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IE9 to support hardware-accelerated rendering

Microsoft is focusing on speedy graphics rendering for its next version of Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer 9 will take advantage of a computer’s graphics hardware to better render online images, videos, animations and other graphics, said Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft’s Windows and Windows Live division.

“We think that the hardware you run on should shine through the browser,” he said.

He was speaking at the Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles, where he demoed a few features of IE9. In addition to smoother graphics rendering, Sinofsky showed IE9’s support of new HTML/CSS code that creates rounded borders, for example, on text boxes.

The Internet Explorer team, which Sinofsky said has been working on IE9 for about three weeks, needs to determine how much of HTML5 — the next major version of the universal markup language — to support.

The IE9 prototype already is just as speedy as the other major browsers, he said. By some standards, Internet Explorer 8 performs at least twice slower than Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari, according to slides Sinofsky showed to the PDC audience.

“We’re getting close to basically being a wash,” he said.

Sinofsky didn’t give any estimates for an IE9 launch date. But considering IE8 was released just last March, it could be a while. The Internet Explorer team has historically worked on a two-year launch cycle.

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