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Internet Explorer 10 previewed as Microsoft runs Windows on ARM

Internet Explorer is turning 10, with increased support for gradients, multi-column and grid layouts and 3D transformations.

Internet Explorer is turning 10. Microsoft has released a preview of Internet IE10 so you can start trying out new features long before it's officially released.

Microsoft showed off a preview of Internet Explorer 10 at the Microsoft Mix developer conference in Las Vegas. IE10 offers increased support for HTML5 and CSS3, the next generation language of the Web. It will offer support for features such as gradients, multi-column and grid layouts, and 3D transformations.

IE10 builds on IE9's hardware acceleration, the process of optimising the browser's performance for the computer it's running on. Hardware acceleration is a feature of Windows Vista and Windows 7, so IE9 -- and presumably IE10 -- only runs on computers offering Vista or Windows 7. That means it won't be available on machines running XP or other operating systems, like OS X on Apple Mac computers.

Internet Explorer 10 is likely to appear alongside Office 15 in Windows 8, the next version of Microsoft's operating system for desktop computers and laptops. Snippets of Windows 8 are currently leaking to the Web, showing off an influence from the Windows Phone 7 mobile software, including onscreen tile icons. It's also set to offer an automatic back-up feature called History Vault and a built-in app store.

The tiles appear in screenshots of the Windows 8 browser codenamed Internet Explorer Immersive, displaying a thumbnail of visited websites in each square tile.

In another first, Microsoft revealed IE10 was being previewed using an ARM processor -- specifically an Nvidia Tegra 2 chip. The ARM architecture powers smart phones and tablets, suggesting Windows 8 and IE10 are designed to power slates as well as desktop and laptop computers.

Microsoft is only three weeks into official development of IE10, but you can try out the preview build at microsoft.com/testdrive if you're so inclined. It faces stiff competition from the Mozilla Firefox 4 and Google Chrome 11 -- let us know what you think in the comments, and what you're hoping to see in IE10.