as they are now stuck).

  26. Atonnis

    It's strange...

    I found IE6 to be the best browser for stuff to just work - sure it was horrible from the development side and people all sneer at it for the not-all-that-good programming, but from the user perspective it's all kinda slid downhill from there..

    IE7 - did ANYTHING work properly with that browser before IE8 was released?

    IE8 - so how much CRAP can you stuff into a browser. I just want a browser, and if I pick the option to not use your 'accelerators' and your 'suggested sites' I don't want links to them dumped all over the browser.

    IE9 - so far the beta has been a horrible, horrible letdown. Very little works properly, even in compatibility mode. Text display keeps getting all crushed together and unreadable. It doesn't matter how many little funky-bubble 'demos' they show me - if websites don't work then I don't want the browser. Why are tabs put in line with the address bar?

    If it weren't for ActiveX then IE would be dying a death, which is a shame since I actually prefer it over the send-all-your-data-to-Google of Chrome or the add-in excessiveness of Firefox. However, Firefox is currently a superior browser. Opera is OK but misses some simple key aspects.

    I know I'm strange in that I like to protect my data and security and just want a fast useable browser which doesn't drop every typo into search engines and doesn't tell me where the company who supplied it is paid to send me. I just want to type in URLs, click on true links and browse the web with applications that work. Why is it so much to ask?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I see

    I see the anti MS tards are out in force today, quite a gathering infact! ah well, shall let you go about your business because trying to educate those who have no intention of learning isnt worth anyones time. Ill go back to my job of trying to fix the user level mistakes that screws up most systems.

    Incedently, IE9 beta, no probs todate, love the look, keep it up.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "...trying to educate those who have no intention of learning isnt worth anyones time..."

      It is half term, you shouldn't be expecting them to learn...


  28. JDX Gold badge

    Aww, it's sweet...

    ... watching all the haters start to tear apart an unreleased product. It's a good way for them to demonstrate their (lack of) objectivity, if such a demonstration was needed.

    Objective developers would welcome MS rejoining the competition properly since it will further push FF & Chrome/webkit to improve if we have more stronger players.

    1. thecakeis(not)alie


      Except that all MS are doing is catching up. By the time IE9 is released the rest of the world will already have moved on. Too little, too late.

      Remember that A) it doesn’t work on XP, and B) nobody uses Windows Update. It will be forever until this thing gets anywhere near the combined market share of IE7 and IE8. If it ever does.

      It’s just not enough. They need to stop trying the same old lock-in tactics. Release the thing for XP...even if it doesn't have the whiz-bang acceleration it does on 7. "The browser runs slower under XP" might even be incentive to upgrade to 7! Better yet, get a skunkworks going to get it ported to other operating systems. Get a mobile version for Phone 7 and get that ported to Android. Write an OSX and a Linux version. They want to compete…then truly compete.

      Get the browser on all platforms and then they can actually start pushing the envelope by introducing IE-only features. (Ones for which they PUBLISH THE STANDARDS so it doesn’t become an anti-trust issue.) Get a REAL innovation war going here.

      What I see so far is “me too” from a has-been. For that world’s largest software company…that’s sad.

  29. jg007
    Jobs Halo


    why the hell do people keep on moaning about it not working on XP , if you are too cheap to have vista / windows 7 then just switch to linux! what on earth is the point of complaining that a nearly 10 year old OS is not supported????

    I hate spending money as much as anybody else but quickly realised when W7 was released that my computer and OS were both long overdue for an update so I did it at a total cost of about £300 including a cheap graphics card that worked fine for a year and has only just been replaced to give a little more grunt to gaming.

    1. thecakeis(not)alie


      The point is that most of the world uses XP. If you don't backport this then it's adoption will remain low. If it's adoption remains low then you still have to code for old versions of IE. If you still have to code for IE, where is the benefit for anyone in this exercise except Microsoft’s marketing department?

      XP will be around for AT LEAST the next five years. Deal with it. There are thousands of business applications that were created by developers that no longer exist, for which the source code has been lost etc. There are dozens of other reasons to stick with XP…including things like “it actually just effing works and there is no logical or viable reason that anyone has ever presented that any individual/company/whatever should spend the money to upgrade.” It’s not a matter of cheap…merely efficiency. That money is money that could (and will) be spent elsewhere.

      Just because you play games and like the shiny shiny doesn’t mean that a company with 10,000 systems sees the remotest reason in hell to spend the dosh to upgrade.

      So why are people pissed by not backporting it? Because they aren’t myopic. They understand that XP will be a horse that everyone rides until it dies. (By the GODS man, there are still perfectly valid and active NT4 deployments in the wild!) From the standpoint of developers we still have to consider these individuals and support them. The real world isn’t filled with a bunch of Steve Jobs who can /will simply say “upgrade and do it my way or GTFO.” We don’t have cults. We actually have to provide customer service and make our customers happy in order for them to keep buying from us.

      Not backporting to XP means a far more significant group of individuals running non-standards-compliant-browsers and that sir….

      …that’s a pain in the ass.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh hoo-friikin-ray

    Yet another browser to test sites for.

    And yet more virtualisation pain - because previous versions can't be reliably installed on a single windows box!

    I can only hope my company sees sense and finally decides to stop offering ie6 versions of websites - to have to test *four* versions of a browser I don't use, is lunacy.

  31. Lewis Mettler 1

    why even talk about it

    Either you are forced to buy whatever version of IE Microsoft forces you to purchase, or you can not buy it.

    So why does anyone in the industry even talk about IE at all?

    No body has a choice in the matter. The illegal practices from Microsoft eliminate your choice in the matter.

    I guess Microsoft pays a lot of people just to act like they work for the trade press. If there is no decision to be made by anyone, the issue is just not important.



    ah yes ie9 the beta and soon to be final release but the looks of it are very chromie indeed lol well il just have to see i mean i can always compre both ie9 and google chrome together and see which is the fastest could be a tough call as long as microsoft gets it right

    1. thecakeis(not)alie


      Which browser teaches you punctuation? Capitalisation would be the next lesson...

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