Microsoft Expected To Unveil IE 9 Release Candidate on Feb. 10

Microsoft confirmed today that members of the Internet Explorer team will be in San Francisco for a news event this week, likely the launch of the release candidate (RC) version of Internet Explorer 9.

Jason Weber, Microsoft's lead program manager for Internet Explorer performance, pointed to Ed Bott's blog, which predicts a launch event for Internet Explorer 9 RC on Thursday, Feb. 10. The RC typically is Microsoft final test version before the product launch, or release-to-Web version.

Usually, an RC from Microsoft contains bug fixes but no new features. However, Microsoft did announce a "tracking protection" feature in December that may provide a more transparent way for IE 9 users to avoid clickstream harvesting by advertisers and third parties. At the time of that announcement, Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft's vice president of Internet Explorer, predicted that the tracking protection feature would be available when the RC of IE 9 was released.

Microsoft's proposed tracking protection feature will require that users opt into lists of URLs to block, with the lists created and maintained by volunteers. Mozilla and Google also are working on "do not track" protections for their browsers that would work more automatically than Microsoft's approach, according to an AP story. However, none of these do-not-track features are available yet.

Microsoft itself harvests clickstream information from Google search results to improve its Bing search engine, if users opt to share such information. Google recently complained about the practice.

Microsoft likely will disclose the latest performance improvements in IE 9, which is currently available as a beta release. Weber described Microsoft's approach in focusing on "real-world" performance measurements, rather than benchmark tests, in today's IE blog post. Microsoft already demonstrated top WebKit SunSpider JavaScript benchmark test results for the IE 9 platform preview 7 back in November. However, these preview releases aren't fully functioning browsers like the RC will be.

Weber outlined five performance objectives for IE 9 in competition with other browsers. Those objectives include speeding up the display time, which is when content displays to the screen. Second, Microsoft wants to improve the elapsed time, which is the period when additional loading occurs after the Web page displays. The team is also measuring CPU time and when work is offloaded to the graphics processing unit (GPU processing is a key element in Microsoft's efforts to enable HTML 5 native video rendering by IE). Microsoft's team is also working on improving resource utilization in areas such as network access, graphics and memory use. Finally, Microsoft is trying to reduce the power consumed by IE 9, with a goal of preserving mobile battery life. 

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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Reader Comments:

Wed, Feb 9, 2011 Rick Utah

With this rollout, I hope that the "rest of the world" can catch up. Working in the "guv'mnt" we have to "break" things to fix them. We are just now getting used to IE 7.x barely merging with our webbased programs. Security is a key feature and 8 left a lot to be desired in some arenas. Installed an early beta of 9 at home and immediately found it unable to perform with current locations because "they" weren't there yet. One Bank I use still is having issues with whether I can use 32 bit or 64 bit version of the browser and of course "they" don't like NON-MS products, so there you go. Have we slowed down too much to catch up with ourselves....and just for the record I like the default expanded folder view in "add to Folders"...then I don't have to open sub folders to make sure I get the right one . . . they are all there.... :D

Tue, Feb 8, 2011 Jim

There was a new feature added on IE 7 (and duplicated in IE 8.0), as it appears like an “auto-expansion” of every favorite folder when you click on “Add to Favorites...”

Having a large number of folders and sub-folders it would be much better if all of my folders remain CLOSED by default (as they were in IE6) and could then be expanded, one at a time, on drilling down to the specific folder I would like to store a particular Favorite in. "Organizing" Favorites after the fact adds unecessary, cumbersome steps.

Will the approach to Saving Favorites in IE 9 go back to the un-expanded folder approach of IE 6?

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