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Microsoft floats 'site-ready' IE10 preview

Firefox kerfuffle rolls on

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Microsoft has released another preview version of Internet Explorer 10, and it has used the occasion to once again explain how it loves the enterprise more than Firefox.

On Wednesday, the company released the second platform preview of IE 10 featuring what it called the "HTML5 engine" behind recent demos of the browser on Windows 8.

According to Microsoft's corporate vice president in charge of IE, Dean Hachamovitch said, the IE10 platform preview means that developers can start working with several "site-ready" HTML5 technologies. Like so many others, Microsoft uses HTML5 as an umbrella term that applies not-only to the still gestating HTML5 standard but also other standards such as JavaScript and CSS.

The IE10 platform preview offers support for CSS3 Positioned Floats, HTML5 Drag-drop, File Reader API, and Media Query Listeners and initial support for HTML5 Forms. Microsoft has also added support for an HTML5 sandbox for iframe isolation.

Much of this is designed to work with the tiled and touch-friendly interface that arrives with the version of Windows 8 for tablets. CSS3 Positioned Floats lets text flow around figures on a page, and it builds on the support for CSS3 grid, multi-column, and flexbox in the first platform preview in April. It's the kind of thing you'd want on any touchy tablet.

Then Hachamovitch alluded to last week's Firefox controversy.

Last week, Mozilla handed Microsoft an easy avenue of attack when it killed support for Firefox 4 following the release of Firefox 5. This is typically the way it works, except that Firefox 5 is the first Mozilla browser delivered on the outfit's new rapid release cycle. It arrived just months after the release of Firefox 4. When one enterprise user piped up to say how this made life very hard for his kind, Mozilla man Asa Dotzler, told him to get over it, saying Mozilla has never, and should never, care about the needs of the enterprise.

Announcing the IE10 preview, Hachamovitch played up Microsoft's long-term support for IE, coupling IE10 with the lifecycle of the forthcoming Windows 8. "Because of this approach to productizing Web technologies, Microsoft will support IE10 for 10 years after its release, honoring the same product lifecycle commitments as Windows itself," Hachamovitch said.

Microsoft has traditionally supported each version of IE for as long as it supports the version of Windows it was built for. With IE9 on Windows 7, support for the browser is due to run until 2020 according to Microsoft. If Windows 8 and IE10 are delivered next year, as is expected, then you can expect Microsoft's IE10 support to run until roughly 2022. ®

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