Updated: April 23, 2011
Peer pressure works. With Google pumping out versions faster than a rabbit, Mozilla and Microsoft are following suit, reason notwithstanding. Firefox 5 might be coming sooner than we expect, even if most extensions are still incompatible with the latest release. And now Microsoft, known for taking their time to bake products, is accelerating the browser release cycle. Internet Explorer 9 has been around for just a few weeks, and yet, there's already Internet Explorer 10 preview available.
So I'm going to do what so many posh sites are doing - babble a little about this early preview of the next Internet Explorer version. There isn't much to be said, but it's a good sign of a fierce and exciting battle for browser domination, which only promises better quality for end users.
Internet Explorer 10 setup is simple. It can be run alongside Internet Explorer 9 and it does not require restarting your system or anything alike. In fact, the preview is packaged as a sort of a thin app.
Internet Explorer 9 is a fairly radical change from the previous family members, with speed, elegance and compliance all combined. The preview is a soft increment, focusing on better HTML5 and CSS3 support, faster rendering, and new cool tricks.
The browser is far from being production quality. You don't get any tabs or standard browser controls. The whole of IE10 experience lives inside a single web-app window similar to Prism.
For example, if you click on any one of the demo pages, you will see how Internet Explorer handles the latest technology. Gradients make for a great testcase, even though gradients are a big no-no in the modern Web, especially since they render badly on pixilated monitors. But with CSS implementation, it might yet looks decent.
Additionally, you might be interested to see how Internet Explorer behaves in older document modes, turn the compatibility view list on and off and use the developer tools for debugging.
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It's still way too early to tell whether Internet Explorer 10 will mean anything. Microsoft users are not fast to switch to new technology and it could be many years before Internet Explorer 9 is adopted as a wider standard among Microsoft clients. The main reason is that the latest release works only on Vista and Windows 7. Thus, for as long as Windows XP is around, the older browsers will linger. Worse yet, Internet Explorer 10 is designed for Windows 7, so this narrows the window of opportunities even further.
Nevertheless, keeping in shape is important. The competition with rivals, even if it's for the sake of pure technology demonstration, is vital for maintaining prestige and capability. From the pure browser perspective, Internet Explorer 10 looks ok. The whole new version number might be a little exaggerated, but it tell us one thing. The browser arena is going to get busy, and we're only going to benefit from it.
Have a good day.