IE9 Fourth Platform Preview now Available

Did CNET just call IE’s future tantalizing? Hmm. The fourth preview of the upcoming IE9 web browser is now available, and developer interest remains high. The previews to date have been downloaded 2.5 million+ times and the IE Test Drive site has had over 20 million visitors, the IEBlog says.

In this newest preview, developers have a chance to check out IE9’s fully hardware-accelerated HTML5 implementation and test drive samples of modern SVG and native JavaScript in action.

And as before, the applications made available for testing purposes are fun for developers and non-developers alike. For example, there’s a Hamster Dance Revolution game, the musical IE Beatz, and the Psychedelic Browsing app which shows off hardware acceleration’s capabilities.

Continued improvements to the Javascript engine are measured using the Webkit Sunspider benchmark and the results, charted here, and they’re encouraging. IE9 has come a long, long way from IE8, that’s for sure. And the differences between IE9 and other modern web browsers on this microbenchmark are converging within thousandths of seconds, the post notes.

Also in the latest preview, IE’s score on the Acid3 test improves from 83 to 95, which is also good news.

This preview is the last one before IE launches its beta, so developers and designers need to get their sites ready soon. There are some tips on doing so listed at the bottom of the page here.

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