Few days back, Microsoft has released the first IE9 Preview Platform which focused on HTML5 (which Apple claimed that it can and it will beat Flash) and also hardware acceleration. No, it is not a fully functional web browser; all it can do is to demonstrate the improvements and new stuffs added into the future IE.
Not only developer will be happy with the performance of the platform preview, but one of the major processor company, AMD, is happy with IE9 as well. One of the reasons for their applause is that IE9 is able to take advantage of the hardware (GPU in specific) in the computer. Below is what they have mentioned in their blog about the improvements in IE9:
Specifically, IE9 will take advantage of the underlying hardware in different ways, both from a visual perspective as well as code execution perspective:
The MSHTML rendering layer has been enhanced to use Direct2D and DirectWrite instead of GDI. Direct2D enables GPU accelerated 2D graphics and text, and allows sub-pixel positioning. In addition, the GPU is used for scaling (bitmaps are mapped to textures), which is ideal for zooming and moving images around the screen. This GPU support translates directly into improved readability of pages, more precise placement of text and images, and smooth scrolling and zooming.
IE9 is more standards compliant than previous versions, with new support for HTML5 elements such as <video> and <canvas>, CSS3 support, and SVG support. The <canvas> element will be accelerated on the GPU via Direct2D and will enable hardware accelerated rendering contexts for application development, improving visual display, reducing CPU usage, and improving power usage.
I am sure that you are able to find some other fun stuffs within the IE9 Platform Preview, and for me, I am impressed by it. It does utilize hardware acceleration as it can be seen that my GPU has the temperature increased during the running of the Platform Preview. But it is great isn’t? Knowing that your hardware in your PC helps to improve your browsing experience (and now that’s a good reason to buy a new decent Graphic Card).
In case you missed the IE9 test drive web page, here you go. You can download the IE9 Platform Preview, as well as running the demos in different browsers in the same site. Have fun!