With Internet Explorer 9 barely out of the labs, Microsoft yesterday caught many developers by surprise, with the launch of the first platform preview of the latest incarnation of their popular web browser, Internet Explorer 10, at this years Mix conference.
The latest version of Internet Explorer, currently only three weeks into the development cycle, already boasts an impressive array of improvements, particularly in terms of CSS3 support, addressing many of the areas missed by IE9. For this release, Microsoft has paid particular attention to the CSS3 layout modules, with the platform preview offering implementations of the CSS3 Multi-column Layout module, the Flexible Box Layout module, and the recently announced CSS3 Grid Layout module.
In addition to the improved support for the differing CSS3 layout techniques, the platform preview also offers support for CSS3 gradients, which should make many developers happy, having previously voiced disappointment that support for gradients was not included in Internet Explorer 9. Additional CSS3 support has already been promised for future IE10 preview releases including CSS3 Transitions and 3D Transforms.
The development process looks set to follow a similar timescale to IE9, which was announced at last years Mix conference, with regular platform previews scheduled for release every 8 – 12 weeks.
Several new demos, showing off some of the new functionality included in IE10, have been added to the IE Test Drive site.