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Microsoft names September for IE9 beta

Turner promises 'great' story

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FAM The beta version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 will hit in September.

Microsoft's chief operating officer Kevin Turner named the date for Wall Street analysts during the company's annual Financial Analyst Meeting (FAM) in Redmond, Washington.

Microsoft until now has not released dates on IE9, but Turner dropped the date in a guns-blazing performance to convince the money men Microsoft's firing on all cylinders.

"We're excited about IE9 which will be beta and coming out in September," Turner said.

Turner said Microsoft would have a "great story to tell" on IE9 with work on support for more HTML standards and performance, and on security.

Support for HTML5 was expanded in the third platform preview, dropped last month, that added the HTML5 video and audio elements, 2D graphics using the highly-anticipated Canvas element, and support for embedded fonts using Web Open Font Format (WOFF).

IE9 will also run Google's open-sourced WebM video codec plus the closed, and proprietary H.264 from Microsoft, Apple and others. While H.264 will come with IE9, though, you'll have to download Google's open codec on your own.

IE9 also features a new script engine, Chakra, that uses hardware to boost performance to within 50 milliseconds of Safari, Opera and Chrome on SunSpider benchmarks.

The beta will come 19 months after the release of IE8, which is slowly increasing its share of the web surfing market. IE8's incremental growth has not matched Windows 7, which Microsoft claims has shipped in record numbers for a Windows operating system.

IE is important to Microsoft strategically, as Microsoft believes the browser drives traffic to Bing and its other online properties. ®

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