Microsoft IE9 public beta in September

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Microsoft said on Thursday that it's currently readying an Internet Explorer 9 public beta for September. According to sources familiar with Microsoft's plans the software giant was originally targeting late August for the public beta but this date slipped slightly. Although Microsoft officials didn't confirm the exact date for the public beta, Neowin believes this will be September 2.

Microsoft originally unveiled Internet Explorer 9 at PDC 2009. IE 9 will take advantage of the power of the GPU for all page rendering and developers can exploit this using CSS, DHTML andjavascript. A new JS engine (codenamed Chakra) will also be built into Internet Explorer 9 with greater interoperability and standards support all round. Features such as rounded corner CSS support will be built in. In January, Neowin revealed that Microsoft is planning to enhance tabbed browsing in IE9. According to a software patent, the Quick Tabs feature in Internet Explorer is likely to be enhanced with better functionality and greater tab management options.

Microsoft is also planning broader support for HTML5 in Internet Explorer 9 through its new script engine. Microsoft recently performed W3C Web Standards tests on IE9, including HTML5, SVG 1.1 2nd edition, CSS3 media queries, CSS3 borders & backgrounds, CSS3 selectors, DOM level 3 core, DOM level 3 events and DOM level 2 style. Microsoft, with the help of W3C, performed a total of 192 tests on a variety of browsers. Internet Explorer 9 scored 100% in all eight tests, while every other browser, except Firefox in DOM level 2 style tests, didn't score perfect in any of the test categories.

The screenshots also reveal a download manager for pausing and canceling downloads, a new icon for Internet Explorer 9 and what appears to be greater security control of add-ons. The new features are an early look at what features Microsoft is planning for the first beta of Internet Explorer 9. The screenshots do not reveal any UI changes apart from what appears to be a new icon. Neowin has independently verified the screenshots and we can confirm these are genuine and from a build distributed to internal and external partners.

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