Windows Developer Preview: The Third IE10 Platform Preview

September 14th, 2011

With the new IE10 engine included in the Windows Developer Preview, developers can work with more HTML5 technologies to build touch-friendly and beautiful interactive Web applications.

This video shows some of the touch-friendly HTML5 technologies in the third IE10 Platform Preview, included with the Windows Developer Preview.

Windows 8 includes one HTML5 browsing engine that powers two browsing experiences: the new Metro style browser and IE10 on the desktop. The common HTML5 engine provides strong support for Web standards and a consistently fast, safe, and powerful Web programming model for both browser experiences as well as for Metro style applications. You can read more about the new Metro style browsing experience on the Building Windows 8 blog.

With this update, IE10 includes support for touch-friendly sites to use many new technologies:

  • Rich Visual Effects: CSS Text Shadow, CSS 3D Transforms, CSS3 Transitions and Animations, CSS3 Gradient, SVG Filter Effects
  • Sophisticated Page Layouts: CSS3 for publication quality page layouts and application UI (CSS3 grid, flexbox, multi-column, positioned floats, regions, and hyphenation), HTML5 Forms, input controls, and validation
  • Enhanced Web Programming Model: Better offline applications through local storage with IndexedDB and the HTML5 Application Cache; Web Sockets, HTML5 History, Async scripts, HTML5 File APIs, HTML5 Drag-drop, HTML5 Sandboxing, Web workers, ES5 Strict mode support.

We’ve also updated the IE Test Drive site to be touch-friendly as well, and added some fun multi-touchable demos like Particle Acceleration, Lasso Birds, and Touch Effects.

IE10 also includes support for AutoCorrect in addition to spell checking, so people can expect common typos (like ‘teh’ in English) less often as they type in Web pages.

Looking Ahead: Consumer ready, together

IE10 continues IE9’s precedent of enabling Web applications to do more in the browser without plug-ins. Many sites already run plug-in free for other devices and browsers; we recommend that developers look closely at using native browser patterns when their code detects that plug-ins are not available. This will enable more people to successfully experience these sites.

Similarly, we recommend that developers update their sites’ older, out of date libraries (like this one) that don’t work well with new browsers like IE10.

We also continue to recommend that developers use feature detection (rather than browser detection) to accommodate the differences between browsers that are changing all the time:

// Best Practice: Use native XHR when available

var xmlHttp;

if (window.XMLHttpRequest) {

// In IE7+, Gecko, WebKit: Use native object

xmlHttp = new XMLHttpRequest();


else if (window.ActiveXObject) {

// …if not native, try the ActiveX control

xmlHttp = new ActiveXObject(“Microsoft.XMLHTTP”);


else {

// no XHR support

xmlHttp = null;


The quality and correctness of different browsers’ HTML5 engines continue to vary widely. As different browsers support the same markup to produce the same results, we can all realize the promise of HTML5. To fulfill the goal of interoperability and same markup, we continue to contribute to the test suites under development at standards bodies. With this update to IE10, we have posted over 312 new tests to the IE Test Center and submitted them to the standards bodies.

You can find a full list of new functionality available to developers in the IE10 developer guide here. Download the Windows 8 developer preview to try this update to IE10. We look forward to continued engagement with the developer community and your feedback on Connect.

―Dean Hachamovitch, Corporate Vice President, Internet Explorer

ps – many sites offer plug-in free versions, for example YouTube requires you to opt-in for HTML5 here:

[ editor note: updated to fix typo, “figures” replaced with “positioned floats” ]