Internet Explorer 9 and SilverLight 4 Announced Breaking News

Microsoft just announced that they been working on Internet Explorer 9 and SilverLight 4. Below I have listed a brief run down of all that you can expect in the both Internet Explorer 9 and SilverLight 4.

Internet Explorer 9 Whats new?

Increased JavaScript Performance

The latest builds of Internet Explorer 9 shows that the performance is comparable to that of FireFox 3.6 and Chrome 4 and the latest Web Kit Nightly build. If true this is a huge improvement.

Internet Explorer 9 JavaScript PerformanceInternet Explorer 9 JavaScript Performance

Standards Support CSS 3.0 and HTML 5

What does that mean? In plain english it means support for rounded corners, text shadows, Box shadows, video support etc without the need for using images or scripts. Thought the latest ACID 3 test for Internet Explorer 9 doesn’t seem to be that great.

Acid 3 Acid 3
Rounded CornersRounded Corners
CSS SelectorsCSS Selectors

Uses Graphics hardware acceleration for rendering

We’re changing IE to use the DirectX family of Windows APIs to enable many advances for web developers. The starting point is moving all graphics and text rendering from the CPU to the graphics card using Direct2D and DirectWrite. Graphics hardware acceleration means that rich, graphically intensive sites can render faster while using less CPU. Now, web developers can take advantage of the hardware ecosystem’s advances in graphics while they continue to author sites with the same interoperable standards patterns they’re used to.

In addition to better performance, this technology shift also increases font quality and readability with sub-pixel positioning

Rendering of font normallyRendering of font normally

96 point Gabriola on a Lenovo X61 ThinkPad at 100% Zoom using GDI (note jaggies)

Rendering of font using Graphic card hardware Rendering of font using Graphic card hardware

96 point Gabriola on a Lenovo X61 ThinkPad at 100% Zoom: Direct2D (without jaggies)

SilverLight 4 Whats new?

Empowering richer, more interactive experiences

Silverlight is already in use as a comprehensive platform for building rich experiences both for application and pure media scenarios including HD quality, interactive video through Smooth Streaming. Silverlight 4 introduces additional capabilities to enable creation of ever more rich, appealing high-performance interactive experiences and innovative media experiences:

  • Fluid interface enhancements advance application usability through animation effects.
  • Webcam and microphone to allow sharing of video and audio for instance for chat or customer service applications.
  • Audio and video local recording capabilities capture RAW video without requiring server interaction, enabling a wide range of end-user interaction and communication scenarios for example video conferencing.
  • Bring data in to your application with features such as copy and paste or drag and drop.
  • Long lists can now be scrolled effortlessly with the mouse wheel.
  • Support conventional desktop interaction models through new features such as right-click context menu.
  • Support for Google’s Chrome browser.
  • Performance optimizations mean Silverlight 4 applications start quicker and run 200% faster than the equivalent Silverlight 3 application.
  • Deep Zoom enhancements include hardware acceleration to support larger datasets and faster animation.
  • Multi-touch support enables a range of gestures and touch interactions to be integrated into user experiences.
  • Multicast networking, enabling Enterprises to lower the cost of streaming broadcast events such as company meetings and training, interoperating seamlessly with existing Windows Media Server streaming infrastructure.
  • Content protection for H.264 media through Silverlight DRM powered by PlayReady.
  • Output protection for audio/video streams allowing content owners or distributors to ensure protected content is only viewed through a secure video connection.

For Sandboxed applications

  • Place HTML within your application enabling much tighter integration with content from web servers such as email, help and reports.
  • Provide support for ‘toast’ notification windows, allowing applications to communicate status or change information while the user is working on another application through a popup window on the taskbar.
  • Offline DRM, extending the existing Silverlight DRM powered by PlayReady technology to work offline. Protected content can be delivered with an embedded license so that users can go offline immediately and start enjoying their content.
  • Control over aspects of UI include window settings such as start position, size and chrome.

For Trusted applications

  • Read and write files to the user’s MyDocuments, MyMusic, MyPictures and MyVideos folder (or equivalent for non-windows platforms) for example storage of media files and taking local copies of reports.
  • Run other desktop programs such as Office, for example requesting Outlook to send an email, send a report to Word or data to Excel.
  • COM automation enables access to devices and other system capabilities by calling into application components; for instance to access a USB security card reader.
  • A new user interface for requesting application privileges access outside the standard Silverlight sandbox.
  • Group policy objects allow organizations to tailor which applications may have elevated trust.
  • Full keyboard support in fullscreen mode richer kiosk and media applications.
  • Enhancements to networking allow cross-domain access without a security policy file.

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