IE9 on Windows Phone

Today’s announcement that IE9 will come to Windows Phone reflects our commitment to deliver the best experience of the Web on Windows. IE9 on the desktop provides consumers and developers with great HTML5 support that takes full advantage of the hardware for great performance. IE9 on Windows Phones will as well.

We’ve worked closely across the Windows Phone and IE teams over the last few months to deliver the same IE9 browsing engine—the same code, the same standards support, the same hardware acceleration, the same security and privacy protections—for Windows Phone as we’ve delivered on the desktop.

As a result, when you compare different browsers side by side using official W3C standards tests, for example here, you can expect very similar results for IE9 on Windows Phone and the Windows desktop. When you compare side by side browser performance, for example here or here, or running the FishIE Tank demo, you can still expect very similar results. You can also expect similar results comparing the security and privacy protections, for example here and here.

Our approach to sharing code involves using the same engine and the same highly-rated SmartScreen services. Using different engines—even subtly different engines—results in making developers do a lot more work and re-work to accommodate the differences. Articles like The WebKit Lie and the Future of Web Standards and iPad is the new IE6 reflect the problems in fragmented nightly builds and forks.

Today’s announcement is good news for developers and consumers. Quality, hardware-accelerated HTML5 on mobile devices will make the mobile Web significantly better. Developers will be able to use the same markup to deliver great interoperable HTML5 experiences on mobile—a for example H.264 video on Windows, iOS, and Android devices, and great CSS3, SVG, Canvas, ECMAScript 5, and WOFF support. Consumers will be able to enjoy these great experiences with great hardware-accelerated performance as well as security and privacy, using Tracking Protection on their Windows Phones.

—Dean Hachamovitch, Corporate Vice President, Internet Explorer

P.S. The demo at Mobile World Congress this morning showed different mobile browsers visiting a site much like the IE Test Drive site. The changes to the test drive site for the demo involved making it more mobile friendly, for example, accommodating screen size and orientation and touch. The underlying demo code and patterns from the IE Test Drive, like FishIE, remain unchanged.

Comments (43)
  1. I <3 FishIEs says:

    Hardware acceleration SWEETNESS. Show me the FishIEs on the phone!

  2. pezzonovante says:

    Wow, that's great news. WP7 is by far the most beautiful and productive smartphone OS in the world.

  3. Zuner says:

    Zune HD also needs a decent browser. Please put IE9 for Zune HD as well.

  4. Dave Van den Eynde says:

    If you honestly believe that IE9 on WP7 is going to be less of an 'IE6' than the iPad, you are so mistaken.

  5. Zuner says:

    Does this mean WP7 will get the same score as IE9 RC (95) on tests like Acid3 ? Currently, the Zune HD browser scores 5/100 on the Acid3 test and desperately needs an update.

  6. Skoua says:

    Good news!

    But avoid criticizing your opponents as the ghosts of IE6 and IE7 still fly above the angry heads of hundred of thousands of web developers, and this is way more annoying than the iPad can be.

    I hope the CSS3 support means media queries as well.

  7. Chris says:

    If IE9 on the desktop includes some sort of emulation for IE 9 Mobile, that would be a great help. It's unlikely I will purchase a Windows Phone 7, so can't check for myself, but would still like any site I make to look flawless in the mobile browser.

  8. and all the rest? says:

    What about addEventListener? standalone mode like iPhone? preserve-3D CSS3 transition type? manifest files ? localDatabase? LocalStorage? …

  9. Matthew says:

    Please, please, please can you consider transparent, dynamic and automatic updates to IE to continually improve standards support?

    The Windows Phone stuff with IE9 looks really good. Hardware acceleration on mobile devices is unquestioningly the way to go here, good stuff! Cheats like poking a hole to show video (as done on the iPad) is clearly something that is just going to cause a lot of headaches.

    I guess what I'm saying is that as a web-dev I really admire the fact that the IE team is taking the solid and quality approach to the architecture and getting things right, but you guys need to keep up this time too! 😛

  10. Randall says:

    Hooray for all the work the IE team's done.  And very glad IE Mobile will have HTML5 support — it maintains close-to-same-markup for touchscreen smartphones.

    No hooray for sniping at competitors' technology decisions.  The WebKit and Gecko communities tried hard to move the Web forward without breaking it and pretty much succeeded.  They pioneered support for most of the things that IE is adding now.  It's a complex issue but I think their release model and habit of getting ahead of the standards bodies was a key part of that, and anyway they've certainly earned the right to more respect than this.  Given Microsoft's contribution to everyone's backwards-compatibility workload, the sniping does not come off well.

    But to circle back to something positive, my complaint is with the words, not the code.  Impressed with the work and looking forward to seeing it deployed and to what's next.

  11. SandbergPDX says:

    It would be nice to hear about Microsoft's efforts to get Office included in the products which utilize IE9's rendering/browsing engine.

    Outlook and Word need to benefit from the work done in this area, to maintain the consistency point-of-argument.

  12. PhoenixOnFire says:

    Very nice, but how about some Flash lovin' this Valentines day on #WP7?!

  13. Davin says:

    That's great that the phone is getting IE9.  It is good to have a unfied platform.  Now how about XP.  There are tons of people still on XP.  XP should also be getting IE9.  Sure it won't be able to use pinned sites, or jump lists.  But at least it would get the improvement of the rendering engine enhancements and possibly acceleration if Microsoft was willing to port over what it could to XP.

  14. Random says:

    @Davin. Even if IE9 was ported to a machine running XP. Hardware (Graphics Card / Video Drivers) from an XP era machine most likely would not have the requisite level of support for hardware rendering.

  15. Spindel says:

    How about password and bookmark sync?

  16. Morten says:

    Does that also mean that we are getting full multi-support in IE9, regardless of the platform/screen it's running on?

  17. Hugh Isaacs II says:

    Does this mean that pinned sites will make it into Windows Phone 7?

    Also, the jab at WebKit wasn't necessary, especially being that we still have to deal with the horrid IE6 and 7 browsers.

  18. JohnCz says:

    Look forward to experiencing this on my phone.  From Dean's comments it seems like the bulk of the porting work is already done.  Thats great news as I really want to see more work done on the IE features that didn't see a remake in this release.  One of the key decisions (I believe) that will need to be made in IE10 is whether pinned sites can/should replace Favorites. That decision would probably hinge on greatly expanded/modified taskbar capabilities in Windows 8.

  19. Matthew says:

    Running on XP?

    Do you seriously expect Microsoft to support a 10 year old OS when it has newer better ones available? Would you want to support a customer on something you made 10 years ago when you've made something far better since?

    Vista was an abomination but Windows 7 is really good. Move with the times or don't complain.

  20. RandomPaserBy says:

    RE IE9 on Windows XP

    XP is in extended support. This means no new features, only security fixes. This happened with Windows 2000, ME, 98, NT4, 95, etc etc, so why should XP be treated differently. No matter how people complain things wont change.

    RE Updating IE

    I agree with less time between release cycles, but transparent updates is a no. They can cause major headaches for system/network admins, especially if the update breaks something that internal software relies on.

  21. Joe says:

    What is Windows Phone 7? is that the silly phone that was 3 years late to the market and hasn't got a chance of gaining market share?

    Even by hostile takeover of Nokia this is still doomed to fail.  Don't get me wrong, IE9 on the device is a 1,000,000 times better than IEMobile v6.x.

    That said all other mobile devices are using WebKit – so WinPhone7 will still be the redheaded stepchild.  Do not expect us to support it.

  22. RIP IE 2010 says:

    RIP IE 2010

  23. Misses real MICROSOFT IE says:

    Hello  Why don't you guys call ie "Windows Internet Explorer" for?   I should be "Microsoft Internet Explorer"     When you guys changed it to Windows Intenret explorer.   IE died…

  24. Prior Semblance says:

    This is good news, the current mobile IE is in need of an update and having mobile IE9 sounds awesome.

  25. Mani says:

    Isn't OpenGL ES the graphics API of choice for Win Mobile?

  26. David S says:

    I guess this was pretty obvious when the RC added support for geolocation.

    However I'm a little concerned that no new features will be added. CSS3 transitions has been requested a million times and also HTML5 forms. If these 2 awesome things are not supported they are essentially dead. No one is going use these features if they can't work in all browsers.

  27. Richard Maynard says:

    "Today’s announcement is good news for developers and consumers."

    I think the best news for developers and consumers would be the possibility of browser competition on Windows Phone. Users have a choice of browser on the desktop and they should have a choice of browser on mobile. Will they be a native development kit for Windows Phone so other browsers can be developed for it?

  28. jun says:

    @RandomPaserBy "XP is in extended support. This means no new features, only security fixes. "

    IE isn't a feature.  Its a program.  If Firefox can compile their browser to where it works on all versions of Windows post 2000, why can't Microsoft itself?  A third party developer is able to compile cross-windows-platform code and Microsoft can't?  Sounds pretty sad to me.  The problem is that Microsoft STILL has not decoupled IE from the inner workings of the OS.  They just faked its decoupling.  So unlike Firefox, it can't be installed like a real program because it isn't a real program.  IE is STILL designed more like a virus spiraling all over the registry and throughout the operating system with its slimy tentacles in EVERTHING.  Will this problem ever be fixed?  If were designed as an actual program rather than a virus, it would not have to be written specifically for one OS.  But wait,  shouldn't the .NET framework allow Microsoft to write IE9 once and then enable it to run on both XP and Windows 7.  Of course.  So its just that they don't wanna.

  29. @jun says:

    why should IE not be integrated in the OS? Having a browser IN the OS is a necessity. Do you know how many desktop programs utilize IE?

    and don't bring that "choose your browser ***" that EU imposed where other browsers get FREE publicity out of MS's hardwork without paying anything.

  30. dkb1898 says:

    I have to say, after seeing the debacle that is communication from the WP7 team, I truly appreciate the approach of the Engineering Windows 7 Blog, and IEBlog. This is an excellent blog, along with Mr. Sinofsky's Engineering 7 Blog. Thank you Mr. Hachamovitch for making IE9 an easy recommendation to friends and family by communicating the engineering and decision making to people who care like me!

  31. Brandon says:

    And how the stance on XP is 10 years old and outdated is very conveniently changed by Microsoft. When Vista debuted, XP was already 6-7 years old and the only OS from them. Considering that, how Vista failed to gain any foothold, the fact that competitors are supporting it, Microsoft is supporting commercial products on it and that it's the most dominant OS in use, XP should have been supported. Making developers' lives easier certainly isn't Microsoft's first priority although they do try their best to do it once people pay for Windows 7 tax.

  32. Matt says:

    It's kind of sad that Windows Mobile (which is still widely deployed and used) is still going to be stuck on something that isn't even up to snuff when compared to IE 6. It'd be nice to see Windows Mobile 6.6 or something with a decently-supportable version of IE. (In Windows Mobile 6.5, you can't even visit popular sites like Twitter, due to bugs in the browser core.)

  33. Björn says:

    @jun: Apparently you don't know what .NET is about.

  34. hAl says:


    I seem to remember that WP7 uses DirectX 9 and not opengl.

    That is part of the reason why WP7 has such a fast and fluent GUI compared to android which is much less fluent even on faster hardware.

  35. JoB says:

    The recommendation for Windows Phone 7 is to support DirectX 9 hardware. Though the desktop version is running on Direct2D which requires DX 10.1. If IE9 graphics are the same on windows phone and windows desktop, why constraining the desktop version to 10.1 which hardware are less common? Most people currently have DirectX 9 compatible hardware, but older PCs are stuck to using software rendering.

  36. Davin says:

    There are many businesses that are still on XP and will be for a while because of the prohibitive cost of upgrading thousands of machines to windows 7 … especially in this economy.  Porting IE9 to XP would be another great way to help get people off IE6 as it has sooo many cool new features.  Sure the hardware acceleration may not be up to par with Windows 7, but I'm sure something could be done.  But even without the hardware acceleration the javascript engine is way faster than IE6, IE7, or IE8.  If nothing else having that would be a huge speed up for XP machines.  I realize that Microsoft is only providing extended support for XP, but I think IE should be treat just like any other program that Microsoft creates.  You can put Office 2010 on XP, why not IE9.

  37. boen_robot says:

    Why do I have the feeling IE9/WP7 is going to be very different from IE9/Desktop?

    Maybe it's because that's the current state of IE, as well as the mentioned WebKits being all different… I just KNOW the WP7 team is going to make some "fixes" for the sake of "user experience" – it's like part of their job description is to mess with standards. I do hope I'm proven me wrong.

  38. boen_robot says:

    Why do I have the feeling IE9/WP7 is going to be very different from IE9/Desktop?

    Maybe it's because that's the current state of IE, as well as the mentioned WebKits being all different… I just KNOW the WP7 team is going to make some "fixes" for the sake of "user experience" – it's like part of their job description is to mess with standards. I do hope I'm proven wrong.

  39. @JOB says:

    Just a guess, but the graphics pipeline on WP7 is a completely different driver stack. And good luck asking Intel, AMD, and nVidia to rewrite there drivers for 3-4 year old hardware to make it work better for new technologies.

  40. jun says:

    @@jun "why should IE not be integrated in the OS?"

    Because it causes massive security problems.

    @Björn "Apparently you don't know what .NET is about."

    Actually you clearly don't.  .NET framework 4 installs on both Windows 7 and XP, so if you wrote code for framework 4, it would run on both.  Its a VM-ish type of thing that allows cross-windows-version development, and when Microsoft first released the thing (I went to one of the launches) this is EXACTLY what they were touting.

  41. Morten says:

    Does that also mean that we are getting full multi-touch-support in IE9, regardless of the platform/screen it's running on?

  42. DanglingPointer says:

    Matter of fact, portability ain't the Microsoft kinda deal. Their business model strictly follows the device-specific products with pre-decided expiry dates. XP support is not that outdated and horrifying as many people are pointing in here. Many third party applications, such as; new Mozilla, new chrome and new MS-SecurityEssentials are delivering backward compatibility well …if not for all flavors of WinOS atleast for the NT builts >= Win2000.

    As a web-developer, I want to develop a website in 2011 and don’t want to care about fixing the crossbrowser issues of IE6 ( ~10 yrs old crippled web browser), 7 (~ se7en yrs old!!) and 8(old) and do want to provide the audience full experience of my website (which 6,7,8 can hardly fathom) via nextgen browsers (such as; IEv9 a real mccoy!) while requesting them to update their IE if they r using ver < 9 [PERIOD] =that-implies=> irregadless to what version and flavor of OS viewers are using… ofcourse XP is still most widely in-use OS [chkout: _ _ sometime]… and most people are [about to] being through transition phase from XP to 7….So right now, if they are skint and aint got no money to upgrade/improve the status of their XP running PC, they should be able to get free updates like IE9!… The minute they will gather sufficient amount, they will [definitely] buy a PC/laptop running Win7…but meanwhile please spare them some generosity MS!  Or get rid of this confusing alibi and tell the true story about lack of portability in IE9's case to shutup my kind of noob! (would it raise some kindof regression issues that of adaptability or tangibility in winXP?)

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