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Microsoft releases new browser preview for devs

Software giant says the Internet Explorer 10 platform preview 2 offers better HTML5 support, zippier performance, and improved security.

Microsoft today released the second platform preview of Internet Explorer 10, a tool that helps developers design Web sites to work with the upcoming browser.

The key features of the new platform preview, which Microsoft plans to update every 12 weeks, include improved support for HTML5, speedier performance, and better security. The idea behind rapidly releasing platform previews is to get quick feedback from developers and incorporate changes into the development process as the company moves toward releasing a beta version of its next browser.

Microsoft is also using the release to make a case for supporting its implementation of HTML5 specifications.

"There's a big difference between supporting HTML5 in the browser and supporting it right," Ryan Gavin, senior director of Internet Explorer, told CNET.

Microsoft created a demo, called How Stuff Works, to make the point that different browsers display pages differently even though they support the same standards. In the IE10 platform preview browser, the colors from the site are vibrant. In Firefox 5, they are muted. And in Chrome 13, the site is monochromatic.

The How Stuff Works demo in IE10 Platform Preview, Firefox 5, and Chrome 13. Microsoft

"That is the epic fail," Gavin said, claiming that Microsoft's implementation of the HTML5 Canvas API and CSS3 gradients produces better results.

The new platform preview also includes better hardware acceleration, getting more from a PC's graphics-processing unit. That should give Web developers better tools to create rich, interactive sites. And Microsoft beefed up the security, supporting HTML5 Sandbox and iframe isolation.