At the moment, Microsoft is only making the preview version of IE10 available for Windows 8 Release Preview, but, at release, it will be available for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2012.
Microsoft made a big push with IE9 for more standards support, and, indeed, that browser version far outstrips what IE8 offered. This is of particular importance for Windows 8′s role as a tablet operating system, even though the Metro (the touch-tablet-centric part of Windows 8) guise of IE10 will include the Adobe Flash plugin built-in, as Google Chrome does. But more and more sites are relying on HTML5 to take over that plugin’s functions.
One gauge of HTML5 readiness is the HTML5Test.com site, which reports a score based on how many HTML5 features it supports, along with bonus points for non-standard-specific extras like video codecs. Out of a possible 500, IE9 earns a score of 138, compared with 414 for Google Chrome. IE10 changes this picture considerably, with a score of 319 and 6 bonus points.
HTML5Test.com merely checks for that the feature is recognized, not whether it’s correctly implemented. On the IETestdrive site, Microsoft has published dozens of proof-of-concept demos showing exactly what a lot of these HTML5 features can do. You can peruse the IEBlog to read about the tons of work the IE team has done to add bleeding-edge support to the browser. Though it’s often stated that Chrome and Firefox are ahead of IE in HTML5 support, some of the test drive demos show that those browsers haven’t yet implemented every capability. One example is Touch Events, which lets a webpage respond to gestures.
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