Microsoft just announced the launch of the first developer preview version of Internet Explorer 9. This release is clearly geared towards developers and only features a very stripped down user interface. The developer preview does, however, include Chakra, Microsoft's new JavaScript engine, as well as a new hardware accelerated graphics subsystem and additional developer tools.

Better Support for New Web Standards

Microsoft is clearly focusing on making Internet Explorer compatible with the latest standards, including HTML5, CSS3 and SVG2 support. Even though Microsoft is very focused on making its browser more standards compliant, the current version only scores 55 points (out of 100) on the ACID3 test.

Speeding up the Browser

Besides better support for standards, Microsoft is also focused on speeding up the browser. According to Microsoft, now that "the differences between script engines on benchmarks [are] approaching the duration of an eye-blink," the company is focused on making the actual user experience faster instead of just focusing on improving benchmark results that most users won't notice. The new JavaScript engine will compile the code in a background thread on a separate core of the CPU. While the IE9 developer preview's JavaScript performance isn't quite as fast as the latest Chrome releases yet (something Microsoft freely admits), it is considerably faster than IE8. IE9 will also use a compatible computer's GPU to speed up the browser's performance even more.

Get it Now

You can find more information about the IE9 developer preview in Microsoft's announcement. You can download the preview release for Windows here.