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Microsoft releases first Platform Preview for Internet Explorer 10

If you would remember, Microsoft had only recently launched its latest version of its Internet Explorer web browser a month ago, and it was probably one of the few Internet Explorer releases to gain favourable reviews among the global media for various advancements in performance and support for web standards.And it seems that Microsoft is not about to stand still and let the competition catch up to it, for the Redmond giant has just released yet a new 'version' of its Internet Explorer web browser for public testing. Fancy having a go at the first ever platform preview of what will eventually be known as Internet Explorer 10 (aka IE10)?

So you have bitten the bullet and downloaded the latest, brand-spanking new version of Microsoft's web browser, also known as Internet Explorer 9, into your Windows Vista (or Windows 7-based) PC. That is great and all: after all, Internet Explorer 9 has been receiving favourable reviews from the media about the significant advancements it boasts over its predecessors, such as the utilization of Direct2D for hardware-accelerated browsing, along with much more robust support for the draft specifications of HTML5.

Indeed, with such performance gains over its predecessors, you may be forgiven if you thought that the IE team would be busy on their next project, which is to take a well-deserved break from Internet Explorer's development and chill out for a month or so. However, this does not appear to be the case, for the IE team has seemingly been hard at work on the next version of Internet Explorer. And the results of their dedication: a downladable Platform Preview of what will eventually be known as Internet Explorer 10.

Of course, being the curious people that we all are, we proceeded to download the Platform Preview, if only just to see what additional features it may boast over the current Internet Explorer 9. That being said, expect the Platform Preview to be little more than a heavilly stripped-down version of a web browser with near-zero UI elements like those for Internet Explorer 9 back then: this is due to the fact that platform preview releases are mostly designed for developers to test for compatibility and standards support.

Same old Platform Preview window which we all know and love since the days of IE9's previews

That being said, we did not notice any significant differences between the Platform Preview of Internet Explorer 10 and our copy of Internet Explorer 9 during the short hands-on, at least in terms of HTML5 support and performance. This is probably due to the fact that the first platform preview is unlikely to feature any major changes (if any) from older versions of Microsoft's web browser. However, we also noticed something rather interesting when we used the Platform Preview to navigate to YouTube's page: apparently, the online video streaming site was flagging IE10 out as an ancient version of Internet Explorer that is no longer supported. Indeed, this message kept popping up even after we made sure the Platform Preview was identifying itself as IE10 and not any other older version.

Of course, it also goes without saying that Platform Previews are not meant to be function as regular web browsers, and should not be used as such. But if that does not deter you from getting your hands on one to give it a little spin, the current Platform Preview of Internet Explorer 10 can be downloaded from the Internet Explorer Test Drive page. And as a little public service, we should point out that the download is relatively small (slightly below 19MB in size), but is available only in the form of a 32-bit binary. Yep, that's right; there are no 64-bit versions of the Platform Preview for download.

Finally, we have also receieved word that the .MSI file containing the Platform Preview will only work on Windows 7 (and not Windows Vista). Unfortunately, we do not have any Vista machines to test this claim out, so you are on your own if you do attempt to load the Platform Preview of Internet Explorer 10 in your Vista-powered PC.

Source: Internet Explorer Test Drive

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