Internet Explorer 9 Preview 6, we have a winner

No you aren’t dreaming; winner and Internet Explorer (IE) have been mentioned in the same sentence. I know it’s hard to believe, but the browser that has been the bane of every Web Developer’s life since 2001 has finally grown up and accepted web standards. According to the W3C HTML5 Test Suite released last week, IE9 p6 is the most compliant browser. Now before the huge (geek) party and dancing on the grave of IE6 starts, there are a couple of major points to note:

  1. IE9 is still only a preview release, not a complete browser.
  2. When released IE9 will only work on Vista and Windows 7.

Point 2 is unfortunately a big party pooper. Windows XP is the operating system that refuses to die, 48% of users who visited W3schools in October were on XP. That’s a large percentage of people who are excluded from installing IE9. We can always hope that these users are using a standards compliant browser from another company (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera) but that may be a little optimistic.

So, even though IE9 is a huge step forward by Microsoft, it doesn’t look like older versions of IE are going to die out any time soon. Luckily the UK government are forward thinkers… wait, no, that’s a lie. So the browser that’s been crippling the web for the best part of a decade looks like it may be around for another 10 years. I’ll put the party poppers back in the draw then.