May 06, 2010, 2:02 PM — Microsoft Wednesday unveiled the second platform preview of its Internet Explorer 9 browser, which isn't due to be released to market for another year. Industry watchers expect the iterative versions will help Microsoft keep developers interested in its technology as the browser market shares become ever more fragmented.
Microsoft made available its IE9 Platform Preview 2 download this week, touting speedier performance and better support for standards. (Read about users' reaction to the IE9 preview.) The company reported that according to WebKit.org's SunSpider benchmark test, IE9 had gotten faster, with improved results from the first platform preview to the second by 117 milliseconds. Microsoft is also working on interoperability in its latest browser revision.
"We're submitting 79 new tests (bringing our total to 183 tests) to ensure true interoperability and achieve the goal of developers writing the same markup. You've heard it before: We love HTML5 so much we actually want it to work," a company spokesperson wrote in a press statement.
Microsoft representatives in March unveiled the first preview platform at MIX 10, saying it would continue to deliver preview versions every 8 weeks. This version comes at about 7 weeks following the first, proving Microsoft is working to keep developers interested in the platform, according the Sheri McLeish, an analyst with Forrester Research.
"It is an iterative process and the product won't be out for another year, give or take. But if Microsoft is able to have it out in public and have developers banging around on it, that generates and maintains interest," McLeish says.