Microsoft went to great lengths to illustrate how deep its commitment is to HTML5 in IE9--the Web standard is pushed hard the new browser. That allows developers to create programs more simply so that they can be used on a variety of devices.
"It's just closer to what people expect from apps," said Dean Hachamovitch, corporate vice president of Internet Explorer, in a keynote address.
By putting its considerable weight behind the HTML5 standard, Microsoft is hoping to convince other developers to follow.
Hachamovitch's speech focused on the geeky details that the Web developers who come to Mix11 love to hear. The first platform preview of IE10 includes support for standards such as CSS3 Gradients on background images and CSS3 Flexible Box Layout. Hachamovitch was joined on stage by Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live division, and the pair ran IE10 through the paces next to Google's Chrome. Not surprisingly, the demo showed Microsoft's browser rendering faster and more smoothly.
Developers can download the preview of IE10 on its IE Test Drive site.
Microsoft has been criticized for being slower than rivals in updating the builds of its browser. Hachamovitch addressed that head on, saying faster isn't always better. "Increased cadence just means bigger version numbers," Hachamovitch said. That makes Web developers lives more difficult, as they try to keep up with the latest builds.Hachamovitch added that developers should expect new builds every 12 weeks, instead of the eight-week pace Microsoft held with IE9 development. "It just wastes less of your time," Hachamovitch said.
Seperately, Sinofsky mentioned, before heading off stage, that Microsoft has scheduled a Professional Developers Conference for September 13 through 16 in Anaheim, Calif. PDC's are benchmark moments for Microsoft, where the company lays out its vision for developers. It's likely the spot where Microsoft will unveil details of Windows 8.