Who Needs Internet Explorer 9 When You Can Download IE10?

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You’ve just downloaded Internet Explorer 9, gotten acquainted with its page pins and streamlined tabs and search-in-the-address-bar simplification, but lo and behold: Microsoft’s already teasing Internet Explorer 10!

“Explore a more beautiful web,” writes Microsoft, inviting you to take IE10 for a spin not next year or next month or even next week, but today. Talk about preemptive–the preview version of Microsoft’s next web browser arrives barely a month after IE9 launched (on March 14).

IE10 adds support for CSS3 features (cascading style scripts–they define how each page looks) like multi-columns, flexible boxing, color gradients, 3D transforms, and grid layouts, further improves HTML5 support, and reportedly bolsters the browser’s support for hardware acceleration.

Think of the preview as “Firefox? What’s that?” Microsoft instead has its crosshairs on Google’s Chrome. According to Digital Trends, the company demoed IE10 crunching HTML5 much faster than Google’s lithe and scrappy browser, though DT notes the tests were Microsoft-created, and thus suspect.

Speaking as a sometime WordPress theme tweaker, my favorite feature has to be the addition of CSS3 color gradient support. Crafting color transitions in the past required you use static images, which–depending on fidelity and gradation resolution–could add notable crunch time to page renders. By turning that over to a simple browser algorithm, you mitigate crunch time and make page design more friendly and flexible.

Now if only my primary workstation wasn’t a Mac.

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