Internet Explorer 9 Beta To be Launched Tonight

Microsoft will be launching the first beta of Internet Explorer 9 later today with events scheduled in London at 1830 GMT and in San Francisco with some saying that Microsoft will have a Gorillaz themed event based around the tagline "the beauty of the web".

IE9 will be bringing a number of new innovations onboard including a completely overhauled Javascript engine called Chakra and native support for GPU technology to render webpages, something that could alleviate the strain on CPUs especially in the mobile arena.

The company will be holding a webcast to present the main features of the new browser alongside with a simpler, sleeker user interface; there will also be a website showcasing IE9 here which promises "a richer, more immersive web).

Support for HTML5, CSS3, better interoperability and standards supported as well as significantly improved performance in W3 tests will also be part of IE9.

IE9 is expected to be available next year, possibly alongside Windows 7 SP1; the fact that Microsoft will be launching it only two years after it launched IE8 (The previous IE7 was launched in October 2006) is a clear indication that Microsoft has focused again on browsers.

The launch of the new browser may kickstart a virtuous cycle that will see developers adopt HTML5 and CSS3 en masse and will hopefully mark the end of IE6 once and for all.