Yes. You read that right. At the MIX ’11 conference that kicked off today in Las Vegas, Microsoft launched the initial Platform Preview for the next iteration of the Internet Explorer Web browser–IE10.
Less than a month after the official public launch of IE9, Microsoft’s Dean Hamovitch announced IE10 in his MIX ’11 keynote. Hamovitch stated, “The only native experience of HTML5 on the Web today is on Windows 7 with Internet Explorer 9,” adding “With Internet Explorer 9, websites can take advantage of the power of modern hardware and a modern operating system and deliver experiences that were not possible a year ago. Internet Explorer 10 will push the boundaries of what developers can do on the Web even further.”
Given the incubation between the initial Platform Preview of IE9 and its public release, it seems reasonable to expect about a year of Platform Previews, Betas, and finally the Release Candidate before IE10 will officially become Microsoft’s flagship browser.
While it is nowhere near as aggressive as the 18 week development cycle being pursued by Mozilla for the Firefox browser, an annual major release of Internet Explorer is significantly faster than Microsoft has traditionally developed the next version of its browser, and could still put a strain on IT admins and businesses when it comes to testing and implementing the browser release and being able to get some value out of it before the next one comes along.