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Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview: General Impressions

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With Internet Explorer 10, Microsoft leaves Windows XP and Windows Vista in the dust and enables the software to run only on Windows 7. Where does this decision leave organizations that still run XP on the user desktop? IT expert and author Tim Warner shares with you his post-review insights of Microsoft’s next-generation Web browser, Internet Explorer 10.
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When Microsoft released Internet Explorer 9 on March 14, 2011, the most obvious changes—to me anyway—were the minimalist user interface and the dramatic performance improvements. These speed-ups were accomplished by means of a totally revamped content caching engine as well as support for hardware acceleration.

Of course, there was also the pesky problem of IE9 supporting only Windows Vista Service Pack 2, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008. Where is support for good ol’ Windows XP? Well, the short answer is that it is gone, seemingly forever.

This trend continues for IE10, which is as of this writing in September 2011 in Platform Preview status.

Before we download and install the latest IE10 build and kick the tires, there are a couple points with which you need to understand.

The Platform Preview Is Not a Full Web Browser

As we’ll see, the Platform Preview build is intended to demonstrate the effect of some of the internal “plumbing” enhancements Microsoft made to Internet Explorer, most specifically with regard to Hypertext Markup Language Version 5 (HTML5) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Version 3, and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). Accordingly, as shown in Figure 1, we will see an entire absence of traditional browser “chrome” such as the address bar and navigation toolbars.

Figure 1 Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview UI

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