Dean Hachamovich has just announced availability of Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate on the official IE team blog. As Dean blogs, we have received a lot of feedback from developer and end-users. We have listened and now with the RC, IE9 has made progress in the areas of performance, standards, user interface, safety and privacy.
Since the release of Internet Explorer 9 Beta in September, we have also seen the release of new iterations of the Platform Preview. With IE9 Release Candidate, new features and additions surfaced through the Platform Previews have been rolled up into Internet Explorer 9 RC. For a good overview of where we have come from since the first Platform Preview announcement at MIX10 last year I’ve summed up the different blog posts on the official IE team blog.
Let’s now review some of the features for developers that Release Candidate brings us.
IE9 Release Candidate brings support for Geolocation standard (documentation link).
Support for HTML5 semantic elements is enhanced. IE9 now supports the following elements: section, nav, article, aside, hgroup, header, footer, figure, figcaption and mark.
<video> and <audio> support was already announced (and discussed, see Another Follow-up on HTML5 Video in IE9) . The update you can fin in this RC is video accessibility for media controls and VP8 (WebM) alternative, if the user has the codec installed.
CSS3 2D Transforms properties are implemented through vendor prefixes:
Worth mentioning that for Internet Explorer 9 the Developer Tools (F12) are getting an update with a means to switch UA, new Console tab, Network tab and performance measurement. This article on SitePoint is worth a read: Debug Faster with F12 Developer Tools in Internet Explorer 9.
Developers can now implement in-page drag-to-pin support. This allows developers to set images as the source for end-user site pinning. The image can be an animation or explanation of how and why to drag the site to the taskbar. Activating site pinning on an image is really easy and achieved by setting the “msPinSite” class.
<img src="images/dragtopinimage.png" class="msPinSite">
I am using now IE9 RC and I have to say it is better but it is only better than IE8. It is much slower than Google Chrome the different is huge. Try US Open.og for example and you’ll see what I mean. I find Firefox even faster than IE9. Like I said it is better than IE8 for sure but it easily has its ass kicked by Safari, Chrome and Firefox.