Microsoft's mid-March Mix 2010 is shaping up to be the promised land.
Yesterday, the Softies told those of us with lots of remaining questions about Windows Phone 7 after yesterday's unveiling that "all will become clear at Mix." Now Microsoft is promising to share more details about Internet Explorer (IE) 9 at its designer/developer event, as well.
Microsoft showed off a glimpse of IE9 at the Professional Developers Conference in November 2009. At that time, company officials shared how long a road ahead Microsoft had to make the next version of its browser more standards-compliant, acknowledging that an internal test build was not performing well against the ACID test benchmarks. Microsoft officials also shared that IE 9 would include hardware-accelerated rendering capabilities.
According to a February 16 update on the Mix 10 blog, IE General Manager Dean Hachamovitch will be keynoting Mix in Las Vegas next month to "talk about changes and improvements that have been made to Internet Explorer 9 since PDC09."
Does that mean Microsoft will be ready to release an early test build of IE9 by mid-March? Seems to me like the timing might be right for a Community Technology Preview, at least.
Microsoft officials have not shared a ship-date target for IE9. I know a number of bloggers have been hoping it will be before the end of 2010. I'm thinking it will likely be timed to hit closer to the date Windows 8 ships, so I'm guessing 2011. (And yes, I know there have been sightings of Microsoft roadmaps showing a 2012 ship target for Windows 8. Let's just say I'm counting in the under-promise, overdeliver factor in my guesstimates.)