Microsoft today announced the release of its second platform preview release for Internet Explorer 10, the web browser it plans to deliver with Windows 8 and for existing Windows customers sometime next year. IE 10 PP2, as the release is called, adds a number of new features, including:

  • Support for several new web technologies like CSS3 Positioned Floats, HTML5 Drag-drop, File Reader API, Media Query Listeners and initial support for HTML5 Forms.

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  • HTML5 application performance improvements, including the ability to deliver better performance with more efficient use of battery life with new technologies.
  • Web application security improvements with support for HTML5 Sandbox and iframe isolation.

As has been the custom with previous IE 9 and IE 10 platform previews, Microsoft is also using this release to highlight dramatic differences between the performance of certain types of web apps and pages on IE and competing browsers. These comparisons are available, as always, through the IE 10 Test Drive web site. New tests include Fireflies, Fountains, and How Stuff Works, and 9 others.

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ie10pp2_HowStuffWorks_0

To download IE 10 PP2, please visit the IE 10 Test Drive site.

As an aside, I think it's important to look at the IE 10 work in the context of Windows 8, though I didn't discuss this with Microsoft today. For example, we know that there's a coming HTML 5/CSS3/JavaScript-based set of APIs and capabilities coming in Windows 8, and when you look at some of the ongoing changes in IE 10 here in PP2--which include web worker support (for background processing of JavaScript, sort of analogous to threads in native code environments), new HTML 5 performance APIs, and more, you see something that suddenly looks a lot more analogous to native code. Just pointing that out.