Microsoft unveils IE10 second platform preview

The software giant has taken the wraps off the second platform preview of Internet Explorer 10.

IE logo

Microsoft has launched the second platform preview for IE10, delivering better support for HTML5 and enhanced security features.

Internet Explorer 9 only came out in March, and IE10 is still in the early stages of development. Microsoft is releasing so-called "platform previews", which show the latest additions to the browser's engine without any of the user interface laid on top, as it did with IE9.

...A vision we call 'same markup' where the developer can write the code once and have it work across browsers and work across the web.

The second platform preview includes HTML5-based drag and drop to move files, support for HTML5 forms, and CSS3 positioned floats, which will allow text to flow around images on the screen.

Improvements to parsing behaviour will mean developers can write code once and have it work the same across all browsers, according to Microsoft. Ryan Gavin, senior director of Internet Explorer business and marketing, said Microsoft was working on "very deep HTML5 support with an ear toward interoperability and a vision we call 'same markup' where the developer can write the code once and have it work across browsers and work across the web".

IE10 will also feature a new sandboxing tool, which prevents third-party elements, such as maps, from accessing the rest of the data on a page.

"HTML5 sandboxing... essentially allows you to specify controls about what content running in an iFrame can do. For example, pop-up a window, execute JavaScript," Rob Mauceri, partner group program manager for Internet Explorer, told IT Pro's sister title PC Pro. "By default those things are locked down and it lets the developer keep the page safe."

Hardware acceleration

Microsoft's developers are also working on moving more background work away from the browser, making use of hardware acceleration. The company is working on supporting the new Web Worker spec, which offloads heavier burdens - such as complex JavaScript - to run in the background.

"A casual game could choose to run the logic for the computer player in the game in a Web Worker while the user is interacting with the game," Mauceri explained.

However, Microsoft said the way Web Worker shares data across pages raises privacy concerns, which it has passed on to the W3C standards body.

The next platform preview will be released in eight to 12 weeks.

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