A mere handful of weeks after Internet Explorer 9's release, Microsoft is keen to show that it won't be the next IE 6 — left to languish for nearly a decade while the web accelerates past into an HTML 5 future. So it's not surprising that the company has already unveiled the first look at IE 10 at its MIX11 web and user experience developer event in Las Vegas.
Where IE 9 was Microsoft stepping up to the standards mark and delivering what Google had taken to calling a 'modern browser', IE 10 looks set to be Microsoft's new line in the sand, demonstrating that it can be a leader in the HTML 5 world — not just delivering another implementation of the same standards as everyone else, driven by nothing more than analytics of the web. Unlike IE 9, IE 10 isn't focusing only on standards that are widely accepted and already in use on the web. You'll find support for new standards like CSS3 Grid Layout, as well as for older standards that are at different levels of maturity, including CSS3 Multi-column Layout, CSS3 Flexible Box Layout, CSS3 Gradients and ECMAScript 5 Strict Mode.
IE 10 is Windows 7-only at this point. There's no support for Vista, let alone Windows XP. However, looking at the current cadence of Platform Preview releases, it's likely that IE 10 will be the default browser for the next release of Windows, and it was demonstrated running on an ARM build in a keynote session at MIX 11. Further Platform Previews will be released on a roughly 12-week schedule, adding and updating features.
To get started working with IE 10, you can download the Platform Preview from the IE Test Drive site.