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It also has a brand new JavaScript engine that will address IE’s historically weak rendering in web apps and similar code. Microsoft already claims the engine is as fast as the improved engine in Firefox 3.6 and that more optimizations are enroute.

The company also made a renewed pledge to web standards and said it will support both newer technologies like HTML5 as well as those it has ignored in the past. CSS code can now show rounded borders, and CSS selectors are now supported. Sinofsky explained that this area still needs significant development time but that a perfect score on the ACID standards test is the ultimate goal. IE9 in its very early state only manages a 32/100 score where the latest Chrome, Opera and Safari versions are already at 100.

There are “a lot of things we need to do” at Microsoft to follow standards, the executive added.

No roadmap has been given for the browser, but the development is likely to prove crucial for Microsoft. Despite the release of IE8 and many users receiving the new browser by default with Windows 7, total IE use is continuing to fall as Firefox, Safari and Chrome respectively draw more users. – Microsoft vows GPU acceleration, standards in IE9

I’m sure those two tidbits are unrelated: a crappy browsing experience and diminishing market share.  Why is Internet Explorer even still around anyway?   Oh yeah it’s pre-installed on 95% of computers and most people are too dumb to download & install anything from the internet that isn’t a virus or spyware.