Nobody can accuse Microsoft of being complacent about Web browsers: just a few weeks after releasing Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft is already demonstrating the next version.That suggests a final release in about one year.
This is a huge change from how Microsoft used to treat the browser — the gap between IE6 and IE7 was five years. But competition from Firefox and Google’s Chrome have forced Microsoft to step up development.
Now it appears that IE is on an annual release cycle, with new versions coming out every spring.
The IE 10 platform preview was unveiled at MIX, Microsoft’s annual conference for Web developers that started today. Like the early versions of IE 9, this first platform preview mainly focused on better support for Web standards, including HTML 5. End-user features will probably be added later in the cycle.
Like it did last time, Microsoft will be updating IE 10 with new platform previews every two to three months, giving developers plenty of time to get ready for the update.
Interestingly, Windows chief Steven Sinofsky demonstrated IE 10 running on machine with an ARM processor. That’s the low-powered processor that runs most tablets today. In January at the Consumer Electronics Show Microsoft announced it would be porting Windows 8 to ARM — a huge and expensive task — and this is only the second time the company has shown off this project.
Here’s the video Microsoft posted showing IE 10. (You’ll need Microsoft’s Silverlight plug-in installed to view it.)