Impressions from the IE9 beta launch event

IE9 Beta Launch Event

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the IE9 Beta launch event and I’m glad to have gone. This was a good day for IE and I think a good day for the web overall. Not only was Microsoft able to show that IE was taking HTML5 seriously, but also that they were pushing the experience of browsing the web to something better.  Info on the GPU and multiple core acceleration, modern browser features, nifty native integration and more of the new features are available on the site:

The biggest topic here is the revitalization of the web and what we can aspire to do as web designers and developers in this new brave world of HTML5 and all of its accompanying technologies.  During the keynote, Jeff Henshaw Director of Bing User Experience demoed an HTML5, GPU accelerated smarter version of Bing.  Not only was the video tag, CSS3, Canvas and other new features used, but it was presented as a whole experience. Avery thoughtful experience, and it was better than a website from the past.  (Make sure to watch the video found at the bottom of the linked article).

Is this “revitalization of the web” I’m going on about happening only because of the IE9 beta?  No, of course not.  The perfect storm of advancement and adoption of newer HTML5-ish technologies, tools support, browser support certain devices (iPad) and awareness is happening.  IE9 just gave the storm a whole lot more energy.

As a developer who worked on one of the ways to experience IE9, I can say that the performance is stellar, the support for Canvas is great and native integration is simple to accomplish.  I’d like to call out a few of these projects that shipped yesterday.  Although there are many to choose from, these are the ones I had a chance to really get to know or chat with the developers/artists that impressed me.

  • Comix Parallax from Steam Design – wish all comics moved like this
  • Endless Mural from Joshua Davis – collaborative art where everyone is a designer
  • Jitterbugs from Cynergy – fun game with great music and visuals
  • Rough Guides from Metia – crowd sourced traveling advice with flickr photos
  • BeatKeep from Archetype – because you  can always use a beat box
  • Lost World’s Fair from Mighty and Friends – WOFF extravaganza
  • Jack and the Beanstalk from Clarity Consulting – graphical storybook w/physics
  • and of course, Agent8Ball from Pixel Lab – bombs, billiards and bow ties!

One of my favorite quotes was from Brendan Hall and Joshua Davis regarding performance: “when running the code for the burst gesture the first time, we were like, ok let’s see how it runs… expecting something to go slow… and boom!  It just worked!”.

That may not be word for word, but I know the “boom” part was right.

And it may sound magically, but a GPU accelerated Canvas implementation and a speedy JavaScript engine is pretty dang awesome.

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